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Eugene School District 4J approves new standard school schedules

(File photo/SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene School District 4J says new school schedules will provide enough, equal, and consistent instruction time after approving new standardized school schedules that parents, students, and staff provided input for.

The district is implementing the schedules and consistent calendars "to provide enough instruction to meet state standards, fair and equal learning time for students, and consistent schedules for families," the district said in a news release.

New school schedules will be in place this fall, after more than a year of discussion, the district said.

"The new schedules were developed with community input solicited from thousands of parents, students, staff and community members," the district stated, adding the Eugene School Board approved the final schedule parameters Wednesday night.

Consistent calendars and schedules, typical in other school districts, are a change for Eugene School District 4J. Currently, every 4J school has a unique schedule: Schools have different starting and ending times; different early-release and late-start schedules; different no-school days; and different amounts of instruction time. Total learning time can vary by hundreds of hours from kindergarten through 12th grade, depending on which 4J schools a student attends, officials said.

Starting next school year, all schools at each level will have the same calendar, without extra no-school days or half-days at individual schools. The school calendar will be more similar between elementary, middle and high schools, officials said, with nearly the same no-school days at all school levels.

Daily and weekly school schedules also will be aligned across the district. Schools at each level will have consistent start and end times and will provide equal learning time at all schools at each grade level. Schools will have the same early-release days for staff planning, collaboration and professional development.

Key schedule elements informed by community input include:

• Early release for teacher collaboration and professional development on Fridays

• Earlier school day ending times for middle and high schools than first proposed

• School start times close to current times in most cases

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