• Climate Strike Friday

    Dear PPS Families,

    On September 24, 2021, we expect some PPS students to participate in a Climate Strike. Students are planning to walk out of class and gather at the Oregon Convention Center at 11:00 am and then march to city hall to share their concerns related to climate change and climate justice.

    PPS is not sponsoring this event, but we do recognize students’ constitutional right to freedom of expression. We also recognize that:

    This student-led event involves learning opportunities that align with the spirit of the PPS Board of Education's approved Climate Justice Resolution #5272.

    Our district vision, PPS reImagined, includes a graduate portrait that describes expectations for student growth in their understanding of racial equity and climate justice issues.

    The subject matter aligns with both our district policies and core curriculum.

    Please talk with your student about this event. Once students leave our campus for unsponsored events, Portland Public Schools can no longer guarantee their safety. We ask you to please discuss your family's expectations with your student about their participation, safety during walkout and demonstrations, expectations regarding COVID-19 prevention strategies (masks, physical distancing, etc), and communication with you if they choose to leave school during the day.

    For our high school students: Consistent with Oregon law and district policies, students must make arrangements with their teachers or principals for addressing any missed school assignments (including quizzes, tests). High school students must make arrangements and have parent/guardian permission with their teachers in order to receive an excused absence if they choose to take part in local climate strike activities. Staff will not be able to supervise students after they leave campus.

    For our high school student athletes: Additionally, student athletes who choose to participate in activities on September 24 must communicate with teachers prior to participating in the walkout to talk about missed work and have a parent/guardian or the student give advance notice to their school’s athletic director of their participation in the strike. If these actions are taken, student athletes will be eligible to play in games or practices that afternoon/evening.

    For our elementary and middle school students: Elementary and Middle School students will be asked to remain in the building. Parents may choose to sign their students out and participate with them. If parents plan for an adult other than parent/guardian to check out their student, you will need to update the school that another adult is authorized to pick up your student.

    Students who are not in class will be marked absent, and regular attendance phone calls will be made through our standard notification system. Once students leave school grounds we cannot ensure their location or their safety. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we encourage limiting large gatherings to avoid possible spread. Please discuss with your student your family’s expectations for the day. Please reach out to your principal with any questions or concerns.

    Finally, per PPS reImagined, our district vision, we recognize that student leadership and advocacy is an important part of the educational experience:

    PPS Climate Justice Youth Advisory Group: We encourage students to join the PPS Climate Justice Youth Advisory Group, which serves to advise PPS senior leaders on the future of climate justice efforts in our school district. For details, please contact Yian Saechao, PPS’ Youth Engagement Specialist at yisaechao@pps.net.

    Climate Crisis Response Policy Survey: We also encourage your students and you to provide feedback via this survey on our emerging Climate Crisis Response Policy, a set of policy strategies the PPS Board of Education is considering to reduce PPS’ greenhouse gas emissions and build a culture of learning, responsibility, and resilience around climate justice.

    Thank you.