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Return to Learning: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Eugene School District 4J is back to school. To help keep families informed about 4J students’ return to school during the coronavirus pandemic, this FAQ answers some questions that the district has received.

We know there are many more questions and information is always evolving. This FAQ will be updated over time.

Supports for Learning
Special Education & IEPs
Health & Safety
Return to Learning Pathways
Hybrid On-Site Learning Model
Eugene Online Academy
4J Staff


Supports for Learning 

Q: What technology will be provided for students to learn at home? 

Every student will be provided with a take-home device for learning. Students in grades K–2 are provided iPads with protective cases, grades 3–8 use iPads with keyboards, and high school students receive laptop computers. The district has enough devices to provide one to every student. Families do not need to request a device, only pick one up when they are available. 

Student Learning Devices

Q: What are the rules for student technology?

The district has established expectations for students’ appropriate use of technology at school and during distance learning, including appropriate conduct and positive digital community membership, virtual meeting behavior, academic integrity, and student device responsibility and protection plan.

Technology Appropriate Use Guidelines

Q: How to I get help with my student’s technology?

You will find frequently requested technology tips and other resources to support students and parents with using their 4J student iPad or laptop and learning apps at 4j.lane.edu/tech-help . If you don’t find the answer to your question, you request student tech support by submitting an online request or leaving a voicemail in English or Spanish.

Technology Support for Families

Q: How do I get help with internet access?

For information about ways to access internet service, please see 4j.lane.edu/internet. The district is partnering to provide free high-speed internet access for families who qualify, and has hotspots available to lend to families who do not have another way to access the internet at home. If you are still unable to access online learning from home, please talk to your school.  

Internet Support for Families

Q: What learning management system is used for instruction? 

Learning management system (LMS) software provides a digital space for teaching and learning, including homework assignments, teacher communication and student collaboration—an online classroom. These learning management systems also allow parents to see everything their children are expected to learn and do, all in one place. 

Middle and high schools are using the Canvas platform for instruction online and on-site for hybrid learning. Elementary schools continue to use Seesaw as a platform for learning. The Eugene Online Academy uses a different system.

Canvas and Seesaw Information for Families
Parent Technology Training Sessions in November

Q: Can parents participate in class Zooms?  

No. Like classroom instruction in school buildings, online class time is for students. While parents, guardians or caretakers may be nearby and helping support their students, no one but the student may participate in the Zoom meeting unless expressly invited by the teacher. Parents and others may not interject or participate in classroom discussions or chats, or otherwise engage during class. If a student’s parent is disruptive to the learning environment, the teacher may disable the student’s video and audio or remove them from the class meeting and report the disruption to the school principal.

Q: Can volunteers help with online instruction? 

4J schools are not using volunteers at this time, either on-site or on Zoom. We truly appreciate parents’ and community members’ desire to help and volunteer. However, at this point the district is not ready to authorize volunteers in distance learning. Our teachers are still adjusting to tremendous change, learning new programs, establishing new routines, and connecting with students. After getting distance learning strongly established, adding volunteer opportunities may be possible later in the year, with consideration to safety, supervision, and training.

Q: How will students receive special education services?

Students receiving special education services will continue to receive accommodations and support, online and on-site. Services may be a combination of synchronous instruction, asynchronous instruction, packets, face-to-face (if permitted) or any combination as deemed appropriate by the IEP team. A case manager or someone from the Student Services Department has or will reach out to each family of a student with an IEP to discuss individual needs and plans for the school year.

Q: Will attendance be taken? 

Attendance will be taken in every class every day. Attendance tracking will include non-real-time contact, not only participation in synchronous learning activities. Attendance may include:
• Participating in a Zoom class meeting
• Turning in completed coursework via the learning management system
• Communication from the student to the teacher via chat, text message, communication app or email
• A phone call between the teacher or educational assistant and the student

When there is no student interaction during a 24-hour period surrounding a scheduled school day, students are reported as absent for the class or day. 

Q: Will students receive letter grades? 

Yes. Students will receive course grades and regular feedback on progress. High schools and middle schools will return to providing letter grades for classes in 2020–21. Students will have the option for P/NP grades as detailed in the course syllabus where appropriate.

This is a statewide change from the emergency distance learning in spring 2020, when the state of Oregon required that students be given pass/no-pass/incomplete grades for spring term courses.

Q: Can I continue online learning with my 4J school if I move away or travel outside of Oregon?

To be enrolled in local public schools, students must live in the district, or live in a neighboring district and be granted an interdistrict transfer. School-issued devices may not be taken out the state, and many school apps and systems will not be accessible from outside of Oregon.

Q: Do families need to buy school supplies? 

In most years, families purchase school supplies at the start of the school year. This year, the school district is providing some standard elementary school supplies for students learning at home—such as pencils, erasers, washable markers, crayons, glue and scissors. Elementary schools will schedule distribution of school supplies and materials such as workbooks this fall after the school year begins

Q: Will there be fall sports?

There will be no school sports activities this fall. The Oregon School Activities Association has delayed this year’s school sports schedules. The new calendar preserves the possibility of all three sports seasons taking place this year, postponed and shortened to about seven weeks each, with the first competitions slated to start in January 2021.

4J high school teams also will not engage in formal or informal sports team activities—such as games, practices or workouts—on or off campus until our schools return to in-person instruction, for the health and safety of our school community. While we recognize the important benefits of athletic participation, and look forward to our students resuming on-site learning and their regular routines, avoiding in-person activities will limit the potential exposure to our school communities during this time without competitions.

OSAA Announcement – August 5
OSAA Update – October 15  

Q: Is there childcare available? 

Eugene School District 4J is providing space and partnering with local childcare providers to offer families childcare options for their elementary school students. Childcare programs for students in grades K–5 will be hosted at several school sites across the district, in addition to other community childcare options. Childcare will be offered at the school sites at least until students return to in-person learning in a hybrid model, which will be January 5 at the earliest. Please contact the providers to enroll in childcare or to ask about financial assistance. Per their agreement with 4J, these childcare providers must offer some scholarship opportunities.

The Employment-Related Day Care program (ERDC) helps eligible low-income families pay for childcare while they are working. ERDC is a subsidy program, meaning eligible families still pay part of the childcare cost. The income threshold for this assistance has been raised significantly, so many families are now eligible who previously were not.

Childcare Providers in 4J Schools

Employment Related Day Care Assistance

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Special Education Supports and IEPs

Q: Will my student’s IEP or 504 plan still be in effect this fall? How will I find out what their services will look like?

All students with 504’s and IEP’s will have their ADA and IDEA accommodations available, although the modality in which all students are learning will be different than in a normal school year. Your student’s case manager will reach out to you within the first few weeks after they return in September to discuss what services will look like for your individual child.

Q: What if my child needs an evaluation?

If your child is in the process of an evaluation or is due for a re-evaluation, we will be reaching out to you to set an appointment and discuss the logistics of completing that evaluation. We have 5 testing centers open across the district at this time.

Q: What will a typical day look like for my student?

Please look at the sample online learning schedules that are posted on the district website and were shared to all families via email. This will give you an idea of what a typical day will look like overall, but does not include details of push-in supports, pull-out groups, or academic support classes that your child will be enrolled in. Your case manager will be able to clarify with you what support will look like and how SDI will be delivered, when they connect with you at the start of the school year.

Online School Schedules

Q: Is the Eugene Online Academy open to students with IEPs?

Yes, this program is open to students with IEPs, but we must hold an IEP meeting to discuss this option and make sure your child’s IEP can be met in the program. Not all programs have the exact same resources, so we want to make sure the IEP team is making an informed decision about what is best for each child. For this year, if you are interested in the Eugene Online Academy, the district will reach out to you soon to schedule an IEP meeting to discuss this as a possibility.

Eugene Online Academy information

Q: If my student starts the school year with the Eugene Online Academy and finds it is not a good fit, can they switch to another option?

Families who enroll in the online academy may request to change back to their regular school at the term change (middle and high schools start Trimester 2 on December 14 and Trimester 3 on March 29; elementary schools start Semester 2 on February 1). If your child is struggling, work with your IEP team to discuss next steps and design a plan as a team on what might be the best option for your child.

Q: Why wouldn’t the Eugene Online Academy be appropriate for my child?

The appropriateness of a program is determined by the IEP team. Schools have different programs, services and levels of resources, and not every school program may be able to meet your child’s IEP as written. All 4J schools are in a distance learning model for the fall, but the platforms and delivery that regular 4J schools are using for Comprehensive Distance Learning are different from what is used in the online academy. The Eugene Online Academy is a great program, but like most online-only programs, it requires a certain level of independence to navigate the programming they utilize. Convening an IEP meeting will help us determine what is best for your child.

Q: If I want to homeschool my child with an IEP, what do I need to do?

If you want to homeschool your child, contact Lane ESD and they will guide you on the process for enrolling in homeschool options. If your child has an IEP, please connect with your school and talk to your IEP team about your intent to homeschool and they can discuss how the IEP process continues.

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Health and Safety

Once on-site learning begins…

Q: Will staff and students be required to wear face masks at school?

Yes, for everyone’s protection, face coverings are required for staff and for students in kindergarten and up. (This is a statewide requirement.) The CDC advises that the use of face coverings is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools and communities. 

Q: Will students and staff be screened for symptoms when they come to school?

Yes. Students will be visually screened as they get on the bus or enter the school, and will be asked a series of screening questions every day. Staff will conduct a self-check every day. 

Q: Will schools and buses be cleaned between cohorts?

Yes. Staff will disinfect touchpoints and seats between each group of students riding the bus. Staff will clean and disinfect  touchpoints throughout school buildings—including but not limited to restrooms, common areas, door knobs, light switches, and student desks—daily and throughout the day. 

Q: What cleaning products will be used?

Only district-provided cleaning and disinfecting products will be used. These products will be selected from the EPA List N to reduce the risk of asthma.

Q: Where can I learn more about the district’s health and safety measures? 

Read 4J’s COVID-19 Comprehensive Disease Management Plan, available on this website.
Operational Blueprints and COVID-19 Management Plan

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Return to Learning Pathways

Q: What will school days be like during the online learning at the start of the school year? 

All 4J schools will start the year with comprehensive distance learning—teaching and learning online until at least winter break.

Grade-level teams of teachers, specialists and administrators have worked to develop daily learning schedules that will provide students with high-quality, teacher-directed learning opportunities every day and every week while they are learning at a distance. Students will learn from their homes five days a week with a combination of live full-class instruction and small group work, as well as independent learning activities.

Online School Schedules

Q: How will online teaching and learning this year be different from the emergency distance learning in the spring?

Online teaching and learning will be notably different and more robust than the short-term emergency learning students engaged in last spring.

Students will have more and better learning time, including significantly more teacher-facilitated instruction, more independent and family-supported applied learning, and daily opportunities for real-time connections. Students will engage in learning five days a week. Attendance will be taken in every class every day. Students will receive course grades and regular feedback on progress. High school students will earn credits. 

Q: What options were provided for returning to school this year?

Families were provided the choice of three pathways for their students to return to school in 2020–21. Regardless of which learning model families chose, students will have access to instruction five days a week, will be provided with technology (a laptop or tablet) for learning online and/or in-person, and will have access to school meals.

A majority of students plan to return to school buildings when on-site learning begins. However, some families will not be comfortable with the possibility of sending their children back to school in person at all this year. Families who prefer were able to opt for 100% remote learning, either with their regular school or through the district’s separate online academy. 

SAME SCHOOL HYBRID — This was the default option. All 4J schools will start the school year teaching and learning online, at least through the end of the calendar year. After winter break or at a later point when public health conditions allow, we will bring students back to school buildings in a hybrid model, with students attending classes on-site at school and online at home in alternating weeks. Schools will have rigorous health and safety measures in place when students return in person. 

SAME SCHOOL ONLINE — Students who selected this option will remain 100% online and stay connected with their current school, when schools begin on-site learning in a hybrid model. This may look different from the comprehensive distance learning provided when all schools start the school year online this fall, but will include some synchronous (real-time) learning and continued connection with your neighborhood or alternative school.

ONLINE ACADEMY — Families who prefer also had the choice of enrolling in online classes through the Eugene Online Academy. This is a separate K–12 online school program run by Eugene School District 4J, staffed by licensed 4J teachers using a curriculum specifically designed to support online learning. If students choose to attend Eugene Online Academy, learning will be more independent and mostly asynchronous (not real-time), and they will not be with their teacher or classmates from their regular school.

Q. What are my options now that the deadline to select a return-to-learning pathway has passed?

If you did not respond to choose one of the online options, your school is planning for your student to attend in the default option, Same School Hybrid.

If you have not yet selected an option, until the first day of school, you still have the opportunity to select the Same School Hybrid or Same School Online learning option. Please contact your school to make your selection as soon as possible.

If you prefer the Eugene Online Academy, you may make a request, and your student will be placed on a waiting list. They will be enrolled if the online academy has space available with the assigned staffing.

Q. What if a student enrolls after the start of the school year? 

After the first day of school, new students will be enrolled in the Same School Hybrid learning option. If families prefer an all-online learning option, they may make a request through their school to enroll in the Same School Online option or in the Eugene Online Academy, and will be placed if space is available with the assigned staffing.

Q: Can a student who enrolled in the Eugene Online Academy change to their regular school?  

Families who enrolled in the Eugene Online Academy committed to that enrollment for at least the first term. The deadline to change options has passed. If your student is enrolled in the online academy and you want to change to your regular school, you may request to do so at the next term change.

Q: Can students change between the learning options later in the year? 

Parents were asked to select the return-to-learning option you want for your student for the foreseeable future in this school year. This is important to ensure teachers and support staff are assigned where needed to support students in each learning model. 

Families may request to change from one option to another at the next term change, and may be accommodated if space is available with current staffing levels. At other points, individual circumstances will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Will middle and high school students have the same course offerings in the Same School Online and Same School Hybrid options? 

Our intent is to offer the full curriculum in middle and high school whether students choose the hybrid or online option with their school. 

Q: What will school be like for students attending their regular school in the Same School Online model?

When schools begin on-site learning in a hybrid model, students who have selected this option will not return to school on-site but will instead continue learning remotely and stay connected with their current school.

Details are in development for how to implement this option requested by families. It may look different from the comprehensive distance learning provided when all schools start the school year online this fall, but will include some synchronous (real-time) learning and continued connection with your neighborhood or alternative school. Teachers will continue to deliver district-adopted curriculum and lesson plans developed by 4J teachers. Students will engage in learning five days a week.  

Student participation in this option will vary by school and grade level, and may require some students to shift classrooms. Some online classrooms likely will be combined. Where student participation levels are small, it is possible that groups of students from two schools may be assigned to a combined classroom, though each group of students would remain connected to their current school.

Q: What will school be like for students attending their regular school in the hybrid model?  

Strong Start Online: The school year will start online for all grades, establishing a strong foundation in remote learning for teachers, students and parents. This period of online learning for all will be at least until winter break, and could continue past winter break, depending on public health conditions. While students are learning online this fall, there may be some limited, targeted on-site supports for some individual students or small groups, but not regular classes or full grade levels attending school on-site. 

Hybrid On-Site / Online: Later in the school year, when public health conditions allow, we plan for students to return to attending school on-site in alternating cohorts. Under current state requirements for health and safety, it will not be possible for all students to be at school at the same time.

Students will be divided into two groups that alternate week by week: One week students in the A group will learn on-site, while the B group learns at home; the following week the B group will be on-site while the A group learns at home. Schools will strive to coordinate attendance groups so students from the same household attend school on-site the same weeks. Students will engage in learning five days a week, likely with shortened school days. 

During the weeks that students are not attending school on-site, they will receive education and support from teachers online. The remote learning in the coming year will be notably different and more robust than the short-term emergency learning students engaged in last spring.

Safely at School: While students are attending school on-site, there will be significant public health protocols in place, including physical distancing, consistent groupings, face coverings, cleaning protocols, transportation changes, visitor restrictions, and more. All of these details will be established in compliance with the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority’s strict health and safety requirements in place for schools.

Return to Online Learning: Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, schools and families must be prepared to return to full-time online learning at any point based on changes in public health conditions during the school year.

Many details of the hybrid model are still being finalized as the district works with teacher workgroups to plan details and with state education leaders to navigate an ever-shifting situation. There will likely be adjustments to transportation options, school start and end times and other aspects of in-person learning.

Q: What will school be like for students attending the Eugene Online Academy?  

The Eugene Online Academy is an online learning program offered by Eugene School District 4J for all grades K–12. It uses different curriculum than other 4J schools and is designed for asynchronous (not real-time) online lesson delivery, facilitated by 4J teachers, supplemented by some real-time check-ins. 

Students who chose this option will temporarily take classes through the Eugene Online Academy, but technically will remain enrolled in their current school and will not lose their place while attending the online academy this year. Students may choose to go back to their regular school next year, or request to change at the start of the next trimester (middle and high school) or semester (elementary school).

More information about the Eugene Online Academy is below, and you can also see 4j.lane.edu/eugeneonline, email eugeneonline@4j.lane.edu, or call 541-790-6850.

Q: What if a student chooses to enroll in a different school or homeschool instead of one of 4J’s three return-to-learning options?  

A family may opt to unenroll from their 4J school to home school, attend a private or charter school, or enroll in an online/virtual learning school other than Eugene Online Academy. If you want to homeschool your child, contact Lane Education Service District and they will guide you on the process for enrolling in homeschool options. If you are interested in a virtual charter school outside of 4J, please be aware that the district has reached the 3% cap on virtual charter school enrollment at this time. 

Students who have unenrolled from 4J are not provided with student technology, access to school meals, and other services provided to all 4J students. If the student has been attending a 4J school via a school choice transfer, or if they live outside the district and have been attending on an interdistrict transfer, by enrolling in a different school they will relinquish their transfer. The student can always re-enroll in their neighborhood school when they are ready, but in order to re-enroll in an alternative school or a neighborhood school other than the one associated with their residence, they will need to apply again for a school choice transfer (or interdistrict transfer).

Q: What if I decide to defer and not send my student to kindergarten this year? What does that look like and what grade do I start in the following year?

If you decide to wait and not enroll your child in kindergarten in your 4J school this year, you may enroll them next year. The district is working on a plan for what the return in the fall of 2021 will look like for students who defer enrollment this year.

If you want to enroll in a school other than your neighborhood school, you will need to complete the school choice process again. A seat will not be held for your child if they are not enrolled.

If your child attends another accredited kindergarten program in the meantime, they will begin first grade next year.

Q: Will specialized programs, such as language immersion or International High School (IHS), be available in 4J’s online learning options? 

Students in specialized programs such as language immersion or IHS can continue these programs in the Same School Online option. Details of how to implement this option requested by families are in development. There may be differences such as less language instruction or teaching of content in the target language.

The Eugene Online Academy (EOA) does not offer specialized programs such as language immersion and IHS. 

Q: Is there an option to have my student attend school on-site full-time? 

No, this is not one of the available options. Under state requirements for health and safety, it will not be possible for all students to be at school at the same time, so when school buildings are open for on-site instruction, students will attend on-site in alternating weeks.

Q: When will schools return to in-person school every day for all students?

Eugene School District 4J looks forward to welcoming all students back to school when public health circumstances change and the Governor, Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority lift restrictions on in-person school attendance. We expect this will be some time from now. 

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On-Site Learning in Hybrid Model

When to begin on-site learning in hybrid model:

Q: When will schools begin on-site learning in a hybrid model?

4J schools will start the year online for the first trimester of the school year, providing comprehensive distance learning for all students at least through winter break. Some limited, targeted supports may be provided on-site for individual students or small groups, but not regular classes in-person.

Starting after winter break, schools may welcome students back to buildings in a hybrid of on-site and online learning, with all appropriate health and safety measures in place, if public health conditions allow.

The district will decide and notify parents in December if on-site learning will begin after winter break. If school buildings do not reopen on January 5, the district will decide and notify parents in January if on-site learning can begin with the second half of the trimester, starting February 1.

School Period

Online or Hybrid Learning?

Fall until winter break: Sept. 21–Dec. 18, 2020 Online learning
After winter break: begins Jan. 5, 2021 TBD in December
Second half of Trimester 2: begins Feb. 1, 2021 TBD in January, if hybrid did not begin in January

Q: What public health requirements must be met for on-site learning to take place?

Flowchart showing state required metrics for resuming on-site learning in schools. The content of this image is available in the document https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Documents/Following%20the%20Metrics%20Visual.pdf

THIS SECTION UNDER CONSTRUCTION — PUBLIC HEALTH METRICS HAVE CHANGED

Oregon has established minimum public health requirements that must be met before a school district can decide to resume on-site learning, in full compliance with the health and safety measures required in the state guidance for Ready Schools, Safe Learners.

To allow schools to provide limited, targeted on-site learning while most students are learning online (with significant limitations):

  • No new confirmed cases of COVID-19 among school staff or students in the past 14 days.

To allow schools to resume on-site learning for grades K–3:

  • No new confirmed cases of COVID-19 among school staff or students in the past 14 days.

AND for the previous 3 weeks in a row:

  • ≤ 30 new positive cases per 100,000 population in Lane County
  • ≤ 5% positive results in COVID-19 tests in Lane County

To allow schools to resume on-site learning for all grades in a hybrid model:

For the previous 3 weeks in a row:

  • ≤ 10 new positive cases per 100,000 population in Lane County
  • ≤ 5% positive results in COVID-19 tests in Lane County
  • ≤ 5% positive results in COVID-19 tests in in Oregon

Metrics have also been established for when schools must return to distance learning. 

Guide to State Metrics

Q: Where can I find the current metrics for Lane County?

The Lane County and state metrics are posted on this website and updated each week. A dashboard of the metrics for all Oregon counties also is available online, provided by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Willamette Education Service District. Please note that this dashboard does not show whether and when schools will have on-site instruction, only whether the minimum health metrics are met.

4J Metrics Updates
State Metrics Dashboard

Once on-site learning begins in hybrid model:

Q: Why will 4J students attend school on-site in alternating weeks, rather than every other day or some other pattern? 

Due to physical distancing requirements, the district cannot have all students on-site at one time and must divide them into cohorts to attend school on-site in alternating groups. Eugene School District 4J plans to have students alternate week by week, with each group attending school on-site one week and learning at home the following week. 

Alternating weeks rather than days provides for less frequent transitions between groups of students to reduce the risk of potential exposure, as well as greater continuity for instruction. 

Q: Will students have school every day of the week? 

Yes, on-site or online, schools will engage all learners in learning Monday through Friday, with the exception of scheduled no-school days such as holidays and grading days.

Q: Will students in the same household have the same weekly schedule?

Yes, we will work to make this happen as much as possible. We recognize that this is a critical issue for families. Our aim is to coordinate attendance groups across schools so students from the same household attend school on-site the same weeks.

Q: Will the schedule be different for on-site school days? 

When schools resume on-site instruction in a hybrid model, in December or beyond, school hours will be different and shorter than their normal schedule. This is to promote safer learning environments, support preparation and planning for high-quality instruction, and enable student transportation. More time is needed for transportation schedules to allow for rigorous health and safety measures, including health screening of every student boarding the school bus and cleaning between routes. 

To minimize cohorts for students’ health and safety, middle and high schools will offer grab-and-go lunches at the end of the shortened school day rather than having students eat lunch on-site. 

Initial planning is that the bell schedule for on-site school days in the hybrid model may be: 

Elementary Schools: 9:15 a.m.–2:45 p.m. or 10:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Middle Schools: 8:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
High Schools: 8:25 a.m.–12:55 p.m.

Q: What is a cohort? 

A cohort is a consistent group of students that stays together for a certain part or all of each school day. 

Schools will establish stable cohorts to the extent feasible, limit cohort sizes and the number of cohorts each student is in, as a key strategy in minimizing the risk of spreading the virus. The goal is to keep students in a minimum number of consistent cohorts, with a minimum total combined cohort size. 

Q: How many students will be in a cohort?

Students will be part of one or more cohorts within the school day, such as classroom and recess groups.

Current state requirements for schools operating in a hybrid learning model: Each student’s cohorts (the number of people they are regularly in contact with) must add up to no more than 100 people total within the educational week. Transportation and extracurricular activities also will establish their own stable cohorts to the extent feasible. 

Current state requirements for schools operating in a comprehensive distance learning model, with limited, targeted on-site instruction for individuals or small groups: Cohort groups may have no more than 10 students at a given time, and students cannot be part of more than two cohorts (including transportation) in any given week.  A staff member may not interact with more than three cohorts in a given day and five in a week. A student or student cohort of any size may not spend more than two continuous hours in a school building on a given day. Other limitations apply. 

Q: How many students will be in a classroom at a time?

A cohort within a classroom will be no larger than can be accommodated by the space available to provide 35 square feet per person, including staff. The number of students in a classroom at a time will vary, but will be significantly smaller than normal class sizes.

Q: Will bus transportation be offered for students?

Bus transportation will be limited. State guidance recommends that students sit at least 3 feet apart on the bus (except students in the same household) and 6 feet from the driver except during entry and exit. Families are encouraged to walk, bike or drive to school, if at all possible. 

The district is implementing protocols to help reduce potential exposure on school buses. Bus drivers and riders will be required to wear face coverings. Buses will be cleaned and disinfected between each group of students. Drivers will be trained to screen students getting on the bus, watch for symptoms in students, and keep them isolated if they observe symptoms. 

Q: Why are families encouraged to take their students to school instead of using the bus? 

This year is unique. Seats on school buses will be limited to enable distancing between students. We will be asking families to bring their students to school if they can, and encourage walking and biking. We are working on plans for drop-off and pick-up traffic at each school.

Q: Will school meals be provided on days students are at school on-site? 

Yes, school meals will be available. Depending on school level and school schedules, meals will be eaten in classrooms or provided at the end of the day in a grab-and-go format.

Q: Will school meals be provided for students in the weeks they are not at school on-site?

Yes, school meals will be available in a grab-and-go format for students not attending school on-site. 

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Eugene Online Academy

Q: What is the Eugene Online Academy? 

Eugene Online Academy is a K–12 learning program offered by Eugene School District 4J. 4J’s online learning program started for high school students in the 2018–19 school year and expanded to students in grades 6–12 for the 2019–20 school year. It is now offered for all grades.

Q: How do I enroll my student in the Eugene Online Academy?

If you are interested in your student taking classes through the Eugene Online Academy, please complete the return-to-learning response form and select the online academy option, then also complete the Eugene Online Academy request-to-enroll form by August 26. If you previously filled out the interest form, this did not commit you to choosing the online academy, and you must still complete the request-to-enroll form if you wish to enroll in this option. 

Q: Do students have to commit to the online academy for the entire year?

No. Students who choose 100% online learning through the Eugene Online Academy will remain enrolled in their current school. Once they are comfortable resuming some on-site learning, students may choose to go back to their regular school at the next term change. (Advance notice of the change will be required.) 

Q: Can students go back and forth between the online academy and their regular school?

The online academy and same school options are not able to be blended, such as by a student attending their regular school and the online academy in alternating weeks or months. However, after completing classes for the trimester/semester, students may request to switch from their regular school to the online academy, or vice versa, for the following term. (Advance notice of the change will be required.)

Q: If I choose the online academy for my student during the pandemic, will they lose their place at the school they regularly attend?

No. If a student elects to take classes through the Eugene Online Academy this year, they can later return to the school they would be attending if they had not chosen the online academy. The online academy is a concurrent enrollment with the student’s brick-and-mortar school. That means students attending the online academy remain in the district and do not unenroll from their regular school. 

Q: What is the curriculum provided through the online academy? 

All online academy curriculum is aligned to Oregon state standards. 

Elementary school curriculum:

Curriculum for students in grades K–5 is provided by the Florida Virtual School and facilitated by 4J elementary teachers. Examples of other Oregon schools that use the Florida Virtual School curriculum include Lake Oswego School District, Oregon Charter Academy and Metro East Web Academy.

K–5 curriculum by subject
Grade-level curriculum standards

Elementary curriculum overview and sample lessons (IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the content provider’s website—it is not where you sign up for 4J’s online academy. Do not click to enroll on the FLVS website.)

Middle and high school curriculum:

Grades 6–12 use the K12 curriculum, Fuel Education, primarily facilitated by 4J teachers. Examples of other Oregon schools that use the K12 Fuel Education curriculum include Springfield SPS Online, Bend-La Pine Online and Oregon Virtual Academy. 

Online academy staff coordinate with students, parents, and counselors and staff from their regular school to plan student course schedules. 

Q: Who designs and teaches the online academy courses? 

Eugene Online Academy courses are produced by the curriculum provider Florida Virtual School for elementary level classes (K–5) and Fuel Education for middle and high school level classes (grades 6–12). 

All online academy classes will be facilitated by a 4J and/or 4J-contracted teacher. All online academy students will have regular check-ins and opportunities to meet with staff and other students in their classes (grades K–5) and age groups (middle and high schoolers). 

Elementary school: A 4J elementary teacher will facilitate all online academy classes for students in kindergarten through 5th grade. The teacher will connect with students and parents to build positive and productive relationships, monitor student progress, communicate, and provide support and academic feedback.

Middle and high school: For grades 6–12, most classes will be facilitated by 4J teachers and some will be facilitated by a contracted teacher with an Oregon teaching license in that subject area. If a student is in a course that is being facilitated by a contracted teacher, they will still be in contact with 4J online academy staff who can provide help as needed. Teachers will monitor student progress, grade assignments, provide additional support as needed and share feedback. 

Q: Can students mix and match, taking some classes through the online academy and some classes with their regular school? 

In general, no. The Eugene Online Academy is a separate program. Students must choose to return to learning with either their regular school or the online academy. If student wants to take a certain program or courses offered by their regular school, they should choose the Same School Hybrid or Same School Online return-to-learning option. 

There are some limited exceptions—for example, where an interscholastic activity (high school activities governed by OSAA, such as athletics, band, debate) requires a certain class for participation, a student could be enrolled in that class (e.g. band) at their regular school, while taking the rest of their classes with the online academy. 

Students enrolled in the Eugene Online Academy also may participate in available after-school and extracurricular activities with their regular school. 

Q: Will my student be paired with a teacher and other students from their regular school? 

No. The online academy is a separate option from attending your regular school. Groupings of students and teachers though the online academy will balance teacher availability with enrollment by grade level and course registration. Families wishing to remain more closely connected with their regular school may prefer the Same School Online return-to-learning option. 

Q: When is instruction provided? Do students need to be online at a specific time each day? 

While there will be some scheduled times for students to meet with teachers (especially at the elementary level), the online academy uses asynchronous (not real-time) lesson delivery, so you have flexibility in choosing the time that works best for you to engage in school. 

Q: How many hours a day will my elementary school student be engaged with online learning?

It is estimated that elementary school students will spend 1/2 hour a day per subject. We plan to offer science, social studies, math, language arts, art, PE and technology. This means that on average students will spend 3.5 hours engaging with the curriculum. This does not include time spent in online meetups for class activities. That schedule is still being planned.

Q: How many hours a day will my middle or high school student be engaged with online learning?

It is estimated that middle and high school students will spend one hour per day per subject. With a 5-class schedule, students can plan on spending on average 5 hours a day on their coursework. This does not include time spent in online meetups for class activities.

Q: Does the online academy offer language immersion instruction? 

No. Language immersion is a specialized curriculum offered at specific schools, and is not available through the online academy. Middle and high school students may enroll in world language classes.

However, if you opt for the online academy, your student will not lose their place in their language immersion program and will be able to return to it next year or at the next term change.

Q: Does the online academy offer the IHS program?  

No. International Baccalaureate courses are not available through the Eugene Online Academy. 

Q: Does the online academy offer Advanced Placement classes? 

Yes. High school course offerings through the Eugene Online Academy include a wide variety of AP classes.

Q: What technology is needed to access the online academy?

All that is needed for the online academy is a device (computer or tablet) and an internet connection. The courses are accessed through a web browser. 

4J will provide learning devices for online academy students this year—all 4J students are being provided with a take-home device for learning at home. 

Q: Can students with IEPs take classes through the online academy? 

Yes. Students with IEPs are not disqualified from taking classes through the online academy. If you requested to enroll your student with an IEP in the Eugene Online Academy, the Student Services Department will reach out to you shortly to discuss next steps.

Q: Can students enrolled in the online academy participate in school activities at the school they were attending?

Yes. Students attending the Eugene Online Academy are co-enrolled with their brick-and-mortar schools and can participate in interscholastic and other extracurricular activities at their school, within the state’s cohort restrictions. High schoolers can participate in OSAA sports as long as all eligibility requirements are met, and to the extent that activities will be allowed by the Oregon Schools Activities Association, the Oregon Health Authority, and the district during the pandemic.  

Q: Are students attending the online academy eligible for meal services?

Yes, school meals are available for all students, including online academy students. 

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4J Staff

Q: Will teachers teach on-site in school classrooms? 

While students are learning at home, teachers will teach online from school or remotely with a teleworking agreement. Some on-site activity may be required, such as providing limited, targeted supports for individual students or small groups. 

Q: Where can I find more information for staff?

Human Resources Coronavirus FAQ
Leaves of Absence FAQ
This is a constantly evolving situation and these FAQs are likewise evolving. The 4J Human Resources Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions page is currently under revision to reflect information for the 2020–21 school year.

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We know there are many more questions and information is always evolving. This FAQ will be updated with new questions and answers over time.