• Back To School 2021 - We Made It!

    Español| Tiếng Việt| 中文| Soomaali| Русский
     Students at Rigler Elementary

    Students return for their first day of 2021-22 at Rigler Elementary School (photo by Beth Conyers).

    Dear PPS Community,

    We made it! After a year and a half since our schools closed for full in-person learning, our classrooms were once again joyful centers of learning. 

    We are thankful for our school principals and staff who worked through the summer to prepare for this moment. It is because of their leadership that we were able to welcome every student and family to some of the strongest measures to mitigate the spread of COVID in schools. 

    We are grateful for our educators who, with smiles and a spirit of optimism, welcomed your children into their classrooms. Last night, we reached a tentative agreement with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) regarding the set of health and safety measures we’ve established to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We’ve outlined these health and safety measures in our 2021 Back to School Family Guide. The measures include: 

    • Required masks of students and staff;
    • 3 foot physical distancing per student to the extent possible (with clear mitigation measures for learning spaces when it is not possible);
    • HEPA air purifiers in every classroom (PPS has also upgraded all the central air filters to MERV 13 standards across every school);
    • Support of free COVID-19 screening testing to PPS students;
    • And many more...

    We believe that this agreement with PAT strongly affirms our layered health and safety measures, which will allow us to  maximize a full in-person learning experience. We anticipate that on or before September 14, both the PAT membership and our PPS Board of Education will consider and vote on the ratification of this tentative agreement. 

    Staff Vaccination Update
    We are proud to share that 94% of all PPS staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.* All PPS staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. 

    To close, we want to thank you, our school community. It will take all of us doing our part (wearing our masks, washing our hands, keeping our distance, and getting a vaccine shot when eligible), to keep ourselves, our classmates, colleagues, and school communities safe. 

    Thank you. We’ll see you tomorrow.

    Jonathan Garcia            
    Chief of Staff              

    Sharon Reese
    Chief of Human Resources
    *With 89.5% of PPS staff verified.