New Year Brings Changes to 4J District

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EUGENE, Ore. — Kids in the 4J School District head back to school this week, and students and parents can expect a few changes this year.

The Arts and Tech Academy in south Eugene will go back to being a middle school this year; it was previously a K-8 program. Meanwhile, the Early College and Career Options High School will be moving to the Lane Community College campus.

The 2013-2014 school year will also be shorter; not because of the late start, but because the district added eight furlough days to help cut the budget. But district spokeswoman Kerry Delf thinks that most families will appreciate at least one of the scheduling changes.

“We put a few of those [furlough] days in the Thanksgiving week, so families have a week off from school at Thanksgiving,” says Delf. “That was a short week already, and it made sense to a lot of staff and families.”

As for the late start, 4J wanted to align the number of days with higher education opportunities. The district is also planning to upgrade outdated computer and digital devices at the beginning of the new year, and it will also completely replace or renovate four of its oldest schools. The funding for these changes will come from a school bond measure that voters passed in May.

Classes begin on Tuesday for kindergarten through eighth grade and on Wednesday for high school students.

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