Growing number of Portland schools shut down due to COVID-19
Five campuses in the Portland Public Schools district are closed to in-person learning this week and the entire Parkrose School District closed Monday, Jan. 10.
PPS notified families Monday evening, Jan. 10 that Faubion Pre-K-8 School will close until Jan. 14 and transition to distance learning, adding to the growing list of Portland schools shutting down in-person learning temporarily.
As of Monday, Faubion, Ockley Green Middle School, Cleveland High School, Roosevelt High and McDaniel High were among the closures.
Parkrose School District announced all campuses in the district will close "due to staffing shortages." Parkrose previously announced Prescott Elementary School was closing Friday, Jan. 7, before having to shut down all schools two days later.
Both school districts cited "excessive staff and student absences."
"District leaders have been meeting regularly with local health officials to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and have been closely tracking data to determine COVID-19's impact on staff coverage in schools," PPS said on Jan. 8.
PPS leaders said Friday, Jan. 7, that more than 400 school staff had requested substitute teachers for their classrooms over the past week. By Sunday, district leaders said there weren't enough substitutes to cover for the number of absent staff. Staffing shortages were predicted to continue increasing.
"After closely monitoring the data over the past few days, the district is seeing a significant increase in the number of COVID-related absences for both students and staff," Margaret Calvert, regional superintendent of secondary schools, said in an announcement Thursday evening, noting "the number of unfilled positions across the district has grown this week."
Extracurricular activities, including athletics, have been postponed for the affected schools.
On Monday, Jan. 3, the Oregon Department of Education warned that rapid transmission of COVID-19 was likely to occur in schools, and suggested that all Oregon schools pause extracurricular activities or double down on safety measures like masking, distancing and encouraging vaccinations.
PPS announced it would require athletes and performing arts students to wear masks, but most Oregon school districts opted not to implement any changes.
By Thursday, PPS reported 1,244 students were isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19 and 739 of those students were isolated with COVID. On the same day, 231 staff members were isolated or in quarantine.
Breakfast and lunch will be offered daily for pickup while students are in temporary distance learning.
For Cleveland High students:
Grab-and-go pickup is available at Franklin High School, 5405 S.E. Woodward Street, from 1 to 3 p.m.
For Faubion students:
Pick up meals from 1-3 p.m. at the Faubion campus.
For Ockley Green students:
Meals can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school campus.
For McDaniel High students:
Grab-and-go meals will be available at the campus from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
For Roosevelt High students:
Families can pick up meals every day from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Roosevelt.
This story has been updated with new information since it was first published.
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