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PPS reaches agreement with teachers union to return to in-person learning April 1

Under the agreement, students in preschool through first grade would return April 1, grades 2-5 starting April 5 and grades 6-12 the week of April 19.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Public Schools (PPS), the state's largest school district, has reached a tentative agreement with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) to start hybrid learning in April, the district announced early Monday morning.

Here's a look at when in-person learning at PPS schools will begin, according to the agreement:

  • April 1: Preschool through first grade
  • April 5: Grades 2-5
  • April 19: Grades 6-12

"In most cases, elementary-age students will be on-campus to receive in-person instruction four days a week, in either morning or afternoon class sessions," the district said in a release. "Alternating class schedules are necessary to accommodate Oregon Department of Education-mandated physical distancing and cohort size requirements."

RELATED: Frequently asked questions amid plans for reopening Oregon schools

PPS said a recent survey of families with students in kindergarten through fifth grade found that 70% of respondents, including 60% of families of color, were ready for their students to return to some form of in-person learning. The district said parents who want their children to finish the school year in online distance learning will have that option.

"I am grateful that as a result of these discussions, as well as the input and feedback from families, we have a strong plan for safely returning students to schools," said PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. "Our teams have been diligent, thoughtful and thorough in planning for the reopening of our schools. It is now time to welcome our students back in larger numbers.”

The agreement must still be approved by PAT members and the PPS Board of Education. That vote is expected to happen by the middle of this week. Final details of the plan are expected to be released at that time.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order Friday mandating that schools will have to offer hybrid or full in-person instruction for K-5 students by the week of March 29 and 6-12 students by the week of April 19.

RELATED: Gov. Brown: Oregon will match President Biden's vaccine timeline 'if the doses are there'

Some PPS teachers held a demonstration Friday ahead of a rally Saturday at the district’s headquarters to express their concerns regarding school reopening and calling into question the district’s preparedness to return to in-person learning.

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