YG Staff Newsletter – February 22, 2021

YG Staff Newsletter – February 22, 2021

Hello YG staff,

I know that Friday was a stressful afternoon, and some of you may still be feeling uneasy about what hybrid and SSO have in store. Kelly shared ideas she about a hybrid of the hybrid, a way to do a three-way rotation involving a facilitating math teacher. I have not reviewed it in depth, but I’ll take a look this weekend. There are also some other ideas I had that I need to explore further.

I want to thank everyone for their patience and ask for some grace as we brace ourselves for the quick changes we are expected to make. I also want to assure you that I still believe in a collaborative problem-solving approach as we face new challenges, even though it involves a lot more processing with staff and it can be stressful when we need to make decisions that affect everyone in a short time frame.

I will be meeting with principals on Monday, and I’m expecting to hear the “guardrails” that schools will need to follow for hybrid and SSO. I expect it to be along afternoon. I will meet with staff on Tuesday to determine how best to use our staff. We will meet again on Wednesday to discuss the logistics and “nuts and bolts” involved in making the transition to in-person learning.

Welcome Connie Powell

As I shared with staff on Friday, Connie Powell is joining Yujin Gakuen to support our students in hybrid and SSO. Connie recently taught at the Chinese Immersion School. It hasn’t been determined what she will be teaching at this time, but she will likely be teaching at the primary level. Connie sent an introduction to share with staff>

A little about me …

I came to Eugene as a University of Oregon student studying Business Management. I finished school, began a career at a travel agency, got married and had two children (a girl and a boy). I took a brief ‘retirement’ to stay at home with my kids and did significant volunteer work at their school as well as lead a girl scout an a boy scout group. My children (who are now grown) attended the Spanish Immersion School.

I worked as an educational assistant at 4j for 5 years before going back to school to get my teaching license and ESOL endorsement (English speakers of other languages.) I worked 13 years in the Salem Keizer school district teaching grade first through fifth, before returning back to Eugene to teach these past 5 years. I’ve recently taught first and second grade at Chinese Immersion.

Other things about me are that I have had two exchange students from China and an exchange teacher from Thailand who lived with me when I was in Salem. My husband and I had the pleasure of going there to visit them and their families before moving back to Eugene. We love to travel and learn about new cultures, (still in my blood from my travel agent days) and also exploring the culture and beauty that surrounds us in our own back yard. My husband and I seem to always have some kind of home improvement project going on and enjoy spending as much time as possible with our grandchildren (who live out of the area).

It takes a village to raise a child and I encourage family involvement and in non-pandemic years welcome classroom volunteers. I’m looking forward to getting to know the children and families at Yujin Gakuen Immersion and can be contacted by email at (

iPad Carts and Extra ipads

Cyndi Norwood, who is filling in for Jyllian during her leave, came in and put five charging cables in each iPad cart. There are extra iPads available in case students forget to bring their iPads to school or forget to charge them. I thought Cyndi said she put five iPads in each cart, but I need to confirm.

Staff Absences

We have some staff absent this week, more so than usual. Be prepared to see more guest teachers in the building.

Takako – Nancy subbing
Michelle – Steve Newcomb subbing
Wendy – Chastity subbing (but subject to change). Connie Powell will also observe

Mariko – Chastity
Takako – Nancy
Michelle – Steve Newcomb subbing

Robin – Chastity
Takako – Nancy

Thursday and Friday
Michelle – Leslie Houdeshell subbing

Classified Appreciation Week is Coming!

Classified Appreciation Week is March 1 -5, so licensed staff, remember to show your thanks next week to the folks who assist you each day!

Nick Noyes to Film in the Building

I had emailed that Nick would be coming to the building on Monday and Tuesday morning, but instead, he will come from 1 to 3 in the afternoon. So, if you would like him to include you in the video, come in Monday or Tuesday afternoon.

Fire Drills this Week

We will be holding two fire drills this week: one on Tuesday and the other on Friday. Both drills will take place at 10AM. If staff are teaching in the building they will need to evacuate.

Zoom Security Feature Available

As you are aware, when using Zoom it is preferred to have the User Authentication setting enabled. This prevents participants that do not have a email address from joining your meeting. This presented a problem when non 4J invited participants needed to join your meeting. For that to be possible, you would need to disable the User Authentication setting.
Great news to share. This has now changed.
In the attached document you will note that you can now leave User Authentication enabled and add a non 4J email address for a participant as an exception. When you do this, it will send the participant an email with a different link to the one used by students to join your meeting. This feature is only to be used for non 4J email participants. The document is also available here
This is the preferred approach to keeping our students safe. In the next month, these settings will become the default settings when hosting meetings for students. Take the time to try it, it is that easy.

Site Council

At last week’s site council meeting, we drafted a set of goals and a work plan. See the linked YG Site Council Goals doc for your reference. Feel free to give your suggestions to anyone on site council to discuss at the next site council meeting.

Social Distancing Song

Scott was looking for fun things to start the transition to hybrid and shared a song set to Baby Shark. It’s not great, but Scott remembered that there was a time when I was setting just about anything to the tune:

Updates – Hybrid and SSO

Teachers had questions last week about the screening process for students when they return to school. This was shared in last week’s newsletter, but I’m repeating it here for those who missed it.

Daily Visual Screening – Once students return, teachers will use the linked Visual Screener & Questions with students daily. This is already being used at secondary for LIPI. Classroom teachers will first do a Visual Screening for symptoms (see below) and if symptoms are observed will ask the two follow-up questions. You can ask more questions, but these two are required.

Visual Screening (observation only):

Unusual color
Unusual behavior (behavior change, lethargy, unusual fatigue)
New or significant coughing
Respiratory symptoms not typical for student (noisy breathing, voice changes, nasal dripping)
Shortness of breath
Chills (shivering, teeth, goosebumps)
Appearing ill (sweating, sunken eyes)

Screening Questions:

1.) Are you feeling OK today?
2.) Have you felt anything that’s different for you in the last few days?

Hybrid Planning Meetings

I had originally scheduled this time to plan for arrivals and dismissals, but we need time to work out our plan for hybrid and SSO. I understand that staff wanted to meet on Monday, but I have meetings from noon to about 4:30, so the earliest time we could meet is Tuesday. We have two opportunities to work out details on hybrid and SSO

Tuesday @2:30 – This Tuesday we will determine the plan for hybrid and SSO

Wednesday PD/PLC Time – This Wednesday’s PD/PLC time will focus on the nuts-and-bolts of hybrid and will hopefully answer many of our questions (schedules, classroom set-up, protocols, etc.). Principals meet on Monday and I suspect we’ll get a preview of what’s going to be shared, but at this point I haven’t seen any of it. See you at 2:40 on Wednesday for ALL the answers!


Hybrid Cohort Assignments

I sent information via email on Friday on assigning students into cohort groups. Instead of repeating the information here, see Class Lists-Assigning Cohort Groups for details.

I started a set of Google sheets, YG Class Lists – Spring 2021 in order to pull students from the Synergy generated sibling reports into something that was easier for staff to view and sort. Teacher can move students into cohort groups to suit the needs of the classes. At the time I finished this newsletter, I had K-2 done and ready for teachers to revise. When these lists are revised, Terri will change their cohorts in Synergy and then create new class rosters for teachers to check and confirm that all students are correctly placed.

Class lists need to be finished by Wednesday. Teachers will be sending welcome letters to their new and returning students on Friday.

Siblings  – To make things easier on teachers, all siblings should be placed in cohorts by last name. Only two families have siblings with last names that place them in different cohorts. The other siblings should be placed where their last names place them. Teachers do not have to consult with teachers of siblings as long as the students are not changing cohorts.

Staff Input on Lists – Particularly for the in-person hybrid classes, I’d like specialists and classified staff to take a look at the lists to make sure there aren’t any bad combinations of students. If you spot something you think should be changed, contact that grade level team.

Balanced Lists – Remember that class lists need to be even, the same number of students in each homeroom and each cohort will need to be the same size so that students can fit in each classroom.

Read Across America, March 2nd

Not this week, but next week is Read Across America. This year’s theme is “Create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers.” See the above linked NEA website for loads of resources for this annual event.

Math & ELA Updates

Chelsea Mabie and Eric Anderson send principals a few updates. Two highlights:

Printed Materials – Both ELA and Math printed materials for the rest of the year will arrive by March 1st. If grade levels are not going to use the materials, do not recycle them and let me know so I can ship them back downtown for potential future use.

ELA and Social Studies Adoption – Downtown is looking for a K-2 and 3-5 rep to join a district adoption team. Each region gets to send two reps and Chelsea has asked for nominations. Volunteers would begin meeting in June and would work over the summer (extended contract available). Reps would also pilot materials in the fall. Let me know by the end of the week if you are interested in being on this team.

REPEAT – 2021-22: Draft Staffing

  • February 23: Staffing allocations shared with principals
  • March 18: Staffing plans due by 11:59 PM
  • By March 19: Principals must provide a verbal notification to any staff
    who were displaced in the staffing plan submitted to HR
  • April 13 & 27: Job Expo for Secondary level administrators
  • April 15 & 29: Job Expo for Elementary level administrators

COVID-19 Suggestion Box

The linked COVID-19 Suggestion Box will be posted in each newsletter for staff to make suggestions. I check it every Monday.

Schedule of Upcoming Events


Feb 22 (M) – Wendy and Takako Out on Leave
12:00-1:00, 850 Howard Meeting with BJ Blake
1:30-4:30, Tom to Elementary Principal Meeting
Feb 23 (T) – Staffing Allocation Released, Takako on Leave
10:00, Fire Drill

2:00-2:15, Tom to Meet with Reiko
2:30-3:30, Arrival/Dismissal Planning Committee
6:30-7:30, YGK Listening Session with LatinX Families
Feb 24 (W) – Robin and Takako on Leave
9:00-10:00, Jeff Johnson Check in with Tom
12:30-1:00, Tier III Data Team Meeting: First Grade
1:00-1:30, Tier III Data Team Meeting: Third Grade
2:00-2:30, Tier III Data Team Meeting: Fourth Grade
2:40-4:00, Hybrid Planning

Feb 25 (Th)


Feb 26 (F)
10:00, Fire Drill
3:00-4:00, YG Family Movie
March 1 (M) – Classified Appreciation Week Begins
3:00-4:00, IEP for First Grader
March 2 (T) – Read Across America
8:45-9:45. 850 Howard Meeting
3:00-4:00, YG Staff Meeting
6:00-7:00. YG Family Zoom Meeting
March 3 (W) –
12:30-1:00, Tier III Data Team Meeting: Kindergarten
1:00-1:30, Tier III Data Team Meeting: 2nd Grade
2:00-2:30, Tier III Data Team Meeting: Fifth Grade
2:40-4:00, PLC
7:00-9:00, School Board Meeting
March 4 (TH) – Supply Distribution – Round 6
8:00-12:00, Supply Distribution
12:30-4:00, Supply Distribution
March 5 (F)

Coming Up
March 8 – Pivot to Hybrid and SSO
March 22-26 – Spring Break
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