After many years of late night meetings, the Eugene 4J school board is switching things up. At the beginning of 2020, they will start an hour earlier on a trial basis.
In January and February, the 4J school board meetings will start at 6pm instead of 7pm. Meetings are typically on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.
It was 9 o’clock when the board discussed the trial time change at the last board meeting in December. School Board Chair Anne Marie Levis said she wants to make meetings more accessible to more community members.
“We build agendas that should only go until 9:15 or 9:20, and we end up usually—by this time—I’m counting up the time and thinking, ‘I’m looking at 10:45,’ said Levis. “It’s not sustainable for board members, it’s not sustainable for young parents, [and] it’s not sustainable for people who are working.”
The board may also change the meeting’s agenda order to accommodate school board business and public testimony.
Many School board members, such as Martina Shabram, spoke in support of the new changes for the meeting trial.
“I’m interested in having leadership explore and give us some information about what it would look like to have some of our items for action moved up so that community members have a chance to stay, and see, and be part of that,” said Shabram.
Additionally, shorter work sessions will start at 5:15pm, with more work sessions or executive sessions to be held after meetings as needed.
The next school board meeting is Wednesday, January 15 at 6pm at the 4J Education Center.