• Oregon Revises COVID-19 Criteria for Opening Schools

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    Dear PPS Families and Staff,

    Earlier today Governor Brown announced that the State of Oregon is relaxing the criteria and thresholds for schools to re-open to in-person instruction, starting with hybrid models that combine distance learning and on-campus learning.

    We just received the updated criteria and are still reviewing them. In the meantime, we can tell you this:

    • The metrics for returning to in-person instruction have changed, and they are less restrictive. This includes criteria related to positive COVID-19 cases in Multnomah County (as well as Washington and Clackamas Counties, given many of our employees are residents), as well as test positivity rates for counties.
    • Even with the new and more relaxed metrics, current numbers in Multnomah County would still preclude PPS from opening classrooms to students, either fully or in a hybrid model, until COVID numbers improve. 
    • Comprehensive distance learning at PPS will continue through January 28, as previously announced.

    Overall, these updated metrics give us a more realistic chance of offering a hybrid learning model or potentially full in-person instruction for students in the second semester, which begins February 2. However, we are not there yet; our county numbers still fall short and we are trending the wrong way. We need your help to change this. We are all part of getting our community’s COVID numbers down. Every time you put on a mask, keep yourself at a safe distance from others, or follow other public health best practices, you are contributing to our ability to bring students back to school.

    Until we can offer hybrid or full in-person instruction, we continue to explore opportunities to bring small groups of students to schools for limited in-person activities, following what we have already started with our student health centers, kindergarten and special education assessment sites, and athletics fitness training for high school students. 

    Throughout all of this, our commitment to student and family supports remains constant and we continue to be guided by health experts as we make decisions in the best interest of the health and well being of our students and staff. We are dedicated to returning students to our classrooms and hallways across the city as soon as we can safely do so.

    We will be in touch with a more detailed update next week. Thank you as always for your patience and flexibility as we navigate the pandemic together. We wish you a peaceful weekend. 

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