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Dr. Gustavo Balderas Named Nation’s Top Superintendent

4J leader says he’s “a proud product of our public school system” in accepting top honor

Dr. Gustavo Balderas, superintendent of Eugene School District 4J since 2015, has been named the nation’s top superintendent.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Balderas identified himself as “a proud son of a migrant family from Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico” and “a proud product of our public school system.”

“It is truly an honor to serve in the role of superintendent of Eugene public schools. I am blessed to be in my community,” said Dr. Balderas. “Seeing that kids are succeeding because of the changes we’re making drives me. We, as leaders, need to be champions for our profession. Education is the backbone to our democracy.”

Dr. Balderas was quick to acknowledge that all the nation’s K–12 superintendents are deserving and that the honor was not his alone, thanking his family, school board members, the district’s 2,700 employees, from one-day subs to full-time staff, and the 4J community.

“This is a ‘we’ award,” he said, “not a ‘me’ award.”

The American Association of School Administrators named Dr. Balderas the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year among 50 state awardees and four finalists at its national conference in San Diego on February 13. The Oregon Association of School Executives and Confederation of Oregon School Administrators had previously named Dr. Balderas the Oregon Superintendent of the Year out of Oregon’s 197 school districts.

Daniel Domenech, the association’s executive director, called Dr. Balderas a champion for children. “We truly appreciate the tremendous work he is doing to promote academic achievement in the Eugene School District and beyond,” he said.

Dr. Balderas was raised in eastern Oregon, a child of migrant farm workers, and developed his love of learning and passion for education in Oregon public schools, from kindergarten learning English as a second language through his doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon. He has spent most of his nearly 30-year education career in Oregon and is known as a statewide leader in educational equity.

During his tenure in Eugene, Dr. Balderas has championed systemic improvements and educational equity, including efforts to increase the diversity of the K–12 education workforce. The district has made significant strides toward this goal, growing the diversity of the teacher workforce and establishing an administrator team unparalleled among Oregon school districts for its diversity compared with student enrollment.

The National Superintendent of the Year Award is the nation’s highest honor for school superintendents.

Oregon Superintendent of the Year — Video
National Superintendent of the Year Announcement—Live Video

 

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School Board Meeting Summary: Feb. 5, 2020

February 5, 2020
School Board Meeting

Introductory Comments

Superintendent Gustavo Balderas noted the legislative session is underway. He said the county’s 16 school districts, including 4J, work to offer preschool programs and that rule changes that state officials are considering could add restrictions to that effort.

Board chair Anne Marie Levis noted the earlier board meeting time and the goal to make the school board’s public meetings more convenient for residents to attend. Levis said the district’s budget committee held its first meeting with two new members and provided a thorough and helpful orientation. She lauded the increase in the district’s high school graduation rates but noted there’s more work to be done. She also praised the district’s work and improvements in shifting to an in-house school meal program. Levis noted while the federal government is seeking to roll back requirements for nutritious school meals, 4J is committed to serving fresh produce, buying locally made foods and cooking more foods from scratch where feasible.

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

  • Received information about district policy and practice on religious holidays: Staff described the district’s current policy and practice to accommodate students’ religious practices while maintaining religious neutrality. Under Oregon law and district policy, students may miss class to observe a religious holiday and will be given the opportunity to make up tests and assignments without penalty. The law bars school districts from taking actions for a religious purpose. Some parents in the district have asked the school board to adopt a district policy barring schools and teachers from scheduling tests, homework, field trips and other events on certain Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious holidays. Board members directed staff to return with more information as they weigh ways to strengthen inclusive practices.
  • Received an update on Student Success Act planning: 4J will receive new revenue–estimated to be about 6% of the district’s annual general fund budget–each year starting in the 2020–21 school year from the Student Success Act, a new business tax that Oregon lawmakers approved in 2019. The funds must be targeted to increase academic achievement, close gaps between groups of students and meet students’ mental and behavioral health.

    The district is following a three-pronged planning process, rooted in extensive community outreach, to develop its plan to invest these new funds to best support student success with a focus on the needs of students who have been historically underserved. The district already has completed a needs assessment, which included identifying gaps in educating and serving students of color, students with disabilities and students navigating poverty, homelessness and other challenges.

    The current phase requires the district to further examine academic achievement and health data separated into student groups as well as conduct another round of community engagement to collect feedback about what investments community members prioritize to support student success. Staff presented the findings to date. (presentation slides)

  • Received an update on 4J Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan progress: The district collects data to monitor its progress in meeting the five goals in the 4J Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan: educational excellence with equitable access and outcomes; multiple pathways to success; communication and connections with community; diverse, world-class workforce; and sustainable stewardship. The data includes graduation and suspension rates, class sizes and staffing ratios, third grade reading assessment scores, and staff retention rates. The presentation included the most recent data on the key performance indicators for these goals. (presentation slides)

Board Actions

  • Approved legislative letter of testimony: The board voted unanimously to submit a formal letter to the Oregon Legislature stating its position on Senate Bill 1572. The bill would remove the authority of the State Board of Education to establish high school graduation requirements, including Essential Learning Skills assessment testing—a change the board supports, aligned with its annual board goals—and leave it up to local school districts to adopt their own graduation requirements—a change not currently endorsed by the board. (legislative testimony letter text)
  • Approved items on the consent agenda: In addition to approving minutes of previous meetings, the board approved a contract amendment with Coburg Community Charter School, approved the general contractor/construction manager for the new Edison Elementary School pending the successful completion of contract negotiations, and awarded contracts for a roofing project at Twin Oaks Elementary School, design of a new softball field at North Eugene High School, and asbestos removal at the former Silver Lea building prior to its demolition this summer. (summary sheet)

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

  • Revisions to Lane Education Service District service plan: The education service district supports Lane County’s 16 school districts, including 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.

Public Input

Seventeen people provided public comment to the board, including comments regarding:

  • Essential skills graduation requirements
  • Student Success Act investments
  • Religious holidays
  • Standardized testing
  • Relocation of YG to Kelly Middle School
  • Efforts of the Assistance League of Eugene
  • 2020 Census “Complete Count” for Lane County
  • Cyberbullying and sexual exploitation prevention trainings
  • School psychologist staff salaries and workload
  • School board processes

Agenda and Materials

Feb. 5 agenda and materials
Feb. 5 board meeting recording

 


NOTE:  This is a quick summary of the topics and actions at a meeting of the school board. It is NOT the official minutes of the school board. Official minutes are posted after they are drafted by the minutes recorder, reviewed and approved by the board at a following meeting. Recordings of meetings are posted within two days after the meeting. 

School Board Meeting Schedule & Information

Summaries of Other School Board Meetings

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Let’s Get Ready! Kindergarten Orientation March 3–19

4J is welcoming new kindergarteners for fall 2020

Kindergarten orientation events are March 3–19: Let’s get to know each other! If your child will turn 5 on or before September 1, please come to your school’s kindergarten orientation event (see schedule below). You’ll get to explore your school, meet staff, pre-enroll for fall 2020, and your child will receive a free goodie bag. We look forward to seeing you!

If you have friends or neighbors with kids who will be in kindergarten this fall, please tell them about 4J’s kindergarten orientation events, or invite them via Facebook (links to individual school events are below and on Facebook).

What’s your neighborhood school? Visit www.4j.lane.edu/howtoenroll or click here.

Kindergarten Orientation Events:

School Address Date Time
Adams Elementary 950 W. 22nd Ave. Thu., March 5 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Awbrey Park Elementary 158 Spring Creek Dr. Thu., March 5 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary 1500 Queens Way Wed., March 18 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Camas Ridge Elementary 1150 E. 29th Ave. Thu., March 12
6:00–7:15 p.m.
Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary (*new date and time) 3875 Kincaid St. Thu., March 19 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Chávez Elementary 1510 W. 14th Ave. Thu., March 5 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Chinese Immersion Elementary 1155 Crest Dr. Wed., March 11 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Corridor Elementary 250 Silver Lane Thu., March 19 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Edgewood Elementary 577 E. 46th Ave. Thu., March 5 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Edison Elementary 1328 E. 22nd Ave. Thu., March 5 5:00–6:30 p.m.
Family School 1155 Crest Dr. Tue., March 10 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Gilham Elementary 3307 Honeywood St. Thu., March 12 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Holt Elementary 770 Calvin St. Thu., March 5 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Howard Elementary 700 Howard Ave. Tue., March 3 6:00–7:00 p.m.
McCornack Elementary 1968 Brittany St. Tue., March 3 5:30–6:30 p.m.
River Road/El Camino del Río Spanish Dual Immersion Elementary 120 W. Hilliard Lane Thu., March 5 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Spring Creek Elementary 560 Irvington Dr. Wed., March 4 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Twin Oaks Elementary 85916 Bailey Hill Rd. Thu., March 5 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Willagillespie Elementary 1125 Willagillespie Rd. Tue., March 17 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary 250 Silver Lane Thu., March 12 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Learn More:

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School Meals Get a Local Twist

Locally made tofu, tortilla chips and soft pretzels served up for students to enjoy

Eugene School District 4J is offering a new twist on school meals.

The district’s nutrition services department took over management of student meal service this year after relying on outside vendors for more than two decades. Goals in moving school food management in-house include improving food quality, increasing scratch-made items when feasible, reducing use of highly processed foods, and expanding purchase of locally grown produce.

The move goes beyond the farmstand and also opens up a bounty of locally made foods available to students across the district.

They include soft pretzels from Reality Kitchen, which have proven to be popular with students. Other local purchases include tofu and tempeh from Surata Soy Foods, tortilla chips from Carmen’s Chips, and a baking mix, used to bake morning muffins and other items, from Camas Country Mill, all businesses located in Eugene.

These local partnerships and other menu changes ensure 4J students have access to nutritious foods that taste better and contain fewer unwanted additives—such as sugar, salt, and artificial flavors and preservatives. Research suggests a healthy diet can improve students’ academic performance and behavior and reduce classroom absences.

Providing enough local food to the district to feed about 10,000 meals to hungry students each day is a big economic boost for the local businesses and organizations. “We want to support businesses that are here in town,” said Jose Alvarez, 4J nutrition services co-manager.

A supported staff member at Reality Kitchen prepares soft pretzel dough for baking.But the benefits to the community go well beyond the economic, including providing job training for former 4J students.

Reality Kitchen is a local nonprofit that provides job skills training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, most of whom attended 4J schools in the past.

The soft pretzels baked for 4J students are a new version of the original recipe—with more whole-grain flour— that has been a popular staple at Reality Kitchen for years.

The supported staff in the program are involved in every step of the soft pretzel’s preparation—mixing, twisting, baking, packing and delivering, said Jim Evangelista, the kitchen’s founder and executive director.

“Being a local nonprofit organization that has been selected to serve students in our community is an honor, and we are delighted to be chosen to produce this unique product,” he said.

Evangelista estimates the kitchen has delivered more than 10,000 pretzels since the beginning of the school year.

Jill Cuadros, 4J nutrition services co-manager, said her staff worked with Reality Kitchen and Camas Country Mill on about 20 different iterations of the recipes for pretzels and baking mix to achieve the best taste and nutritional value.

The investment is paying off.

“We have had kids who didn’t eat tofu and are now eating tofu—because we sourced a really good tofu,” Alvarez said. “It tastes good.”

Learn more

4J Nutrition Services News 

Online Menus and Nutrition Information

School Meal Menus (printable PDFs, subject to change)

January Elementary Menu (y en español)
January Middle School Menu
January High School Menu

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Join Team Eugene: Special Educator Job Fair Feb. 15

Pre-apply or drop in to interview 

Special education teachers and specialists—we want YOU to join Team Eugene!

Eugene School District 4J will hold a special day for special educators on Saturday, Feb. 15, conducting interviews in the following areas:

• Special Education Teachers
• School Psychologists & Interns
• Speech Pathologists
• Occupational Therapists
• Assistive Technology Specialists
• Behavior Specialists

Special Educator Interview Day
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, 9 a.m.–Noon
4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene

To be pre-scheduled for an interview, please go to www.4j.lane.edu/hr/jobs, click the Browse Online Job Listings button, and apply to the posting titled “Special Education-Job Fair Applications.” In order to receive an interview, you must have a completed application.

Walk-ins are welcome until 11 a.m., and computer stations will be available for walk-in applicants to complete an application and apply to the postings on the spot. If an applicant is unable to attend in person, interviews may be conducted via Skype, Facetime or telephone.

For more information or for assistance applying, please contact 4J Student Services Department at 541-790-7867.

Do you know other special educators who may be interested in joining Team Eugene? Please invite your friends!

About Eugene School District 4J:

Eugene School District 4J is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to diversity and valuing the cultural, educational, and life experience of each student and employee, as well as equitable outcomes for all students.

As a student-centered district, we focus on creating a strong educational experience for every child. We do that in a culture that also nurtures educators and encourages them to collaborate, innovate and share with each other. We’re proud of the opportunities we provide to learn and grow—for both students and educators. Come join us in Team Eugene!

RSVP (optional!) or invite friends 

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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – January 2020 – Issue 317

Eugene Education Association - EEA

4J BENEFITS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Prepared by Jamie Myers • 541-790-7682 • myers_j@4j.lane.edu • January 27, 2020 • Issue Number 317

HEALTH RELATED FSA ACCOUNTS

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be an excellent way to cover your medical expenses. An FSA allows you to pay for health related expenses with pre-tax dollars, up to the amount you designated during the open enrollment period. You will even receive a “Benny Card” (a pre-paid MasterCard), for your expenses, so you don’t have to mess around with reimbursement requests. You are responsible, however, for making sure that your payments and purchases are eligible expenses. PacificSource Administrators will contact you by email and/or US Mail when they need to verify the eligibility of an expense. When contacted by PacificSource, you MUST provide the documentation they are requesting, and include the following information:

  • the date of the service (not necessarily the same as the date of payment)
  • a brief description of the service or product,
  • the amount paid for the service,
  • the patient responsibility (the amount you owed the provider or merchant) for the service or product after the insurance has paid (if insurance was billed).

In most instances, the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) you receive from Moda will be sufficient. To find your EOB, you must log on to Moda’s website https://www.modahealth.com/oebb/. Once you’ve logged in, click on the “EOBs” tab at the top of your screen. You can download the appropriate EOB, and email it to PacificSource. If the expense was a health related product, not a service, then you should send a copy of the receipt, and you may be required to submit a Letter of Medical Necessity. Always keep your receipts if you paid with your BennyCard!

When in doubt, call PacificSource, 541-485-7488. They are super helpful, and will let you know exactly what you need to do to confirm the eligibility of the expense. You have 30 days to respond. If your expense is found ineligible, you must “pay back” your Flexible Spending Account the amount of the expense. This is required to comply with IRS rules for Health Related Flexible Spending Accounts.

RETIRING THIS YEAR?

If you are considering retirement sometime during or at the end of the school year, please make sure you are aware of the requirements and timelines. There are two steps you’ll need to take to complete your retirement:

  1. Contact PERS to begin your Service Retirement process.
  2. Contact Jamie Myers (541-790-7682 or     myers_j@4j.lane.edu) to learn about your 4J retirement benefits and complete your 4J retirement paperwork.

To get advice regarding your PERS retirement, you’ll need to work with your financial planner or directly with PERS. 4J does not give PERS advice. The phone number for PERS is 888-320-7377 and the website is http://oregon.gov/PERS/.

Article 4.9 of our contract specifies that you must give the District at least 60 days notice of your intention to retire:

The District will provide two supplemental retirement plans for eligible unit members. A unit member hired and employed as a bargaining unit member prior to July 1, 1998 and continuously a bargaining unit member until the date of retirement from District employment, is eligible for Supplemental Retirement Plan A. A bargaining unit member hired and employed on or after July 1, 1998, is eligible for Supplemental Retirement Plan B. A unit member who elects supplemental retirement must provide the District with at least sixty (60) days advance notice of retirement. Notice may be revoked or waived with District consent.

Article 4.9.1.b of our contract outlines an additional timeline requirement for plan A retirees:

By April 1st, unit members must give the District Human Resource Department a written commitment which specifies a retirement date if they intend to retire during the period from April 1st through November 15th. If unit members provide this commitment by April 1st, they shall be advanced two payments of the monthly supplemental retirement stipend in the first month following termination from the District. If unit members do not provide this commitment by April 1st and retire during the period from April 1st through November 15th, the unit members shall not be paid the monthly supplemental retirement stipend or the District insurance contribution during the first two months following retirement.

Regardless of participation in 4J retiree insurance, licensed employees must provide a 60-day written notice of intent to leave 4J employment as required by ORS 342.553 (1).

CASA VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is celebrating 25 years of service in Lance County! CASA’s mission is to be a powerful voice for children who are in the child welfare system due to abuse & neglect. Volunteers provide 100% of this advocacy.

Last year, CASA grew to serve 465 Lane County children, yet this represents only 40% of the need. Many children remain without an advocate. Would you like to help a child find their inner superhero? For more information about the role of a CASA volunteer, you can visit their website at www.casa-lane.org or contact them directly at 542-984-3132 or by emailing volunteer@CASA-Lane.org.

MAXIMIZE YOUR MODA CARE

Imagine this: You wake up with a sore throat. It’s really bothering you, but you don’t want to go to the clinic because you know the drill: Probably a virus. Rest, hydrate, and come back in a couple of days if it doesn’t improve. Who has time for that?

Well, guess what? There is another way to get care! Moda has a virtual visit option. You can be seen without ever leaving home, or even from your classroom. (We all know you probably dragged yourself in to work anyway, because it’s easier than writing sub plans.)

Virtual Visits:   These are consultations with an Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner via your computer or other mobile device. The visits are scheduled in advance, and have a $10 copay. The providers can diagnose and prescribe via Virtual Visit, giving you the care you need without an office visit.

To schedule a Virtual Visit, go to https://www.ohsu.edu/virtual-care.

*Note: You will be advised to download the MyChart app (free) or to use Internet Explorer for best results.  OHSU advises there are “known issues” with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Another option available to you is to call the 24-hour Nurse Advice Line. Maybe you just have a question about whether or not you need to be seen by a doctor, or your child has a mild fever, and you’re wondering about the best remedy. Well, you can stop wondering and get some answers!

Nurse Advice Line:   Call and talk to a Registered Nurse any time of the day or night. Advice can range from home care remedies to recommending a trip to the ER.

To access the Nurse Advice Line, call 866-321-7580.

CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR HEATH

Is chocolate really good for us? It sounds too good to be true! As with most foods, it depends on what kind you choose and how much you eat. Flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that can support heart health by helping to lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content, thus elevating its health effects over those of milk or white chocolate.

So, if you love a little chocolate now and then, how can you make the best choice?

The healthiest dark chocolate:

  • Is high in cocoa, like 70% or higher.
  • Has cocoa or chocolate liquor as the first ingredient.
  • Contains few ingredients, and avoids trans fat, milk, artificial flavorings, or high amounts of sugar.
  • Is not Dutch processed, also known as alkali processed. This process significantly reduces the amount of antioxidants in the chocolate.
  • Is fair-trade and organic, increasing the likelihood of high-quality, ethically sourced, and pesticide-free chocolate.

A panel of six 4J tasters tested five brands of dark chocolate. The top recommended brands were Equal Exchange and Whole Foods. Tasters also enjoyed Green & Black’s and Theo brands, but they did not prefer Evolved Signature Dark, saying that it tasted dry and chalky. All five chocolate brands contain approximately 70% cocoa, and were labeled as organic and fair-trade. These, and dozens more, are available locally. Give one a nibble today!

 

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School Choice Deadline Is Coming Up

Friday is last day for 4J residents to enter lottery

Learn More  |  Apply Online by Jan. 31  

In Eugene School District 4J, families may choose their school, provided space is available. Students may enroll in their neighborhood school or request a different school. Lotteries determine the order in which requests are accepted.

Options include language immersion programs in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and French, as well as other alternative and neighborhood schools.

All students wishing to enroll in a school that is not their neighborhood school must submit an application, including younger siblings of current students, students who have moved out of the school neighborhood, and students progressing to middle school or high school.

Enrollment in Eugene International High School at Churchill, Sheldon and South Eugene also requires a school choice application. (North Eugene HS is also an International Baccalaureate World School, but students at North Eugene do not need to enter the lottery to take International Baccalaureate classes.)

Don’t miss the deadline! 4J residents must apply between January 1–31 to be included in the annual school choice lottery. Families who live outside 4J apply later, March 1–31, and should be aware of changes in state laws effective July 1, 2019.

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Coffee With the Superintendent

Join us in February for coffee and conversation with Dr. Gustavo Balderas and school board members

Coffee With the Superintendent
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2 p.m.
Washington Park Center, 2025 Washington St.
RSVP or invite your friends

You’re invited: Drop in for coffee and informal conversation with 4J Superintendent Gustavo Balderas and members of the Eugene School Board.

A series of drop-in coffee chats are being held each month throughout the school year, at different locations around the district. Times vary between mornings, afternoons and evenings to accommodate people’s varied schedules.

Community members are invited to sit down for informal conversations with district leaders to share ideas, express concerns, ask questions, and hear about important things happening in the district.

Whether you have a specific question or feedback, or simply want to hear what others have to say, please drop in. The coffee’s on us!

RSVP or invite your friends
Coffee With the Superintendent

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4J Graduation Rates Rise to 10-Year High

Grad rates rise districtwide and at all four comprehensive high schools, some achievement gaps narrow 

4J graduation rates have climbed to a 10-year high. More students in Eugene School District 4J graduated on time than in any previous year in the past decade, according to official 2019 graduation rates released by the Oregon Department of Education in January.

4J’s graduation rates are rising.

The Eugene School District’s on-time, four-year graduation rate in 2019 was 77.8%—the highest since 2009, 3.4 percentage points higher than the previous school year, ahead of the Lane County average of 76.4%, and coming closer to the statewide average of 80%, which is also a new high.

Additional students complete high school in a fifth year or with an alternate credential. These other high school graduation and completion rates also rose significantly in 2019.

Graduation rates are climbing across the district.

On-time graduation rates rose at all four comprehensive high schools in the Eugene School District in 2019. The largest increases were achieved at North Eugene and Churchill, with smaller increases at Sheldon and South Eugene high schools.

On-time graduation rates exceeded 90% at three of the four high schools and approached that level in the fourth. The district and Churchill graduation rate are the highest reported since 2009, the first year Oregon began measuring graduation rates by tracking cohorts of students, and the highest ever under modern graduation measurements for North Eugene, Sheldon and South Eugene.

Churchill High School’s on-time graduation rate rose nearly 9 percentage points to 90.1% after a dip the previous year. At North Eugene, 86.4% of students graduated on time in 2019, an increase of 5 percentage points over the previous year and an exceptional 15.6% over two years. The district’s smaller alternative high school programs, reported under Eugene Education Options, saw a decline of 2.6 points.

Some opportunity and achievement gaps have narrowed.

Graduation rates improved for most but not all groups of 4J students in 2019. Gaps narrowed for some groups of traditionally underserved students, including the three largest such groups in the district: students who are economically disadvantaged, have disabilities, or are Hispanic / Latinx. Despite these gains, opportunity and achievement gaps persist, as they do across Oregon and the United States.

Our goal is to help all students succeed. We’re working to get there. 

Every increase in on-time graduation rates and other measures of high school completion means a real difference for students’ futures. The rising graduation rates reflect the implementation of successful systems and strategies including:

  • Providing more learning time by restoring a full school year, providing full schedules for more high school students, and focusing on improving attendance
  • Investing in engaging, high-quality learning with modernized curriculum and expanded hands-on career-related learning opportunities
  • Using data to monitor student progress and provide supports for attendance, behavior and academic learning needs
  • Expanding opportunities for students to stay on track for graduation, including online courses for credit recovery and the AVID program that helps students build skills for high school and college success.

Eugene School District 4J is focused on helping all students complete high school ready for college, careers and life. While there is still much work to be done to reach this goal, these successes are noteworthy. We’re proud of our 4J students and staff and their hard work to achieve these gains.

 

2019 on-time graduation rates in Eugene School District 4J 

Chart of 2019 graduation rates in Eugene School District 4J, data also shown in table

  2019 on-time grads 2018
on-time grads
2017
on-time grads
Change over
1 year 
(% points)
Change over
2 years 
(% points)
Eugene School District 4J 77.8% 74.4% 73.7% 3.4% 4.1%
Churchill High School 90.1% 81.2% 85.9% 8.9% 4.2%
North Eugene High School 86.4% 81.4% 70.9% 5.0% 15.5%
Sheldon High School 90.4% 88.3% 88.1% 2.1% 2.3%
South Eugene High School 91.6% 91.4% 90.0% 0.2% 1.6%
Eugene Education Options (alternative high school programs) 18.1% 20.7% 18.6% 2.6% 0.5%

 

About the numbers

The on-time or “four-year cohort” graduation rate tracks students beginning in ninth grade and measures how many of those students graduate within four years. The rate is adjusted for students moving in or out of the district. Students who take an extra year to graduate are included in a five-year graduation rate.

Students who complete their high school education by alternate means, such as a GED or an extended diploma, are not included in the graduation rate but are included in high school completion rates.

The districtwide graduation rate also includes students in charter schools and alternative education providers, in addition to the 4J high schools listed above.

For more information about high school graduation rates in Oregon, see www.oregon.gov/ode.

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North Eugene Neighbors Turn Out for School Design

More than 100 attend design meeting to review design concept for new North Eugene High School 

Design is underway for the first new high school to be constructed in the Eugene–Springfield area in more than 50 years. Thanks to voters’ support of the 2018 school bond measure, North Eugene High School is scheduled to open its new building in fall 2023.

Community engagement is a priority for the Eugene School District, and community design open houses are being held for each new school building funded by the bond measure. These public events provide parents, neighbors and other community members with opportunities to learn about and provide feedback on the design of the new schools.

More than 100 community members gathered in North Eugene High School’s cafeteria on January 21 for the first design open house for the new North Eugene High School. The project’s architects, Rowell Brokaw Architects and Opsis Architecture, shared the project timeline, explained where we are in the design process and outlined major upcoming dates. The schematic design phase will be completed in February, followed by the more detailed design development phase.

The architects shared several initial design concepts that were considered and the implications of those various layouts for the school and neighborhood. The preliminary schematic design settled on for the new North Eugene High School features a two-story, energy-efficient building with an enclosed courtyard.

After the presentation, attendees were invited to join the architects and 4J facilities staff at various stations to ask questions and offer feedback on the draft floor plan and site plan. The community input gathered during this design open house will help inform the next steps. A second community open house will be held midway through the design development phase.

Work at the North Eugene site will begin in summer 2020 and the new building will open in fall 2023. The new high school will be designed for safety and security, efficiency and sustainability, and 21st century learning including robust career and technical education programs. It also will serve as a community shelter after a natural disaster, with resiliency upgrades such as key areas built to an upgraded seismic standard. The new school building will be a high-quality learning environment and community asset for generations to come.

Learn more

Design Open House Presentation Slides
New North Eugene High School
More Bond Measure News
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