PORTLAND, Ore. — On Friday, Portland Public Schools told teachers about plans to start working online next week. The idea is to roll out a more robust, multi-week home-based learning system. The district plans to release more details next week.
Up to this point, the district has posted learning resources on its website. It has also made learning packets available online and in hard copy at designated meal sites. The district says staff are preparing another set of learning materials that will include more math, arts and PE.
Next week, teachers will get curriculum and more direction on how to best address home learning while schools are closed, which for right now, is until April 28 in Oregon.
The idea for the multi-week home-based learning system is to facilitate more online interaction with students and make more digital learning resources available in core content areas for kids from pre-K to 12th grade. That educational material will also be available in paper form.
Since schools have been shut down, it’s been a struggle for many districts to transition to true online learning, like what you'd get in the classroom, because each district has to make sure every student has equal access.
In an effort to address that, PPS says it's working to get laptops and other devices sanitized and ready to be loaned out to students who need a computer at home, but don't have one. For those students without internet, the district is also trying to get WiFi hotspots with unlimited data.
PPS is recommending if you have WiFi, you can help by opening up an additional network called "For Student Use" without passwords to give neighbors access.
The district is also working to figure out what other technology can be used to help students with disabilities.
PPS says it has been challenging trying to develop a home-based learning system, and the district is warning the system won’t be perfect. Educators can't replace the in-person experience, but they're doing their best.