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School Board Meeting Summary: March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020
School Board Regular Meeting

On Wednesday, March 18, the school board held a regular meeting. In response to public health agencies’ recommendations to increase social distancing and avoid gatherings to limit the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, the meeting was held virtually. The meeting was open to the public via live radio broadcast on KRVM 1280-AM and via the internet at www.4j.lane.edu/stream.

Regular Meeting

Introductory Comments

Superintendent Gustavo Balderas noted that Gov. Kate Brown had announced the closure of K–12 schools statewide until April 28, unless shortened or extended. He said the district was continuing to provide meals to students and was working to offer supplemental learning supports to students while they remain home. Dr. Balderas acknowledged the district and community were facing unprecedented times, and said he hoped to see kids back in schools and the community returning to normal as quickly as possible.

Board chair Anne Marie Levis said the district is working to figure out how continue to provide a quality education to 4J students during the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic. She reassured that the community would get through this event together. She thanked the district’s teachers, staff and administrators for working long hours to help navigate the 4J community through these challenging times.

Items for Action

Approved Student Success Act Student Investment Account plan: The board approved the district’s plan to invest new funds anticipated from the Student Investment Account, part of the Student Success Act, starting next school year.

The plan has nine major components, including initiatives to improve early reading skills, reduce class sizes in targeted grades, provide full schedules for all high schoolers, and add more mental health and behavioral supports for students. The plan targets investments to bolster student success in and out of the classroom, particularly for students who are traditionally underserved.

Student Investment Account funds must be spent to improve students’ academic success, reduce disparities between groups of students, and meet students’ behavioral and mental health needs. Funds may be spent in four areas: providing a well-rounded education, addressing students’ health and safety needs, increasing instructional time and/or reducing class size.

The district spent several months gathering extensive community input, reviewing research and analyzing student data to inform development of the investment plan.

The board approved the plan on a 6–1 vote. The district will submit the approved plan to the Oregon Department of Education by April 15 to be eligible to start receiving the funds in the coming school year. (presentation slides) (draft grant application)

• Approved items on the consent agenda: The board unanimously approved the four items on the consent agenda: advance refunding of general obligation bonds, contract award for middle school field turf replacement, purchase of new staff computers and other equipment, and approval of minutes from the Feb. 5 and Feb. 19 board meetings.

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

Considered proposed academic calendars for the 2020–21 school year: State law requires that the school board adopt the district’s academic calendars. The draft calendars reflect the same number of instruction days, holidays, and non-instruction days as are in the present school year. The board is slated to approve the academic calendars on April 22.

Discussed recruitment for interim superintendent: The board agreed to search for and hire an internal candidate to serve as interim superintendent for one year. The board discussed that hiring an internal interim superintendent is preferred given the late timeline, many complex demands, and current disruptions stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The board is set on April 1 to formally declare the superintendent’s position vacancy and discuss the qualifications the board will look for in an interim superintendent. Under its draft timeline the board would make a selection by May 1.

Public Input

There was no in-person public comment period due to the meeting being held virtually. Public comment was invited to be submitted via email to board@4j.lane.edu. The board will read, review and take into consideration all comments submitted by email.

Agenda and Materials

March 18 agenda and materials
March 18 board meeting 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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