EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – While it’s back to school time for kids and teachers, the decision making body for the Eugene 4J school district, the 4J School Board, is also getting back to work with new ideas.
4J School Board members met Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 for their annual Summer Retreat session.
With a more stable budget this year, the district’s School Board has its eyes on some big changes for the coming year that it is now just starting to work on. At Wednesday’s meeting, one of the biggest topics was a proposed new style of teacher evaluation.
About seventy teachers from various schools in the district are taking part in a pilot phase of the new evaluation program this year. Primarily, the new teacher evaluation process focuses on what teachers are doing effectively and how all of them can grow as professionals.
The new evaluation process will involve around seven different classroom visits from a variety of staff. Eugene 4J School District Superintendent Dr. Sheldon Berman says he's excited about a more stable school year in which the district can grow.
"I feel like we're starting the year not on a negative base but on a positive base,” says Berman. "The true investment is working with teachers to improve the kind of instruction we provide and to develop and extend their repertoire of teaching and that's the major focus, and to focus our attention to graduate college and be career ready."
One of the other big things the School Board will tackle in the coming year is a ten-year outlook plan for the district's buildings and facilities. The plan will likely encompass ideas for what buildings need work, replacement, consolidation or something else. Public comment will also be a part of the plan.
Another change this school year is the common high school schedule for all Eugene 4J high schools.
4J begins with the first day of school on September 5th, 2012. That’s also the first day for kids in the Bethel School District. Springfield Public Schools begins classes on September 6th, 2012.