Prairie Mountain School

Bethel School District Eugene OR

Prairie Mountain’s New Assistant Principal- Jaime Noack

Dear Prairie Mountain students, families, and community,

It is a pleasure to announce to you that Jaime Noack has been selected as Prairie Mountain’s new assistant principal.  Jaime comes to us with 15 years of experience in education at several different roles: tutor, elementary teacher, elementary assistant principal, and middle school assistant principal.  Jaime is from Corvallis, but has spent the last 15 years serving students and families in several different places.  She was a private tutor in Saudi Arabia, an elementary teacher in Guatemala, and a teacher and administrator in North Carolina. Jaime is thrilled to be with us and can’t wait to start next year on the Mountain.

Here’s a message from Jaime:

Hello Prairie Mountain Families, 

I hope this message finds you all well.  I am beyond excited to join the Mountain as your new assistant principal! I wanted to take the opportunity to share a little information about myself, and I look forward to learning about each of you in the days and months to come. 

I grew up in Corvallis, but after high school the opportunity to play soccer and attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro came and I haven’t lived at “home” since. I earned my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and taught for eight years as a third and fifth grade teacher in both North Carolina and Guatemala (with a one year stint as a tutor for a Royal Family in Saudi Arabia in-between). I was awarded a North Carolina Principal Fellowship that allowed me to go back to school and complete a full-time administrative internship.  Since earning my Master’s in School Administration, I have spent the last four years as an assistant principal at the elementary and most recently middle school levels. The thought of being at a K-8 school, where my love for elementary and middle school can meet, is amazing!

Outside of school, I love spending time outdoors with my family. My husband, Guillermo, and I have two girls – Jessie (6) and Mia (2). We also have a German Shepherd (Max) who has traveled with us since living in Guatemala.  We are all thrilled to be coming “home” and starting our new adventure in Oregon. 

I have loved learning about all the wonderful things that make Prairie Mountain School such a wonderful community, and I look forward to partnering with all of you to make this a fantastic school year!

My best, 

Jaime Noack

Please join with me in sending a big Prairie Mountain welcome to Jaime Noack. 

Thanks again,


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Bethel Schools To Start With Online Instruction

Hi Prairie Mountain Families,

We have an important development to share about the start of the coming school year.

– Tuesday afternoon the State issued new rules for opening Oregon schools to in-person instruction, requiring a consistently low rate of new COVID cases. Neither Lane County nor the state of Oregon are currently meeting those low rates of new infection.

– Bethel schools are continuing to plan for a return to in-person instruction at some point during the 2020-21 school year.

– The #1 priority remains the health and safety for our students, families, and staff.

Opening Online: It has become clear that we must start the school year with 100% online instruction for all students. We will welcome all students back into our schools as soon as public health conditions allow.

This decision is a disappointment to many students and families who have been anticipating a return to school.  It is also a relief to those who have been hesitant about a return to in-person instruction in the midst of a pandemic.

Here are the new required COVID-19 baseline numbers we need to meet in order for us to open schools for in-person instruction. We were at these rates in May and June, and they are our new community-wide goal:

Lane County metrics– must be met three weeks in a row:

– 10 or fewer positive cases per 100,000 population in the preceding 7 days

– 5% or fewer positive tests in Lane County in the preceding 7 days

–  AND –

State metric must be met three weeks in a row:

– Test positivity rate of 5% or less in the preceding 7 days

K-3 Students: The state is more lenient on the baseline COVID numbers for opening doors for K-3 students. Research shared by Oregon Health Authority has shown that children under 10 get the virus at lower rates, get less sick, and spread the virus less than older students and adults.

So, while there is a possibility we will bring back K-3 students earlier than grades 4-12, all students will start with Bethel Online learning. We will share updates with you as soon as possible.

Bethel Online Learning: While starting this school year remotely is not ideal for many students and families, we have learned from the feedback our Bethel families provided after our emergency distance learning experience this spring. Bethel is committed to offering every child a rigorous online curriculum, five days a week, with daily contact from our dedicated Bethel teachers. We are committed to ensuring that our students continue to have access to the wide variety of classes and experiences available with in-person learning. To learn more about Bethel Online learning, click here.

Our goal remains to bring Bethel students and staff back to school as soon as is safely possible. The lower COVID-19 rates required by the state will become a community-wide goal that we can achieve by being diligent in our own health and safety behaviors.

So, while watching the COVID-19 numbers each day, our work is continuing, in order to provide the best possible education for all Bethel children.
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent

Hola, Familias de Prairie Mountain,

Tenemos una actualización importante que compartir sobre el comienzo del próximo año escolar.

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Reopening Answers & New State Guidance

What happens if a student or teacher is diagnosed with COVID-19? Can you explain the rules about face coverings? Could Bethel’s proposed instruction models change?

Answers to these questions and more about the reopening of Bethel schools are now available here. The questions are continuing to be gathered by taking this parent survey.

The answers are subject to change due to the seemingly ever-changing nature of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority, and Governor Brown have released updated guidance for schools.

Read the updated state guidance here.

It includes new requirements about face coverings, sanitizing, health screening, transportation, and much more.

¿Qué sucede si un estudiante o maestro es diagnosticado con COVID-19? ¿Puedes explicar las reglas sobre el uso de mascarillas? Continue reading

Mrs. Gill is Moving Off the Mountain

Dear Prairie Mountain Families,

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

I am writing this blog post to let you know that I will not be returning to Prairie Mountain in the fall. I have accepted an opportunity to be a principal in Albany next year. I am sad to be leaving the Mountain, but I am also excited for my next adventure. My new school is home of the Monarchs, so I will be able to bring the Prairie Mountain motto of “Remember to manage, lead, succeed, and soar today!” to my students and staff. I am thrilled to bring that tradition with me! 

My two years at Prairie Mountain have been amazing. I have loved getting to know students and families. Building relationships with everyone has definitely been a highlight for me. It’s a wonderful community and has been a great place to work. Thank you for welcoming me in to your Prairie Mountain family and thank you for all the great memories that I will take with me. I will miss you so much!  

Christy Gill 

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