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Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

To help keep you informed about Coronavirus COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on Eugene School District 4J operations, we want to share answers to some questions that the district has received.


How long are Eugene School District 4J school buildings closed?

Gov. Kate Brown ordered the closure of school buildings starting March 16 through June 30 as another important measure to help stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our community. The 4J district office building also is closed and staff are working remotely.

The learning continued until the last day of school on June 10, despite school buildings being closed.

Executive Order 20–08
School Building Closure Extended Though School Year
Distance Learning for 4J Students

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Are school meals available while school buildings are closed? 

Yes. Free grab-and-go meals are available for all 4J students and youth 18 and younger to pick up at several school locations on weekdays from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. To-go breakfast and lunch are provided at the same time.

Starting the week of June 1, meal service will change to four days a week, Monday through Thursday. In mid-June, meals will be served at a reduced number of school sites to continue food service into the summer.

Summer free student meal program (June 15–Sept. 4)

School Meal Locations

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Is the district providing remote learning while school buildings are closed? 

Yes, 4J teachers began providing distance learning, and middle and high school students began their new condensed spring term courses, on April 13. We are working to meet the varying needs of all learners across all grades.

Distance learning does not look or feel the same as a regular in-person school day. It includes a blend of teaching modes, some online learning and other methods, such as paper assignments and phone calls. Parents and families play a key part in student learning. This remote at-home learning does not fully replace the rich experiences a student has when engaging with their teacher and peers in the classroom every day, but it provides students a consistent connection with school staff and continued learning focused on essential skills as we finish the school year.

Before beginning distance learning, 4J educators compiled home learning enrichment materials, organized by grade level, that families can use to support learning at home. These optional educational activities and strategies contain a combination of low-tech and technology-based choices across multiple subject areas, and include consideration for students’ special needs and physical and mental wellness. Teachers are providing additional supplemental learning activities as part of distance learning for all 4J students.

Distance Learning for 4J Students
Home Learning Enrichment Resources

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Can I get help for my student to access online learning?

Yes. We want to make sure that all 4J students can have regular access to curriculum materials and learning opportunities and can remain connected to their teachers and schools.

Please let your school know if you do not have a device your student can use or internet access at home. The district can provide support, if needed, such as a loaned device or help accessing the internet.

Internet Access for Online Learning

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Will high school seniors be able to graduate on time?

We are committed to ensuring that our seniors’ hard work and accomplishments over 12-2/3 years of school are not diminished by an unprecedented building closure during the last few months of your final school year.

On April 8, along with the Governor Kate Brown’s announcement that school buildings will be closed for the rest of the school year, 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. 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. Oregon high schools will issue grades of Pass, Incomplete or Withdraw, not letter grades. For high school seniors who were on track to graduate on time when schools closed in March, mandatory coursework may be over, but they may choose to continue their coursework to be prepared for college and careers.

For those seniors who don’t have enough credits yet to graduate, school staff will work with students to create individualized plans to help them earn the needed credits and receive their diploma as soon as possible. Students should complete this work this spring, but will have until August 31 to finish and be awarded a 2020 diploma under these temporary graduation requirements.

Schools are working 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.

High School Graduation Requirements

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What are the plans for Class of 2020 graduation?

Eugene School District 4J will celebrate the accomplishments of high school seniors twice: first with virtual ceremonies in June, followed by in-person traditional commencement ceremonies when group gatherings can again be held. Schools will be communicating with families in late-May about the process for distributing caps and gowns to seniors.

Traditional graduation ceremonies cannot be held in June, due to public health restrictions for our community’s safety.

Instead, each high school will produce a virtual graduation ceremony that will follow the look and feel of a traditional graduation ceremony, including student performances and speeches from the school’s principal and students. Each graduate’s name will be read by their chosen teacher, accompanied by a picture and quote selected by the student.

The district will post or live-stream these commencements on the evening of June 11, and they will remain on each high school’s website for several months, free and available for all friends and family members near and far to watch.

High schools will celebrate graduating seniors a second time with traditional in-person commencements when social distancing requirements have been lifted for those who are interested and able to attend. The district will communicate with Class of 2020 students and families and determine scheduling once there is more clarity about when large-scale social events will be possible.

Virtual graduation ceremonies

Additional celebrations:
Be the Light for Our Class of 2020
Signs to Celebrate Seniors
4J Better Together

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Are any athletics or other activities happening in schools? 

No. Oregon school athletics and activities were canceled this spring for the remainder of the 2019–20 school year, and 4J schools refunded student participation fees that had been paid to schools for OSAA spring activities.

As of June 2020, plans for 2020 fall sports are yet to be determined.

4J school facilities remain closed to group activities and no sport team practices are permitted at this time. After school ends, coaches may voluntarily check in with students (virtually), and may discuss optional individual workouts and activities.

Facility use by student activities and outside groups is halted, with the exception of specific essential services.

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Can we use school playgrounds? Fields and tracks? 

School playgrounds are closed at least until June 30, in compliance with the governor’s order to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

School tracks and fields have remained open, but individuals must observe social distancing and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people not in their immediate household. Tennis courts reopened for use in June.

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What should I tell my child about the coronavirus pandemic?

Concern over the coronavirus can make families and children anxious. Children react in part on what they see from adults around them. When parents and caregivers can deal with an event calmly and confidently, they can provide strong support for the children in their lives. Talking with your kids reassuringly and providing accurate prevention information and facts can help them cope with anxiety.

The National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of School Nurses, and Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration have provided suggestions for coping with stress and talking with children about infectious disease outbreaks such as coronavirus COVID-19:

NASP/NASN Talking to Children About Coronavirus COVID-19 (English / Spanish)
SAMHSA Talking With Children About Infectious Disease Outbreaks (English / Spanish)
SAMHSA Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (English / Spanish)

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What is coronavirus COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold. COVID-19 (novel coronavirus disease 2019) is a new coronavirus illness that can cause more serious illness.

The primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear an estimated 2–14 days after exposure. The disease can range from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, mostly among older adults and people with severe underlying health conditions. The virus that causes COVID-19 is new and there is no vaccine available to prevent it.

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How can I protect my family?

The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

All families are encouraged follow the “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order issued by Gov. Kate Brown. Stay home as much as possible, avoid groups, practice social distancing, and continue to practice good handwashing and other prevention. This is important for everyone, including for those who feel well and have no symptoms, in order to slow the spread of the virus.

Ways to help keep your family healthy:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Make sure you and they stay at least 6 feet from other people and don’t touch surfaces when you must be out in public.
  • Teach them proper handwashing: Have them wet their hands, apply soap, scrub thoroughly—front, back, between fingers and under nails—for 20 seconds (about the time it takes to recite the alphabet song), rinse under running water and then dry with a clean towel or air dry. If soap and water aren’t readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Apply the gel and have them rub it over all the surfaces of their hands and fingers until their hands are dry. Public health officials continue to stress the importance of hand hygiene.
  • Teach them proper cough hygiene: Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and throw it away once used, then wash their hands. In case a tissue is not immediately available, teach them to cough into their elbow.
  • Teach them to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

More Prevention Recommendations
Stay Home, Save Lives (Executive Order 20–12)

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Where can I get more information about coronavirus COVID-19? 

It’s important to get or verify information about coronavirus from official, reliable sources. More information can be found at the websites for Lane County Public Health, the Oregon Health Authority and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many questions can be answered by calling 211, a statewide bilingual information phone line that is staffed by knowledgeable individuals. If you prefer to contact 211 by text message, text your zipcode to 898211.


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updated June 30, 2020