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4J Board Praises Superintendent, Addresses Instructional Hours Issue

Mim Nolledo
Eugene 4J website

The Eugene 4J School Board has given high marks to its district superintendent, and approved a one-time fix for its instructional hours. 

Earlier this week, the board commended Gustavo Balderus  on his second year, in areas like student achievement, leadership, and managing resources.

Board chair Mary Walston says Balderas is also doing well with the 4J Vision 2020 plan, an initiative aimed at boosting graduation rates, literacy, and attendance.

“In terms of management at this point and just moving the district forward in alignment with community values, I think he’s done a great job," she tells KLCC.

"Coming into Eugene as an outsider is a difficult climb sometimes, and I just think he’s done a great job in really learning about the community and learning how the community works.” 

The board also gave Superintendent Balderas a 5 percent pay raise, bringing his annual salary to more than $206,000.  

The board also unanimously approved a one-time change for instructional hours.  That’s time in which students have classes, learning activities, or learning assessments.

Under the approved proposal, parent-teacher conferences, recess, and professional development would also count. The policy will only apply to the next academic year.

Kerry Delf is a 4J spokeswoman.  She says it’s been challenging for the schools to meet the instructional hour requirements.

“A student in one school might be receiving a hundred hours more instruction per year than a student in the next school over.  So clearly, this is something that needs to be addressed. Both making sure that all schools are at least meeting the minimum instructional requirements.  That is a must.” 

Delf says the board and teachers union will discuss ways to make instructional hours more consistent from school to school. 

Copyright 2017, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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