Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, schools have faced a lot of uncertainty surrounding what the 2020-21 school year will look like. Schools across the country are debating what path they should take as they juggle public health and safety, in addition to equity issues.
As for Portland Public Schools, academic instruction will be online until at least November 5th. PPS is following guidance from health officials and Gov. Kate Brown. The first two weeks of school will be following a “Soft Start Schedule,” in an effort to focus on connection, ordination, and social emotional support. PPS has adopted this schedule in order to create a positive virtual classroom culture where students can develop a healthy routine.
Since last spring, PPS has made some changes to the student learning experience. They are following the more rigorous Oregon Department of Education guidelines which discuss instructional time, attendance, grades, and assessments. Additionally, PPS is now allowing more platforms to be used for online learning such as Zoom, Canvas, and more.
PPS says that they are working with labor partners and community-based partners to provide additional support for students and families. On their website, PPS explains that they are taking into account the different needs of students, specifically Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Lastly, PPS says that they will continue to provide meals and access to technology through their partnership with The Fund for PPS.
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