Following guidance from health officials and Gov. Kate Brown, Portland Public Schools will start the 2020-21 school year online until at least November 5. This page will offer regular updates on our Comprehensive Distance Learning program and other supports for students and families during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
September 25 Update: Clarifying Expectations for Middle School Instruction
Dear PPS Middle School Families,
We apologize for the confusion many students and families are feeling with regard to middle school schedules and expectations for distance learning instruction. We have worked with educators and administrators throughout this week to come to a more clear understanding related to middle school learning experience, and want to make sure you know what to expect as well.
The middle school schedule is designed to give students opportunities for teacher and peer connection throughout the week and to make sure they are supported and challenged by meaningful work that matches grade-level standards.
- Monday to Thursday: Students work directly with teachers online from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
- Friday: Students meet with all of their classes live in whole or small groups; or engage in asynchronous learning; or meet with teachers during office hours.
Each type of learning is outlined below.
- Teachers are expected to provide whole-group instruction Monday/Tuesday, and may choose to also provide whole-group instruction Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, depending on students’ needs.
- We know that middle school students need opportunities to connect with other students, and small groups provide this.
- Small groups provide an opportunity for teachers to get to know students better.
- Small groups are designed to: 1) reinforce learning, 2) provide additional instruction for students who need re-teaching or extensions. Groups will vary based on student need.
- If teachers are leading small-group instruction during a period, they are expected to provide applied learning work for students who are not part of that small group or groups.
- Students will have the opportunity for peer-to-peer connection during small-group instruction.
Whether teachers use small-group instruction, whole-group instruction, or office hours during the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday periods, they are expected to cover all priority standards for their subject that have been identified by the district.
Asynchronous Learning Occurring During Scheduled Class Periods
- Asynchronous learning should be aligned to the learning outcomes from teachers’ live lessons.
- During asynchronous learning periods (designated Periods 1-6 or 1-7), teachers are available for electronic communication with students.
- If a teacher is leading small-group instruction during a scheduled class period, they are expected to provide standards-aligned asynchronous work for students who are not expected to participate in small groups.
- Teachers should offer at least 30 minutes of office hours for students per week.
- Teachers have flexibility on which day to schedule office hours.
Advisory/Small Group Instruction Block (1 to 1:45 p.m.)
- Schools with advisory use this period for advisory. Schools without advisory offer instructional intervention and extensions.
- Teachers work with students directly or are present synchronously for student contact during this time.
Applied Learning (afternoon)
- Students are expected to be engaged in meaningful, standards-based work assigned during their synchronous periods (Periods 1-6 or 1-7).
- To make sure teachers can focus on giving feedback to students and engaging in professional collaboration, they are not expected to be able to respond to students synchronously during this time.
- Students will never be assigned to participate in unsupervised groups as part of applied learning.
K-8 Specials Note
- Within K-8 schools, PE, Art, Health, Library and Tech teachers are typically serving all grades. If your student’s teacher is scheduled to teach younger students during the designated middle school applied learning periods, they will not be able to be present to respond to students/families during these learning periods.
As always, thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work with our school leaders and educators to continually improve our comprehensive distance learning offering for all students in all grades.
September 22 Update: Breakfast and Lunch Are Free for All Students
Dear PPS Families,
As the 2020-21 school year gets under way, we are excited to share news about school meals. Through our partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, we will be able to provide school meals for all students at no cost at this time.
The USDA announced that it is continuing a program that made free breakfast and lunch available to all children during the summer. For Portland Public Schools, that means we will be able to offer seven days’ worth of meals every week for not just PPS students, but all Portland children ages 1-18.
As we announced in August, we have expanded our meals sites to 38 schools where families can pick up sacks of breakfast and lunch on select days, from 3 to 5 p.m.
Our regular meal service schedule will be:
- Mondays: 2 days’ worth of food
- Wednesdays: 2 days’ worth of food
- Fridays: 3 three days’ worth of food
The complete list of meal pickup sites is available at our Fall 2020 Meals webpage. Families are welcome to visit any school site for meals, regardless of whether their children attend that school. There is no need to sign up, register or provide student ID when you arrive. All sites are outside, and we ask that you wear a facemask and practice physical distancing as you pick up meals.
We will continue to inform you of any updates or changes to meal service. For more information or support, please contact the Nutrition Services department at 503-916-3399 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous Fall 2020 Messages
September 21 Update: Information about Middle Grades Virtual Schedules
September 10 Update: Menu of Student and Family Supports
September 9 Update on Child Care
September 2 Update: What Students and Families Need to Know about Attendance
August 28 Update for Families
August 26 Message to Families: Sample Instructional Schedules
August 21 Message to Families on "Soft Start"
August 14 Message to Families
August 7 Message to Families
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
What about athletics? (updated Aug. 5)
Will the distance learning model be the same or different from last spring’s model?
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?
Will PPS offer child care this fall?
Operational Blueprint for Reopening
The Oregon Department of Education, in its "Ready Schools, Safe Learners" guidance, requires schools and districts to submit and publicly post a blueprint for reopening for the 2020-21 school years. Click the image below to read PPS's blueprint:
Other Reopening Blueprints:
- School-by-school Blueprints for Reopening
- Limited in-person instruction/comprehensive distance learning blueprints
- Mulitple Pathways to Graduation programs
- PPS-sponsored Charter Schools