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Survey: Before Designing New Schools, District Seeks Feedback on Previous Buildings

District gathers input on user experience of schools constructed since 2000 

Building User Experience Survey (English / Español)  

Voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly approved a bond measure in November 2018 to fund improvements at every 4J school and for every 4J student. 

Bond funds will be used to repair schools, improve security, update technology and learning materials, support career technical education, address overcrowding and replace three aging school buildings.

Before beginning to design the new schools, the district is first assessing performance and reviewing what has worked well or not so well in other school buildings constructed in recent years. While most of the school buildings in the district are more than 50 years old, eight schools have been built more recently with funds from previous bond measures.

The schools constructed since 2000 are:

  • Chávez Elementary School (2004)              
  • Holt Elementary School (2004) 
  • Howard Elementary School  (2016)       
  • River Road/ El Camino del Río Elementary School (2017)
  • Madison Middle School (2005)                  
  • Cal Young Middle School (2006) 
  • Roosevelt Middle School (2016)       
  • Arts & Technology Academy (2017)                       

Staff, students, parents, volunteers, building renters, and other community members who are familiar with one or more of these newer school buildings are invited to provide feedback on their user experience of the facility. A survey is available online in English and Spanish.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. This is a first step to inform future building design. There will be additional opportunities for community input as the planning and design process moves forward.

Building User Experience Survey (English / Español)  

More About the Bond Measure 

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It’s School Choice Time

Come see what our schools offer!

Learn More  |  Apply Online Jan. 1–31  

In Eugene School District 4J, every school offers an excellent education for our students. Students may enroll in their neighborhood school at any time, or request enrollment in a different 4J school, provided there is a place available. Out-of-district residents also are welcome to apply for a transfer to 4J in March.

School choice requests are accepted in an order determined by lottery. To be included in the lottery, 4J residents must apply by Thursday, January 31.

Non-district residents must apply between March 1–31.

All students who want to obtain a transfer must apply, including new incoming siblings, students who have moved out of the neighborhood or district but want to stay enrolled at their current school, and incoming high school students seeking to enroll in an International High School program.

If you have any friends or family members who are considering school choice, please invite them to come learn more about 4J’s many wonderful schools and their school choice options!

School Visits
When: January 
Where: All 4J schools
What: Events and tours provided for parents to visit schools
Schedule: School tours and info nights

Elementary School Showcase
When: Saturday, January 12, 10 a.m.–12 noon
Where: 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St.
What: One-stop school choice information fair: Learn about the school choice process. Talk to representatives from every 4J elementary school. Spanish interpretation provided.

School Choice Information Meetings
When:
• Saturday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.: Offered during the School Showcase
• Tuesday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m.: School choice parent info night for all families
Where: 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St.
What: Get answers about the school choice process. Spanish interpretation provided.

Learn more:
www.4j.lane.edu/choice

Apply online January 1–31: 
4Jschoolchoice.com

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TEST Wondering About Weather?

Sign up for text alerts
No news = No change 

Get Text Alerts  |  Learn More  |  Staff Info  |  Español  

When winter weather makes conditions hazardous, schools may be closed or delayed or buses may use snow routes. School districts decide early in the morning whether there is a need to change the school schedule or bus routes. These decisions are made districtwide and are the same for every 4J school.

There are several ways to find out if there is a change on snowy or icy days:

If there is a school closure or other change, the school district will announce it before 6:30 a.m. If schools and buses are on their regular schedule, there will NOT be an announcement.

Parents of students who ride school buses that have alternate snow routes have been informed of what to do. Snow route information is available on the snow routes page.

If school is in session, families are encouraged to consider road conditions in their areas and make their own decisions based on safety. Parents’ individual decisions about school attendance will be honored.

Learn more
Snow routes
Information for staff
Información en español  

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Board Appoints Budget Committee Members

Committee examines and approves annual district budget plan

The school board has appointed two 4J residents, Jennifer Winters Francois and Elizabeth Price, to serve on the district’s budget committee.

Ms. Price will be a new member of the budget committee. Ms. Winters was first appointed to the committee in 2012 and has been renewed to serve a third term. Both will serve three-year terms expiring in 2021.

The budget committee consists of seven appointed citizen volunteers and the seven elected school board members. The budget committee reviews annual budget proposals to ensure that the district is planning to spend money in furtherance of district goals. The committee examines the proposed budget, listens to comments from citizens, and then approves the budget. Positions are non-partisan, unpaid, and are not connected to any specific region within the district. 

Ms. Winters and Ms. Price were selected from among 12 qualified candidates for the budget committee openings. Although only two could be appointed to the committee, the board shared its thanks with all those who volunteered to serve our community in this role.

 

About the 4J Budget Committee 

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School Choice Season Is Coming

Visit schools and apply Jan. 1–31 

Learn More  |  Español

The school choice season for the 2019–20 school year is coming in January.

In Eugene School District 4J, every 4J school offers students excellent educational opportunities. Students may enroll in their neighborhood school at any time, or request to enroll in a different 4J school if space is available. School choice requests are accepted in an order determined by lottery.

To be included in the annual school choice lottery, 4J residents must apply between January 1 and January 31, by midnight. Non-district residents apply later, between March 1 and March 31.

Families are invited to explore their school choice options, including their neighborhood school, during the January school choice period. All 4J schools will hold tours and other opportunities to visit in January. The district will hold an Elementary School Showcase with all elementary schools on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Elementary School Showcase
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene

  • One-stop school choice information fair!
  • Learn about the school choice process
  • Talk to representatives from every 4J school
  • Spanish interpretation provided

School Choice Info Sessions
Saturday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. (during School Showcase)
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m.
4J Education Center, 200 North Monroe St.

  • Get answers about the school choice process
  • Spanish interpretation provided

School Tours and Events
January 2019

Learn More  |  Español

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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – December 2018 – Issue 308

Eugene Education Association - EEA

4J BENEFITS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • December 10, 2018 • Issue Number 308

WELCOME COLLEEN JONES!

With the recent departure of Andrea Webb, 4J has been without a Benefits Manager. The recruitment process for that position is now complete, and I’m pleased to share that Colleen Jones will be stepping into the role.

Colleen began her employment with 4J Human Resources in April 2017, supporting benefits, and is currently supporting classified staff. Prior to her arrival in 4J, Colleen had 14 years of school district experience in the state of Washington. She brings a passion for collaboration and systems improvement to her new position.  Colleen has developed a strong understanding of the 4J operating system and is looking forward to contributing to the district’s ongoing effort to create a healthy and positive working environment for all. Please join me in welcoming Colleen to the 4J benefits team!

COMMUNICATION: HOW TO STAY COOL IN HOT CONVERSATIONS

The 4J Joint Benefits Committee, in partnership with Cascade Health, is offering a free Communication: How to Stay Cool in Hot Conversations wellness class to 4J employees. The class will take place:

  • Tuesday, January 8, 2019
  • 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Education Center Auditorium

Everyone knows what it’s like to be in a difficult conversation: you can’t think straight, speak clearly, or listen effectively. In this workshop you will learn the neuroscience of conflict and how to navigate these challenging situations more effectively. A few of the topics that will be covered:

  • How and why the brain is activated in conflict
  • Discerning your own specific triggers
  • Real life tools and strategies to apply to your most difficult and challenging communications

To sign up, please reply by Friday, January 4th to Julie Wenzl: wenzl@4j.lane.edu or 541-790-7682.

MONDAY RESET – PRACTICE KINDNESS

Radiate kindness on Monday. When you practice kindness towards others it helps them, and surprisingly, it will help you too.

Acts of kindness are motivated by a selfless desire to help another person. However, performing random acts of kindness is one of the best ways to increase your own happiness.

Why do random acts of kindness increase a person’s sense of happiness? Kindness can promote gratitude. You are kind to others in need; having that awareness then heightens the sense of your own good fortune. Kindness promotes empathy and compassion, which in turn, leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. Kindness can forward the will to live in depressed individuals who feel isolated and different; this is why performing volunteer work is so powerful. When you feel connected with others, you lessen alienation and you enhance the sense that we are more similar than dissimilar in our experiences. Feeling connected melds us together rather than divides us. Kindness is potent in strengthening a sense of community and belonging.

Extending kindness can improve your physical and mental health. It can release stress and tension, calm your emotions, and boost your immune system.

There are so many ways you can extend yourself. Being kind could mean holding the door open for a stranger. It also means going deeper, like volunteering at a charity or an event that helps others.

On Monday, start practicing kindness and then keep it up the rest of week. You’ll feel happier and stronger, which can help alleviate stress and worry. One act of small kindness can release an enormous chain of positive events.

SICK LEAVE ALLOTMENTS AND ACCUMULATION

In the last round of collective bargaining, we did away with family leave as a separate leave category, essentially merging family leave into sick leave.  Under the old system, licensed employees received 10 days (80 hours at 1.0 FTE) of sick leave and 2 days (16 hours at 1.0 FTE) of family leave per year, and both were frontloaded.  Starting with the 2018-19 school year, licensed employees will earn 12 days (96 hours at 1.0 FTE) of sick leave, but none of it will be frontloaded.  Rather, it will be earned month-to-month, based on the hours worked in that month. The ending balance of sick leave on your wage statement includes sick leave earned for the month. Up to 40 hours of sick leave per year may be used to care for an ill or injured family member.

We concluded negotiations after the 2017-18 school year had started, so the negotiated changes in leaves were not immediately implemented.  Last year, we were frontloaded 10 days of sick leave and 2 days of family leave, as had been the method prior to the contract changes.  For the transition from last year to this year, if a licensed employee ended 2017-18 with family leave and/or accumulated family leave, those balances were rolled into the sick leave balance.

We continue to receive 2 days (16 hours at 1.0 FTE) of personal leave per year, which were initially reflected on the end of August wage statements.  Unused personal leave carries over to accumulated personal leave at the end of the school year, but accumulated personal leave is capped at 3 days (24 hours).

If a licensed employee works part-time FTE, the total hours referenced above should be adjusted accordingly.

To read the sick leave language, please see Article 8.1 of the EEA/4J Collective Bargaining Agreement: http://www.eugeneteachers.org/4j-members

FREE EXERCISE GUIDE

If you are looking for some guidance on how to start exercising, you may want to consult the free 120-page Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging. It focuses on workouts for people over 50, with illustrated exercises for strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. You can download it at tinyurl.com/NIA-exercise or order a free copy in English or Spanish by calling 800-222-2225.

ARE YOU DUE FOR A ROUTINE SCREENING OR EXAM?

Are you healthy?

Hopefully so, but being healthy isn’t all about how you feel or look. There are routine screenings that every child and adult should get. Screenings such as some blood work, colonoscopy or mammogram are meant for the general population to detect disease prior to the appearance of symptoms. Your healthcare provider can help you know what screenings you are eligible for and to help you make informed decisions about whether you want to be screened.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children should have a cholesterol screening once between ages 9 and 11 years, and again when they reach 17 to 21 years. The general recommendation for adults is to have a cholesterol screening every 4 to 6 years, but some people need to get their cholesterol checked more often. Adults who have heart disease should talk to their healthcare team about how often to have their cholesterol checked.

Having an annual physical is an important first step to maximizing wellness. You can’t plan for your healthy 2019 without knowing your risks.

The 4J Wellness Clinic can help you with many of your healthcare needs, including annual wellness exams and appropriate screenings. The Wellness Clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. with the last appointment slot at 5:15 p.m. They close for lunch from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. The phone number for the clinic is 541-686-1427.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a healthcare widget you may want to check out. The myhealthfinder widget provides consumers with personalized recommendations for clinical preventive services based on the age, sex, and pregnancy status they enter, for themselves or a loved one. You can find the widget here:

https://healthfinder.gov/FreeContent/HealthWidgets/

WELLNESS CLINIC CLOSURE

The 4J Wellness Clinic will be closed during part of winter break: December 24, 2018 – January 1, 2019. Please plan ahead if you will need prescription refills during that period. If you have an urgent medical need arise during the clinic closure, please seek care at an urgent care or other primary care clinic.

Regular clinic hours will resume January 2, 2019.


The information in this newsletter has been summarized. It is presented as information – not advice or counsel. In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation. Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.

 

 

Posted in Employee Health and Wellness Newsletters | Comments closed

Special Education Parent Symposium

Parents invited to series of events starting Dec. 12 

Parents and guardians of students receiving special education services are invited to a new bimonthly series of events to learn more about 4J services, share your thoughts, and meet, network and collaborate with other families, 4J staff and community members.

Special Education Parent Symposium 
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6–7 p.m.
4J Education Center
200 N. Monroe St., Eugene
RSVP or invite your friends 

AGENDA:
• Welcome and Introductions
• Presentation: Mathematizing—Bringing Math to Life
• Table Discussions
• Survey of Future Symposium Topics

Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served.

For more information or to request language interpretation services, please email Kathy Anthony at anthony_k@4j.lane.edu.

Mark your calendars! Future symposiums will be held on:
• Tuesday, Feb. 5, 6–7 p.m. (RSVP or invite your friends)
• Tuesday, April 2, 6–7 p.m. (RSVP or invite your friends)
• Tuesday, June 4, 6–7 p.m. (RSVP or invite your friends)

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Radon Testing Coming to Schools

The district will begin testing for radon in all schools starting Nov. 26

To continue providing safe, healthy school facilities where students learn, grow and play, the district will begin testing for radon in schools on November 26, 2018. A new state law requires that all districts in Oregon test school buildings for radon before January 1, 2021.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. Breathing high levels of radon over a long period of time can cause lung cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking.

The test is non-invasive and poses no danger to staff or students. It consists of placing an air-sample collection packet for several days in rooms that are in contact with the ground.

More Information

4J’s testing schedule in schools
4J Radon Plan
Oregon Health Authority: Radon Gas and Public Health
Frequently Asked Questions About Radon and Schools

Posted in Featured, News | Comments closed

Wondering About Weather?

Sign up for text alerts
No news = No change 

Get Text Alerts  |  Learn More  |  Staff Info  |  Español  

When winter weather makes conditions hazardous, schools may be closed or delayed or buses may use snow routes. School districts decide early in the morning whether there is a need to change the school schedule or bus routes. These decisions are made districtwide and are the same for every 4J school.

There are several ways to find out if there is a change on snowy or icy days:

If there is a school closure or other change, the school district will announce it before 6:30 a.m. If schools and buses are on their regular schedule, there will NOT be an announcement.

Parents of students who ride school buses that have alternate snow routes have been informed of what to do. Snow route information is available on the snow routes page.

If school is in session, families are encouraged to consider road conditions in their areas and make their own decisions based on safety. Parents’ individual decisions about school attendance will be honored.

Learn more
Snow routes
Information for staff
Información en español  

Posted in Featured, News | Comments closed

Members Sought for Budget Committee

District residents are invited to apply

Apply online

Eugene School District 4J is inviting applications for its volunteer budget committee. There are two openings for three-year terms that run through June 30, 2021.

Residents interested in serving on the committee should apply by Monday, Nov. 26, at 5 p.m.

Requirements

Applicants must be registered voters and must live within the boundaries of Eugene School District 4J. Positions are non-partisan, unpaid, and are not connected to any specific region within the district. Applicants do not need to be parents. 4J employees are not eligible for appointment. Members with expired terms may reapply.

How to apply

Apply online by Monday, Nov. 26.

Appointment process

Applicants will be scheduled for interviews with the school board in a work session on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The board will vote to appoint two budget committee members at the following meeting, on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene.

Term of service

The budget committee typically meets once in January and twice in May. Meetings are normally scheduled on Monday evenings. New appointees are also expected to participate in an orientation in January. The appointed members will serve through June 30, 2021. If an appointee wishes to serve longer, she or he may apply for reappointment in 2021.

About the committee

The budget committee has 14 members: the seven elected school board members and seven citizen volunteers appointed by the board. The budget committee reviews annual budget proposals to ensure that the district is planning to spend money in furtherance of district goals. The committee examines the proposed budget, listens to comments from citizens, and then approves the budget. The committee normally meets about three times per year on Monday evenings.

 

Learn more about the budget committee 

Apply online 

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