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Time to Learn: Instruction Time Counts

Students deserve equal and adequate class time

Kids need to be in school, engaged in high-quality teaching and learning, as much as possible. In Eugene School District 4J, we’ve made strong strides toward achieving that goal by returning to a full school year with no furlough days.

Other critical changes are still needed. 4J schools have individual site-based schedules and calendars, and a close analysis has shown both that some schools provide too little learning time for students, and that there are big differences in the amount of time students are in class depending on which school they attend.

That’s not fair to our students and teachers, not best serving our community, and not acceptable to the district—a student’s neighborhood should not determine the extent of their education. We’re actively working to fix it. Our intent is to ensure that all 4J schools provide the quantity and quality of education that our community values and supports.

Several issues need to be addressed, and that work is underway: 

Ensuring educational equity

There are sharp differences between schools in the amount of time each student is in class learning, and each teacher is teaching students. Under current schedules, a student who attends the 4J elementary, middle and high schools offering the least amount of instruction time would receive 7 months—nearly a full school year—less schooling by graduation than a student attending the 4J schools with the most instruction time.

The district is negotiating with the teachers’ union to address these inequities and provide equal and sufficient teaching and learning time for all students and teachers. 

Creating a consistent calendar 

One evident solution is to move to a standard districtwide calendar—one calendar and schedule for all schools at each level, aligned across levels. Having a standard calendar would:
• provide equitable amounts of instruction time for students and teachers,
• allow coordinated opportunities for professional development, and
• create clear and consistent schedules for families,
• while still providing for teachers’ voice in site-based decisions about teaching and learning within the school day and week.

Any new calendar would be developed with input from staff, families and the community to replace the site-based early-release, late-start, and full-release days that currently are different at each school. The district is discussing this with the teachers’ association as an important issue in contract bargaining. 

Setting the standard 

What counts as instruction time? Oregon law allows a limited amount of certain activities that support learning but aren’t actual classroom learning time—recess, parent conferences and teacher professional development—to be counted toward instruction time. The appropriate level of credit, if any, is up to each school board and its community to decide. The 4J school board has approved a one-year plan applying about half of the allowed credits, as a short-term measure to allow schools to plan for the coming school year while a longer-term fix is resolved. 

Meeting more than the minimum 

All schools must provide at least the state-required amount of instruction time. We’re working to make sure that happens. Some current schedules at 4J elementary and high schools would fall short even if all of the credits allowable under state law were applied. Schools are adjusting their schedules to ensure they meet or exceed the requirements with the temporary credits the school board has approved for next year, while the district works toward a longer-term solution.

The bottom line 

Meeting the letter of the law is one thing. Meeting the spirit of the law and doing what’s right for students is another. The district is having important conversations about what our 4J students deserve, what expectations for teachers should be, and how to provide equitable teaching and learning time for students and teachers, no matter where they live, learn and work.

What do you think?

The district welcomes community feedback about this important issue. Public comment is invited at every school board meeting (see schedule at tinyurl.com/4Jboardbook) and the school board and superintendent receive emails sent to board@4j.lane.edu.

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Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter June 2016/17 Issue #8

OEBB Mandatory Open Enrollment Fall 2017

OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2016.  Therefore, members who wish to have medical, vision, and dental coverage for the October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018, 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, 2017, and will remain open through September 15, 2017.

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.

2017-18 Medical Plans

New this year:  Bariatric surgery benefit will expand to all covered adults, age 18 and older.  (Currently, this is a subscriber only benefit.)

During this fall’s open enrollment window, 4J employees and retirees will continue to have 3 Moda medical plans to choose from:  the Birch plan ($800 deductible), 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.  These systems of care have been shown to provide better health outcomes at lower costs.

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, which will be updated on an as-needed basis:  OEBBinfo.com

2017-18 Vision Plan

Benefits eligible employees will have a new vision plan provider effective October 1, 2017.  All 4J employees who opt for medical coverage will now enroll in the
OEBB VSP Choice Plus vision plan featuring vision exams, frames, and lenses available every 12 months.

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.  The Suncare benefit is available every 12 months.  OEBB will no longer apply the 12-month waiting period restrictions for members who waived vision coverage at initial eligibility.  Members enrolling in vision benefits during the upcoming open enrollment will have full benefits, regardless of prior vision enrollment or eligibility.

2017-18 Dental Plans

OEBB opted to consolidate the Delta Dental plans (formerly ODS) for the upcoming plan year and the current ODS Dental Plan 4 will no longer be available.  4J employees will have 3 dental plans to choose from for the plan year that begins October 1, 2017:  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.  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.  The Willamette Dental Plan, which is currently available in 4J, has removed the $52 buy-up charge for large, enamel colored fillings on back teeth.  This change will allow members and the dentist to choose the filling material that is best suited for their needs.

All three dental plans will have coverage for athletic mouth guards.  At Willamette Dental, athletic mouth guards will be covered with a $100 copay, plus the office visit copay of $20 per visit.  This benefit will be available to Willamette Dental enrolled members every 12 months.  On the Delta Dental plans, athletic mouth guards will be covered at 50%, after the $50 deductible.  Additional details about all of the dental plans will be included in your open enrollment materials.

Remember, OEBB rules require a 12-month waiting period for late enrollments to a dental plan.  If you didn’t enroll yourself or a dependent in dental coverage when initially eligible, then choose to enroll during an open enrollment period, whoever is being added to coverage will only be eligible for diagnostic and preventive services for the first full 12 months of coverage – no restorative services or orthodontia.

Healthy Futures Continues/Improves

No More spouse/partner requirement:  The Healthy Futures program will continue for members who wish to participate.  Part of the requirement for completion is the Health Risk Assessment, which must be completed between August 15, 2017 and October 15, 2017.  If you cover a spouse or domestic partner on your 4J insurance, he/she will no longer be required to complete a Health Assessment in order to fulfill the Healthy Futures requirement.  The Health Assessment is only required of the OEBB enrolled member.  However, your spouse/partner is always welcome to complete a Health Assessment.  To review the details of the Healthy Futures program requirements, please visit: OEBBincentive.com.

You can access the Health Assessment by logging into your myModa account:  https://www.modahealth.com/oebb/members/.

Feeling Stressed Out?  Relief is Just a Breath Away

Relax and take a deep breath.  It’s a common recommendation from physicians and friends who seek to help you reach a state of calm when you’re feeling frazzled.  Breathing is an essential and automatic function.  But with a deliberate focus on breathing, it’s a proven tool for healing and wellbeing.  Mere minutes of conscious breathing can help you feel better and think more clearly.

Conscious breathing can change your physiological state.  When we feel stress, our heart rate may increase, our breathing may get shallow, blood pressure can rise, and we might go into fight, flight or freeze mode.  We can actively shift that response by using slow deep breaths and activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Sometimes referred to as the “rest and digest” system, the parasympathetic nervous system slows heart rate, is active during digestion, and helps bring equilibrium to the body.  Deep breathing helps you calm down.  That’s why it’s an integral part of many yoga, tai chi and meditation classes.  To gain the benefits of focused breathing, however, you don’t need a formal or lengthy practice. Here are a few simple strategies as ways to incorporate the calm of deep breathing into daily life:

Coherent Breathing: When you inhale, heart rate increases slightly; when you exhale, it decreases.  This difference in heart rhythm is called “heart rate variability” and it is beneficial to the heart and body.  Coherent breathing creates a relaxed yet alert state by focusing on the in-and out-breaths.  How it’s done:  Sit comfortably upright, supporting your back if desired.  Take a few deep breaths, allowing the belly to balloon outwards.  Relax the mind as much as possible.  Once you feel a bit more relaxed, begin the practice as follows:

1. Exhale to a count of six.
2.  Allow several normal breath cycles to complete, and      then again focus on exhaling to a count of six.
3.  Let the breaths be smooth, and feel the body relaxing.
4.  Switch your focus by inhaling to a six-count.
5.  Again, allow your body to breathe in and out naturally several times.  Focus on the next six-count inhalation every few breaths.
6.  Combine these by inhaling for six and exhaling for six.  There’s no need for every breath in and out to be a six-count.  But eventually, the idea is to piece together this rhythm without force.  Allow your body to ease into it.

The STOP Practice:  This technique is an efficient and effective mindfulness method to create a pause or shift in the middle of the day.  Do the STOP practice for about one minute after a stressful event, or before talking to someone under pressure.  The acronym guides the practice:

Stop or slow what you are doing.
Take a few deep, slow breaths.
Observe how you are feeling in your body as you are      taking slower breaths.  Notice the thoughts and emotions.  Invite calm.
Proceed with what you were doing.

Try visualizing the breath as nourishing.  This can help create a more peaceful physical and mental state.  As you inhale, imagine giving yourself something positive – think of calm and ease.  When you exhale, think of releasing or letting go of stress.

Practice Not Perfection:  Perfection isn’t the goal of any of these practices.  People who have anxiety may try too hard to “do it right.”  It’s not about doing it right or trying to overly control it.  The practices are meant to be gentle and unforced.  Through time, this kind of attention can help decrease blood pressure as well as reduce other ill effects of stress, including headaches, digestive issues, and depression.

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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.

Posted in Classified Benefits Newsletter, Uncategorized | Comments closed

4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – June 2017 – Issue 297

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4J BENEFITS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • June 14, 2017 • Issue Number 297

OEBB MANDATORY OPEN ENROLLMENT – FALL 2017

OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2017. Members who wish to have medical, vision, and dental coverage for the October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018, 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, 2017, and will remain open through September 15, 2017.

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. OEBB will send information about plan designs and offerings, but rate information and other details specific to 4J employees will come from 4J.

2017-18 MEDICAL/PHARMACY PLANS

During this fall’s mandatory open enrollment window, 4J employees and retirees will continue to have 3 Moda medical plans to choose from: the Birch plan ($800 in-network deductible), the Cedar plan ($1,200 in-network deductible, and the Dogwood plan ($1,600 in-network deductible). Each medical plan has a separate deductible for out-of-network providers, and that deductible is two times the in-network deductible. The new plan year will start October 1, 2017, and will run through September 30, 2018.

In addition to selecting a medical plan, members must opt for either an OEBB Moda Connexus network plan or a Synergy network plan. Synergy network plans operate under a coordinated care model (CCM) and Connexus network plans are preferred provider organization (PPO) plans.

Members who enroll in a CCM Synergy network plan will be required to select a medical home, and any covered dependents will need to choose a medical home as well. Each family member may select a different medical home and must use that designated medical home for preventive and primary care needs in order to receive in-network benefits. Individuals who are currently enrolled in a CCM Synergy network plan and who have already selected a medical home will not need to re-select a medical home unless they want to make a change to that designation. Individuals may change a medical home designation during the plan year – the requested change will take effect the first of the month following the notification of the new election. Pharmacy expenses for CCM Synergy network plans accrue toward the annual medical out-of-pocket (OOP) limit.

Members who opt for a PPO Connexus network plan do not need to name a Moda medical home, but do need to see in-network providers to receive the highest level of benefits. Pharmacy expenses accrue toward the annual maximum cost share limit but not toward the medical OOP.

This is not a complete summary of the differences between the CCM Synergy and PPO Connexus network plans. 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, which will be updated on an as-needed basis: OEBBinfo.com

2017-18 VISION PLAN

4J employees will have a new vision plan provider available effective October 1, 2017. All 4J employees who opt for medical coverage will now enroll in the OEBB VSP Choice Plus vision plan. Vision exams, frames, and lenses are available every 12 months. Additional details about the new vision plan will be included in your open enrollment materials.

Don’t need prescription glasses? The VSP plan offers the Suncare benefit. With a $20 copay, members can receive a $300 allowance for ready-made non-prescription sunglasses instead of prescription glasses or contacts. The Suncare benefit is available every 12 months.

OEBB will no longer apply the 12-month waiting period restrictions for members who waived vision coverage at initial eligibility. Members enrolling in vision benefits during the upcoming open enrollment will have full benefits, regardless of prior vision enrollment or eligibility.

2017-18 DENTAL PLANS

OEBB opted to consolidate the Delta Dental plans (formerly ODS) for the upcoming plan year and the current ODS Dental Plan 4 will no longer be available. 4J employees will have 3 dental plans to choose from for the plan year that begins October 1, 2017: 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. 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. The Willamette Dental Plan, which is currently available in 4J, has removed the $52 buy-up charge for large, enamel colored fillings on back teeth. This change will allow members and the dentist to choose the filling material that is best suited for their needs. The Willamette Dental Plan includes orthodontia.

All three dental plans will have coverage for athletic mouth guards. At Willamette Dental, athletic mouth guards will be covered with a $100 copay, plus the office visit copay of $20 per visit. This benefit will be available to Willamette Dental enrolled members every 12 months. On the Delta Dental plans, athletic mouth guards will be covered at 50%, after the $50 deductible. Additional details about all of the dental plans will be included in your open enrollment materials.

Remember, OEBB rules require a 12-month waiting period for late enrollments to a dental plan. If you didn’t enroll yourself or a dependent in dental coverage when initially eligible, then choose to enroll during an open enrollment period, whoever is being added to coverage will only be eligible for diagnostic and preventive services for the first full 12 months of coverage – no restorative services or orthodontia.

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. Individuals who seek counseling services through the EAP will have up to 5 sessions of assistance per issue at no cost. Active licensed 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.

HEALTHY FUTURES PROGRAM

The Healthy Futures program will continue for members who wish to participate. Part of the requirement for completion is the Health Risk Assessment, which must be completed between August 15, 2017 and October 15, 2017. If you cover a spouse or domestic partner on your 4J insurance, he/she will no longer be required to complete a Health Assessment in order to fulfill the Healthy Futures requirement. The Health Assessment is only required of the OEBB-enrolled employee or retiree. However, your spouse/partner is always welcome to complete a Health Assessment. To review the details of the Healthy Futures program requirements, please visit: OEBBincentive.com.

You can access the Health Assessment by logging into your myModa account: https://www.modahealth.com/oebb/members/.

MANGO SORBET

Nutrition Action Newsletter suggests this recipe for a taste of summer.

In a food processor, purée 3 cups chopped mango, 2 cups chopped pineapple, 2 bananas, and ½ cup unsweetened canned coconut milk until very smooth. Pour into a large sealable bag, lay flat, and freeze until solid, 3 – 4 hours. Break into chunks and process until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Makes 10 half-cup servings.

SUMMER BREAK

Like all teachers, I will be out of the office after June 23rd. However, I will be periodically checking voicemail and e-mail during the summer. If you need to reach me, please call or send an e-mail, and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.

I wish you all a fantastic summer break!


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.

Posted in Employee Health and Wellness Newsletters | Comments closed

Weigh In: North Region Visioning Survey

Share your views, shape your schools
Help define future of North Eugene area

Survey: http://bit.ly/4JNorthRegionSurvey

Eugene School District 4J is working to support and strengthen schools across the district, starting in the North Eugene region, and we want to hear from you.

Parents, students, staff and community members are invited to share your needs, concerns, and desires for North Region schools. Please take 5 minutes to complete an anonymous survey between now and Friday, June 23. Your input is important.

North Region Community Survey
open through Friday, June 23 
http://bit.ly/4JNorthRegionSurvey

This community survey is one part of the North Region Visioning Process—an opinion- and idea-gathering process involving North Region parents, students, school staff and community members, following on the districtwide 4J Vision 20/20 strategic planning process. The aim is to identify and implement a unified vision for North Region schools in the coming years.

If you have questions about the North Region survey or visioning process, please call 4J Instructional Services at 541-790-7550.

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Board Commends Superintendent in Annual Evaluation

Superintendent noted for educational leadership, student-centric focus and systemic approach

The Eugene School Board has completed its annual performance evaluation of the superintendent, Dr. Gustavo Balderas. The board commended Dr. Balderas’s leadership during his second year as superintendent of Eugene School District 4J.

The superintendent’s annual evaluation focused on five areas: student achievement, staff capacity building, stewardship of district resources, stakeholder engagement as well as relationship with the school board, and leadership and professionalism.

Board Chair Mary Walston noted, “Dr. Balderas continues to provide exceptional educational leadership for the district and approaches his work and role with an intense student-centric focus. He continues to refine and develop a more systemic approach to district practices to ensure that students’ learning and well-being are at the core of everything the district does.”

The board’s overview of its assessment of the superintendent follows.

 


Executive Summary of Eugene School Board’s Performance Evaluation of Dr. Gustavo Balderas
Eugene School District 4J – Board of Directors
June 7, 2017 

The Board of Directors of Eugene School District 4J has completed its annual performance evaluation of the superintendent, Dr. Gustavo Balderas. Now completing his second year, Superintendent Balderas continues to demonstrate success in his role and the board commends him for his job performance.

Dr. Balderas has become a respected education and community leader. He is known for being accessible to students, parents, staff, board members and the larger community and is to be commended for this quality. He has joined a number of organizations and has sought to become more fully engaged in the community even as he tends to the demanding schedule of the superintendent.

Dr. Balderas takes the time to listen and meet with a wide variety of people, both internal and external to the district. This is critical to his success and the success of the district. Dr. Balderas regularly communicates with board members and other stakeholders to keep them involved with decisions that impact the district. His weekly updates and monthly meetings with each board member are very helpful and the board thanks Dr. Balderas for his efforts in this regard.

Dr. Balderas is focused on students and student learning. He approaches all of his work, direction to staff and decisions with this student-centric lens. The board deeply appreciates the superintendent’s laser focus on students and being an advocate for all students in his work.

Dr. Balderas has done a fine job in creating and serving as a guiding force for his cabinet and management team. With that team he has been quietly but effectively creating systems and practices to not only enhance efficiency and increase educational equity, but also unify the district.

Last year Dr. Balderas and his staff undertook a strategic planning process as a means to provide a roadmap for the district’s future and to focus district resources to better serve students. The strategic planning process also is another step toward creating coherent systems and a departure from the silos of the past.

Articulating the details and fully engaging board members in the 4J Vision 20/20 strategic plan is an area for continued effort during the next year. As the plan is implemented, it is critical that board members, staff and community be able to accurately describe what is in the plan and understand their role in achieving its goals.

In conclusion, the board feels fortunate to have Dr. Balderas leading the district and looks forward to his next year in this role.

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Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter May/June 2016-17 Issue #7


4J Blood Drive
The response to the February 4J blood drive was fantastic – thank you to those who were able to make a donation!  We are hoping that 4J armchair heroes will once again come to the rescue of those in need of a lifesaving donation.  Representatives from Lane Blood Center will be in the Ed Center Tower Room on Wednesday, May 31st for a second 4J blood drive.  The drive will take place from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m., and will be a combination of scheduled and drop-in appointments.  Details about the event, including information on how to reserve a time slot to make a donation, will be sent via e-mail.

To learn more about the blood needs in our community and the donation process, please visit:  http://lanebloodcenter.org/.
3D Mammography Update
As of April 1, 2017, 3D mammography is a Moda covered benefit for all OEBB medical plans.

Moda Health covers certain preventive services with no cost to you when performed by an in‐network provider.  This includes preventive women’s healthcare:  one visit per plan year, including pelvic and breast exams and a Pap test.  Breast exams are limited to women 18 years of age and older.  Mammograms are limited to one between the ages of 35 and 39 and one per plan year age 40 and older.

Mammograms for the purpose of diagnosis in symptomatic or designated high-risk women are also covered when deemed necessary by a professional provider.  These services will be covered under the office visit, x-ray, or lab test benefit level if not performed for preventive purposes.

 

Classified Sick Leave Bank – 2016-17 Annual Report
For the fiscal year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, the Classified Sick Leave Bank assisted 10 members of the bank for a total of 1,428.30 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.


Professional Education Program (PEP) – 2016-17 Annual Report
The District 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 2016-17 year totaled $10,715.00.

 

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.

Please remember that the Wellness Clinic is working hard to accommodate patient appointment needs and times. If a patient arrives more than ten minutes late for a scheduled appointment, he or she may be required to reschedule the appointment.

The Wellness Clinic recommends a 24-hour notice of an appointment cancellation. If a patient arrives more than twenty minutes late for a scheduled appointment, the appointment will be considered missed without proper notice and subject to the cancellation policy. A $20 fee will be assessed for failure to cancel within 3 hours of a scheduled appointment at the Wellness Clinic. A $20 fee will also be assessed for failure to attend a scheduled appointment.

This $20 fee must be paid before the patient will be allowed to schedule another advance appointment. In the event that three appointments are missed, the patient will be limited to scheduling same day appointments only.

The advance appointment scheduling suspension may be lifted after 6 months if the patient has no additional missed appointments.

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They’ve just found a gene for shyness. They would have found it earlier, but it was hiding behind a couple of other genes.

 

Nasal Strips: Snore No More?
While nasal strips may help stifle some kinds of snoring in some people, they are not a permanent fix.  If you (or your bedmate) snore regularly, or if your snoring is irregular, very loud, or explosive, medical evaluation is recommended to identify and correct underlying cause, whether that means treating allergies, for example, or looking into possible surgery if you have a significantly deviated septum.  A more serious cause of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea, which can have long-term adverse health consequences if left untreated.

All OEBB health plans have sleep studies benefits. Be aware there is an Additional Cost Tier (ACT) copayment of $100.  Deductibles apply and after being met, the plan pays 80% with you picking up the 20% remainder.

Travel Benefits:  Travel with Peace of Mind
When you hit the road, remember that medical care is never far.  While traveling outside your network service area, you can receive emergency and urgent care through the First Health Network, which is paid at the in-network amount.  Other covered care received while traveling is paid at the out-of-network amount.  Traveling for the purpose of seeking care does not qualify for the travel network benefit.

The First Health Provide Online Search may be found at:  http://www.providerlookuponline.com/coventry/po7/Search.aspx.  Simply enter the Zip Code for the area you are visiting.

Outside of the United States, you may access any provider for in-network emergency or urgent care.  This care is subject to balance billing.

Dietary Changes May Reduce Depression
Making healthy changes in one’s diet to include more fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, lean red meat, olive oil, and nuts may significantly reduce symptoms of depression, research shows.  Thirty-one adults received dietary intervention from a dietitian, while 25 others received social support.  After three months, the dietary group, which focused on healthy eating, had a greater reduction in depression symptoms compared to the social support group.

OEBB Benefits You May Not Know About
All OEBB medical plan cover these services, but not everyone knows about them.  Are you getting the most from your plan?

  • Alternative Care:  Each plan covers up to $2000 per plan year for alternative care services such as chiropractic, naturopathic, and acupuncture, including labs and x-rays performed by these providers’.  Be sure to use in-network providers to make the most of this benefit.
  • Bariatric Surgery:  Not everyone qualifies for this benefit, but if you are the primary subscriber on the plan, meet medical criteria, and use approved providers, your OEBB medical insurance can significantly reduce the cost of this lifesaving surgery.
  • NO COST Chemical Dependency Treatment:  All OEBB medical plans cover in-network chemical dependency treatment at 100%.
  • FREE In-Network Preventive Care:  All OEBB medical plans cover 100% of in-network preventive care services, deductible waived.  This includes routine adult, well-child and women’s exams; annual obesity screening and immunizations.  See your Plan Handbook for details.  http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEBB/Pages/Handbooks.aspx

 

Benefits Contact Numbers
For questions regarding benefits or claims, contact:

  • Moda Medical Customer Service –1-866-923-0409
  • Moda Dental Customer Service –1- 866-923-0410
  • Moda Pharmacy Customer Service –1-866-923-0411
  • Willamette Dental Cust. Service – 1-855-433-6825

For questions regarding eligibility, contact OEBB:

  • OEBB Information – 1-888-469-6322

To access the Employee Assistance Program:

  • Reliant Behavioral Health – 1-866-750-1327

For questions regarding life or long term disability insurance:

  • The Standard – 1-866-756-8115

For questions regarding a Flexible Spending Plan:

  • PacificSource Administrators – 541-485-7488

Additional contacts:

  • Postal Prescription Services (mail-order pharmacy): 1-800-552-6694
  • Weight Watchers for OEBB members: 1-866-531-8170
  • 4J Wellness Clinic: 541-686-1427

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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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Congratulations, 2017 Graduates!

They’ve learned. They’ve grown. And now they’ll walk, to the applause of their parents, peers, families and friends.

Eugene School District 4J’s class of 2017 is graduating this June.

Congratulations to all of our graduates. Your success is inspiring those who come after you.

2017 Graduation Ceremonies

Eugene International High School: Thursday, June 8, 7 p.m., Hult Center
Sheldon High School: Friday, June 9, 7 p.m., Hult Center
North Eugene High School: Saturday, June 10, 7 p.m., Swede Johnson Stadium
Churchill High School: Monday, June 12, 7 p.m., Hult Center
South Eugene High School: Tuesday, June 13, 7 p.m., Hult Center
ECCO/Eugene Education Options: Wednesday, June 14, 7 p.m., LCC Center for Meeting & Learning

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School Board Members Elected

Two newcomers, one returning member elected to school board 

Eugene School District 4J welcomes new and returning school board members!

The May 16 election ballot included three 4J school board positions. In the two races that were contested, the successful candidates won by a substantial margin with a majority of the vote. Anne Marie Levis has been elected to continue serving as a member of the 4J school board for the 2017–2021 term. New members Evangelina Sundgrenz and Judy Newman will begin their terms in July.

Judy Newman was elected to Position 3 over two other candidates, Jerry Rosiek and Mary Leighton. Newman will replace board member Beth Gerot, who did not seek re-election following 18 years of service on the school board.

Evangelina Sundgrenz was elected to Position 6, replacing Jennifer Geller, who did not seek re-election after 8 years of service on the school board. Sundgrenz was unopposed on the ballot.

Anne Marie Levis was re-elected to Position 2 over challenger Maya Rabasa. Levis has served on the school board since 2009.

The Eugene School Board has seven members. The 4J school board is elected from the district at large, not from geographic regions. Registered voters who live within the Eugene School District may vote on all 4J board positions on the ballot.

The four-year terms to which Levis, Newman and Sundgrenz were elected begin on July 1, 2017. Director positions 1, 4, 5 and 7, currently held by Alicia Hays, Eileen Nittler, Jim Torrey and Mary Walston, will be on the ballot in May 2019.

Lane County Elections published the official final results of the May special election on May 31, 2017.

More information:

About the 4J school board 
May 2017 election results
May 2017 election information
Additional election information

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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – May 2017 – Issue 296

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4J BENEFITS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • May 18, 2017 • Issue Number 296

4J BLOOD DRIVE

The response to the February 4J blood drive was fantastic – thank you to those who were able to make a donation! We are hoping that 4J armchair heroes will once again come to the rescue of those in need of a lifesaving donation. Representatives from Lane Blood Center will be in the Ed Center Tower Room on Wednesday, May 31st for a second 4J blood drive. The drive will take place from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m., and will be a combination of scheduled and drop-in appointments. Details about the event, including information on how to reserve a time slot to make a donation, will be sent via e-mail.

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

3D MAMMOGRAPHY UPDATE

As of April 1, 2017, 3D mammography is a Moda covered benefit for all OEBB medical plans.

Moda Health covers certain preventive services with no cost to you when performed by an in‐network provider. This includes preventive women’s healthcare: one visit per plan year, including pelvic and breast exams and a Pap test. Breast exams are limited to women 18 years of age and older. Mammograms are limited to one between the ages of 35 and 39 and one per plan year age 40 and older.

Mammograms for the purpose of diagnosis in symptomatic or designated high-risk women are also covered when deemed necessary by a professional provider. These services will be covered under the office visit, x-ray, or lab test benefit level if not performed for preventive purposes.

SHIFT YOUR MOOD WITH MUSIC

Whether it’s rock, classical, opera, or hip-hop, we all know how music can shift our mood. Recently scientists have been exploring how music might even be used as a form of medicine—reducing chronic pain and relieving depression and anxiety.

As you become aware of how music personally affects you, you’ll notice how certain pieces make you feel calmer, happier, or more energetic. Once you become more familiar with your personal music-mind-body connection, you’ll be able to write your own “go-to-music” prescription whenever the need arises.

Start your day with music that makes you happy. Whenever you need a refresh, just hit the play button! If you need a lift, I offer Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds as a suggestion.

FARMERS MARKET

The Lane County Farmers Market runs in downtown Eugene Saturdays, April 1 – November 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Tuesdays, May 2 – October 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The market offers the opportunity to buy directly from local farmers, eat seasonally, and shop outdoors.  Here’s a small sampling of the healthy rainbow available at the market this spring and summer.

Apples—You know what they say about keeping the doctor away? An apple a day may not be quite that powerful, but apples are a good source of fiber, and a medium-sized apple has only 80 calories. Red apples are among the fruits highest in quercetin, which researchers are studying for possible antioxidant benefits. The antioxidants are concentrated in the skin so don’t peel before eating.

Apricots—A good source of vitamins A and C, apricots are also a way to get lycopene, which has been associated with cancer prevention in men.

Asparagus—With just 25 calories in eight medium-sized asparagus spears, you get 25 percent of your daily vitamin A and 15 percent of vitamin C, plus essential folic acid.

Blackberries—Deliver vitamin K, along with a quarter of your daily vitamin C in just half a cup.

Blueberries—Researchers are studying blueberries for their antioxidant benefits, including the possibility that they may boost brain functions that weaken as we age. Scientists have found in animal testing that blueberries may lower cholesterol levels. Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin K, which researchers suggest may play a role in preventing osteoporosis and hardening of the arteries.

Cantaloupe—That orange color inside should clue you in that cantaloupe is a great source of beta-carotene—100 percent of your daily value in a single cup. Cantaloupe is no slouch in the vitamin C count, either, with 113 percent of daily needs per cup. Other melons such as honeydew are also good choices, though lower in both beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Carrots—You knew carrots were good for you, but did you know how good? This orange option delivers 150 percent of your daily vitamin A in just half a cup, plus lesser percentages of a variety of other vitamins and minerals.

Cauliflower—Don’t let the pasty white color fool you. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable (meaning it’s from the mustard family), just like broccoli and brussels sprouts. Compounds in cruciferous vegetables have been suggested as possible cancer protectors. Cauliflower packs a nutritional punch, with 45 percent of your daily vitamin C in just half a cup.

Collard greens—Another option in the dark-green vegetable category, collard greens are packed with vitamin A. You’ll get 150 percent of your daily value of A in just a half-cup of cooked collard greens, plus 30 percent of your vitamin C and 15 percent of calcium.

Kale—Here’s another vitamin A powerhouse as well as a way to up your intake of dark green vegetables. Like most leafy greens, kale is a source of lutein. A mere half-cup of cooked kale also rewards you with almost seven times the recommended daily amount of vitamin K.

Okra—Okra is a good source of folate and also gives you 20 percent of your vitamin C needs in just half a cup. A recent study suggests that okra, along with eggplant and whole grains, among other foods, can be part of a cholesterol-lowering diet.

Peaches—Peaches and similar fruit such as nectarines deliver modest amounts of vitamins (especially A and C), niacin and minerals (particularly potassium), while satisfying your craving for something sweet—all at a tiny price in calories (only 40 in a medium-sized peach).

Romaine lettuce—This salad staple counts toward your daily goal of eating more leafy greens, and delivers vitamin A and C along with a tasty crunch. Boston, Bibb and red or green leaf lettuces are other good salad choices, though not as vitamin-packed. Iceberg lettuce has only a fraction of the nutritional value of its greener, darker kin.

Spinach—Popeye was onto something. Besides being the quintessential dark leafy green and rich in vitamins A and K (plus some folate), spinach is also packed with lutein. Researchers have found that lutein consumption is associated with a reduced risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people age 65 and older.

Strawberries—Like most berries, grapes and prunes, strawberries contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that improve circulation and may have other health benefits. Strawberries are also a good choice for folate and vitamin C.

Sweet potatoes—These taters have more beta-carotene (a whopping 25,000 IU in one baked sweet potato with skin), vitamin C, folate, calcium and manganese than white spuds.

Tomatoes—Men have been gobbling tomatoes ever since research suggested that the lycopene therein may be protective against prostate cancer; a recent study points to a similar effect for pancreatic cancer in men. Tomatoes are also a good choice for lutein, and a single medium tomato contains half your daily value of vitamin C.

Watermelon—A good source of lycopene, a cup of watermelon also gives you about 20 percent of your daily vitamin C and 15 percent of vitamin A, in a sweet treat with only 45 calories.

SEND GOOD VIBES

Is there someone in your circle of friends and family who could use an act of kindness? Reaching out to others in need does them a world of good. And, it helps you feel better about yourself.

Think of someone who deserves a touch of happiness. This small gesture will help reduce stress in their life – and fill you both with warmth and love.

  • Think of someone who could use a little support.
  • Write a short note or email. Let them know you’re thinking of them – and wishing them the best.
  • On your meditation, focus on sending them positive thoughts.

 


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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Calling All Jeffersonians: Farewell to Former Jefferson Middle School / ATA Building

Arts & Technology Academy’s new building opens this fall

Goodbye old school, hello new: Please join in a celebration and fond farewell to the former Jefferson Middle School building.

Jefferson Farewell Celebration
Arts & Technology Academy / former Jefferson Middle School building
1650 W. 22nd Ave., Eugene 
Friday, June 9, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Arts & Technology Academy will soon move next door into a new high-quality modern school building that is under construction now, thanks to voters who approved the 2013 school bond measure.

This summer, construction crews will remove all but a corner of the old school building that housed Jefferson Middle School for 50 years, from 1957–2007, and then Arts & Technology Academy for the past decade. In the course of its history the Jefferson building also was home to the Magnet Arts and Family School alternative programs.

To honor the old building and the memories its halls contain, Arts & Technology Academy is inviting current and past ATA, Jefferson, Magnet Arts and Family School students, families, staff and neighbors to say goodbye to their old schoolhouse before it’s gone. The whole community is invited to come together for a farewell celebration on June 9.

Please join us for a fun evening of celebration and remembrance, honoring the past 60 years in the current school building and launching new traditions for the future. The new building will have a grand opening in the fall.

Please join the celebration!
Share memories • Snap selfies • See friends and teachers
Join in a high-energy bingo night • Win prizes • Grab a bite
Walk through the old building one last time! 

RSVP and invite friends

Questions? Please call 541-790-5700.

About the existing school building

Now Arts & Technology Academy, the school building at 1650 W. 22nd Ave. was constructed in 1957 and originally housed Jefferson Junior High, later Jefferson Middle School. Later it also housed the Magnet Arts alternative elementary school program. After Jefferson Middle School and Magnet Arts closed, in 2007 the STEM-focused Arts & Technology Academy opened in the building. Alternative program Family School moved in and was co-located in the building starting in 2009; its elementary grades moved to a different site in 2015.

About the new school building

Rowell Brokaw Architects and Opsis Architecture designed the new building, in consultation with a design advisory committee and with input from students, parents, staff, neighbors and community members. The design and layout of the new building will support Arts & Technology Academy’s exciting and innovative instructional program that integrates science, technology, engineering, math and the arts. With a large project room and interactive classroom located at the core of the school, the building is designed to encourage group and project-based learning.

Local company John Hyland Construction has undertaken the construction project. The reconstruction will replace ATA’s existing building with primarily new construction while retaining some renovated portions of the old building’s gymnasiums. The rebuilt school will provide better learning environments for students and will cost less to operate.

Construction began in spring 2016 and is well underway. The new building is slated to open in fall 2017.

More about the new school building

About the school bond measure


In May 2013, voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed a $170 million school bond measure to provide funding for 4J school improvements, including replacing four of the district’s oldest school buildings with new buildings at the same sites. The bond measure also is paying for improvements at every 4J school, including new student technology, updated instructional materials, security upgrades, building repairs, and more.

The new Howard Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School opened in fall 2016. The new River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School and Arts & Technology Academy (at the site of the former Jefferson Middle School building) are under construction now and will open in fall 2017. Sustainable building concepts that conserve energy and maximize the wise use of resources are incorporated into every new school building.

More about the school bond measure 

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