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Portland Teachers Union Offers One ‘Asynchronous’ Learning Day Per Week For High School Students


The Portland Association of Teachers offers one “asynchronous” learning day per week for high school students, with one start or end day per week for K-8 students.

A negotiation document released by the teachers’ union on Monday describes the proposal, stating that days when high school students attend eight class periods would become “asynchronous instruction days” where time will be divided between hosted online office hours. by the teacher followed by “the educator-directed time. The change would take place after the winter break, if approved.

According to The Oregonian, high schools in the Portland public school system operate on a four-shift schedule for four days a week, where students attend four classes for 90 minutes each. However, students follow an eight-period class schedule one day per week, where students attend eight classes for 44 minutes each.

The proposal would convert the eight-period day into an “asynchronous” learning day, which for most schools takes place on Fridays.

Leodis V. McDaniel High School in Portland. (Credit: Portland Public Schools)
(Credit: Portland Public Schools)

During the proposed day, teachers will host three hours of online office designed to support students one-on-one or in small groups. The rest of the time would be “educator-led planning time”.

For pupils from kindergarten to 8th grade, the teachers’ union offers an early exit or late arrival day of two hours per week.

The teachers’ union is also offering two additional planning days and a professional development day immediately after the winter break for high schools.

Portland Teachers Union Offers One ‘Asynchronous’ Learning Day Per Week For High School Students

Benson High School in Portland. (Credit: Portland Public Schools)

Portland Public Schools said on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that they disagreed with the proposal to reduce in-person learning time.

“While we share the urgency of addressing the issues impacting the [sic] experience this school year, we do not believe that significantly reducing in-person learning for students is in the best interests of our students, their families and our community, ”said Shawn Bird, Deputy Superintendent of the School. education and school communities.

The teachers’ union held a meeting with Bird and other district officials on Monday, explaining that the proposed reduction in in-person learning is due to many teachers feeling overworked.

“Our educators told us through the survey… the huge amount of time spent per week on average beyond contract hours. We had 20% of our educators tell us that it doesn’t matter how many hours per day they were working, they couldn’t complete the job requirements in a week, working seven days a week, ”said Steve Lancaster, a teacher at Lincoln High School in Portland and president of the teachers’ union bargaining unit.

Portland Teachers Union Offers One ‘Asynchronous’ Learning Day Per Week For High School Students

Portland Public Schools logo. (Credit: Portland Public Schools)

Lancaster said the “asynchronous training days” could serve as a “wastegate” for teachers.

“There has to be some kind of dump valve somewhere, and part of that answers it,” Lancaster added.

Bird responded, saying that with the proposal, Portland public schools would fall below Oregon’s educational requirements for high school students, which are 990 hours for grades 9-11 and 966 for grade 12. In order to meet these requirements, Bird said this additional instruction should be added.

Lancaster said he did not expect schools to fall “horribly short of requirements”.

“We can have conversations about the impact on teaching hours. We can pull out the calculator and figure that out,” Lancaster said.

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