• Board Approves Making November 12 into a Professional Development Day for Teachers

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    (Photo by Beth Conyers)

    On Friday, November 12, Portland Public Schools teachers will have a day to build their skills and knowledge, and students will get a four-day weekend. That comes after the PPS Board of Education, at its meeting Tuesday, voted to turn November 12 into a professional development day for teachers.

    Schools across the country already were set to be closed on Thursday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day, a federal holiday. By also closing school the next day, PPS will have a four-day weekend for students.

    November 12 will give teachers back a professional development day after so much of their non-classroom time has been consumed by the demands of opening safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Due to demands on school staff resources and staffing constraints, we are challenged to provide professional development to our teaching staff that focuses on our recent bond-funded curriculum adoptions and key instructional practices and initiatives intended to narrow student opportunity gaps," Dr. Shawn Bird, Deputy Superintendent, wrote in a report to the Board.

    Even with the loss of an instructional day, PPS remains on schedule for students to meet state of Oregon requirements for instruction time at all levels.

    The district also retains flexibility if more instructional days are lost to inclement weather. Presidents Day, on February 21, can be utilized as a snow makeup day (with 30 days’ notice), and three days at the end of the school calendar -- June 13, 14 and 15 -- are reserved for snow makeup days.

    In addition to November 12, the previous Friday, November 5, will serve as a planning day for teachers, with no classes for students. The first quarter of the 2021-22 school year ends on November 4, and the day after the end of each quarter serves as a planning day for teachers.