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Several Portland schools returning to in-person learning next week

At least six schools will return to in-person learning next week; three schools have extended temporary distance learning through Feb. 1.
Credit: Maksym Yemelyanov - stock.adobe.

PORTLAND, Ore. — At least six Portland schools are poised to return to in-person learning next week after going remote due to an overwhelming number of COVID-related absences among staff and students, Portland Public Schools (PPS) said in a Friday news release.  

Eleven of the district's 81 schools have transitioned to temporary distance learning since early January, PPS said. This week, student absentee rates and substitute teacher requests subsided dramatically. 

Over the past week, absentee rates among students have dropped from 25% on Jan. 14 to 17% on Jan. 20. Requests for substitute teachers have also dropped, from 414 on Jan. 14 to 331 on Jan. 21.

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The district's news release said PPS is "cautiously optimistic" about these numbers.

Here are the six PPS schools returning to in-person learning next week: 

  • Alliance High School at Meek (Monday, Jan. 24) 
  • Faubion PK-8 School (Monday, Jan. 24) 
  • Franklin High School (Monday, Jan. 24) 
  • Ockley Green Middle School (Monday, Jan. 24) 
  • Roosevelt High School (Monday, Jan. 24)
  • Alliance High School at Kenton (Tuesday, Jan. 25)

The district previously said Jefferson High School would also be returning to in-person learning Monday, Jan. 24; Cleveland and McDaniel high schools returned to in-person learning earlier this week. 

Three PPS schools have extended temporary learning through Tuesday, Feb. 1

  • George Middle School 
  • Harriet Tubman Middle School
  • Kellogg Middle School 

“Similar to the pandemic’s effect on other sectors of our broader community, the latest surge in COVID-19 cases has also impacted every facet of PPS operations,” said PPS superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. “We continue to appreciate our community's flexibility and understanding as we navigate changing dynamics."

He said the district will prioritize in-person learning as long as health and safety goals can be maintained. Decisions to close schools will continue to be made on a school-by-school basis. 

Factors that PPS takes into consideration before switching to temporary distance learning include the number of substitute teacher requests, student absentee rates and student engagement needs. 

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