Some Portland metro, Vancouver schools go remote over COVID

Coronavirus

Staffing issues the main factor in school closures, temporary distance learning

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More schools in the Portland metro area announced closures for Monday because of COVID-related illness and staffing issues.

Late Monday afternoon, the Vancouver School District announced some of their schools would include remote learning 4 days a week for the next 3 weeks. Details below.

The 6 schools in the Parkrose School District are closed on Monday because of staffing shortages, district officials said early Sunday evening.

The Parkrose schools — Parkrose High, Parkrose Middle, plus Prescott, Russell, Sacramento and Shaver elementary schools — joined 4 schools in the Portland Public School district.

Parkrose officials said they will let parents know the plan going forward on Monday.

In the Tigard-Tualatin School District, the Durham Elementary School will be closed on Monday in preparation for distance learning, officials said Sunday evening.

The latest PPS school to announce a transition to distance learning for the week is Faubion PK-8 School. The school will be closed on Tuesday to prepare for distance learning for at least the rest of the week.

On Monday PPS closed Ockley Green. District officials said Sunday night the school will close for a day and temporarily transition to distance learning through at least January 14.

Ockley Green joins Roosevelt High School as schools with announced closures for Monday. Last week PPS announced Cleveland and McDaniel high schools were closed, all because of staffing issues connected with COVID-related illnesses. Those schools will also transition to distance learning through at least Friday.

PPS officials said that as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 26 total Ockley Green school staff — that are eligible for substitutes — have called out sick. However, 23 of these jobs aren’t able to be filled by substitutes, and officials said they expect that number to rise.

PPS: Important Information Regarding Potential Transition to Temporary Distance Learning

“We are absolutely advocating for people to follow health protocols, everybody to get vaccinated and boosted and we know we can’t have kids in schools if we can’t be safe,” said Elizabeth Thiel, the president of the Portland Association of Teachers. “So it is definitely presenting a challenge we never would have wanted to face now that so many school staffers are impacted by COVID need to quarantine or isolate.”

All extracurricular activities — sports, practices, performances — are postponed for the time being.

But breakfast and lunch will still be available for Roosevelt and Ockley students. Families can pick up meals daily from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Roosevelt High School, PPS said. At Ockley Green, families can pick up meals every day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At Faubion, families can pick up meals every day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

School district officials are checking around-the-clock to determine if there are enough employees to hold in-person classes.

Districts are already deploying certified office staff — from principals to administrators — to fill in for teachers.

In Beaverton, parents received notice on Monday the district is at “a tipping point” due to absences. Families were told to be prepared for the possibility of temporary remote learning, similar to planning for bad weather school closures.

Colt Gill, the head of the Oregon Education Department, said last week there is no plan now for a statewide closure of schools. But parents should plan ahead since the closures are sudden.

Vancouver Schools

Monday afternoon, Vancouver Public Schools announced they would switch to 4 days of remote learning over the next 3 weeks to deal with a staffing issues caused by COVID-related illnesses.

Vancouver Public Schools — complete details

“We do not have enough bus drivers to transport all of our students in our current format, so it is necessary to implement a temporary schedule in which some of our schools will switch to four days of remote learning over the next three weeks,” district officials said in a letter to Vancouver parents.

Schools affected this week are McLoughlin Middle School and Fort Vancouver High School. Then between January 18-21, temporary remote learning will be done at Columbia River High School, Skyview High School, Alki Middle School, Jason Lee Middle School and Jefferson Middle School.

Then from January 24-27, these Vancouver schools will be remote: Hudson’s Bay High School
Discovery Middle School, Gaiser Middle School, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Vancouver iTech Preparatory and Vancouver Flex Academy.

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