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School Board Meeting Summary: Feb. 19, 2020

Feb. 19, 2020
School Board Work Sessions and Regular Meeting

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, the school board held a work session followed by a regular board meeting. A second work session was held after the regular meeting.

Work Session: Student Success Act — Student Investment Account Plan

District staff presented the initial spending proposal for about $13 million in new funds to bolster student success in and out of the classroom. The funding will soon be available thanks to legislative approval of the Student Success Act. The district has spent months gathering community feedback and reviewing data to inform the investment plan, which must be targeted to increase academic achievement, close gaps between groups of students, and meet students’ mental and behavioral health needs.

The draft plan would add new programs or expand existing ones to meet these goals and would lead to the hiring of nearly 100 new full-time-equivalent employees.

School board members generally praised the draft plan, shared some comments and questions, and said they wanted to have a lengthier discussion; this is slated to occur on March 4. The board is set to approve the plan later in March, following two community forums. The district must submit the approved plan to the Oregon Department of Education by April 15 to be able to start receiving the additional revenue in the coming school year. (presentation slides)

Board Meeting

Superintendent Gustavo Balderas thanked the board for its leadership during his tenure that led to him being named 2020 National Superintendent of the Year. He noted the recognition he received is a collective recognition of the district’s 2,700 full- and part-time employees working to educate 4J’s 16,000+ K–12 students. He discussed the district’s ongoing efforts to improve graduation rates, particularly among traditionally undeserved student groups, and ensure all students have equal access to a top-quality learning environment. He acknowledged the concerns some parents and staff have raised about the upcoming relocation of Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School to Kelly Middle School and said he’d continue to work with staff to ensure both schools have enough space and supports to ensure a high-quality educational environment for students.

Board chair Anne Marie Levis congratulated Dr. Balderas for his honor and asked for a round of applause from those in attendance. She also acknowledged the concerns voiced about the coming Yujin Gakuen–Kelly relocation and the feelings of loss such changes create.

Board Actions

• Approved updated two-year Lane Education Service District Local Service Plan: The education service district supports the county’s 16 school districts, including 4J. State law requires each education service district to adopt and regularly update a plan outlining how it will improve instruction and student learning, ensure equitable access to resources and make efficient use of available funding. This plan includes services for students with special needs, school improvement, technology, and administrative and other support. (draft plan)

• Approved items on the consent agenda: Approved personnel actions (hirings, resignations and retirements) and the official minutes from the Jan. 15 board meeting.

Information Items (no board action is expected to be taken)

Received an update about the 4J Vision 20/20 strategic plan: The district collects data to monitor its progress in meeting the five goals in its strategic plan: educational excellence with equitable access and outcomes for all students; multiple pathways to success; communication and connection with community; diverse, world-class workforce; and stable, sustainable stewardship. The data includes graduation and proficiency rates, class sizes and staffing ratios, staff retention rates, and more. The presentation, continued from the Feb. 5 board meeting, included the most recent data. (presentation slides)

Received the financial report for the second quarter of the 2019-20 fiscal year (Oct. 1–Dec. 31): The report includes updated numbers for the district’s operating budget and Nutrition Services program.

Discussed the earlier board meeting times: The board tried out earlier board meeting start times for its three meetings in January and February. Board chair Anne Marie Levis said the board would continue the trial of earlier start times in March and would solicit community feedback as it considers whether to make the temporary change permanent.

Received a presentation on the 4J Natives Program: The federally funded Natives Program started in 1972 and provides tutoring and culturally related events and activities to students who are or identify as Native American. The presentation closed with a ceremonial song.

Items for Future Action (board action is expected at a later meeting)

Considered updates to district policy: The board is considering revisions to policies to conform to changes in state law and updates to policy best practices:

EEA Student Transportation Services
JEA Compulsory Attendance
JEC Admission of Resident Students

Public Input

Thirteen people provided public comment to the board, including comments regarding:

• Educational equity
• Standardized testing
• Remembrance of former 4J assistant superintendent Jim Slemp
Funding for more librarians in schools
Cyberbullying and sexual exploitation prevention trainings
Space at Kelly Middle School
Religious holidays
• Supports for employees

Work Session— Annual Superintendent Evaluation Process and Timeline

The district’s seven elected school board members oversee the work of the superintendent, who is responsible for implementing their policies and managing 4J’s day-to-day operations. They evaluate the superintendent’s performance each year. Board members will individually evaluate the superintendent’s performance starting in March and then will begin meeting in April to develop a final board evaluation. (evaluation process)

Agenda and Materials

Feb. 19 agenda and materials
Feb. 19 board early work session recording
Feb. 19 board meeting recording
Feb. 19 board late work session recording


NOTE:  This is a quick summary of the topics and actions at a meeting of the school board. This document is NOT the official minutes of the school board. Official minutes are posted after they are drafted, reviewed and approved by the board. Recordings of meetings are posted within two days after the meeting. 

School Board Meeting Schedule & Information

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