We continue to prepare for schools to reopen tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
Please note that our plan is for schools to start at regular times tomorrow making this the first day of eliminating late starts for professional development as part of our plan to restore lost instructional hours due to weather-related closures this winter.
This was a difficult decision. We know that school closures impact families in many ways, disrupting work schedules, childcare, in addition to classroom instruction for the nearly 49,000 students we serve.
We continue to work to get schools ready to open tomorrow. Ice is our biggest barrier and concern, and the safety of students and staff is our priority.
The vast majority of our schools have been cleared of snow yet, there are still a significant number that have walkways and other paths covered in ice, which we are working to clear today.
We want to update you on the status of our work to prepare our schools for the safe return of staff and students. Since Wednesday, our dedicated custodians and maintenance staff have been working very long hours to clear pathways, manage building power, plumbing and heat to ensure all of our utilities are operational given the freezing conditions that can impact pipes and electricity.
Schools will be closed tomorrow Friday, January 13. Our teams have been out today clearing school sidewalks and parking lots and putting the chains on buses, however it is still unsafe on the streets and sidewalks for all of our students and staff to get to school. All weekend activities including athletics are also canceled.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a local emergency as a result of the near-record snowfall last night and through today. Temperatures are expected to remain low overnight leaving significant amounts of snow on city roads and sidewalks. Power is also a concern in certain parts of the city and some of our schools. Because of the continued weather impacts, all PPS schools and district offices will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, January 12.