PORTLAND – As the Thursday deadline for a teacher strike gets closer for students attending Portland Public Schools, parents are working to organize child care and other backup plans.
One group set up a Facebook page to share ideas. It's called "Portland Parents Organizing Childcare for Teacher's Strike 2/20" and offers suggestions ranging from parent coop exchanges and local daycare facilities accepting extra kids.
Another group set up a Wiki page where parents can register to share contact information with other families who may want to share nannies or other help during the school closure.
The district has said that students will be dismissed early on Feb. 19 in the event of a strike, and then schools will not re-open until Tuesday, Feb. 25, so substitutes can be trained. (See calendar above.)
Some Portland facilities, including the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, One With Heart martial arts center and The Children's Gym announced they will offer special day camps for students if classes get canceled due to a strike.
The district has also set up a multilingual hotline at 503-916-3260 to answer questions from concerned parents. The hotline will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. Questions can be submitted by email, too. The district has put together a fact sheet describing what will happen in the event of a strike. Click here to read the fact sheet (PDF)
No impact on graduation
Superintendent Carole Smith said Portland Public Schools will work with students and state officials to ensure that senior students graduate on time and all others stay on track to advance to the next grade.