The Eugene 4J school district unanimously approved a COVID-19 temporary leave program during their Wednesday school board meeting. This comes after the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired on Dec. 31.
After schools closed for winter break, Gov. Kate Brown announced on Dec. 23 that school reopening restrictions would shift from mandatory to advisory recommendations. This was with the goal of having more schools statewide return to some form of in-person learning by Feb. 15.
Athletics will resume for Eugene 4J school district students on Jan. 25. Director of High School Education Andy Dey said some sports, such as football, basketball, dance, cheer, and wrestling will not have competitions.
The Eugene 4J district unanimously approved their All Students Belong policy during Wednesday’s school board meeting. The new rule will ban the presence of hate symbols, such as a swastika, noose and the Confederate flag.
The return to in-person learning is not just about low coronavirus numbers among the community. School district staff have to rethink almost all aspects of school in order to abide by COVID-19 protocols.
The Oregon Department of Education approved the temporary All Students Belong rule in September to ban hate symbols in schools. The Eugene 4J school district is scheduled to vote on the policy during their Dec. 2 board meeting.
The surge in coronavirus cases and the governor’s new lockdown means students statewide are not allowed to have indoor workouts. The Eugene 4J School District also announced during their Wednesday board meeting they do not anticipate returning to in-person school until well after the New Year.
The Eugene 4J School board meetings will host live virtual public comment periods. Since the beginning of the pandemic, community members have had to submit written testimonies, typically in the form of emails. 4J School Board Chair Mary Walston says she’s pleased the district will be able to offer this opportunity.
The transition to comprehensive distance learning has led many students to switch to being homeschooled, or not enrolling in school at all. Now the Eugene 4J School District is experiencing the largest drop in enrollment since 1961.
On June 24, the board approved a resolution to modify the district’s student safety model, with the goal of “correcting practices and policies that perpetuate opportunity and achievement gaps and institutional racism.”
Starting Monday, the Eugene 4J and Springfield School Districts will begin delivering meals to students. The districts are trying to support working parents who may be unable to pick up their free meals. The Springfield School District will be delivering lunches to children in the Springfield area, as well as students in the McKenzie School District.
As the pandemic continues, families in the Eugene 4J school district are trying to navigate online learning, as well as the future reopening of school buildings. But students have another option for extended online learning.
The Eugene 4J school district announced Tuesday the entire fall trimester will be online. This is an update from 4J’s previous announcement to only have online learning for roughly the first four weeks of the school year.
The Eugene 4J school district will hold virtual information sessions over the next two weeks about reopening for the fall. According to a press release, at least the first four weeks of the school year will be online.
On Wednesday, the Eugene 4J school board held a special meeting to approve a resolution related to anti-racism and equity. The board said they are committed to using district resources to provide meaningful learning environments for all students.
The Eugene 4J school board will vote Wednesday whether to renew their contract with the Eugene Police Department for another year. Over the past few days, many local Black Lives Matter protesters have said they support the removal of school resource officers (SROs).
As K-12 schools complete the remainder of the academic year online, encouraging students to login for classes can be difficult. But the Eugene 4J district’s efforts to keep students engaged seems to be working.