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School Board Meeting Summary: April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020
School Board Special Meeting

On Wednesday, April 1, the school board held a specially scheduled meeting, not part of the original board calendar for the year.

In an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 and in compliance with Governor Kate Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives Executive Order, 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 opened by saying he was proud of all 4J staff members as they work to comply with Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order ordering schools to close buildings but continue to provide certain essential services, and as they begin to pivot to provide comprehensive distance learning to all students starting April 13. Balderas said he knows 4J staff and parents want kids back in school and he hopes to see that happen soon. In the meantime, he said, the district will continue to support students and their families through these challenging times.

The board was presented information that Eugene School District 4J is providing free meals for children and youth, more than 42,700 so far during the extended school closure, and is partnering with local organizations and agencies to provide free childcare for essential workers. It also heard about 4J’s ongoing efforts to provide supplemental education, transition to comprehensive distance learning, and distribute loaner laptops and tablets to help students who don’t have devices available at home as the district moves to more substantial at-home learning. The district has so far received requests for about 770 high school students who will be issued laptops, 2,200 requests for elementary and middle school students to receive tablets, and 500 requests for internet access support.

Item for Action

Hiring process for interim superintendent for 2020–21 school year: The board previously agreed to search for and hire an internal candidate to serve as interim superintendent during the 2020–21 school year. Superintendent Gustavo Balderas will be leaving 4J on June 30 to lead the Edmonds School District in Washington state.

The board voted unanimously to accept Dr. Balderas’s resignation, and declare the superintendent’s position vacant as of July 1. The board voted unanimously to approve to hire RS2 Education Consultants to assist with the hiring of the interim superintendent.

The board voted 5–2 to conduct a confidential hiring process for the interim superintendent. Public input will be solicited in considering the characteristics and qualifications desired in the interim superintendent. Candidates will be considered and interviewed confidentially. Once a finalist is selected there will be an opportunity for public comment before the board votes to hire the interim superintendent in a public meeting.

The board voted 5–2 to reject a proposal to appoint representatives of the teachers’ union, classified employees’ union, and administrators’ association to participate in interviews of the finalist candidates. The board directed the superintendent search consultants to include in the process references from employees the candidates supervise.

The board will meet virtually on Tuesday, April 7, to discuss and finalize the hiring process and candidate profile—the characteristics and qualifications desired for the interim superintendent.

Public Input

There was no in-person public comment period due to the meeting being held virtually. Public comment was submitted via email to board@4j.lane.edu. The licensed employees’ union representative and 17 individuals submitted comments regarding the interim superintendent search process. Another 3 people sent comments and questions regarding impacts of the closure of school buildings and did not mention the interim superintendent search. The board will read, review and take into consideration all comments submitted by email.

Agenda and Materials

April 1 agenda and materials
April 1 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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