EUGENE, Ore -- After Gov. Kate Brown announced all public schools must offer an in-person learning option to students in kindergarten through fifth grade by March 29, Eugene's 4J school district was forced to update their reopening plan.
"We are having to make some adjustments there," 4J spokesperson Kerry Delf said. "That was an unexpected change but it is one that we are making and we are looking forward to getting students back into our school buildings soon."
The district had originally planned for students in second through fifth grade to return to the classroom April 5 but announced Wednesday evening those students will return in-person March 29 for on-site hybrid transition and orientation.
Delf said the governor's announcement was unexpected, but school officials are preparing to welcome students back to the classrooms for the first time this school year.
"Our students have been out of school buildings for the most part for a year and it will be a change for them to come back," Delf said. "We want to make sure that everybody has the transition they need and they know what to do to be safe and be able to learn."
When they return to the building for classes, students will be separated into two groups. Group A will learn in person on Mondays and Tuesdays while Group B will learn in person on Thursdays and Fridays. All students will learn virtually on Wednesdays.
Logan Ross is a junior in the 4J school district. He said getting elementary school students, like his younger brother, back in the classroom a week earlier is a good idea.
"I definitely think it's a good thing, seeing from what my brother has done in elementary school," Ross said. "They really just don't have much to do from online. They're just learning a few things and not focusing too much because they're little and it's kind of hard for them."
The updated timeline will not affect the district's youngest learners in kindergarten through first grade who will return for on-site hybrid transition and orientation Monday or the district's oldest learners in sixth through twelfth grade who will return for a full hybrid learning schedule the week of April 12.
Under the governor's orders, students may continue learning virtually if their parents choose.
According to the 4J school district's website, this is the most updated expected timeline:
- March 12: Elementary asynchronous learning day, teachers prepare for hybrid transition
- March 15: Elementary classroom changes
- Week of March 15: Grades K–1 on-site hybrid transition and orientation
- March 20–28: Spring break
- March 29: Trimester 3 begins for middle and high school
- March 29: Grades K–1 begin full hybrid learning schedule
- Week of March 29: Grades 2–5 on-site hybrid transition and orientation
- April 5: Grades 2–5 begin full hybrid learning schedule
- Week of April 12: Grades 6–12 begin hybrid learning model