Cheetah Chatter

César E. Chávez Elementary School

February 2022

1510 W. 14th Street, Eugene, Ore. 97402

School Office Hours 7:30 am-3:00 pm


Message from Ms. Pearson

Dear Chávez Families,

As we enter into the second half of the school year, I would like to give you an update on what's been happening in our Chávez neighborhood.

The biggest change we have seen recently is the closure of the temporary campground across from our school. The City of Eugene closed the site on January 18, offering recognized occupants space at other locations and assisting them with the transition. In its January 26 "Temporary Camping Update," the CIty stated: "Since the 13th Avenue site is now secured and posted as closed to the public, police can act immediately on any trespassing (no issues have occurred yet at the closed site). Police, Parking Services and Public Works continue to monitor areas near the closed temporary camp for unsanctioned camping, and also stand ready to respond to reports in the neighborhood."

What's next for this empty lot? Ms. Angie and I attended a recent community meeting to discuss just that. Plans for building affordable housing on the site are gaining momentum. Both the neighborhood association and the City appear committed to work together to transform the vacant lot into a useful neighborhood asset. I am excited to see how the plans proceed, and I will continue to be part of the conversation as it unfolds.

The location of the camp so close to our school shone a light on the safety and security of our campus. One area I have been working on with our 4J leadership is a way to close off the Emergency Fire Lane during school hours. This Fire Lane, bordering our building to the east, is connected to the Westmoreland Bike Path; it is an access point for many neighborhood folks who want to cut across. Putting a fence there is a complicated project that involves inserting a culvert in the ditch and running electricity to a gate to regulate access. Months ago, planning began and an architect was engaged by 4J to develop the design.

I am happy to announce that the fence is now becoming a reality. There will be a gate that is open to the public outside of school hours. Although the timeline is contingent on the everpresent supply chain issues, we hope to have the fence in place before the end of this school year. I will keep you updated as things firm up.

Finally, I would like to ask for your help. Together with 4J Safe Routes to School, we are creating "Walking School Buses" and "Safe Path Ambassadors" for our neighborhood. Please read the information below and fill out the form to participate.

I appreciate your support and commitment to our kids, our neighborhood, and our community.

Best to you and your family,

Ms. Deirdre Pearson, Principal

Safe Path Ambassadors Needed

We would LOVE to support more families walking or bicycling to school together —it strengthens our community, it gets our students active and ready to learn, and it’s good for the environment.

We are looking for committed adults to help us start “Walking School Buses” in the mornings and to be stationed around the school to greet students and act as "Safe Path Ambassadors." If you're interested in helping with either of these, or having your child participate in a walking group, please fill out this form:

If you have any questions, you may call Sarah Mazze, 4J Safe Routes to School Coordinator at (541) 516-0887 or email


Feb 8 Kids Heart Challenge Kickoff Assembly

Feb 8 Cheetah PACK Meeting

Feb 9 Mobile Food Pantry - Roosevelt Middle School

Feb 16 Mobile Food Pantry - Cal Young Middle School

Feb 21 No School - Presidents Day

Feb 23 Mobile Food Pantry - District Office

Feb 24 Conscious Discipline Family Info Night, Part Two

Feb 28 Site Council Meeting

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

Family Meet Up points are the Fire Lane on the east side, and the playground on the west side. Parents and guardians, remember to say your goodbyes at these spots in the morning, and then wait there to meet up after school. Due to COVID, we discourage non-staff adults from walking up to the entry doors.

Families walking via the bike path need to use the Fire Lane rather than cutting through the back of the building. That part of our campus is closed to non-staff, due to safety and security protocols.

Thank you for your compliance with these safety measures.


Kids Heart Challenge is kicking off on Tuesday, February 8th! We’re excited to learn about heart health and emotional well-being while having FUN and SAVING LIVES. Sign up and get a jumpstart TODAY – we want 100% of our students to register online and take the challenge!

Celebrate Palentine's Day on February 14!

This year, let's celebrate our friendships! February 14th does not need to be about romantic love. At Chávez, we see it as a wonderful time to celebrate the love and caring between friends and loved ones.

Cheetah PACK News

Click here to read the PACK Newsletter:



The February PACK Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 8th from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm via zoom. Here is the link for the meeting:

The main focus of this month's meeting will be planning for the Read Across America virtual event planned for March.

New members always welcome! Email for more info:

4J Mobile Food Pantry provides free food to 4J families in need every Wednesday through February!

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There's a very strong correlation between good attendance and success in school. On the other hand, students who regularly miss school are also more likely to struggle in school.

Missed days add up quickly: Just two days a month puts a child's success in jeopardy because students fall behind and disconnect. By third grade, it gets much more difficult to catch up. Students who regularly miss school can quickly feel hopeless, and returning becomes harder and harder.

The reasons for chronic absenteeism are understandable but they must be addressed. Troubleshooting issues that are keeping a student away from school can make a difference immediately and for the long term. Students with solid attendance are much more likely to be successful during school and after graduation.

Need help with getting your child to school, on time, every day? We are here to help. Please reach out to your child's teacher or the office for support.





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It's been a wonderful month with classroom visits, small groups getting underway, and our first Conscious Discipline Parent Night on Jan. 27. If you were hoping to attend but couldn't make it, fear not! Ms. Tracy and I will put together a recording covering the information and make that available to everyone by the end of next week. We have our next two Conscious Discipline Parent Nights scheduled if you want to save the dates: Feb. 24 and Mar. 31, both from 6:00-7:00pm via Zoom. Stay tuned for invitations!

In terms of SEL (Social Emotional Learning), the focus in February is on kindness. Most grade levels will be getting into their Bullying Prevention Units this month (building on their work with empathy and safety), and we'll have some school-wide projects emphasizing kindness. One of the tenets in Conscious Discipline is, "What you focus on, you get more of;" we look forward to celebrating acts of kindness and their positive reverberations throughout our community, and encourage you to follow up at home with curiosity about what kindnesses your child saw during the day, how they were kind, or how they might like to practice kindness tomorrow.

I've continued to update my virtual office where you'll find a variety of resources, especially in the caregiver corner. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to discuss your student or family's needs. I'm available via email: or by phone at 541-790-5383 (direct office line).

Finally, not an official Chávez event, but I wanted to invite you to attend a training I'll be facilitating in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Lane County on February 15 from 6:30-8:00pm, called QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), which is an educational program designed to teach the public the warning signs of suicide and how to respond. If you're interested, but unable to attend at that time, SPCLC offers the training about once per month and you can check back for future dates on that same registration link.

Wishing you well,

Ms. Shannon

Shannon Sell, LCSW (she/her – why pronouns matter)

School Social Worker I Chávez Elementary School
Eugene School District 4J I 541.790.5383

Safe Routes To School in the news!

Check out this Oregon Department of Transportation video featuring our crosswalk!

The video focuses on the infrastructure improvements at Chávez. 4J Safe Routes To School Coordinator Sarah Mazze and a local parent advocate are both interviewed about what it took to get the crosswalk put in at Chambers and 15th.



Student success has always guided AVID’s mission. All the funding, requirements, new technology, educator trainings, and curriculum are meaningless unless students can achieve their college and career goals. Passionate teachers with genuinely high expectations are creating lifelong connections and positively impacting the trajectory of their students’ lives every day because of the AVID Effect.

From the moment that teachers participate in AVID professional learning, they begin to shift their beliefs about teaching and learning, allowing them to cultivate a growth mindset—for both themselves and their students. We are glad to announce that six Chávez teachers will be attending the AVID Summer Institute this year.

Request Your Child's Free LTD Pass!

In 4J, elementary and middle school students will need parent/guardian permission to receive a student transit pass. To get a free LTD student transit pass, fill out the permission form at this link The student transit pass can be used to get anywhere within the LTD service area, including on weekends and after school.