Fall 2020: Update for August 7

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    Dear PPS Families,

    We have a few updates to share with you today, as we get closer to the start of the 2020-21 school year. As always, you can find the latest information and resources by visiting this webpage (pps.net/fall2020). 

    As you know, following guidance from health officials and Gov. Brown, academic instruction will be online from the first day of school, September 2, through at least November 5. We will continue to send updates on a weekly basis. As we get closer to September 2, we will share important and/or time-sensitive information in regards to how your child will start school through a number of channels, including both email and text messaging. If you have not already opted to receive texts from PPS Communications, you can do so by texting “Yes” or “Y” to 68453. Please note that PPS Communications uses text messaging on a limited basis.

    We are so excited to re-connect with students and families. The first two weeks of school are designed to help students settle in and be best prepared for a successful year. The schedule will include opportunities for Social-Emotional Learning together through connecting and relationship building, as well as setting expectations around instruction and building a virtual classroom culture. 

    This time will also allow us to make sure our online learning platforms are working well on a large, district-wide scale so that students and teachers are ready, connected to each other and comfortable with the learning technology they will be using. 

    We plan to provide multiple opportunities for virtual orientation to ensure all students and parents/caregivers know and understand the online tools that students and educators will be using this fall, and our tech support call center will go online the week of August 17.

    A number of district functional teams continue to work on the Portland Public Schools Operational Blueprint for 2020-21, which will be presented to the Board of Education Tuesday evening. This plan for instruction and support for the upcoming school year covers areas including academic conditions for distance learning, health and wellness, grading, racial equity and access, special education, student and family support, and access to nutrition.  

    As our teams continue to refine what instruction will look like in the fall, we wanted to share some of the latest details with you: 

    • All PK-5 students will have daily synchronous (live and happening at a scheduled time) check-ins with their teachers. Secondary students will have a consistent course schedule with synchronous check-ins. We are working to balance total instructional time with best practices regarding screen time for different age groups. Attendance will be taken, so please make sure your child attends school daily.
    • Students will have opportunities to access educator office hours, receive support for academic and mental health/wellness needs and explore extracurricular activities. 
    • The majority of special services, including Special Education and ESL, will be provided synchronously, unless agreed upon with families for a different type of instruction.  

    We are also expanding the ways we support our students for the upcoming school year:

    • We will have a social worker for every high school and elementary school. We will have additional counselors for every middle school. They will be trained in trauma informed supports and racial equity and social justice. 
    • We have expanded our mental health partnerships with community agencies in order to provide teletherapy and will hire additional substance use specialists to help support our most marginalized students who struggle with mental health and addiction challenges.
    • We have partnered with our culturally specific community partners and are finalizing ways in which we can creatively support our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) students and families.

     The PPS plan will be submitted to the Oregon Department of Education later next week. If you would like to watch Tuesday’s Board meeting presentation, please click here

    Superintendent Guerrero joined district leaders from the Beaverton, Salem-Keizer and Evergreen school districts for an hour-long town hall on KOIN-TV Thursday evening. You can watch the program, “Kids, Class and Coronavirus,” by clicking here.

    The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) announced Wednesday that OSAA sports and activities will be delayed until January. If you have specific questions about your student's specific sport, please contact your school or the PIL offices at 503-916-3223.

    We will be in touch next week, and families should start hearing from their schools, as well. In the meantime, we wish you health and wellness. Have a great weekend.

  • Where can I read the most current updates regarding PPS plans for the Fall 2020?

  • Will the distance learning model be the same or different from last spring’s model?

  • What will a typical day look like for students?

  • What additional supports will be available to students and families?

  • What will special education services look like in the fall?

  • What about evaluations for special education from the spring?

  • Is PPS providing computers to students?

  • What about athletics?

  • What digital learning platforms is PPS using this fall?

  • How is this going to roll out in September? Will my student log in and start classes right away?

  • Will PPS offer child care this fall?

Previous Fall 2020 Messages

  • July 28 Superintendent's Message Announcing Online Classes Until Nov. 5

  • July 20 Update To Families

  • July 11 Message To Families and Staff

  • July 1 Message To Families

2020-21 School Year Calendar