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Coffee With the Superintendent

Dr. Balderas invites community for coffee and conversation

Coffee With the Superintendent
Wednesday, April 25, 6–7 p.m.
4J Education Center
200 N. Monroe St., Eugene
(invite your friends!)

You’re invited: Drop in on Wednesday evening, April 25, for coffee and casual conversation with 4J Superintendent Gustavo Balderas.

Do you want to talk with the superintendent, learn about important things happening in 4J schools, ask questions or share your ideas and feedback? Join us for a coffee chat. This informal gathering is open to everyone.

“Coffee With the Superintendent” is a monthly event being held throughout the school year. Meetings are held at varying times and locations around the district to accommodate differing schedules.

Whether you have a specific question or idea, or simply want to hear more about the district’s biggest priorities, challenges and successes, please consider coming to an upcoming superintendent coffee chat. We’ll see you there!

RSVP or invite your friends 

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ACE Awards: Nominate A Champion in Education

Nominations for school district employees and volunteers accepted through May 1

Who is your champion in education? Eugene School District 4J has exceptional staff and volunteers who make a difference for students every day. Nominating a valued educator, leader, co-worker, or volunteer for the ACE Awards (A Champion in Education) is a wonderful way to honor the incredible talent and dedication of our amazing teachers, classified staff, administrators and volunteers.

One nominee in each category will be named the ACE Award champion and receive a $1,000 award for a project or program at their school. Every nominee will be recognized as an exceptional educator!

Submit your nomination(s) for the 12th annual ACE Awards by Tuesday, May 1. Nominations are accepted for four categories (teachers and licensed specialists, administrators and supervisors, classified staff, volunteers) and a special lifetime achievement award.

Submit a Nomination
ACE Awards Nomination Criteria
2017 Nominees & Champions
2016 Nominees & Champions

All nominees will be celebrated and champions will be announced at a reception and awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, 5:30–7 p.m., at Churchill High School. The event is free and open to the public.

In previous years a joint awards event has been held to celebrate educators from Springfield, Bethel and 4J, with support from the Eugene and Springfield Chambers of Commerce and title sponsor Oregon Community Credit Union. In a change this year, the multi-district event will no longer be held. The district is continuing the ACE Awards as a 4J program to honor our district’s exceptional professionals and volunteers, with continued support from Oregon Community Credit Union.

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School Schedule Community Forum

Parents, public invited to discuss schedules and provide input to school board

Community Forum: School Schedules
Wednesday, April 18, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene

Eugene School District 4J is moving to a standard schedule and consistent calendar for all schools in 2018–19. This will:

• ensure that all schools meet state standards for adequate instructional time
• provide fair and equitable learning time at all schools and increase learning time for most students
• provide consistent, predictable schedules for families, and
• allow coordinated time for staff professional development and collaboration.

The district has been discussing changing to a consistent calendar and schedule for more than a year. Last fall the district and our teachers’ union reached an agreement to provide fair, equitable and sufficient teaching and learning time for all students and teachers with a standard calendar and schedule for all schools starting in 2018–19.

It is now time to determine the specific schedules, and the district is seeking input from families, staff and the community. The district wants to hear from community members about your views on school schedules and what various changes would mean for you.

Parents, students, staff and other community members are invited to talk with school board members, learn more about the draft schedules under discussion, and provide feedback at a community forum on Wednesday, April 18, 5:30–6:30 p.m. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Currently, each 4J school has a different schedule. Schools have different starting and ending times, different school day lengths, and different early-release, late-start and no-school days. This is inconsistent and challenging for families and leads to significant differences in learning time for each student and teaching time for each teacher.

Starting next school year, all schools at each level will have the same calendar, without extra no-school days or half-days at individual schools. The school calendar will be more similar between elementary, middle and high schools, with nearly the same no-school days at all school levels.

Daily and weekly school schedules also will be aligned across the district. Starting next fall, all schools at each level will have consistent start and end times, coordinated to provide equitable learning time and allow for efficient student transportation. Schools also will have the same early-release days for school and teacher planning, collaboration and professional development.

The details of a standard school schedule are under discussion now and will be decided this spring. A draft schedule has been published for discussion and feedback. This is not the final schedule; schedule decisions have not been made yet. Whatever final schedule is decided, it will require some bell schedule adjustments at every school.

 

Time to learn: More about school schedules
District schools will soon have consistent calendar and schedules: Contract agreement

2018–19 school year calendar 

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Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter April 2017/18 Issue #7

Classified Sick Leave Bank 2018-19Enrollment Coming in May
Packets for the 2018-19 Classified Sick Leave Bank enrollments will be emailed on May 1, 2018.  Only benefits eligible employees (.50 FTE or greater) are eligible to participate.

The Classified Sick Leave Bank is intended to extend, to contributing members, additional sick leave days should a long-term illness or injury exhaust the employee’s own paid leave.  Watch your email May 1st!

Introducing Adrienne Royer
If you visit the 4J Wellness Clinic, you may see a new face.  Adrienne Royer RN, BA, joined the clinic staff in February as the new RN Clinic Coordinator.  Adrienne will help triage calls that come into the clinic, provide care management for diabetic patients, and fill in when needed at either the front desk or with back office duties.

Adrienne studied Nursing at Lane Community College and Sociology at the University of South Florida, and has worked in the healthcare field for 18 years.  She has a passion for preventive healthcare, and enjoys sharing her knowledge about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and early detection with staff and families of 4J.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband, and making natural beauty products.

Please join me in welcoming Adrienne as part of our wonderful Wellness Clinic staff!

Moda Offers More than Just Medical Insurance
Members enrolled in OEBB medical plans have access to a wide variety of health and wellness resources through Moda.  Examples include personalized health coaching, educational articles and videos, interactive quizzes, confidential assessments, online and/or in-person classes, webinars and much more.

Moda Health members can go to www.modahealth.com/oebb and log in to their myModa account, or create a new account, if needed.  To create an account you will need your Subscriber ID that is listed on your Moda Health medical card.
A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others.  Be a carrier.    ~  Tom Stoppard

PERS Education Session
4J will be hosting a PERS education presentation:  Understanding Your PERS Pension.

  • Tuesday, May 1, 2018
  • 4:30 – 5:45 p.m.
  • Education Center Auditorium

The presentation is suitable for PERS members just beginning their careers, for those within a few months of retirement, and for all members in between.  The session will be presented by Kris Kartub of Valic and snacks will be provided.

Topics will include:

  • Understanding the differences between Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP
  • Pension benefit calculation methods
  • Understanding your IAP account
  • Retirement option choices

Please RSVP by Tuesday, April 24th to Diana McElhinney:  mcelhinney_d@4j.lane.edu . Indicate whether you plan to attend alone, or whether you will be bringing a guest.

Top Two Diets of 2018
Looking for a good diet for weight loss, heart health, preventing or managing diabetes – or just for health eating in general?

Tied for #1 in Best Diets Overall are the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet, which have many similarities, notably their emphases on plant foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans, lentils), along with some fish, chicken, and other lean animal protein.  Other key elements of the Mediterranean Diet are olive oil and red wine in moderation, while DASH (which stand for “dietary approaches to stop hypertension”) emphasizes dairy foods and has a daily sodium limit of 1, 500 to 2, 300 milligrams to help lower blood pressure.

These two diets reflect the advice we’ve heard for healthy eating for years.  Though DASH was not originally designed for weight loss, it may have this (and other) fortuitous effects, while the Mediterranean Diet has been linked to a range of potential benefits, from reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes to better cognition and possibly even longer life.

Important Information / Assigned Hours and Insurance Costs
It’s important to note that the number of hours worked per day has an impact on your payroll costs for insurance.

Full-time employees working 7 to 8 hours receive the highest contribution towards the cost of benefits, while part-time employees working 4 to 5.99 hours receive the lowest contribution towards the cost of benefits.

District Monthly Insurance Contribution by Time Block:
7 – 8 hours:                              $1,080.00
6 – 6.99 hours:                        $   925.00
4 – 5.99 hours:                        $   697.75

Note:  Employees working less than 4 hours per day are ineligible for benefits

If you receive a reduction in your work hours for next year, you could possibly fall into a lower time block and pay higher monthly benefit premiums*.  It may be important to consider exercising your rights to enter the bumping process.  For more information please review our Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 24 found at: http://www.4j.lane.edu/hr/employeerelations/laboragreements/

*Payroll out-of-pocket costs have not yet been determined for next plan year.  They are based on OEBB premium costs minus your district monthly insurance contribution and insurance reserve subsidy (if available).

Classified JBC & Insurance Reserves
4J Classified employees are represented by the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).  The function of the JBC is to provide a voice for the employees and to set policy and make decisions regarding all benefits available to us.

Each month the district contribution for each benefits eligible employee is paid into our Classified Insurance Reserves account.  From this account the true cost of insurance for each enrolled member (and dependents) is paid out to OEBB.  Any difference in the total district contribution and the total cost of benefits is what increases our reserves and is used to subsidize employee premium costs.

We continue to explore ways to address the rapidly escalating cost of health care and remain committed to a comprehensive and affordable health insurance program.  For further information please contact one of the following Classified JBC members:

Belinda Wilton:  wilton@4j.lane.edu
Diana McElhinney:  mcelhinney_d@4j.lane.edu
Theresa Garnsey:  garnsey@4j.lane.edu

Earth Day 2018
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated this year on April 22, on which events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.

I celebrated that first Earth Day back in 1970.   I and two other 5th grade class officers planted a tree in front of our school to honor the day.   Ever since, Earth Day holds a special place in my heart.  Wishing you all time to explore the outdoors, take a walk, make a nature craft, plant something green, or make a pledge to recycle more.

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”  Lady Bird Johnson

Benefits Contact Numbers

For questions regarding Moda Health benefits or claims, contact:

For questions regarding Vision eligibility, contact: VSP

  • VSP Member Services – 800-877-7195
  • http://www.vsp.com

For questions regarding Willamette Dental Group benefits or claims, contact:

For questions regarding eligibility, contact OEBB:

To access the Employee Assistance Program:

For questions regarding life or long term disability insurance:

For questions regarding a Flexible Spending Plan:

*******************************************************
This newsletter is reviewed and edited each month by the District 4J and OSEA representatives of the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).The information in this newsletter is summarized, and is not intended as advice or counsel.

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Plan Ahead: 2018–19 Calendars Published

All schools will now follow district calendar
Elementary, middle, high schools better aligned
School bell schedules still under discussion

Elementary School Calendar 
Middle & High School Calendar

The school board has approved the 2018–19 school year calendars, which determine which days students will be in school. Daily and weekly school bell schedules are still under discussion.

Key dates for 2018–19 include:

  • First day of school for most students: Wednesday, September 5
  • First day of school for grades 7 and 8: Thursday, September 6
  • Winter break for students: Dec. 22–Jan. 7 (Jan. 7 is a staff work day)
  • Spring break: March 23–31
  • Last day of school: Thursday, June 13 (unless hazardous weather make-up days are needed)

What’s new, what’s not: The 2018–19 calendar follows the typical schedule for the first day of school, winter break and spring break. Other dates for grading, planning and professional development have been better aligned between elementary and secondary schools, so most no-school days will be the same for students at different levels. No-school days have been specified for parent conferences, where previously these days were different for each school.

The most significant difference is that all schools will now follow the district calendar and will not have additional school-specific no-school days and half-days throughout the year.

School schedules: Separate from the annual academic calendar, the district is developing a standard daily and weekly schedule for 4J schools. The new schedule will ensure that all schools meet state standards for adequate instructional time. It will provide fair and equal learning time for all students at each school level, and more learning time for most students.

Changing to a standard school schedule will require some schedule adjustments at every school. Possible schedules are under discussion now and will be decided before the end of the school year.

Elementary School Calendar 
Middle & High School Calendar

More Annual Calendar Information
More School Schedule Information

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Time for Learning: 4J Schools to Shift to Standard Schedules

Calendar and schedule will be decided this spring, implemented next fall

Eugene School District 4J will move to a consistent calendar and schedule for all schools in 2018–19. The schedule will be decided this spring.

Kids need to be in school, engaged in high-quality teaching and learning, as much as possible—and how much learning time they receive should not be dependent on their neighborhood. Families need consistent, predictable schedules for their students. School staff need coordinated time for professional learning, planning and collaboration.

To achieve these goals, the district has been discussing changing to a consistent calendar and schedule with staff and community for more than a year. Currently, each school has a different schedule, which is inconsistent for families and leads to significant differences in the amount of learning time for each student and active teaching time for each teacher. That inequity isn’t fair to our students and teachers, is not best serving our community, and is not acceptable to the district.

The school district and our teachers’ union reached an agreement in fall 2017 to provide fair, equitable and sufficient teaching and learning time for all students and teachers with a standard calendar and schedule for all schools starting in 2018–19.

The new schedule will provide more learning time for most students and ensure that all schools meet state standards for adequate instructional time. It will require some schedule adjustments at every school.

Consistent calendars and schedules

Annual calendars: Starting this fall, all schools at each level will have the same calendar. Calendars also will be more similar between elementary, middle and high schools, with nearly the same school days, no-school days and half-days at all school levels.

Daily schedules: Daily and weekly school schedules also will be aligned across the district. Before, schools had different starting and ending times, different school day lengths, and different early-release, late-start and no-school days. Starting next fall, all schools will have the same early-release days for school and teacher planning, collaboration and professional development. Schools also will have consistent start and end times, coordinated to provide equitable learning time and allow for efficient student transportation.

Better for students, families, staff, systems

Having a standard calendar and schedule will benefit students, families, staff and community: 

Benefits for students: 

  • Equal learning time for students, no matter which school they attend
  • More learning time for many students

Benefits for families: 

  • Predictable, consistent, clearly communicated school calendar
  • Coordinated calendars and schedules for families with students at different schools

Benefits for staff: 

  • Equitable teaching and prep time for teachers at each school level
  • Coordinated opportunities for multi-school collaboration and professional development
  • Aligned calendars and schedules for staff with children in school

Benefits for community: 

  • Instructional time for all students exceeding required state standards expected by taxpayers
  • Childcare and other opportunities can be aligned to district-wide no-school and early release days

Benefits for efficiency: 

  • Systems streamlined for school supports
  • Coordinated transportation routes (previously schools had 12 different daily start times and 13 different end times, as well as 243 special one-day bus schedules last year)

What’s changing, what’s not

What’s changing: All schools will have some change in their schedule as we align to a consistent schedule across the district. Your child’s school days next year may start or end earlier or later than this year’s schedule.

The draft schedule under discussion would have elementary schools on two schedules (with starting and ending times staggered to allow efficient transportation), one schedule for middle schools, and one schedule for comprehensive high schools.

The draft schedule proposes a later start time (9:05 a.m.) for middle and high schools, which research shows is better for adolescent learning, while allowing for extra learning opportunities in a “zero period” before the regular start of the school day.

The draft schedule also includes early-release days for all schools on Fridays to provide time for coordinated professional learning, collaboration and planning. (Currently most schools have an early-release or late-start schedule on Wednesdays or Fridays, but the dates and times are inconsistent.) Friday was chosen in order to have early-release days work better for families, minimize impacts on student learning, and align with key early learning programs that operate Monday through Thursday.

What’s not changing: This change is about the time and amount of instruction, not about how instruction is provided during the school day. Decisions about teaching and learning schedules within the school day and week are site-based and include teachers’ and parents’ input.

Next steps

Daily schedules: A draft schedule of consistent starting and ending times for schools has been developed, taking into consideration input that has been received from staff, parents, students and community members during the year this has been under discussion and before. The draft schedule has been shared with the teachers’ union and school staff, and then with the community, for discussion and input. The draft schedule will be presented to the school board for discussion at a board work session on Wednesday, April 4. This is not the final schedule. The board will take action to approve a standard school schedule later this spring.

First Draft Schedule of School Start/End Times 

UPDATE: Second Draft Schedule

Annual calendars: The school board will take action on approval of the 2018–19 school year calendars at the regular board meeting on Wednesday, April 4. In the proposed calendars, dates have been better aligned between elementary and secondary schools, and no-school days have been specified for parent conferences (previously these days were different for each school), but there are not other major changes from previous years. The significant difference is that all schools will now follow the district calendar and will not have additional school-specific no-school days and half-days throughout the year.

Proposed Elementary School Calendar
Proposed Middle & High School Calendar 

UPDATE: School Calendars Approved April 4  

Questions or comments? Your input about school schedules and other important issues is welcome. Public comment is invited at every regular school board meeting (see schedule at tinyurl.com/4Jboardbook) and the school board and superintendent will receive emails sent to board@4j.lane.edu.

A community forum will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 5:30–6:30 p.m., at the 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., for community members to talk with school board members, learn more about the draft schedules under discussion, and provide feedback. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

 

UPDATES:
2018–19 School Calendar
Second Draft School Schedule
Schedule Feedback Form

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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – March 2018 – Issue 303

 Eugene Education Association - EEA

4J BENEFITS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • March 20, 2018 • Issue Number 303

INTRODUCING ADRIENNE ROYER

If you visit the 4J Wellness Clinic, you may see a new face. Adrienne Royer RN, BA, joined the clinic staff in February as the new RN Clinic Coordinator. Adrienne will help triage calls that come into the clinic, provide care management for diabetic patients, and fill in when needed at either the front desk or with back office duties.

Adrienne studied Nursing at Lane Community College and Sociology at the University of South Florida, and has worked in the healthcare field for 18 years. She has a passion for preventive healthcare, and enjoys sharing her knowledge about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and early detection with the staff and families of 4J. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband, and making natural beauty products.

Please join me in welcoming Adrienne as part of our fabulous Wellness Clinic staff!

WELLNESS CLINIC – OPEN SPRING BREAK

The 4J Wellness Clinic will be open spring break. This may be a perfect time to get your yearly physical or gear up for allergy season.

Regular hours are Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The clinic is closed for lunch from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. You can schedule an appointment by calling 541-686-1427.

4J BLOOD DRIVE

On March 14, 2018, 4J hosted the Lane Bloodworks bloodmobile for a blood drive. Lane Bloodworks was able to collect 15 units of blood, which can save as many as 45 lives. Of these 15 donors, 6 were first time donors!

To learn more about the blood needs in our community and the donation process, please visit: https://lanebloodcenter.org/

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Reliant Behavioral Health provides the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to 4J employees and retirees as part of our OEBB benefits. EAP services include counseling, work-life balance, and wellness resources to help people privately resolve problems that may interfere with work, family, and other important areas of life.

Some EAP highlights:

  • Up to 5 counseling visits at no cost, per person, per issue
  • 24-hour crisis help: toll-free access for you or a family member experiencing a crisis
  • Mediation services: free consultations for personal, family and non-work related issues (e.g. divorce, neighbor disputes, real estate) – a 25% discount is available if a mediator is retained
  • Financial services: free telephone consultations for financial issues (e.g. debt counseling, budget, college/retirement planning) – a 25% discount is available if a professional is retained
  • Legal services: free will kit with professional review – free half-hour consultation, followed by a 25% discount in fees if the attorney is retained also available. (Legal services are not provided for employer-related issues.)

To access the EAP call 866-750-1327 or go online: https://www.myrbh.com (Access Code: OEBB).

SAVE THE BANANAS!

To keep your bananas from ripening too fast, wrap the stem end of the bunch tightly in plastic wrap. Even better: separate the bunch and wrap each stem individually.

EEA/4J SICK LEAVE BANK

The Sick Leave Bank is a voluntary, charitable program. The purpose of the SLB is to grant hours to eligible members in cases of long-term absence necessitated by illness or injury. Hours granted provide a bridge to either long-term disability or to a return to work.

To become a participating member of the Sick Leave Bank, a bargaining unit member must donate 8 sick leave hours based on 1.0 FTE (prorated for part-time members).

To maintain active membership in the SLB, a minimum donation of 8 sick leave hours based on 1.0 FTE (prorated for part-time members) must be made every two years. Members are allowed to donate up to 16 hours per academic year.

In recent years, the SLB has been able to help members who are battling cancer, who need surgery, who are recovering from a broken bone that prevents them from working, as well as several other serious health conditions.  The SLB allows members to focus on their own health and recovery without the additional stress of falling into unpaid status.  The SLB has truly been a lifesaver.

The second SLB donation period is currently open, and will remain so through April 6, 2018. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate spring, please consider a donation to the Sick Leave Bank!

MODA VIRTUAL CARE

As a Moda Health member, you have access to all of the following tools. You can find them on the home page of your myModa personal member website, once you have logged in. If you do not have a myModa account, you can create one now at mymoda.com.

eDoc: Ask questions and get guidance or treatment for any non-urgent illness or health concern. Board-certified physicians, licensed psychologists, pharmacists, dentists, dietitians and fitness experts are available to communicate with you online for free.

Use eDoc for:

  • Advice about non-critical medical issues
  • Guidance about treatment for illnesses
  • Answers to behavioral health questions
  • Nutrition and fitness counseling

Registered Nurse Advice Line: Talk with a registered nurse about any health matter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The nurse will give you advice about what to do. The Registered Nurse Advice Line is always available and free: 866-321-7580.

Use the Registered Nurse Advice Line for:

  • Guidance about basic symptoms and conditions
  • Treatment of minor injuries and burns
  • Home cold and flu remedies
  • Advice about when to see your doctor

Virtual Visits: Get urgent care from home! Use Virtual Visits to connect with a licensed Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner via your computer or mobile device.

Use Virtual Visits for:

  • A cold, sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, the flu, congestion and nausea
  • An allergy, poison ivy or oak
  • Bites, stings and more

Do not use Virtual Visits for medical emergencies, including chest pain, uncontrolled bleeding or difficulty breathing. Go to an Emergency Room instead. OHSU’s providers are licensed to give care in the state of Oregon. Whether or not you are an Oregon resident, you will need to be physically in the state to have a Virtual Visit.

To schedule a Virtual Visit, go to ohsu.edu/virtualvisits. You will be asked to use your OHSU myChart account to log in to the system. If you do not have an account, you will be able to create one.

As a Moda Health OEBB member, you receive the Virtual Visit benefit for a $10 copay, not subject to the deductible.

NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY

To help with the safe, convenient and responsible disposal of unused prescription medications, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement agencies sponsor community medicine take-back programs.

This year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you have any unused prescription medications sitting around the house, visit the DEA’s website to find a participating collection site near you to return your unneeded medicines: https://www.dea.gov/index.shtml

The DEA website will be updated April 1, 2018, so you should wait to run your search if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinet.


The information in this newsletter has been summarized. It is presented as information – not advice or counsel. In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation. Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.

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High School Field Named to Honor Alumna

Karen Meats’ name graces new softball field at South Eugene

South Eugene High School’s new softball field has been named in honor of 1964 graduate Karen Meats.

Ms. Meats was a standout female athlete, coach, and pioneer in the development of athletic opportunities for girls, before and after Title IX, the 1972 federal law requiring gender equity in public education programs and activities. She has been active and prominent in the softball community for nearly 60 years as an athlete, coach, teacher, official and mentor.

“Although my name is on this beautiful facility, I represent all female athletes from the days before Title IX,” Ms. Meats remarked at the dedication ceremony. “We old-timers are very glad that society has evolved far enough to realize that the athletic experience plays a critical role in overall development for all students, including females….We came before Title IX, and we were fierce!”

During Ms. Meats’ time at South Eugene, there were very few interscholastic athletic opportunities for girls. Still, she participated in seven different sports—softball, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, track and field, tennis and badminton. She went on to the University of Oregon, where she participated in five intercollegiate sports and earned an education degree. After college she was a pioneer in launching and building girls’ athletic programs as a teacher and coach at high schools in Oregon.

Ms. Meats excelled in softball with the Amateur Softball Association of America, ASA Softball, now called USA Softball. Her softball career began in 1959, when she was in 7th grade, with the McCulloch Chain Saws in Eugene. She played as a left fielder and back-up pitcher, and was named to the All-American second team in 1966.

Karen Meats early in her softball careerIn recognition of Ms. Meats’ 41-year softball career (1959–2000), she was inducted into the ASA Softball Oregon Hall of Fame in 1990, the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002, the ASA Softball Regional Hall of Fame in 2007, and the South Eugene Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. She also was named Oregon’s Umpire of the Year in 1991.

Dr. Andy Dey, principal of South Eugene High School, said, “Karen has spent her life advancing opportunities for young women through sports, both in our local community and across the state. She is a role model and inspiration for student-athletes in the past, present and future. It is South Eugene High School’s great pride and honor to have our softball field named Karen Meats Field.”

Learn More:

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Coffee With the Superintendent

District leader invites community for coffee and conversation

Coffee With the Superintendent
Thursday, March 15, 1–2 p.m.
4J Education Center
200 N. Monroe St., Eugene
(invite your friends!)

You’re invited: Drop in on Thursday afternoon for coffee and casual conversation with 4J Superintendent Gustavo Balderas. This informal gathering is open to everyone.

Do you want to talk with the superintendent, learn about important things happening in the district, ask questions or share your ideas and feedback? Come to the coffee chat on Thursday.

“Coffee With the Superintendent” is a monthly event being held throughout the school year. Meetings are being held at varying times and locations around the district to accommodate differing schedules.

Whether you have a specific question or idea, or simply want to hear more about the district’s biggest priorities, challenges and successes, please consider joining us at an upcoming coffee chat.

RSVP or invite your friends 

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New World Language Curriculum Open House

Drop in to review and provide input on curriculum options

World language curriculum open house:
Review new middle and high school options
Monday, March 12, 6–8 p.m. (drop-in)
4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene
(invite your friends!)

New Spanish, French, Japanese and American Sign Language learning materials will be coming to middle and high schools next fall! Parents and community members are invited to review the options and provide input before final curriculum decisions are made.

Using bond funds approved by voters in 2013, the Eugene School District is in the process of adopting new world language curriculum materials, which were last adopted districtwide 15 years ago. Some materials still in use today rely on outdated technology and no longer align with state standards, which emphasize cultural competency, collaborative learning and analytical skills, in addition to communication proficiencies.

Teams of teachers, specialists, technology experts and other district staff have reviewed and piloted the new curriculum options and students have provided their feedback.

At the open house, visitors will see samples of both printed and online curriculum and have an opportunity to interact with online curriculum and supplemental materials.

Teachers who tried out the new curriculum options and other district staff will be at the open house to answer questions about the curriculum and the adoption process. Participants will be asked to take a short survey to provide their feedback.

Background & Process:

A curriculum adoption recommendation will be presented to the school board for a decision this spring. New materials will be in use in world language classes across the district beginning next school year. New language immersion curriculum will be adopted in the 2018–19 school year and implemented in schools the following year.

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