PPS Coronavirus Update: March 183/18/2020
Dear PPS Families and Staff,
We want to continue to provide you with the latest updates and information. Work continues around the clock to provide academic and social emotional supports as well as meals to students during the statewide school closure, which per Governor Brown’s Executive Order, will extend through April 28.
- Meals Distribution & Learning Packets: In just two days, we have served over 7,000 meals to students at 15 locations. You can find information about our meal availability at pps.net/coronavirus. Please know that all PPS students and any child or youth ages 1-18 are welcome to stop by any one of these sites for a grab-n-go meal. At those same sites, students and families can also find staff who can help address mental health needs, provide access to interpreters, and make available learning packets and books to take home. We are also adding digital content and other educational resources to our website on a daily basis.
- Computer Needs: We sent a survey to families today to determine who needs to borrow a PPS district laptop or device during the closure to support their learning while schools are closed. We would also like to hear about families’ access to the Internet. We hope you received the survey today; if not, you can find it here.
- Home-based Learning: By the end of this week, we hope to have more information for families and educators regarding how we plan to make available online lessons and curriculum during the break. We are beginning to work with our educators to offer students an array of ways to interact with grade-level lessons and one another during this time. Please stay tuned for upcoming guidance about how to support home-based learning for your child.
- School Cleaning: Our custodians are hard at work in every PPS school and are assisting at schools where meals are served. They and our maintenance and warehouse teams have been key to our ability in ensuring that every student and staff member will come back to a sanitized, safe, and operationally sound building.
Please know that district leaders are working with the Oregon Department of Education, which is developing guidance for school systems, to clarify answers regarding the implementation of the just announced Executive Order as well as to develop responses to the many important questions we understand that students and families are expressing at this time. These include:
- How will this school closure impact high school students and graduation requirements?
- I am a first responder or health care worker who provides essential services in the City of Portland, what child care is available for my children?
- How will this closure affect the school calendar? Will we have to make up the lost school days?
- Will school districts be expected to still administer the SBAC and other state-mandated tests?
- What opportunities will my child or students have to connect with their teacher(s) during this closure?
- Will there be any impact to the compensation of any of our employee groups?
These are just a sample of the many questions we are seeking clarification about with state officials and which the State Board of Education will also need to consider. We will do our best to keep the broader community informed about relevant information as soon as we learn it. We will also post a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document on our website to capture responses to many of these questions.
Once again, it’s worth repeating: we encourage everyone in our community to continue following recommended practices including social distancing, washing hands frequently, and covering mouths when coughing or sneezing. Those experiencing symptoms of the cold or flu should stay at home until symptom-free for 72 hours. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor.
We appreciate your understanding during this changing situation. This crisis is requiring us to operate differently. Our goal is to maximize instructional time and minimize disruptions to learning.
We wish all families and staff safety, health and wellness this week, and always.
Dr. Kregg Cuellar, Deputy Superintendent, Instructional & School Communities
Claire Hertz, Deputy Superintendent, Business & Operations