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Board Meeting Summary: Feb. 3, 2021

Feb. 3, 2021
School Board Regular Meeting

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the school board held a regular meeting. The meeting was held virtually in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. The meeting was open to the public via live video on Zoom, audio stream, and radio broadcast on KRVM 1280-AM.

Regular Meeting

Introductory Comments

Interim Superintendent Cydney Vandercar noted that vaccinations for 4J educators have begun, a substantial concrete step toward reopening school buildings that were shuttered nearly a year ago as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. She discussed some of the details of the district’s plan to return to on-site learning that would be outlined more fully during a presentation later during the meeting.

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

• Received a presentation on revisions to the Lane Education Service District service plan: The education service district supports Lane County’s 16 school districts, including Eugene School District 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. The board received information about revisions to Lane ESD’s two-year plan and will consider approval of the plan revisions at a future meeting.

Received an update on COVID-19 and comprehensive distance learning: The superintendent and district staff provided an update on vaccination, athletics, sanitation and safety measures, and planning to return to school buildings in a hybrid on-site / online instruction model.

Vaccine availability for K–12 educators has begun. It takes two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and at least two weeks after the second dose to develop full immunity. Hundreds of 4J educators received their first doses of the vaccine last week. Vaccine supplies are currently limited and must be prioritized. Over time, vaccines will be available to all staff and to other groups in Oregon’s rollout plan.

With vaccination underway, the district is preparing for students to return to school buildings for on-site learning in a hybrid model, on a rolling basis starting with the youngest grades and adding grades over time, after the following conditions are met for the affected grade level:

  • Key school staff for the grade level have had the opportunity to get both doses of vaccine
  • Plus two weeks to develop immunity and for schools and families to prepare for transition
  • Local public health conditions meet Oregon’s advisory metrics for reopening schools

The first available vaccines were prioritized for staff supporting kindergarten and first grade, so if these conditions are met these youngest students could return to school buildings for hybrid learning as early as the week of March 15, before spring break. Older grades will follow over time.

Once the hybrid on-site/online learning model begins, students will learn on-site in classrooms and online at home in alternating groups. During on-site days, the elementary school day will be five hours long including lunch and recess. One day a week may be designated for all students to learn online at home.

Elementary school families will be given an additional opportunity to change their student’s learning pathway between the “Same School Online” and “Same School Hybrid” options, electing whether to have their students to return to school buildings when hybrid learning begins, or learn remotely for the remainder of the school year. Requests to change between the two same-school options for elementary students will be accepted for a brief period in February.

Middle and high school students will be able to request a learning pathway change in March to change to Same School Hybrid, Same School Online, or Eugene Online Academy enrollment for the third trimester.

Extensive health and safety measures have been established for the protection of staff and students on-site at school, outlined in the district’s COVID-19 Communicable Disease Management Plan. The district has procured personal protective equipment including face coverings to make available for adults and children, hand sanitation stations, clear plastic barriers for use in certain specified locations, and backpack and handheld electrostatic sprayers so custodians can disinfect surfaces and areas efficiently and effectively. Other items the district is purchasing include cleaning wipes for tablets and laptops; signs to remind people about requirements for face coverings, physical distancing and handwashing; and tape that can be applied to floors and walls to direct students in school buildings and keep them a safe distance from other cohorts.

High school athletic teams are engaging in outdoor training and conditioning activities now, with health and safety measures in place. The first shortened sports season will begin later in February. Full-contact activities remain prohibited statewide.

The board took action to vote unanimously in support of the district’s plan to reopen schools in a hybrid model on a rolling basis, on a schedule determined by the superintendent, only after key staff supporting the affected grade level have had the opportunity to receive both doses of COVID-19 vaccine and two weeks after the second dose to develop immunity.

Items for Action

• Approved items on the consent agenda: The board unanimously approved the official minutes of the Dec. 16 board meeting.

Authorized extension: The board authorized facilities staff and consultants to negotiate an extension of the option agreement with the YMCA for its purchase of a portion of the Roosevelt Middle School property. The vote was unanimous.

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

Considered revisions to Lane Education Service District service plan: The board received information about revisions to Lane ESD’s two-year plan earlier in the evening and will consider its approval at a future meeting.

Items Postponed 

The board postponed to a later meeting several items from the agenda:

  • Item for Information: Update on Graduation Rates
  • Item for Information: Bond Update and Summer 2021 Facilities Plan
  • Item for Future Action: Consider for Adoption DJC-AR Special Procurements and Exemptions from Competitive Bidding
  • Item for Future Action: Consider Adoption of and Revisions to Board Policies:
    – CI – Emergency Superintendent Authority
    – IGBA – Students with Disabilities – Child Identification Procedures
    – IGBAH – Special Education – Evaluation Procedures
    – IGBAJ – Special Education –Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
    – IGBBC – Talented and Gifted – Programs and Services
    – JGAB – Use of Restraint or Seclusion
    – JGD – Suspension

Public Input

The board heard live public comment via Zoom. Six speakers spoke about climate change curriculum, high school athletics, school building reopening and standardized testing. To request to speak to the school board, community members may complete an online request form by 12 p.m. on the Monday before the next regular board meeting.

Residents also submitted public comment via email to board@4j.lane.edu. The board read, reviewed and took into consideration all comments submitted by email by 12 p.m. the day of the meeting.

Agenda and Materials

Feb. 3 agenda and materials
Feb. 3 regular 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. Audio recordings of meetings are typically posted within two days after the meeting. 

School Board Meeting Schedule & Information

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