PORTLAND, OR (KPTV)- Portland Public Schools announced their preliminary plan for reopening schools this fall. The 2020-21 school year will start on September 2.
Under the district’s preliminary plan, the first two weeks of school will be utilized as a check in period: teachers can individually talk with students, opportunities for families to become familiar with the learning technology that will be used by their children to ease the “social emotional engagement in order to help ease the anxiety and stress of the past months.”
These steps will be conducted remotely, PPS said.
After the two-week initial orientation, PPS plans to use a hybrid model of some in-classroom instruction and remote learning. Pre-K through 8th grade will be divided into two cohorts.
- Group A will attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Group B will attend school in-person on Thursday and Fridays.
- Wednesday will be used for cleaning school facilities.
The two-group model will allow for social distancing by only having half as many students in classrooms at any given time. Elementary school students will be assigned the same homeroom teacher “who will remain consistent during students’ learning experiences.” The district says it plans to explore a similar model for middle school students.
The district has proposed having high school students take four classes per semester and use a similar cohort model. The schedule would allow students to complete a year-long course in one semester, PPS said.
“For example, a student may have English in the Fall semester and History in the Spring semester. We believe that allowing students to focus on fewer classes will help them be more successful in an environment that is, at least for part of the year, a hybrid model of in-person and online learning.”
PPS said they are still working on a full-time distance learning program for students who are unable or would prefer not to enter the physical buildings in the fall semester.
The district said that they will not reopen school campuses if public health officials say it is unsafe to do so, in which case learning will resume online and remotely. The online experience will be different from what they experienced during the spring semester, including increasing access to instruction and more digital resources.
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