First day of school delayed
School will begin September 21 • Some school days will be made up later in the year
We have important news about the start of the school year.
Eugene School District 4J will start school on September 21. This is a delay of one week.
The McKenzie Wildfire has had significant impacts on our district’s staff, students and families. This emergency affects us all as we care for, worry for, and work to support our families, friends and neighbors.
Critically, smoke from the fires spreading across our state has made the air quality hazardous and prevented the distribution of student devices needed for learning this year. The smoke forced the cancelation of technology distribution days that were scheduled this week for all elementary schools as well as some middle and high schools. About half of our students do not yet have their student learning devices to access online instruction.
Next week: Student devices will be distributed by schools next week; schools will schedule and communicate new technology pickup dates to parents soon. School food service will begin next week, with free grab-and-go meals available for 4J students and all youth, when air quality allows outdoor activity. Teachers will use the additional time to prepare for the school year and get teaching and learning off to a great start.
School calendar: The first day of school for students will be Monday, September 21.
The school calendar has been adjusted to make up some school days and balance the trimesters. Two school days will be restored, on Presidents Day in February and a previously scheduled teacher planning and professional development day in March. Trimester 2 will start one week later than originally scheduled. Some other changes have been made to reschedule grading days.
Winter break, spring break, and the end of the school year have not changed; the last day of school for students is still Thursday, June 17.
Hybrid learning model: Students may return to school buildings later in the school year for a hybrid of online and on-site learning, with all appropriate health and safety measures in place, when public health conditions allow.
The potential start date for hybrid learning has been changed to January 5, after winter break. (The previously planned date was the start of Trimester 2, which now is just one week before winter break.) The district will decide and announce before winter break if on-site learning can begin in January.
Please, take care of yourselves, and each other. Families displaced or affected by the wildfire can find information about available supports at www.lanecounty.org/mckenziefire. We also know that families are still working to navigate COVID-19 and all of the complications associated with the virus, as well as a totally new approach to learning. Information about many other resources for families, including employment-related childcare support, can be found at www.4j.lane.edu/communications/coronavirus/resources.
Thank you for your grace and understanding as our schools and our community work to return to learning in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and now a wildfire emergency. Together we will continue to navigate these challenges and take care of our students and one another.
Eugene School District 4J