PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the Portland Association of Teachers officially going on strike Wednesday morning, Portland Public Schools students and parents are left with plenty of concerns.
“The strike will be very different than what we experienced during the pandemic because we won’t have our educators able to support students on a daily basis,” notes PPS official Renard Adams. “What we will have are some limited support, some limited tutoring opportunities for students who need it the most, and that will be delivered online.”
The list below, provided by PPS, is meant to provide some answers to frequently asked questions, as well as resources for parents and students should a strike officially occur in November.
STUDENT LEARNING SUPPORT
Pre-K through 12th grade students and families will be able to access digital online resources to aid in learning from home. The resources are self-directed and can be accessed by visiting the Student Instructional Resources website. Pre-K and Head Start families can access additional resources from the Pre-K Instructional Resources website. Students will also be able to access online tutoring services through Student Instructional Resources.
Students in kindergarten through 1st grade who have demonstrated the highest need for “foundational literacy skills support,” will be able to participate in one-on-one virtual reading coaching by PPS staff. Staff will contact families to schedule virtual 30-45 minute coaching sessions up to three times per week.
If your family needs assistance with internet access during the strike, you can get free wifi at all public libraries in Multnomah County, Washington County and Clackamas County.
FOOD, CLOTHING AND BASIC NEEDS
PPS will provide all kids ages 1-18 with free grab-and-go meals during the strike. More information about locations and pick up times will be provided when available.
Food Pantries will be relocated from PPS schools during the strike. Alternative pantry locations can be found on the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) Finder. The site lists current available food pick up locations offered by OFB and updates with new locations as needed.
The Clothing Center at Marshall campus will be available on Mondays and Thursdays, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, by appointment only. Students can get clothing center referrals from their school counselor or administrative staff.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
PPS Student Health Centers at Benson, Cleveland, Franklin, Jefferson, McDaniel, and Roosevelt will remain open during the strike. Services will be provided both in person and virtually, including new patient appointments. Mental health services will also be offered either in person or virtually for students who are currently seeing a school-based mental health provider. For more information, you can connect with your student health center or visit the Multnomah County School-Based Mental Health site.
Students can also get access to healthcare through the Multnomah County Health Department, who partners with PPS to provide primary and mental health services at Cleveland, Franklin, Jefferson, McDaniel, and Roosevelt high schools. They serve all K-12 kids in Multnomah County ages 5-18 with or without insurance, with no out-of-pocket cost. Also, students don’t need to attend the school where the center is located to get care. You can also visit Multnomah County Primary Care Clinics which provide low-cost family health care to low-income and uninsured Multnomah County residents.
COLLEGE APPLICATION SUPPORT
According to PPS, certain school staff will be available via email, phone and able to meet virtually if your student needs support during the strike. More information will be available here about who to connect with starting November 1. Until then, students are encouraged to work with their school’s college and career coordinators. If you’re a student who needs access to your transcript, click here.
Unfortunately, teachers and counselors will be unable to write letters of recommendation for students. PPS has made a Statement of Work Stoppage to include in the application materials in the event of a strike.
Community organizations that provide activities for students will continue these services. During the strike, students can access Portland Parks & Recreation programs at a discount through their Access Pass program, which is an ongoing program. Their TeenForce Pass gives kids ages 10-20 years old free access to activities at Portland Parks & Recreation’s five TeenForce sites: Charles Jordan, East Portland, Matt Dishman, Montavilla, and Mt. Scott Community Centers. However, it’s worth noting these programs and facilities do have capacity limits.
Information about services may change during the course of a strike. Students, parents and other personnel are encouraged to check back for more updates.