Eugene School District

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Eugene School District 4J
Lane & Linn counties, Oregon
United States
District information
Motto Investing in students, creating the future
Grades K–12
Established 1854
Superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas
Students and staff
Students 16,500
Teachers 755
Other information

Eugene School District (4J) is a public school district in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is one of two school districts that serve the city of Eugene.


4J spans 155 square miles (400 km2) in the southern Willamette Valley, including the city of Coburg and a small part of Linn County to the north. About 85 percent of the City of Eugene lies inside 4J's boundaries.[1]

About 16,500 students attend school in the district's 18 elementary school programs, two K–8 programs, 7 middle schools, and 4 comprehensive high schools and various alternative high school programs[1] — making it one of the most populous of Oregon's approximately 200 school districts. The four public charter schools located in the district serve about 600 additional students.

Approximately 25 percent of the student body and 10 percent of the teaching staff are members of racial/ethnic minority groups.[2]

About 40 percent of students in the Eugene School District qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, a key measure of poverty in school districts. In the 2009 school year, the district had 743 students classified as homeless by the Department of Education, or 4.2% of students in the district.[3]


The district that would evolve into Eugene School District 4J started in 1854, five years before Oregon attained statehood. The district is numbered 4J because it was the fourth school district incorporated in Lane County and is a joint (J) district — its boundary includes a small part of Linn County to the north. The district's name changed in 1964, when it absorbed Coburg School (since closed), whose attendance boundary goes nearly to Harrisburg.[1]

School programs[edit]

School choice policy[edit]

Choice is a key element of the Eugene School District, which is home to several alternative education programs (sometimes known as magnet schools, in Eugene such programs are called "alternative schools"). The district's sometimes-controversial[4] open school choice[5] policy[6] means that families who live in the district may enroll their children in any 4J school, provided there is space available. Most parents choose to have their children attend the neighborhood school near their home, but others elect to enroll their children in a different neighborhood school or in an alternative school. For students requesting enrollment in a school other than their own neighborhood school, open slots are granted in an order determined by the district's annual school choice lottery.[7]

Alternative schools and language immersion[edit]

Among the district's 18 elementary schools, four schools immerse the students in a foreign language for half or all of the day: River Road/El Camino del Rio Spanish/English dual immersion,[8] Buena Vista Spanish immersion,[9] Yujin Gakuen Japanese immersion, and Charlemagne French immersion.[10] Language immersion offerings continue K–12, allowing students to continue their intensive Spanish, French or Japanese programs through middle school and high school. Eugene International High School has programs on three campuses — Churchill, Sheldon and South Eugene. Other alternative elementary and K–8 schools include Corridor Elementary School, Arts & Technology Academy, and Family School.

Regional high schools[edit]

The Eugene School District includes four comprehensive high schools. Churchill High School (1966) serves the southwest portion of Eugene, as well as rural areas south and west of the city. North Eugene (1957) offers three small school programs in one building,[11] serving the River Road and Santa Clara neighborhoods northwest of the city center. Sheldon (1963) students come from the Coburg Road area north of downtown Eugene, as well as the city of Coburg and the rural area in between. South Eugene (1901), formerly Eugene High, is the district's oldest high school. It serves the area of Eugene south and east of the downtown area and the University of Oregon.

Charter schools[edit]

The district also sponsors four public charter schools, which operate independently of the school district: Coburg Community Charter School, Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School, The Village School, and Network Charter School.

Coburg Community Charter School is the newest charter added to the Eugene area; the school board approved its charter in 2011 after deciding to close Coburg Elementary School, the public school which had existed in Coburg since the mid-1800s.[12] Ridgeline Montessori, a K–8 program founded in 2000 as one of Oregon's first charter schools, is a publicly funded school based on Montessori educational philosophy and methods.[13] The Village School, also founded in 2000, describes itself as a holistic, arts-integrated program inspired by Waldorf education.[14] The curriculum of the Network Charter School, in downtown Eugene, is drawn from an alliance of local businesses and non-profits.[15]

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Adams Elementary School
  • Awbrey Park Elementary School
  • Bertha Holt Elementary School
  • Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School
  • Camas Ridge Community Elementary School
  • César E. Chávez Elementary School
  • Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School
  • Coburg Community Charter School
  • Corridor Elementary School (alternative school)
  • Edgewood Community Elementary School
  • Edison Elementary School
  • Family School (K-8 alternative school)
  • Gilham Elementary School
  • Howard Elementary School
  • McCornack Elementary School
  • Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School (K-8 charter school)
  • River Road/El Camino del Rio Elementary School (Spanish/English dual immersion)
  • Spring Creek Elementary School
  • Twin Oaks Elementary School
  • Willagillespie Elementary School
  • The Village School (K-8 charter school)
  • Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School

Note: Coburg, Crest Drive, Meadowlark and Parker Elementary School were closed in June 2011 after years of declining district enrollment.[16]

Middle schools[edit]

  • Arts & Technology Academy
    • Located in the former Jefferson Middle School building
    • Neighborhood middle school, grades 6–8 (previously a K–8 school)
    • Grades 6–8 of Family School are co-located at ATA as a program within a school
    • New school building will open in 2017
  • Cal Young Middle School
    • Named for Cal Young, prominent pioneer of Eugene, Oregon, and first head football coach of the University of Oregon
    • Founded in 1953
    • New school building opened in 2006
  • Family School
    • K–8 program
    • Grades K–5 located in former Crest Drive Elementary School building
    • Grades 6–8 co-located with Arts & Technology Academy
  • French Immersion Middle School
    • A program of Roosevelt Middle School
  • Kelly Middle School
  • Kennedy Middle School
  • Madison Middle School
  • Monroe Middle School
  • Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School
    • K–8 charter school
  • Roosevelt Middle School
  • Spanish Immersion Middle School
    • A program of Monroe Middle School
  • Spencer Butte Middle School
    • Named for a geographical feature of the region
  • The Village School
    • K–8 charter school
  • Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Middle School
    • A program of Kelly Middle School
    • Roughly translated from Japanese, the name means "happy garden of learning"

High schools[edit]


Dr. Gustavo Balderas has served as superintendent of Eugene School District 4J since July 2015.[26]

The seven-member Board of Directors[27] serves as the policy-making body of the school district. This school board selects the superintendent as the district's executive officer and delegates the responsibility for implementing its policies and plans to the superintendent. The board also has the annual responsibility of adopting a balanced school district budget, developed in a budget process along with seven appointed citizen members of the district's budget committee.[28]

Board members are elected from the district at large to serve four-year terms. Board members serve without pay.

The school board usually meets in regular public sessions on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7 p.m. at the 4J Education Center, 200 North Monroe, Eugene. Special meetings and work sessions are scheduled as necessary. All regular board meetings are broadcast live on the district's radio station, KRVM-AM 1280, and audio recordings are later posted to the district's website.[29]

The school board encourages public input. Comments on items that are not on the board's agenda may be made at the beginning of each meeting. Audience members who wish to speak may sign up at the beginning of the meeting. Comments also may be sent to the board via email.

Board members:

  • Jennifer Geller
  • Beth Gerot
  • Alicia Hays
  • Anne Marie Levis
  • Eileen Nittler
  • Jim Torrey
  • Mary Walston

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "School District Facts". Eugene School District. 
  2. ^ "Schools Reach Diversity Goal: The Eugene School District hopes to continue to increase the proportion of minority teachers". The Register-Guard. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  3. ^ "Count of homeless students in Oregon school districts, 2008-2009" (PDF). The Oregonian. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  4. ^ "Choice and Lawyers: Does 4J's school-picking game leave too many losers?". Eugene Weekly. 2005-01-27. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  5. ^ "School Choice". Eugene School District. 
  6. ^ "School Policy" (PDF). Oregon School Boards Association Policies Online.  line feed character in |publisher= at position 33 (help)
  7. ^ "A Parent's Guide to Education in Eugene". DiscoverEugene ( Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Dual Effort: Students in a unique immersion program in Eugene are learning two languages at once". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 2010-01-28. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Immersed in Controversy: A decision to add kindergarten at Buena Vista Elementary stirs some unease at neighbor school". The Register-Guard. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  10. ^ "Elementary School Language Immersion Programs:4J School District, Eugene, Oregon.". DiscoverEugene ( Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  11. ^ "Finding New North: A review of the small-schools structure at North Eugene High nears". The Register-Guard. 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  12. ^ "Coburg charter school gearing up: 110 students are enrolled, and the school's board has approved the hiring of six teachers". The Register-Guard. 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  13. ^ "Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School (official website)". 
  14. ^ "The Village School (official website)". 
  15. ^ "Network Charter School (official website)". 
  16. ^ "Schools' fates decided: Eugene School Board votes to close four elementaries as part of broad cuts". The Register-Guard. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  17. ^ "America's Best High Schools, 2016". U.S. News & World Report. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Tardy South Eugene absent from 'best schools' list: The school was late submitting data for Newsweek's annual list, which includes Sheldon and Churchill". The Register-Guard. June 23, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  19. ^ "America's Best High Schools, 2016". U.S. News & World Report. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Newsweek ranks Corbett High 5th best in U.S.". KGW. June 15, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Tardy South Eugene absent from 'best schools' list: The school was late submitting data for Newsweek's annual list, which includes Sheldon and Churchill". The Register-Guard. June 23, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  22. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2016". U.S. News & World Report. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  23. ^ "America's Top High Schools 2014". Newsweek. 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  24. ^ "2013 America's Best High Schools". Newsweek. 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  25. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2012". Newsweek. 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Gustavo Balderas Biography". Eugene School District. 
  27. ^ "Board of Directors". Eugene School District. 
  28. ^ "Budget Committee". Eugene School District. 
  29. ^ "Board Meetings". Eugene School District. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]