Portland schools planning ‘multiple scenarios’ for 2020-21 school year


Graduation ceremony plans to be announced next week

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Public Schools is working on plans for their operations in the coming months and years amid the uncertainty brought by the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, even as school classrooms remain closed and staff is partially furloughed.

PPS Public Information Officer Karen Werstein told KOIN 6 News via email on Thursday that Oregon’s largest school district is “planning multiple scenarios for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.”

“Our preferred scenario is a return to face-to-face instruction in our buildings,” Werstein said. “However, we will continue to keep the safety and well-being of our students and staff as our top priority, and as a result, we are also planning for many different possibilities for what that might look like.”

Last week, PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said the district will move to a four-day workweek with operations such as virtual teacher-student instructional time to take place Monday through Thursday and Fridays being closed through July 31. Eliminating a day from the workweek is considered a partial furlough, which means most PPS employees will participate in the Work Share Oregon program.

As for the possibility of graduation ceremony plans, Werstein said more information on that will be available next week, but that “our educators are working closely with any of our seniors who need support getting to graduation.”

She added the school district is continuing its commitment to provide meals at their nutrition hubs, checking in on students and families, and offering internet access to students who are not connected.

Even as 28 counties in Oregon have been confirmed to begin Phase 1 re-opening this week, Multnomah County, where PPS is largely located, did not apply.

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