January 5, 2021
Dear PPS Households and Team,
We want to wish you a warm welcome to 2021 right after what was a incredibly challenging 2020 and an unparalleled start off to the faculty 12 months. Thank you for all of your collective aid and resilience as we’ve come collectively as a neighborhood to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.
As lifelong educators at Portland General public Universities, we realize there is no thoroughly productive substitute for in-particular person instruction. As a single of the region’s greatest companies, we also identify the basic relevance of prioritizing the health and basic safety of our staff members, as nicely as the health and fitness and safety of college students and their people, through this pandemic.
In collaboration and session with Governor Kate Brown, Multnomah County, the Oregon Division of Education and learning, and other much larger peer districts in the point out, PPS has labored carefully with public well being officials, together with all those on our personal health advisory panel, to inform our setting up. Inspite of our community’s efforts, latest COVID-19 infection premiums and circumstances in Multnomah County continue to be alarmingly higher and are anticipated to boost with a put up-holiday seasons spike that could past as a result of February. This trajectory requirements to transform. We are amongst quite a few advocating that vaccines be distributed and made offered as swiftly as feasible.
On December 23, Governor Brown offered new direction to relax statewide, necessary limits for in-human being college openings. PPS senior management promptly reviewed Governor Brown’s most up-to-date directions and thought of the implications of these alterations. This week a team of instructional leaders from across the point out, which includes Superintendent Guerrero, fulfilled with the Governor and her staff to examine these recently declared adjustments as properly as remaining limitations to take care of in advance of considering additional totally re-opening faculties.
PPS, along with other Oregon school districts, will be recommending variations to ODE’s Ready Schools, Protected Learners guidelines, in purchase to simplify implementation of minimal in-man or woman instruction designs that will allow us to return students back to college safely and securely. We are prepared because, internally, a number of district re-entry organizing, tutorial, health and fitness and security, and other groups have actively engaged in scenario scheduling since previous spring.
As we carry on to approach opportunity re-entry designs, for when circumstances will safely and securely permit a return to in-human being instruction, we continue to be in active discussions with our labor partners to develop more minimal in-particular person opportunities for learners in the short phrase. This is in addition to the important child care, athletics, and other restricted programming that we presently give at our faculties.
The prospect of opening schools is a advanced one particular, and quite a few essential variables in creating any conclusions to carry students on campus during this pandemic stay. To re-open up faculties, we urgently want thorough sensible guidance from the Point out. This features:
- clarity with regards to vaccine obtain for faculty personnel,
- regular and free COVID-19 screening for pupils and staff members,
- clarity and regularity on adjustments to security guidelines from ODE, and
- means for added personnel and workers time to meet those rules and reduce transmission in universities.
We also know that whenever we are equipped to return to in-human being instruction, we will will need to proceed to offer improved educational and social emotional supports for numerous of our learners. We are previously setting up for expanded summer university programming alternatives to develop again tutorial time for our college students. We continue to associate with culturally specific neighborhood companies, who deliver critical providers and programming all over the university 12 months, including and especially to our learners and households of colour who have been disproportionately influenced by this disaster.
We want to admit and respect all of the devoted team who proceed to provide vital companies and discovering assist for our students. Thank you to our custodians, nourishment personnel, bus drivers, educators, aid employees, administrators and local community companions. We also want to admit the generosity of our group who donated to The Fund for PPS and contributed practically $1,000,000 to support urgently desired COVID relief assets to PPS households, most notably by offering grocery vouchers to help tackle foods insecurity, with an additional press to get these methods to people through the holiday season.
We will present a detailed update for team and people by the close of the 1st semester about the third quarter of the university year (which begins on February 1). The Section of Schooling intends to release up-to-date recommendations for educational institutions on January 19.
In the meantime, we will carry on to present students with the strongest length learning we can provide. We will also carry on to prioritize social and psychological supports for our pupils, as properly as addressing essential requires in our group.
Thank you for your continued endurance and understanding as we all navigate these complex and tough situations.
This press release was made by Portland Community Colleges. The sights expressed listed here are the author’s very own.