Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will the kids have enough to fill their day or do I need to provide stuff for them?

A: Yes. The first two weeks of school we will be going slow to make sure students understand the technology needs to be successful. Once we all can understand the technology, teachers will be providing work for students to complete on their own as well as during their live in class times.

Q: Is there homework assigned in addition to homework?

A: Yes. Homework at Spencer Butte differs based on grade level and class. Some classes will have more homework than others. Some classes may have no homework at all.

Q: How can families access Canvas to know if my student turned stuff in?

A: Parents are able to register as an observer of their students’ Canvas account which will allow for parents to see what their student is doing. 

Q: How is my kid in classes? Are they moving with a cohort in zoom?

A: Our average class size in Distance learning is about 33. Zoom classes are based on student schedules if they were in our building. This will not be their cohort if we move into hybrid.

Q: We just got parentvue email tonight, right?

A: Parentvue login information was sent to parents who had not accessed parentvue before. If you need parentvue access, please contact our front office.

Q: Will you have people helping teachers to manage classroom chat?

A: Teachers have the opportunity to turn off chat if they want. Typically, there is not another adult in the zoom for helping monitor the chat.

Q: I need some support on signing up for parentvue.

A: If you have any questions or trouble logging into parent vue, please contact the office.

Q: I was not clear- are students expected to be on screen for the afternoon for each period in synchronized learning?

A: Zoom may be one platform that students are asked to use during synchronous time, however, it may not be the only platform used. We assume it will be used more often at the beginning  of the year. When using zoom, students have the option of whether they turn on their video camera. Our hope is that over time most students will feel comfortable having their camera on when the teacher asks.

Q: Please include instructions on changing electives when schedule information is provided?

A: We will publish information on how to request schedule changes on this Friday’s Spartan Update and on the website.

Q: Will meetings next week be covering this same information? Updates since tonight?

A: Many of our parent meetings will be driven by parent questions and content may be slightly different. However, if there is important information we believe everyone should know, it will be visible in our Spartan updates or on the Website. 

Q: When do math placement tests occur?

A: Math placement tests are happening in the beginning of October. We are sending out a letter in this regard to all 6th grade students tonight and to some 7th and 8th grade students.

Q: Will clubs or any other after school activities be available for students online this Fall?

A: We are working to make clubs available for students during Distance Learning. These details are still getting worked out. More information will be provided soon.

Q: Are we doing anything around fundraising?

A: This is unknown at the time 

Q: Are there supplies to be picked up?

A: Yes. We will host a supply pick up days on October 6, 7, and 8

Q: Is there any way we can prepare new 6th graders how to organize and prepare for middle school?

A: All 6th graders will be taking a class first term called academic success that will help support organization and executive functioning for the year. It is always helpful for parents to help by modeling how to schedule, practice down time, how to ask for help and problem solving when frustrated.

Q: Is Spencer Butte a food distribution site?

A: Spencer Butte is a meal site. Any 4j student under the age of 18 can come to SpencerButte Monday–Friday between 10:45 a.m.–2:00 p.m. (to get a free breakfast and Lunch through December.

Q: We are new.. 6th grade… how do we pick classes? We picked electives already, are the required classes picked for us?

A: Students are asked to pick elective classes through for the year. We try to get them into one of their top choices The other required classes will be picked by the school.

Q: Can parents host a club? Math club?

A: Yes. If you are interested in hosting a club, please contact Peter Tromba.

Q: will classes get letter grades this year with distance learning?

A: Yes. Students will be graded as we typically grade at Spencer Butte, either proficiency or letter grade depending on the grade level and teacher. Students have the opportunity to choose pass/no-pass.

Q: Will you have dress codes etc for Zoom?

A: While in zoom, we expect students to follow our district dress code policy.

Q: So are office hours able to be reserved or drop in only?

A: Teacher office hours will be posted and are available for a drop in session. There are other times you may request additional help and can make arrangements with a teacher.

Q: What is the reasoning behind doing the asynchronous is in am and synchronous in the pm?

A: The district, along with a work group of staff wanted to alter the three different levels synchronous time in order to help support families who may have students at different levels and require sibling and parental support. 

Q: Do the teachers have a preferred method of communication, or is it by teacher?

A: Email will be the best way to contact with teachers. However, the office is open and if you have a question that requires immediate assistance, please call. 

Q: So are C days considered almost like a catch up day for homework and assignments?

A: Students will have a short assignment to do in the morning. The afternoon is for catch up and extension. Students can go to a Re-teach class to help them, meet with a teacher in office hours to get questions answered, or attend clubs/activities.

Q: Is it expected the kids be present, during synchronized times? essentially my question is it flexible?

A: While times are flexible, if students are not present during synchronous learning, they are at a disadvantage to complete the work.

Q: Would it be allowed for students to do independent studies for one or more elective?

A: We will have opportunities for extension activities on Wednesdays that could be tailored to student interest.

Q: if there is a planned absence, do we coordinate through the teachers?

A: If your student plans to be gone, you will want to coordinate with the teachers as well as letting Hanna Sites in our front office know.

Q: Is there a universal login for students or will each class have a separate login? Where will our students find this info?

A: Once students can log into their own Canvas account, they will have access to all of their classes. 

Q: Will there be a certain teacher my kids could get in touch with for TAG and advanced math?

A: Margaret Albright is our TAG coordinator. However, if you are looking for advancement in a specific subject, it would be important to connect with that teacher.

Q: How will schedules be altered for AVID participation?

A: AVID is held during 6th period and counts as one of the the student’s electives.

Q: My son has P.E and health on his current schedule…will that be changed?

A: This year most students will be taking Health and PE and they are separate classes.

Q: Is Spanish no longer an option?

A: Spanish is an option for 7th and 8th graders.

Q: Are kids required to use the ipads provided or can they use their own computer?

A: We prefer students use our school device as we can provide better tech support if it is our devices. Teachers will also be sharing information on how things may look, and we have noticed that different devices display our platforms differently.

Q: Are the kids going to be able to check out library books?

A: Yes. We are still working on that process. Please be on the lookout in the Spartan Update for more information to come. 

Q: Will the office be open tomorrow and if so, what time?

A: Our office is generally open from 8-4.

Q: We have math books to return, is that a concern?

A: If you have any supplies to return to Spencer Butte, please do so. Call the office and arrange a time to drop them off.

Q: Does the Eugene public library require anything to issue a library card?

A: The 4j District handbook has an application to apply for a Eugene Public Library Card. We have some in the office if you would like one, please give us a call.

Q: What will be the mode of communication regarding Wednesday re-teach classes?

A: If a teacher would like a student to attend a Wednesday re-teach class, the teacher or the school will notify the parent and student.

Q: How do the students get an email account?

A: All students when enrolling in 4j will receive a student email account. If your student cannot access their email, please contact the front office. 

Q: How are they taking attendance?

A: Attendance is weird in distance learning because we want to measure multiple types of attendance: going to a in-person class and doing work in Canvas or over email. The plan for middle schools is that teachers take attendance over a 24 hour period from 11 am to 11 am. Students are present if they attend in-person of if they do school work online.

Q: Are you suggesting any school supplies at this point?

A: We have a short supply list and a form to request supplies from the school.

Q: Are there any parent groups/organizations at the school? We are coming from a charter school and we had a parent committee to help support teachers, fundraisers, etc.

A: Historically Spencer Butte had a vibrant parent group. In the last decade or so, that has waned. We are interested in anyone who would like to volunteer for a parent council, who will assist the principal with organizing parent activities in the future.

Q: Can you explain example activities for Applied learning

A: Every subject is different in this regard and teachers are still figuring out the difference between in-person, applied, and homework. Applied is something that is in a Canvas module that most students should be able to do without asking their teachers questions, but where some will have questions and need support.

Q: I noticed PE is only scheduled for 1 trimester…are there any good resources you could provide so we can schedule in our own physical ed each day?

A: Please reach out to Sami Abbit with this question. She is committed to the physical education needs of all of our students all year long.

Q: What will PE class look like?

A: The teacher will give instruction on a variety of physical education topics and then have the students practice. Students will get credit for logs that the keep and submit documenting their work.

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