YG Staff Newsletter – August 30, 2021

YG Staff Newsletter – August 30, 2021

Dear Yujin Gakuen staff:

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year. I hope you all had a restful summer break. I’m looking forward to seeing you all this week. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible, as we will cover a lot on Monday and Friday of this week.

Inservice Schedule Updated

The YG Back to School Schedule has been updated with the active zoom links and is now located on the 371 YG Staff Shared Drive. You will find it in the Back to School folder. If you would like to see the complete set of zoom links for the inservice week, they are available on the linked BTS Zoom Links document.

For the all-district PD where everyone is joining the same Zoom (Keynote, ELA + Math Acceleration, and Literacy PD), Instruction wants schools and/or grade level teams to watch one Zoom feed. Last spring when everyone joined separately, it caused some lagging issues.

I have been giving a lot of thought to how much of the 4J required professional development material I need to cover during inservice week, and how much I can postpone until after the first day of school. It’s always a challenge to achieve the right balance between giving staff the information they need regarding 4J priorities and the immediate needs of staff to prepare for the start of school. I have decided to give a brief overview of the 4J priorities instead of taking the time to go in depth. However, that means we will be going more in depth in the first two weeks after school starts.

When do Classified Staff Report?

Some of our EAs have volunteered to report early in order to help teachers prepare their classrooms and prepare labels and other materials for Japanese instruction. I have communicated with them individually. I have not heard from all of them, but Reiko and Machiko have confirmed and they will come on Monday morning, from 9 to about noon.

All EAs officially start on Thursday, Sep 2, 2021. Those who are part-time and work 4 hours should prioritize the following:

  • Thursday, 8:00-9:00 – Welcome Back Working Breakfast and YG Operations
  • Friday, 8:00-11:50am – EA Training Sessions

Meeting Schedule and Teacher Planning Time

Uninterrupted Teacher Planning

The “Golden Hour” is no longer on Mondays and is back on Fridays, but schools need to decide if they want the PLC and district PD to happen on Wednesdays or Fridays. Below is what was shared with principals on Friday.

Meeting Schedule

The feedback from principals was exceptionally valuable in developing the following guidelines. Please note, the 60 minutes of continuous prep is being scheduled for Friday this year only.

  • 60 minutes of continuous prep must be provided on Friday this year.
  • At least 20 minutes of daily prep must happen prior to teachers supervising students.
  • Building decides how much morning transition time is necessary to bring kids in the building, get them breakfast and off to the classroom. (At least 10 minutes)
  • PLC weekly (Wednesday or Friday).
  • Professional development in ACT and building priorities weekly (Wednesday or Friday).
  • No administrator initiated meetings on Monday.
  • Building and staff meetings can happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

COVID Protocol Updates

2021-2022 Elementary COVID FAQ

The school district has created an Elementary COVID FAQ. It’s a pretty long document, and staff will have some time to pour over it this week. Additional info can be found on the previously shared documents:

PE and Music Protocols

If you want to know the guidelines for PE and Music this year, they are:

  • Students must maintain 3-feet physical distance “to the extent possible.”
  • Masks must be worn inside the building.
  • Masks are not required outside.
  • Staff do not need to clean surfaces or equipment between groups (We’re not seeing spread via surfaces).
  • Every student washes hands or uses hand sanitizer leaving PE or Music (we’ll station a hand sanitizer station in the hall outside Music and PE hallway).
  • No wind instruments in Music.
  • Singing with masks on is allowed. This also applies to singing in the classroom.

Face Masks Outdoors

Governor Kate Brown announced new statewide outdoor mask requirements to help stem the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. However, there are some important distinctions to note:

  • Masks are now required in most public outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status.
  • This rule does not apply to day-to-day operations at K–12 schools. Our student operations continue to fall under the school mask rule. ODE provided further clarification late yesterday afternoon.
  • Masks are not required outside during school, such as for recess or outdoor learning and meals.
    • Local schools are practiced and effective in implementing multiple, layered protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so students can have a break from masks outdoors.
    • Physical distancing of at least 3 feet and preferably 6 feet should be maintained when masks are removed while students and staff are outdoors.
  • Masks are required at parent gatherings, spectator sports, and other public events on school grounds where 6-foot distancing can’t be consistently maintained.
    • Masks are required for open houses, parent nights, etc., whether held indoors or outdoors.
    • Masks are required at sporting events, performances, ceremonies and other outdoor events. This includes spectators, coaches and sideline officials. Student athletes may remove masks during outdoor athletic activities.

Vaccination and Testing Requirements

In case you didn’t see the email and video message from the superintendent, Cydney Vandercar, you can view it here: Superintendent’s Message to Staff – Vaccination & Testing Requirements.

Below is an excerpt from the email sent to staff on Friday evening:

All of our 4J staff will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, in alignment with state law. In the meantime, leading up to the October 18 state deadline, screening testing will be required for any 4J staff who aren’t fully vaccinated yet. If you haven’t gotten a full series of COVID shots yet, you’ll need to get tested at least weekly.

If you’re not yet fully vaccinated, please sign up for screening testing no later than next Wednesday, September 1. The Oregon Health Authority provides free weekly screening testing at home by mail for unvaccinated K–12 staff. Sign up at, and keep a copy of your submission form or any confirmation message you get, so you can send it in to verify your enrollment.

Then, make a plan to get immunized. Being fully vaccinated means you have gotten all of the shots required for that type of vaccine, and at least two weeks have passed since you got the final dose. Please pay attention to this timeline and make sure you get your shots in time to be fully vaccinated by the statewide deadline of October 18.

  • Moderna vaccine — 2 shots, 4 weeks apart — first dose no later than Monday, Sept. 6
  • Pfizer vaccine — 2 shots, 3 weeks apart — first dose no later than Monday, Sept. 13
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccine — 1 shot — get the shot no later than Monday, Oct. 4

Breakfast Update

Upon arrival, students will need to collect their breakfasts at the building entrances and not in classrooms. This is due to 4J being out of compliance with Federal Meals Program rules and Nutrition Services likely being potentially audited this year.

Restroom Cohorting

  • During class time – Students will use the same restrooms as they did during hybrid last year. The primary students will use the restrooms in the south wing and the intermediate students will use the restrooms in the main hallway.
  • During lunch – Students will use the restrooms closest to the cafeteria. During recess, intermediate students will use the restrooms in the main hallway.

COVID Testing Partnership with UO

Principals were informed last Wednesday that 4J would be participating in the COVID testing partnership with the University of Oregon. We do not have all the details yet, but 4J schools are participating in the UO program where students can choose to be tested weekly at home. Our only role would be to distribute test kits and later ship the returned tests to the UO. Linked here is a Program Flyer.

Classroom Setup

Desks will be spaced 3-feet apart to the greatest extent possible. Teachers should understand that it may not be possible or practicable to maintain 3 feet of distance between students, especially in classrooms that have double desks. We will need to do the best we can under the circumstances.

Storage Options

If you need to store items from your room, contact Jeremy Niccum. Personal items should be boxed and either taken home.

Keynote Speaker: Keith Jones

Here’s a YouTube video Keith Jones: Un-Rapping Disability to give you some background before you see his keynote address Monday morning. Keith Jones is a musician and disability rights activist.

Additional Items of Note

FREE Program: Architects in Schools

Free design program for 3-5th – Architects in Schools (AiS) provides free architecture and design programming to 3rd-5th grade students and teachers. AiS materials can link to almost any classroom subject and is proven to be most impactful among low-income students, ELL students, and non-traditional learners, and reinvigorates student interest in school. If teachers are interested in using this program, see the linked AiS Flyer, Application Information, and Teacher Application. The deadline to apply is October 22nd.

District Administrator Updates 

If you’re interested, linked here, (Admin Staffing News Aug 21) for your reference, are a few District Admin Updates, including District Athletic Director (Patrick Brown), Health Services Supervisor (Joy Maxwell), Human Resources COVID Support (Heather Stein), and South Eugene High School Assistant Principal (Rhiannon Boettcher).

EEF 2021-2022 Grant Applications DUE OCT 1st 

EEF usually accepts applications in the spring, but last year was not typical, so EEF made the decision to move the granting process to this fall. EEF Grant Application will be available on their website under the “Grants” tab at the top of the page by September 1st. Applications will due October 8th, 2021. Before submitting grants online, let me know your grant title and idea so Site Council can rank order grant submission (no need to do a full write up for this step). Let me know if you have any questions or care to discuss grant ideas.

GoNoodle Plus is FREE! 

GoNoodle Plus is Free to all educators for the 2021-2022 school year. See the GoNoodle News Release for information, but just sign up for an account to get the deal.

LTD Bus Passes for Students

This program is more utilized by middle and high school, but free bus passes are available for all 4J students. If you know of a student who could use this, let me know and I can arrange for them to get a free pass. Additional information can be found on the LTD Website.

Make Sure Your Voicemail is Set-Up

Make sure your 4J voicemail is set up and working. See the linked 4J Phone Voicemail Manual or this Voice Mail User Guide for how to set it up. If you have questions, please contact our TSS, Jeff Scobble, at or call (541) 790-7777.

The Noise of School

I hope you will take about three-and-a-half minutes to watch The Noise of School by Trevor Muir. “Many of us were told that a quiet classroom is a good classroom. Then we had the pandemic, and now so many of us miss the noise.” I am looking forward to embracing the noise as we return to full days with all our students.

Schedule of Upcoming Events

Staff have access to the Yujin Gakuen Zimbra calendar. I will share a draft schedule of our staff meetings later this week after staff have had the opportunity to provide input on when to hold PLC and professional development meetings.

August 30 (M)
Licensed Staff Report Back
7:30-8:00, Breakfast and social gathering (optional)
8:00-10:00, Building Welcome Back and Wellness Check (Cafeteria)
10:00-11:30, 4J Keynote – Keith Jones (Zoom)
11:30-12:15, Kelly and YG staff lunch (lunch provided in cafeteria)
12:15-2:00, Kelly and YG staff community building in cafeteria
2:00-3:30, YG Operations Meeting (Cafeteria) and 4J Priorities
4:00-5:30, Optional KinderZone PD (Ed Center)

August 31 (T)
See  BTS Zoom Links
8:00-11:30, 4J Instructional Tech (Zoom)
8:00-10:00, 2nd Grade Heggerty Phonemic Awareness (Zoom)
11:30-12:30, Lunch
12:30-4:00, 4J ELA + Math Acceleration PD (Zoom) See YG BTS Schedule for more info

September 1 (W)
Teacher Planning Day
8:00-9:00, Tom to Elementary Principal Meeting (Zoom)
10:00, Tom meeting with Dan Temple to discuss location of cherry trees
1:00, Optional Q&A Session for New Staff (Cafeteria)
3:30, Tom out for dentist appointment

September 2 (Th)
Classified Staff Report Back
7:30-8:00, Breakfast (Optional)
8:00-9:00, Welcome Back Breakfast and YG Operations
9:00-11:00, District Kick-Off Event (Zoom)
12:00-4:00, 4J Literacy PD (Zoom)
12:00-4:00, SSD Staff Meeting with SSD Dept. (Zoom)
2:00, Beginning of the Year Library Meeting with Amy Page

September 3 (F)
See  BTS Zoom Links
8:00-11:30. Principal Led Professional Development (cafeteria)
8:00-11:50, EA Professional Development, Learning For All and Heggerty
11:30-12:30, Lunch and additional planning time
12:30-4:00, Directed Work Time
3:00, Welcome and You’re In My Class Email to Families Due

September 6 (M)
Labor Day, No School

September 7 (T)
8:00-8:30, Staff Check In(Cafeteria)
8:30-9:30, Teams Share Plans for SEL, PBiS, and Kinderzone
9:30-11:30, Followup on Operations, 4J Priorities, and Other Items Raised by Staff

11:30-12:30, Lunch/Additional Planning Time
12:30-4:00, Teacher Work Time

September 8 (W)
Teacher Planning Day
10:30-12:00, Classified Staff Meeting (cafeteria)
1:00, Optional Q&A Session for New Staff (cafeteria)
4:00, Tom to Doctor Appt

September 9 (Th)
8:30-3:00, Transition Day for Kindergarten

September 10 (F)
Classes Begin for All Students

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