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School Buildings Closed for Rest of School Year

District will continue to provide distance learning and student supports 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced on April 8 that Oregon schools’ doors will stay closed for the remainder of the school year to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

During these extraordinary circumstances and challenges, Eugene School District 4J’s commitment to educating our students and supporting families remains undiminished.

4J teachers began connecting with students this week to reconnect, refresh, and prepare for distance learning. Next week middle and high school students will begin new condensed spring term courses, and elementary classrooms will be transitioning throughout the week to teacher-led learning. Please know that distance learning will look different from regular in-school days. Our schools will continue to serve families and provide a distance learning environment in which students can learn, grow, and be supported.

Laptops and tablet computers are being distributed to students to help ensure all students have equitable access to technology and can access distance learning. The district is in the midst of lending more than 4,000 tablets and laptops to students. Families who still need a device and have not already requested one may still do so now. (Online request form open through Saturday, April 11.)

The district will continue to serve free grab-and-go meals at numerous sites across the district on weekdays, available to all students and youth 18 and younger. During the first three weeks of school closure, the district provided 55,780 free meals. There are no income requirements or other qualifications, and families may pick up a meal at any site regardless of where they live or attend school. (Free meal sites

Athletics and activities also are canceled. Following the Governor’s announcement, the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) canceled all remaining spring sports and activities. Students who registered to participate in an OSAA spring activity will have fees they paid to the school refunded soon.

With the governor’s announcement also came a new plan for high school graduation requirements for students set to graduate in June 2020. The goal is to not penalize any high school senior for this crisis. There is no change to the number of credits required to graduate, but Essential Skills and Personalized Learning requirements are suspended this year. Third trimester course credits will be based on the senior’s course progress prior to the school closure. For those seniors who don’t have enough credits yet to graduate, schools will work with students to create individualized plans to get back on track with the Class of 2020. Across Oregon, grades will be Pass, Incomplete or Withdraw, not letter grades. As we evaluate the new graduation guidance, high schools will communicate additional details directly to families, and high school seniors will receive individual guidance on next steps. We will work to ensure that every member of the Class of 2020 can access supports for their well-being, ongoing learning, high school completion and transition to careers, college and community.

The decision to keep Oregon’s school buildings closed, while important for the health and safety of our community, brings new challenges for all. 4J families rely on school not only for education but also to assist in their child’s social development and to provide childcare while parents and guardians work. We know many of our families are experiencing these and other challenges and hardships. We care deeply about the well-being of every 4J student and family, and have gathered information on resources that may be of help during this difficult time. (Resources for students and families)

Thank you for your grace, patience and support as we navigate these uncharted waters together. We will continue to communicate and engage with families as we move forward. We look forward to welcoming students back to classrooms in the fall.

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