PPS Reopening Update: Hybrid Learning Plans for Grades K-52/10/2021
Dear PPS Families,
We want to share with you emerging plans for a partial reopening of classrooms, starting this spring. Last evening, Superintendent Guerrero and district staff presented this update to the Board of Education. On Friday, we will ask families with students in kindergarten through 5th grade what their preferences are for their students’ learning options for April, May and June of 2021.
Beginning in early April, families with students in kindergarten through 5th grade will have the option to participate in “hybrid” learning, attending school in person four days per week for about 2+ hours per day. For families who prefer to have their student continue the school year in online-only Comprehensive Distance Learning, students will still have that option available.
Due to space constraints and more complex class schedule considerations, we are not yet ready to share updated plans for hybrid learning for middle and high school students.
IMPORTANT for Families of Kindergarten through 5th Grade Students:
On Friday you should receive a survey from your school that will ask you to share your learning model preference, including a hybrid option or continuing Comprehensive Distance Learning, for your student in April, May and June. The survey will also ask about student learning and support needs.
Please respond to that email survey no later than February 22 so that PPS can plan staffing, bus routing and other logistics. Thank you.
Our hybrid learning option for families is pending agreement with the Portland Association of Teachers and contingent upon the number of COVID-19 cases in our region remaining below current public health guidelines and requirements. Changes to any of these in the coming weeks could postpone our proposed start to hybrid learning.
WHAT IS THE HYBRID OPTION?
Our hybrid learning option allows students and teachers to interact in person in a way that follows and maintains public health rules and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hybrid learning is a continuation of the increasing on-campus opportunities we have made available to PPS students, following athletics and performing arts training and Limited In-Person Instruction (LIPI). While hybrid learning does not mean a full return to an in-person school environment, we are excited about the potential to see many more students in classrooms.
We also understand that some families might not be ready for their students to return to in-person learning, as COVID-19 concerns remain in our community.
Here are details about PPS elementary grades (kindergarten to 5th grade) Hybrid Learning Option:
- Students will be assigned an AM or a PM time slot to attend school 4 days a week for 2 hours and 15 minutes each day. When not in school, students will continue with distance learning activities.
- We will attempt to keep teachers and students together as much as possible.
- Each in-person school day, morning and afternoon learning blocks will consist of a Social Emotional Learning check-in, followed by Language Arts, then Math.
- Students assigned to an in-person morning block will continue their learning in the afternoons from home, by participating in asynchronous learning for Art, Music, Physical Education, Science, and Social Studies.
- Bus transportation will be available to all students who are eligible.
- The plan also includes learning opportunities for students with disabilities and English language learners.
If you are wondering why hybrid learning includes morning and afternoon blocks, it’s because we cannot bring all of our students back into our classrooms at the same time under the Oregon Department of Education’s pandemic safety rules.
Please click here to see an example weekly calendar for a student participating in our proposed hybrid learning model.
IMPORTANT: Families can also choose for their student to remain in online-only Comprehensive Distance Learning for the remainder of the year.
HYBRID LEARNING: STUDENT AND STAFF SAFETY
For families considering hybrid learning for their students, it’s important to know that PPS continues to collaborate with public health experts and agencies and our PPS Health Advisory Panel. We also continue to follow Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance from the Oregon Department of Education.
You can find out details about our hybrid health and safety planning by clicking here.
Kindergarten through 5th grade families should expect to receive an email from their school by Friday asking them to share whether they prefer their student participate in hybrid learning in April, May and June, or remain in online-only Comprehensive Distance Learning through the end of the school year. Please look for that email and respond by February 22.
Since last March, our decisions have been informed by science, made in accordance with public health guidance and restrictions, and centered in racial equity and social justice. Our highest priority is protecting the health and safety of our students and staff while maintaining a continuity of learning. This is the case with our hybrid planning, as well. Survey results from families will help us finalize our in-person options, including the hybrid model, and also bolster classroom and other supports our students most need.
We will continue to provide meals, computers, internet access and access to mental health and other supports to students in all grades. You can find information about many of these supports by clicking here. Please reach out if you or your student is in need. We are here to help.
This school year has required tremendous flexibility and resilience from everyone, including our educators, families and, especially, our students. We are excited about welcoming more students into their schools this spring, and we are grateful for the support that you continue to provide to them, and to us. Thank you.