Adams Update – 2/16/18 – School Safety, and More

A message from Superintendent Balderas on school safety

Dear 4J community,

Our hearts are with the community of Parkland, Florida. Students and staff deserve to feel safe and be safe at school, and that safety was shattered in Parkland on Wednesday with a terrible act of violence.

Our thoughts also are with our own students and families. We know that at a time like this, many parents want to know both about how they can support their children, and about how schools work to keep students safe and secure.

In Eugene School District 4J, safety is a top priority. We believe in the importance of preparation and continuous improvement. We have safety procedures in place, hold training sessions with staff, and practice safety drills with students. Schools will notify students and parents in advance of any emergency drills in the coming weeks. We have made school facilities more secure through a number of bond-funded construction projects, thanks to the support of our community, and seek to do more in the future. We are fortunate to have Eugene Police school resource officers on our team, providing a highly trained, caring and visible presence in each of our four school regions.

As much as we proactively prepare for emergencies, tragic events like the one in Florida are shocking and hard to comprehend. Children look to adults for guidance on how to react. As parents you are the experts about what is best for your own children at home, but it can be challenging to know how to speak about the unspeakable. Psychologists have provided resources that may help.

In times like these, parents and staff can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, talking with them openly about their fears, and reassuring them that schools are very safe places and dangerous events are very rare. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) also recommends the following strategies, detailed in the resource “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers”:

• Reassure children that they are safe and their school is safe. 
• Make time to talk. 
• Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
• Review safety procedures. 
• Observe children’s emotional state. 
• Limit exposure to television and other media about these events.
• Maintain a normal routine. 

If your child is having a hard time, please talk to your child’s teacher, school counselor or principal. And please take the opportunity to talk with your children about the importance of speaking up right away if they ever become aware of a possible danger. We take every concern very seriously. Telling a trusted adult—a parent or a school employee—could save lives.

Eugene School District 4J will always work to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our students safe.


Gustavo Balderas


Eugene School District 4J

A Note from Mr. Brown in PE

Hello families of Adams elementary,
I am very excited to be back for my 2nd semester of PE at Adams.  Well 3rd really if you count my being a student here in the mid 1970s.  As all teachers do in the beginning of every year, I am taking the time to establish some foundational procedures and protocols with all of our youngsters that should set us (me and them) up for a successful 2nd half of the year.
The older grades have moved through what I call “housekeeping” and are into some activity a little faster than the little ones which is par for my experience in the eight buildings that I (along with many other elementary PE and music specialists who tend to get moved around) have served in.  The housekeeping is time (albeit arduous) at the beginning of the semester that will pay dividends in efficiency and more activity time each day throughout the semester.  Such time not spent now will be time spent daily (or really wasted) throughout said semester.  
Thank you for sending your child on PE days with appropriate footwear. WE do ot want kids wearing flip-flops, hard-sole shoes or boots or high heel shoes.  We do a lot of running and these shoes may contribute to an injury.
Your patience and support is very much appreciated and I look forward to getting to know all 480 students (sharing time in four buildings one year I had some 900) by name.  
Paul Brown (Mr. Brown)

Winter Is Coming: Snow Day Decisions and Notifications  

Plan ahead, sign up now for school closure alert texts

When winter weather arrives, schools may be closed or delayed or buses may use snow routes. These decisions are made districtwide and are the same for every 4J school.

How the decision is made:

Typically, weather-related school schedule decisions are made in the early morning, before school, when current weather conditions can be assessed. We believe students and families are best served when we are open. Our main concern and the reason for any school closure is the safety of our students and staff.

How to find out if there is a change: 

If the district decides to make a change to the school schedule or bus routes, it is communicated as quickly as possible in several ways, all well before 6:30 a.m. If schools and buses are on their regular schedule, there will NOT be an announcement.


  • Sign up for text-message alerts via Twitter @4Jweather — text FOLLOW 4JWEATHER to 40404 
  • Like Eugene School District 4J on our Facebook page,
  • Check the 4J website,
  • Tune in to local news media


What does the announcement mean?

School Closure: There is no school for students, although some staff will be at work. The district will make a decision by noon about whether any after-school student activities or community use of buildings may take place.

Two-Hour Delay: School will start two hours late and end at the normal dismissal time for a regular school day, which is 2:45.  This will be the schedule EVEN IF IT IS A WEDNESDAY.  Buses will drive cautiously, adjusting to conditions, so pickup and return may be delayed.

Snow Routes: Some school bus routes have alternate “snow routes” that may be used when snow and ice make road conditions hazardous at higher and steeper elevations. This helps limit the need for school closures in harsh weather. When school buses operate on these snow routes, some students will have a different bus stop location and time than on the regular route.

More information is at

Parent Choice: When school is in session during wintry weather, families are encouraged to consider the road conditions in their areas, make their own decisions based on safety, and notify the school if their student will be staying home. Parents’ decisions about student absences for hazardous weather safety reasons will be honored.

For more information, please see

Building 4J’s Future: We want to hear from you.

The Eugene School District is holding a community conversation about a potential bond measure to improve school buildings and learning materials. Your input is needed!

Most of 4J’s school buildings were constructed in the 1940s to 1960s, and some are even older. Other capital improvements are needed due to changing enrollment, educational program needs and aging buildings and materials.

The district’s long-range facilities plan, updated in 2013 after significant community input, calls for bond measures in 2013 and 2018 to replace, renovate or remodel several school buildings and make other improvements.

Voters approved a bond measure in 2013 and replaced four aging school buildings—Roosevelt Middle School, Arts & Technology Academy, Howard Elementary School and River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School—and made other building improvements, upgraded technology and curriculum, replaced school buses, and more.

The board is now considering a potential bond measure to be placed on the November 2018 ballot, and wants to hear from community members about their views on priorities and how to proceed. No decisions have been made yet. 

Community forums have been scheduled in different locations across the district so community members may choose a convenient time and location. Spanish interpretation will be provided at the forums. The forum on the evening of Thursday, March 8 will be in Spanish.

 Community Forums

  • Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7:00–8:30 p.m., Roosevelt Middle School, 500 E. 24th
  • Thursday, Feb. 22, 7:00–8:30 p.m., Kelly Middle School, 850 Howard Ave.
  • Saturday, Feb. 24, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St.  
  • Monday, Feb. 26, 7:00–8:30 p.m., Arts & Technology Academy, 1650 W. 22nd
  • Thursday, March 1, 7:00–8:30 p.m., Cal Young Middle School, 2555 Gilham Rd.
  • SPANISH/ESPAÑOL: Thursday, March 8, 7:00–8:30 p.m., Howard Elementary School, 700 Howard Ave.
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