Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year

Konichiwa Yujin Gakuen Families,

I hope you had a fun and relaxing summer break! Our summer was busy this year, as we are preparing for more students this year. Our expected enrollment is up to 325. That’ about 30 more students than we had last year. We have had to re-purpose our Instructional Materials Room into a classroom to accommodate another classroom, and we added a new fifth grade English and a fifth grade Japanese teacher.

We have several new people to joining us, and I’m pleased to introduce our new staff members:

Machiko Hadwen joins us as a bilingual education assistant, replacing Asuka who went back to Japan. Many of you know Machiko as a parent and frequent classroom volunteer. Machiko will be working 2 hours a day, supervising lunch and recess. She will also support our Japanese teachers. We are very fortunate to have someone who is fluent in Japanese and who knows the Yujin Gakuen program very well.

Naoko Manabe also joins us as a bilingual education assistant. Naoko comes very highly recommended. She’s dedicated to supporting kids and families. Naoko has a degree in music education. She also volunteered at First Place Family Center, and this year she was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by Community Leaders Together. I’m very pleased to have someone with her background and her Japanese language skills.

Jennifer Goodlett brings some teaching experience along with her. She comes to us from the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute, where she was a teacher last year. Before that she taught at the Drinking Gourd Elementary School and before that she taught in Spain. Jennifer earned her sociology degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz (go slugs!), and she received her teaching credential at San Diego State University. Again, we have another very qualified addition to our staff.

Kelly Stroh was hired to teach fifth grade, English, in the mornings. She made a big impression on staff during her time here at Yujin Gakuen as a work-study student. She had since moved on to get her teaching license. We were fortunate enough to hire her from Springfield where she taught special education in a behavior support program. Kelly has a very strong work ethic, and she also knows the program here at Yujin Gakuen.

Mariko Maddock, as you know, came over from Kelly Middle School, where she has a reputation for being a very strong teacher. She taught Japanese for many years while at Kelly, and she was the Yujin Gakuen program at the middle level. I know she is sorely missed at Kelly, but we are very fortunate to have her at the elementary level. Mariko will be teaching kindergarten math, in Japanese and in English, in the morning and fifth grade Japanese in the afternoon.

Monica Vanderbush, as most of you know, replaces Patrick Chesterman and will be teaching 2nd Grade English. Monica is a Yujin Gakuen alum and knows first hand what it was like to be a student, and she worked as an education assistant her in the 2014-2015 school year. Monica holds a degree in Japanese and psychology from the University of Oregon, and she recently completed her teacher licensure program through Northwest Christian University.

Tom Maddox will be the technology support specialist for Corridor and Yujin Gakuen. He moved to Eugene from Austin, Texas where he worked for SXSW. He has worked with Apple as an AppleCare Enterprise Support Engineer and Media Support Specialist.

Patty Rigsby joins us from Food Services at the Education Center, where she ran the catering services. Patty replaces Sheila Rhodes who retired at the end of last year. Patty comes to us with a lot of energy and is excited to get back to a school cafeteria.

This year, students will have PE with Allie Franz who will work full-time in the fall. Mary Poppen will return to us, teaching music half-time. Katrina Allen will teach music on Mondays.

We are fortunate to have such well-qualified and experienced new staff on board. Please welcome them as they join our school community.

Also note that we will be holding our annual Welcome Back to School Open House on Tuesday, September 6th, from 11 to noon. This YG tradition is our way of saying “hello” to our students and families before school officially begins on Wednesday. This is not a time for individual conferences about students. Individual meetings with teachers may be scheduled for another time. We’ll also have our annual Back to School Family Picnic on Friday, September 9th beginning at 5:30 PM. As usual, the PTO will provide food, drinks, and fun! Please join us and meet our interns for this year.

Here’s to a great school year!

Thomas Piowaty,
Kocho Sensei
こうちょうせんさい, 校長先生

P.S. Remember Wednesday, our first day of school, is our early release day, school will be dismissed at 12:10 as is every Wednesday.

Yujin Gakuen Back to School Info

School starts 9/7/16

Office Hours Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Grades K-5th 8:20 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. M, T, Th, F

***Every Wednesday EARLY RELEASE 12:10 p.m. Lunch is served. ***.

School Schedule..Meet & Greet 9/6/16 11am-12 pm.

The first day of school is Wednesday, September 7th. Please help your child to arrive on time with a nutritious breakfast in their tummy! The 1st bell rings at 8:20 a.m. We ask that no one comes in before then so we can prepare for the day. Students should come in to put away their things, sharpen pencils and be seated for the 8:30 bell. After that, students will be marked absent and will need to check in at the office for a tardy stick. If you child is going to be absent, please call the school at 790.4606 or the auto dialer will call you. It calls for tardiness also.


                  It is important for you to be aware of the hours that there is no supervision in buildings or grounds at Yujin Gakuen. The school provides supervision only between 8:00 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., and during official school events and programs that occur before and after school.



                  Please call the office if your child is going to be absent/tardy or the auto dialer will call you. Please do not send your child to school if they are ill, have a temperature or have been vomiting within 24 hours. If your child is too sick to go to recess, they are too sick to be in school. Be on time & stay all day!



Friday, September 9h 5:30-7:30 p.m.

On the playground! Hot dogs, chips, drinks provided by YGPTO


Class Assignments..posted 9/6

The staff has spent a considerable amount of time placing students into homerooms hoping to make the best possible combination of learners and personalities for each class. Students are expected to stay in their assigned class. If a request arises to change, the teaching teams and Kocho will work to ensure a suitable match for your child. Please make an appointment after October 1st.

Cell Phones

We strongly encourage students leave their cell phones at home. If they must bring them, they are to be turned off and left in their backpack…even during recess! Phones will be sent to the office for an adult to pick up if a child does not honor our request. Thank you!

School Fees

                  School fees are collected in the office. Fees are an important part of our program. Being an alternative school, we have extra expenses that other school might not have. Students may not participate in Homework Club until school fees, including outstanding Homework Club balances, are paid. If you have questions or need to set up a payment plan, please call Diane in the office at 790.4606.

Medications at School

State law dictates that school personnel may assist a student with prescribed medication only under the direction of a parent and in the original prescription bottle. OTC meds may be given for up to ten days without a prescription. Medications given 2 or 3 times a day or every 6 hours can be managed at home without involving the school. Inhalers may be kept on the students. Permission to medicate forms is available in the office.

Background Checks

All parents volunteering in class or on a field trip MUST complete an online background check every two years regardless of other background checks you have filed! www.helpcounter.net/eugene Remember to check to see if it has gone through! Siblings may not go on field trips.

Breakfast & Lunch Program

Yujin Gakuen/Corridor Elementary schools offer breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is served from 7:45-8:20 so children my get to class on time. Breakfast costs $1.40 and lunch $2.90. Prices subject to change! Any amount is accepted for your child’s account and you may pay online but there is a surcharge. Yujin Gakuen is included in Corridor on the online pay website. Menus may be downloaded at …


Free & reduced lunch applications should have arrived in you 4J mailing. A new one needs to be completed each year. If 4J does not receive your application , your child will be dropped from the program and you will be responsible for all charges. There are extras in the school’s office. Even if your child doesn’t plan on eating school lunch, consider filling on out to see if you qualify since it does help the school.

*******Due to the continued hepatitis in Lane County, no home baked goods may be brought to school to share! Kids are not to share their lunches!*******

Homework Club

Jeanne Mandrapa will be operating Homework Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-4 p.m. The fee is $4 a session and school fees must be paid before a child can join Homework Club. It begins the September 8th. We will not be able to offer scholarships this year.

Students will not be released from the cafeteria to wait outside for their parents. If you cannot pick your child up at 4 p.m., they should not enroll in Homework Club. No exceptions! The first time you are late, a written warning is given. Second offense, your child may not go to Homework Club until a meeting with the Principal and Director. It is not a babysitting service!

Birthday invitations are not be passed out at school unless you are inviting the whole class! Check with teachers about snacks. NO HOMEMADE foods allowed. Please follow 4J’s nutrition guidelines!


School Directory

We will be publishing our annual directory as soon as possible. They will go home in Thursday envelopes when completed. Please make sure you read and return the general permission slip for your child to be listed. Do not expect it until October!

Parking & Drop off

Please do not park in the horseshoe drive through! Keep the center lane open at all times! Watch for students!

School Pictures

School pictures will be taken on September 27th. Retakes will be November 9th. Envelopes will be coming home in your child’s Thursday envelope. Checks should be made to “Lifetouch”.

Getting Involved at YG

Site Council – This group makes site based decisions such as materials acquisitions, input on the budget, and more. Site Council is made up of:

Tom Piowaty, Administrator

Certified – TBA


Parents – Lisa DeFranceco & Rob Nance

P.T.O.  –       President-Rita Gilihan

Vice President-Robin Richards

Secretary- Lisa Easton

Treasurer-Chelsea Hardrath

Volunteer Coord: Keiko Faulconer & Izumi Sakimoto