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Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter June 2018 Issue #8


OEBB Mandatory Open Enrollment Fall 2018

OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2018.  Therefore, members who wish to have medical, vision, and dental coverage for the October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019, plan year will be required to log into the MyOEBB system during open enrollment in order to register for that coverage.  The mandatory OEBB open enrollment period will begin August 15, 2018, and will remain open through September 15, 2018.

You will receive updated and detailed information as it is available – watch for updates in this newsletter, on the 4J website, in your e-mail inbox, and via US Mail over the summer.  As always, OEBB will send information about plan designs and offerings, but rate information and other details specific to 4J employees will come from 4J.

2018-19 Medical Plans

Kaiser Medical Plan new this year:  In an effort to offer more access to care and affordable coverage options at a time when healthcare costs are rising, the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC) has opted to add Kaiser Permanente Plan 2 for the plan year set to begin October 1, 2018.  Be assured that we will offer plenty of opportunities to learn how this plan choice can reduce your deductible, save you money, and provide evidence-based care in a care delivery model that is centered on improving your health.

In addition to the Kaiser Permanente plan choice, 4J classified employees and retirees will continue to have two (2) Moda medical plans to choose from:  the Cedar plan ($1,200 deductible) and the Dogwood plan ($1,600 deductible).

Members must still opt for either the OEBB Moda Connexus PPO Network or the Synergy CCM Network.  The Synergy Network plans operate under a coordinated care model (CCM) and the Connexus Network plans are preferred provider organization (PPO).  Members who enroll in a Synergy CCM Network plan agree to participate in a system of care where you choose one primary care physician (PCP) or medical home and work with a closed network of professionals that coordinate all your care.  Members who enroll in a Connexus PPO Network plan
have a broader range of providers, may see any in-network provider at any time, and typically pay more.Please watch for additional plan details and differences, which will be included in the information coming from OEBB prior to open enrollment.  A wealth of information is also available on the OEBB website: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/oebb/Pages/Plan-Docs.aspx

2018-19 Vision Plan

Benefits eligible employees will continue to have vision coverage through VSP Choice Plus vision plan featuring vision exams, frames, and lenses available every 12 months. Vison plan enhancements for 2018-2019 are enhanced coverage of standard progressive lenses and higher allowance for select brand frames (not applicable at Costco or Walmart)
Don’t need prescription glasses?  The VSP plan offers the Suncare benefit.  With a $20.00 copay, members can receive a $300 allowance for ready-made non-prescription sunglasses instead of prescription glasses or contacts

2018-19 Dental Plans

Dental plan choices remain the same for the plan year that begins October 1, 2018:  Delta Dental Premier Plan 5, Delta Dental Premier Plan 6, and the Willamette Dental Plan.

Delta Dental Premier Plan 5 has an annual maximum of $1700; an incentive plan design (70% – 100%) for preventive, basic restorative and periodontal services; and includes orthodontia.  Members enrolling in Delta Dental Premier Plan 5 for the first time will start at the 70% incentive level, regardless of prior dental coverage.

Delta Dental Premier Plan 6 has an annual maximum of $1200, does not have an incentive plan design, and does not include orthodontia.  Both Delta Dental plans use the Delta Dental Premier network of providers.

Plan design changes for both Delta Dental Plans are composite restorations on posterior teeth will now be covered based on the total allowable amount for the composite restorations, and night guards that are covered at 50% after deductible will have an increased max from $150 to $250.

Effective October 1, 2018, the Willamette Dental Group orthodontia copayment will increase to $2500. The copayment for crowns and bridges will be $250, for root canals $50, and for dentures $100.  The office visit copayment will remain at $20.

Optional Employee Life

This is a great year to elect optional employee life if you haven’t in the past or if you are increasing your current level of coverage.  The Standard is offering a $200,000 Guarantee Issuance.   This means no medical evidence is required for employee coverage $200,000 or below.

Additional Benefits

4J employees and retirees will continue to have the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) and 4J Wellness Clinic as part of the benefits package.  Active classified employees will also have Long Term Disability insurance, basic life insurance ($50,000), and basic accidental death and dismemberment ($50,000) coverage as part of the total benefit package.

All benefits-eligible active employees will be enrolled in these additional benefits.  All retirees who opt to enroll in medical coverage will have access to the EAP and the Wellness Clinic.

Professional Education Program (PEP)
2018-2018 Annual Report

Our collective bargaining agreement between OSEA Chapter 1 and Eugene School District 4J provides $15,000 each fiscal year for employee-initiated professional development for members.  The program includes job-related training activities, tuition reimbursement, registration or materials costs, and conferences and workshops.  Reimbursements for the 2017-18 year totaled $11,127.00.

Classified Sick Leave Bank – 2018-19 Annual Report

For the fiscal year July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, the Classified Sick Leave Bank assisted 16 members of the bank for a total of 2,902 hours of Sick Leave Bank time.  These were employees who encountered long-term serious personal illness or injury, and who had exhausted all their own accumulated leaves.

4J Wellness Clinic Open All Summer

The 4J Wellness Clinic continues regular hours through the summer to meet the health care needs of you and your eligible family members.  This is a great time to get those yearly physicals taken care of.  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.

Myths about Travel Health

Myth:  Drinking alcohol with meals helps prevent traveler’s diarrhea.

Fact:  Don’t count on it.  Several lab studies have found that wine can reduce levels of bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses (including Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli, and Bacillus cereus), possibly related to the organic acids in wine in synergy with the alcohol.  But none of the lab studies prove that drinking alcohol is a good strategy for avoiding traveler’s diarrhea-and you won’t find it recommended on any of the travel pages of the CDC’s website.

Myth:  You can’t get rabies from a street dog if it just licks you.

Fact:  Actually you could.  Many people think the only way to get rabies is to be bitten by an infected dog.  Though rabies is usually transmitted by such a bite (through the dog’s saliva), it’s possible, though rare, to be infected through licks from the animal if your skin has an open wound or abrasions.  And it’s not just dogs that can spread rabies, but also other infected animals, such as raccoons, foxes, and bats.  In fact, if you awaken to find a bat in your room, short of having the bat tested for rabies (an unlikely scenario), you should seek medical attention to discuss if you should get the rabies vaccine, since the bat bite can be hard to see and is easily overlooked.

Myth:  You have to worry about mosquito-transmitted diseases only if you’re visiting jungles, not urban areas.

Fact:  Not true.  For example, the virus that causes yellow fever can be present in both urban and jungle environments. (How it is transmitted varies, though: In the jungle, mosquitoes spread the disease to humans after biting infected monkeys, while in urban areas, mosquitoes spread it after biting infected people.)  As another example, the mosquito-transmitted Japanese encephalitis virus, which causes a serious infection in the brain, can occur in rural environments with watery rice paddies (where mosquitoes multiply) but also around urban areas, where people may be in contact with pigs or wild birds that are hosts for the mosquitoes.

Then there’s malaria, which is prevalent, to a greater or lesser extent, in all types of areas-jungle, rural, and urban.  In countries where malaria is endemic, the only places where you are at no risk are where there are no mosquitoes, such as at very high altitudes and in the desert, or during colder seasons in some areas.

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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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School Bus Route Changes

Buses have new stops and times this fall

Does your student ride the bus to school? Please check your bus route for any changes before school begins.

School bus routes, stops and schedules are adjusted every year. This fall, many bus routes will change as school schedules are aligned to provide enough and equal learning time for all 4J students.

Many students will have different bus pickup and dropoff times. Some students will have new bus stop locations. All new bus stops have been established with safety in mind, such as adequate lighting and sidewalk access.

To find your bus stop and schedule, go to www.4j.lane.edu/transportation and click on “Find My Bus Stop.” Enter your address and student’s grade to find the closest stop, time, and route number. If you have questions, please call the 4J Transportation Department at 541-790-7474 and select option 4.

Thank you for your understanding regarding any changes in your bus schedule. These are important changes to get all students to school on time every day to receive enough learning time.  

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School Offices Open This Week

Need to contact your school? Now is the time! School offices reopen or resume regular hours this week.

High Schools:
Wednesday, August 15—Regular hours resume

Middle Schools:
Wednesday, August 15—Offices open with regular hours

Elementary Schools:
August 16 and 17—Open with limited hours (contact your school for open hours)
Monday, August 20—Open regular hours
Tuesday, August 21—Closed for staff training
Wednesday, August 22 and beyond—Offices reopen with regular hours

 

Most central offices are open year-round. High school offices are open on a limited schedule during the summer. Elementary and middle schools close for part of the summer and reopen in August, well before the start of school. Health centers are open with reduced hours for much of summer.

 

Contact information for schools and district offices

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Board Close to Decisions on School Bond Measure

After 18-month community-engaged process, board will make decisions this month on bond measure for November ballot  

Eugene School District 4J’s school board is considering referring a bond measure to voters on the November 2018 ballot to replace and improve aging school buildings and learning materials. Final decisions are slated for August 15.

The potential bond measure has been planned for several years and examined in-depth for 18 months in a thorough, thoughtful, community-engaged process, including a series of community forums and surveys.

More than $1 Billion in capital needs have been identified in the district, including facility repairs and improvements, capacity to address overcrowding, security and safety, technology, and more. Community input has helped inform the updating of the district’s long-range facilities plan and the potential project list for a bond measure that would address some, but not all, of the identified capital needs.

Capital improvements under consideration include:
(click arrows to expand) 

Replace three aging school buildings—North Eugene High School, Edison Elementary School, Camas Ridge Elementary School


North Eugene High School’s 1957 building is aging. It was designed for smaller high school classes than today and is in the poorest condition of 4J’s four high schools. Edison Elementary School is 4J’s oldest school building, built in 1926. It is in poor structural and seismic condition, and is poorly designed for education today. Camas Ridge Elementary School, built in 1949, is one of 4J’s oldest and poorest condition school buildings.

New buildings for North Eugene, Edison and Camas Ridge would support modern teaching and learning activities, would be efficient and sustainable, and would be designed with safety and school security in mind. The new high school building would include dedicated spaces for career technical education, preparing students with career skills for the jobs of the future.

Address overcrowding and projected growth in the Sheldon region with construction to increase elementary school capacity 


More space for elementary students is needed in the Sheldon region. The region’s elementary schools are currently the largest in Eugene, with three neighborhood schools enrolling 525–585 students and one language immersion school enrolling about 460 students. Population and student enrollment in the area is growing and is projected to continue to grow.

Completing the planned expansion of Gilham Elementary School would add classrooms and increase capacity. For greater capacity increase, a new elementary school constructed on district-owned property on Kinney Loop, near Coburg Road and Crescent Ave., would serve families and community members in the northeastern area of Eugene and relieve enrollment pressure on other area schools as the population grows.

Renovate facilities for program relocations


Moving programs—such as Yujin Gakuen, Corridor, Chinese immersion, NATIVES program, and ECCO—requires building renovations to provide appropriate, high-quality learning spaces for the relocated programs.

Improve school safety and security  


Security and safety upgrades needed in our schools include securing school entryways, fencing school site perimeters, upgrading fire alarms and improving security technology.

Resiliency upgrades when building new schools—such as greater seismic resistance, water access and power generation—would help them weather a disaster and be able to continue school operations and/or serve as disaster shelters and relief sites in case of an emergency like an earthquake or major storm. Additional earthquake safety upgrades may also be needed at current schools that were constructed 50–70 years ago.

Improve facility equity, access and health


Title Nine requires equal access to high-quality facilities for girls and boys. Improvements are needed to improve equity and access to school facilities for instruction, athletics and support areas; enhance special education facilities and equipment; and upgrade kitchen facilities to improve school food service. Title IX 

Support career technical education


Vocational/technical education has evolved and entered the 21st century. It is now called career and technical education (CTE). Career and technical education provides students hands-on learning opportunities to master academics and technical skills within courses that interest them and can lead to rewarding careers, including in high-wage, high-demand fields. These are not the vocational programs of the past—students can gain career-related experience, industry certifications and college credits. What’s more, they gain career skills for the jobs of the future.

Enhancing career and technical education spaces and equipment at every high school would support improving and expanding these programs that help students graduate prepared for college, careers, and life.

Replace aging school buses


School buses must be replaced over time as equipment ages (typically after 13–14 years of service) to keep the student transportation fleet safe and efficient. The state reimburses 70% of student transportation costs, including bus purchases, so every dollar spent to buy school buses returns additional funds to be used for transportation needs.

Adopt curriculum


Many of 4J’s instructional materials are out of date. Modern curriculum materials are needed to align with updated state standards, provide the highest quality instructional materials for student learning, and help ensure students graduate ready for college and careers. Updated learning materials are needed in areas such as English language arts, social studies, health and the arts.

Modernize technology


Today’s students and schools need access to up-to-date technology. With constant advances in technology, learning in today’s schools is different from what it was even 10 years ago. Technology updates are needed to improve infrastructure and operations, and to ensure greater access for students in every school to technology that helps them learn and prepares them for jobs in the modern economy.

Provide critical maintenance, repairs and improvements


Worn-out roofs. Corroded pipes and cracked pavement. End-of-life heating systems and controls. Inefficient windows that let in the cold. Buildings across the district need critical repairs and improvements to keep students warm, safe and dry, and protect the community’s investment in our schools.

The school district needs to make basic, large-scale repairs to school buildings that are over 50 years old, much like repairs to a home. Like with home maintenance, it will cost more to fix these problems later if they’re not taken care of now. Investments in energy efficiencies such as upgraded windows, insulation and modern heating systems save taxpayer dollars in the long run. Without bond funds, repairs and maintenance come out of the budget the district uses for classroom education.

 

Following the final community forum on August 1 and work session on August 8, the board will hold a final discussion of the potential bond measure and make final decisions on August 15. The board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene. Regular board meetings are open to the public, include time for public comment, and are broadcast live on KRVM 1280-AM.

 

More about the potential bond measure  

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New World Language Curriculum On Its Way

Board adopts new learning materials for Spanish, Japanese, American Sign Language courses

Starting this fall, middle and high school students in Eugene School District 4J will benefit from new, districtwide world language curriculum for Spanish, Japanese and American Sign Language courses.

For French studies and for language immersion programs, new curriculum will be adopted in the 2018–19 school year and implemented in schools the following year.

Currently, middle and high schools use a variety of world language curricula, some of which rely on outdated technology and are not aligned with national or state standards for world language learning in the 21st century. This is the district’s first formal world language curriculum adoption in recent memory, made possible with bond funds approved by voters in 2013. The last informal adoption occurred in 2001.

The new world language curricula emphasize cultural competency, collaborative learning, and analytical and evaluative skills, in addition to teaching comprehensive communication proficiency, which is consistent with national and state standards. A districtwide curriculum will provide better alignment and consistency among schools and as students move from middle to high school.

Adoption Process

The district undertook an extensive and inclusive process to select the new world language materials.

Teams of teachers, specialists, technology experts and other district staff reviewed and analyzed the new curriculum options. Each world language program had its own review team: middle and high school Spanish, French, Japanese and American Sign Language programs.

Teachers piloted the curriculum options with their students, and both provided feedback. Parents, students, educators and community members were invited to learn about the curriculum options and give feedback at an open house in March 2018.

After the extensive review process, the world language adoption teams recommended and the school board approved the new curriculum in June 2018.

Curriculum Selected

  • Spanish I–III: EntreCulturas by Wayside Publishing
  • Spanish IV: Tejidos by Wayside Publishing
  • Japanese I–IV: Adventures in Japanese by Cheng & Tsui
  • American Sign Language I–IV: Bravo ASL! by Sign Enhancers, Inc.

Next Steps

Curriculum adoption for French studies was put on hold for a year so that staff could review a new product available this fall. New curriculum for language immersion programs (Spanish, French, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese) will be reviewed and adopted in the 2018–19 school year and implemented in schools the following year.

For more information, see the presentation and other information about the adoption process and recommendations presented to the school board on October 4, 2017, and  June 6 and June 20, 2018. Oregon Department of Education’s Second Language Standards (adopted in 2010) can be found here.

Related articles:
World Language Curriculum Upgrades Underway (October 25, 2017)
New World Language Curriculum Open House (March 6, 2018)

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Summer Construction Projects Are Underway

Summer facility improvement projects make the most of empty schools and good weather

School’s out for summer, and construction crews are hard at work across the district making improvements to school facilities while students are out of school.

In addition to the annual summer work of deep cleaning, grounds keeping and maintenance projects, the 4J facilities team is tackling 70 school improvement projects from painting, parking lot restriping and HVAC repairs to replacing bleachers, building a garden shed and installing a new playground slide.

Schools, fields and other facilities will receive some TLC this summer, including:

  • Sidewalk and crossing upgrades — Awbrey Park, Howard and Gilham elementary schools, Kelly Middle School and other sites
  • Exterior painting — Adams and Awbrey Park elementary schools and other sites
  • Parking lot/drop-off area striping — multiple sites
  • Exterior lighting replacement — Chávez Elementary School and Cal Young Middle School
  • Flooring repairs and replacement — Gilham Elementary School, Spencer Butte and Monroe middle schools, and Sheldon High School
  • Bike hoops/skateboard racks — multiple sites
  • Cafeteria table replacement — multiple sites
  • Garden shed construction — River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School
  • Softball field drainage — Churchill High School
  • Locker room remodel — South Eugene High School
  • Bleacher replacement — South Eugene and Sheldon High Schools
  • Training room remodel — Churchill and Sheldon high schools
  • Slide installation — Twin Oaks Elementary School
  • Gym lighting upgrades — Churchill and South Eugene high schools

Many of these improvements are possible thanks to the bond measures approved by voters in 2011 and 2013. Thank you, voters, for investing in our community’s future.

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District Receives Award for Transparent Financial Reporting

Eugene School District 4J has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting  by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the year ended June 30, 2017.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. 

The district’s CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the annual financial report. 

This is the 31st consecutive year that Eugene School District 4J has received this prestigious award.

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You’re Invited! Final Bond Forum and Survey

Board seeks public input before final decisions 

Forum  |  Survey

Eugene School District 4J’s school board is considering referring a bond measure to voters on the November 2018 ballot to replace and improve aging school buildings and learning materials.

Community members are invited to a final bond community forum on August 1 to discuss the potential bond measure and share their views with school board members and district staff, before the board takes action on August 15. An online input form also will be available for community members to provide comments August 1–7.

Bond Community Forum
Wednesday, August 1, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
4J Education Center
200 N. Monroe St., Eugene

Online Input Form 
August 1–7
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/4Jbondsurvey3 

The potential bond measure has been planned for several years and examined in-depth for 18 months in a thorough, thoughtful, community-engaged process, including a series of community forums and surveys.

More than $1 Billion in capital needs have been identified in the district, including facility repairs and improvements, capacity to address overcrowding, security and safety, technology, and more. Community input has helped inform the potential project list for a bond measure that would address some, but not all, of the identified capital needs.

Capital improvements under consideration for the potential bond measure include:

Replace three aging schools—new buildings for North Eugene High School, Edison Elementary School, Camas Ridge Elementary School
Address overcrowding and projected growth in the Sheldon region with a new elementary school or other means to increase capacity
Renovate facilities for program relocations, including Yujin Gakuen, Corridor, ECCO, the NATIVES program, and Chinese immersion
Improve school safety and security including entry security and some seismic upgrades
Improve facility equity and access
Support career technical education
Replace aging school buses
Adopt curriculum
Modernize technology
Provide critical maintenance, repairs and improvements.

After the final community forum, the board will further discuss the potential bond measure on August 1 and 8, leading to a final decision on August 15.

 

More about potential improvements 

More about the potential bond measure  

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2018–19 School Supply Lists

Back-to-school sales will begin soon, long before classes do. Check your school’s supply list online before you start your back-to-school shopping.

Some schools provide a list of required supplies for each grade, while other schools buy the needed materials in bulk and ask families to pay a supplies fee.

Find your school’s name below for a link to your student’s supply list for 2018–19. If you have any questions about your school’s list, please check with the school.

  • Elementary school offices reopen with limited hours on August 16 and 17. (Contact your school for open hours.) Regular hours resume August 20, except closed on August 21 for all staff training.
  • Middle school offices reopen on August 15.

Donations are greatly appreciated! If you would like to donate extra supplies or funds to buy supplies for students whose families are unable to pay for them, please contact the school office or an organization that collects donations for families in need. Thank you for your generosity.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

  
MIDDLE SCHOOLS

  
HIGH SCHOOLS

Because high school
students’ course
schedules and needs
can vary so widely,
high schools do not
generally have preset
school supply lists
for all students.
For guidance on what
supplies your student
likely will need,
call the school office.

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Tentative Agreement Reached on Classified Contract

4-year contract agreement must be ratified by union members and approved by school board 

Members of the bargaining teams of Eugene School District 4J and the Oregon School Employees Association have reached a tentative agreement on the issues under negotiation for a new contract. The union represents 4J’s classified staff members, such as educational assistants, custodians, bus drivers, and food service workers.

The bargaining teams used an interest-based bargaining process in these negotiations, which focuses on interests and mutual gains.  They met numerous times from February through June 2018, making progress over time, until all issues were resolved.

Contract provisions

Important contract provisions that have been tentatively agreed to include:

• A four-year term, from 2018-19 through 2021-22

• Fair salary increases for every employee:

  • 2.2% COLA (cost of living increase) in 2018–19
  • 2.0% COLA in 2019–20
  • 2.0% COLA in 2020–21
  • COLA for 2021–22 to be negotiated in spring 2021

• Increased district contribution to employees’ health insurance

  • Increase of $15 per month in 2019–20
  • Increase of $10 per month in 2020–21
  • Benefits for 2021–22 to be negotiated in spring 2021

• Leave language simplified and updated, including modifications to sick, personal and family leaves

• Enhanced safety committees and districtwide reporting

Next steps 

Before the agreement becomes final it must be ratified by the classified association’s membership and approved by the Eugene School Board.

Classified employees will vote on whether to approve the terms and ratify the agreement on September 4, 2018. If union members ratify the agreement, the Eugene School Board will then vote on approval of the agreement at the following board meeting.

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