• Fall 2020: Update for August 28

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    Dear PPS Families,

    As we continue to prepare for next week’s start to the 2020-21 school year, we have a few updates and reminders from messages you should have received earlier this week. As always, you can visit pps.net/fall2020 to find the latest information and resources.

    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 approach the first day of school next Wednesday, we will share important, 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 very excited to see students (virtually) next week! The start of the school year can be a bit overwhelming in normal circumstances, and we know that the pandemic means a number of additional variables to navigate this year, including technology. 

    We invite all families to visit pps.net/fall2020 to access a full set of orientation videos and other resources, translated into our district-supported languages, to help you better understand the learning platforms students and teachers will use this fall. You will also find information on how to log on to the platforms, how to connect to the internet and other helpful tips. 

    If you or your student is still struggling with any of the aspects of learning technology, we hope you will call the PPS Technology Help Desk, which is open from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on school days. We will answer your questions and share information and helpful tips about anything related to distance learning technology. The Technology Help Desk is available in all PPS-supported languages. Email support@pps.net or call us: 

    • English: 503-916-3375
    • Español: 503-916-3582
    • 中文:503-916-3585
    • Tiếng Việt: 503-916-3584
    • Soomaali: 503-916-3586
    • Русский: 503-916-3583

    One of the changes your student will notice from PPS HD last spring: schools and students are allowed to use Zoom during the instructional day. Google Meet is still available and teachers can continue using that tool. The choice will be up to the teacher as to which software they would like to use to hold their virtual classrooms in.

    We want to remind you that Portland Public Schools is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students. No personal information about students is shared with or accessible by those outside the learning community. Although online lessons will be recorded to provide asynchronous learning opportunities to students, teachers will keep personally identifiable information from being disclosed during these recordings. Online student participation and work is closely monitored by the assigning teacher. Parents should also closely monitor online content and maintain full access to the login and password information of their student’s accounts.

    On Tuesday evening, our Chief of Schools, Dr. Shawn Bird presented sample instructional schedules to the Board of Education. Here you can find those schedules and you should expect to receive specific school schedules from your student’s principal. 

    A reminder that our first two weeks of school (September 2-11) will follow the “soft start” schedule focusing on connection, which can be found by clicking here.

    We know students, coaches and families are wondering about a possible return of athletics. We are working diligently to determine when we can safely introduce some form of distanced, outdoor training as a first step. We expect to have more information about athletics within the next week. We will also update you soon on potential plans for other small-group opportunities on campus as fall progresses, when COVID-19 numbers improve and we identify ways to safely adhere to evolving guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. Throughout all of this planning, we will prioritize the health and wellness of our students and staff.

    Finally, we will share our comprehensive list of student and family supports with you next early week. This will include comprehensive services and programs provided by our culturally specific community partners. Those services and programs extend from academic supports and enrichment and extended day programming, to social and emotional supports and family resources. The full menu, with school-by-school options, will be released and sent to you by next Tuesday.  

    It has been a busy summer and we know, for many, a challenging one. While the start of this school year will look different than ever before, we are very eager to begin and we look forward to connecting with students next week. Have a great weekend.