Now There's an Easier Process for Working with Substitutes!

PAT has been advocating on behalf of regularly employed professional educators and substitute educators for an easier process when educators need to access a substitute. PPS has listened and the process has changed.

Thanks to all of the member input we received, PAT professional educators are now able to assign substitute educators to their Seesaw, Canvas, and Google Meet sections. That means less work to assign a guest educator and a more successful day for the substitute assigned. 

The stress, the cold and flu season, and the day-to-day issues that arise mean that even though you work from home, you may still need to use sick days, family leave days, and personal days.  In addition, your colleagues in the substitute educator ranks count on regular work for income, and to retain health insurance.  

Now that the process for Distance Learning substitute work is simplified and improved, we hope that all PAT members remember that you have a responsibility to yourselves and to your friends and family to stay well, and contractual rights to sick leave, family leave, and personal leave. 

You can review the communications that PPS sent to all professional educators regarding how regular PAT members can access a substitute, and how substitutes will work with classroom teachers with these links.

Educator Evaluations: Details on the Timeline and Process

After much discussion with the District, we have finally hammered out the process and timeline for 2020-21 educator evaluations.

We recognize that this is an unprecedented year, and both PAT and PPS agree that in this environment, evaluations should primarily provide an opportunity to have conversations with your administrator about strengthening your virtual practice. The intent of the evaluation process is to support teaching and learning in the face of our extremely challenging circumstances, while still meeting ODE requirements. 

However, given the specific challenges we’re facing, a majority of educators can expect an “in process” for many of the evaluation elements, because all ratings must be based on evidence.

Annual Goals

As part of this process, educators will be required to have two student learning goals and one professional goal for the year. Unlike prior years, you may focus student learning goals on:

  1. Social and emotional learning for students;
  2. Student engagement; and/or
  3. Family engagement.

Professional goals are areas that you decide you would like to work on, and academic goals may be considered with mutual agreement.

Key Steps in the Evaluation Process

There are four steps in this year’s evaluation process, a Pre-Observation Conference, a Formal Observation, a Post-Observation Conference, and a Summative Meeting.

This year’s Pre-Observation Conference for classroom teachers will be based on the Educator’s Self-Assessment and Reflection worksheet. Separate rubrics will be used for Library Media SpecialistsCounselors, and other Certified Educators not in the classroom.

Educators must be given at least five school days’ notice before the Formal Observation, and administrators will share their notes from the observation using the Administrator Observation Tool.

Generally, within five school days of the observation there should be a Post-Observation Conference. If the educator’s self-assessment and the administrator’s rating significantly diverge, the administrator will provide a written copy of the Administrator Observation Debrief Preparation Form.

For probationary educators this evaluation process will be conducted in both fall and spring, with a Fall Summative Meeting held prior to December 18, 2020 and a Spring Summative Meeting held by March 1, 2021.  

For contract educators there is one annual observation cycle. Formal observations must be completed by April 1, 2021 with Annual Summative Meetings completed by May 1, 2021.

A more detailed description of the evaluation process timeline, and documentation requirements can be found on the PAT website.

Sick Leave Bank Donation Drive: Now Paperless!

Donate up to 40 hours of your sick-leave to help a colleague in need.

Last school year, PAT members helped dozens of colleagues in need thanks to contributions to the PAT Sick Leave Bank.  These colleagues had exhausted their accumulated leave balances, but were unable to work due to extended or recurring personal illness. With the help of the Sick Leave Bank, they avoided the additional hardships of lost salary and lost insurance coverage.

Thanks to your generosity, last year we met our goal of collecting the maximum number of voluntarily donated hours allowed under our contract. Recent improvements in our contract (CBA Article mean that we can now fulfill almost all applications for assistance prior to running out of Sick Leave Bank hours.  This shows the District that PAT members act on their belief that an injury to one is an injury to all.

It’s a new school year, with new needs, and a new Bank to fill. We can accept up to 4000 hours and have a long way to go to reach that goal. 

This year, it is easier than ever to donate hours: you can donate hours by filling out this online form! You will need to log in with your PPS email account and include your PPS employee ID number on the form.

Thank you for being part of this crucial program that allows us to support our colleagues through our union. 

Feeling Stressed? Anxious? Worried? Depressed? Resources for Maintaining Your Mental Health

You’re not alone. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, nearly half of U.S. adults reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID-19.

Positive lifestyle changes—like eating healthy, getting exercise, avoiding self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, and practicing relaxation techniques—may help you feel better. But sometimes, that’s not enough. 

These early warning signs indicate you might need help:

  • Loss of interest in things you’ve always enjoyed
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep changes
  • Anger or irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed by worry, sadness, or loneliness
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty focusing and making decisions
  • Unexplained aches and pains

If any of this sounds like what you’re going through, we encourage you to talk with a therapist. Sometimes a few sessions are all you need to get back to feeling like yourself again.

Click here to learn more about your mental health benefit options, and what to expect when you schedule a therapist visit.

Access Free Counseling Support when you Need It

The EAP (Employee Assistance Program) helps you privately solve problems that may interfere with your work, family, and life in general. EAP services are FREE to you, your dependents, and all household members.

EAP services are always confidential and provided by experts.  If you would be more comfortable connecting with a provider of color please make sure to ask the representative that is working with you. 

Licensure Support from the Oregon Education Association

As a benefit of membership, OEA offers a variety of resources to educators who need to meet requirements to attain or renew their licenses with the TSPC.

In addition to monthly online licensure workshops, OEA provides 1-1 Licensure ZOOM Consultations with Theresa Ferrer at OEA’s Center for Great Public Schools. 

If you are interested in taking advantage of any of these supports please review the following schedule of workshops or make an appointment for a consultation session. 

IPD Committee Updates: New K-5 Report Card and Distance Learning Survey

Everything is on track for our new, streamlined K - 5 report cards to be ready in Synergy by January 15 (2 weeks before the end of Q2)!

Enormous thanks to our K - 5 Report Card Committee members Christopher Naze, Martha Gross, Marlena Maestas, and Elizabeth Israel-Davis for their unswerving dedication and hours of work over the past year to accomplish this for our families and students! Thanks also to our Executive Board Liaisons, both past and present, Huck Wilken and Rachel Hanes.

Comprehensive Distance Learning Survey

We are continuing to conduct our IPD CDL survey in order to track PAT members’ experience with CDL and see what is improving and what is not.

Here is a Google slide deck with a comparison of September and October data. This slide deck was presented to the Deputy Superintendent and Department heads at the October IPC meeting.

After some feedback and consulting with one of our own PPS high school statistics teachers, we may be making modifications to parts of the survey and how it is distributed. This could help us get a more statistically valid response pool. 

The next IPD Committee meeting will be Wednesday, December 2nd 4:30 - 6:30. Known agenda items as of right now are:

  • Promising Practice Grants
  • CDL Survey

Please join us if you’d like to join in the work we’re doing (RSVP here). If you have something you’d like to discuss and potentially add to our agenda, please email Thanks!

Slam Poetry Workshop for Educators and Students: November 20th

You and your students (grades 6-12+) are invited to join this PAT sponsored workshop:

Vision, Sound, Purpose; Exploring Deeper Connections to Hip Hop, Pop Culture and Transforming Reality, led by hip-hop teaching artists, Mic Crenshaw and Quincy Davis, Friday, Nov. 20th, 4:30-6:00 PM.

Heres the Google Hangouts link for the workshop.

Please RSVP here.

Upcoming Events

  • November 18th
    Nominations open for PAT Executive Board and OEA and NEA RA Delegate Elections
  • November 19th 4:00-5:00 PM
    Benefits of PAT/OEA Membership, webinar with Sherry from CalCasualty and Theresa Muench from NEA. See their 
    flyer and RSVP for the Zoom link.
  • November 30th 4:00 PM
    OEA Q&A re Tips and Tricks for Canvas. See their
    flyer and RSVP online
  • December 3rd 4:30-6:0PM
    Benefits of PAT Membership, Financial Savings Seminar with Ed Foster. See the flyer and RSVP for the Zoom link.
  • December 17th 4:00-5:00 PM
    Benefits of PAT/OEA Membership, webinar with Sherry from CalCasualty and Theresa Muench from NEA. 
    RSVP for the Zoom link.
  • December Committee Meetings RSVP here.
    • IPD Cmte: Dec. 2nd, 4:30 PM
    • Substitute Cmte: Dec. 2nd, 4:30 PM
    • Racial Equity Cmte: Dec 9th, 4:30 PM
    • Social Justice Cmte: Dec. 9th, 4:30 PM
    • Membership Cmte: Dec. 10th, 4:00PM
    • Legistlative Membership Cmte: Dec. 10th, 5:00PM
  • January 8th 5:00 PM
    Nominations close for Executive Board
  • January 13th 7:00 PM
    Nomination close for OEA and NEA RA delegate

See the PAT Calendar for more

President's Message: Vote Now

This may be the most important election of our lives. In the last six months we have seen an unprecedented uprising demanding racial justice, and the unprecedented participation of YOUTH this election season. Both of these give me great hope. 

As we approach November 3rd, we can envision our country making a decisive shift toward racial justice, climate justice, and a sustainable and humane economy.

At the same time, this pandemic reminds us how quickly we can lose the things we take for granted. Anxiety is high as we near election day, and there is a strong possibility we may have to wait for days or even weeks for ballots to be counted and for the election results to be confirmed. 

As educators, we have a crucial role to play in helping our students make sense of current events, and to understand their role-- now and in the future-- in shaping our society. We don’t know what the morning of November 4th will look like, but we know our classrooms need to be a place for students to process their emotions, ask questions, and feel the support of their community. 

Thank you for being a trusted adult for your students in this uncertain time.

I also urge you to take care of yourself, and to support your colleagues who are especially impacted during this time of compounding stress. As a union we have fought to have leave time available when we are unwell— it remains available to you during distance learning. Remember that your mental health is as important as your physical health.

As we approach election day, there are a few other things you can do towards ensuring a positive outcome. First and foremost, VOTE. Make sure your ballot is in the mail no later than October 27th; otherwise, drop it in an Official Ballot Drop site before 8:00 pm on Tuesday, November 3rd

Next, join one of NEA’s National Get Out the Vote Friendbanks happening every evening between now and election day. Come to a Friendbank to multiply our power by encouraging your friends across the country to make a vote plan, VOTE, and talk with their people about the importance of voting this election. 

No matter what happens on November 3rd, I know you will continue to show up and stand up for your students. And our union will continue to fight for you, and to make sure all our students have the schools they deserve.

In Solidarity,


Elizabeth Thiel

PAT President

Use Substitutes: You Have the Right to Take Care of Yourself!

Working from home doesn’t mean you should have to work while you are sick.

Educators need to take care of themselves, and nothing has changed about your access to contractual leave in Comprehensive Distance Learning. You still have access to sick leave, personal leave, and family leave. Remember that you cannot offer the best of yourself to students if you are not able to “be your best” due to illness or other pressing needs. 

Whether or not your position allows you to get a substitute, you have the right to contractual leaves. 

If you are a classroom educator, please utilize substitute educators when you need to take a leave. While you are taking care of your personal needs, utilizing substitute educators provides much needed work for our PAT substitute colleagues. 

Substitute educators are trained to use Google, Canvas, Seesaw, and other platforms and are ready to work with your students. They can provide full-class instruction, small group instruction, attend your office hours, and provide support to students for asynchronous learning activities.

While we know it is not a perfect process (and PAT is working to have the District improve it), a classroom educator needs to follow these three steps to obtain a substitute educator:

  1. Put the absence into Absence Management and notify their school.
  2. Connect directly with the substitute educator so that the job can be assigned to them and so you can provide access to the Google classroom.
  3. If possible, put substitute lesson plans into Absence Management. (It is recommended that the educator also share these plans with the Principal’s Secretary or Building Administrator.) 

Please take care of yourself, and utilize your colleagues who are substitute educators!

Understanding the PLC Agreement

Professional educators in each building now have a voice in what happens in the many PLC meetings that PPS is requiring this year.  

In bargaining working conditions under CDL, your bargaining team was able to get PPS to agree that all PLCs will have half of the agenda for PLCs developed with input from the building administrators and the building’s instructional leadership team (ILT).  The other half of the agendas will be determined through mutual agreement with the administration and the professional educators in each PLC meeting.  

Although we didn’t agree how half would be determined, it was expressed by both the District and your bargaining team that common sense will be the test of “half.”  PLC meetings can be split evenly between admin/ILT developed tasks, and admin/educator developed tasks.  Or, one meeting can be all admin/ILT developed, and the next PLC be developed by the educators attending the meeting and admin.

If your PLC agendas are still being dictated by your building administrator, refer to the signed agreement and ensure that there is professional-educator voice shaping the work in the meetings.  

Understanding Evaluation in a Pandemic

PAT and PPS have been working to modify the PAT educator evaluation tool. This tool needs to meet ODE requirements and have reasonable expectations for educators considering this extremely difficult time we are working in. Since we are all in the learning phase of teaching in this environment, PAT and PPS share common beliefs and expectations regarding our mutually agreed upon evaluation tool.

  • Our common expectation is that this evaluation is a tool to support teaching and learning. 
  • It’s an opportunity to have conversations with your administrator about strengthening your practice, given these challenging times. 
  • All ratings from your administrator must be based on evidence. If your administrator does not have evidence for a particular element, there will be no rating. 
  • Every rating you receive should be understandable, with no surprises
  • Again, this evaluation tool is designed to support you, there is no “gotcha."

The majority of educators can expect an “in process” for many of the evaluation elements, due to the specific challenges we’re facing this year. However, this tool also includes greater specificity than in previous years, so educators can more clearly understand what administrators are looking for in the classroom.

The evaluation tool and process will be shared with you by the end of the week. 

Yearly Goals

You will be required to have 2 student learning goals and 1 professional goal. Different from years past, you may focus SLG goals on: 1) social and emotional learning for students, 2) student engagement, and/or 3) family engagement. Academic goals may be considered with mutual agreement. Professional goals are your personal goals that you decide you would like to work on.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent teacher conferences are fast approaching-- this year they are scheduled for Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th. Both days there is no school for students.

Article 6.7.2 of your union contract states that, “the District shall schedule two (2) parent conferences in the evening on two consecutive evenings.”  Please keep in mind that evening conferences shall last no longer than three (3) hours and shall conclude by 8:30 p.m. November 25th is a no-work day, to compensate for the two evenings. Please make sure your conference schedule complies with our contract, including your dinner break and the end time. 

Individual educators may flex their schedule for parent teacher conferences.  For example, if an educator needs to attend to family needs for portions of the scheduled conference times, they may contact some families to schedule an alternative time for their conferences.  However, if your entire building is planning to hold parent conferences outside of the two dedicated days and evenings, then the educators will need to submit a Contract Exception to the PAT.  

Contract exception applications related to fall conferences will be accepted up until November 3rd, 2020.  All applications submitted by that date will be reviewed by the Advocacy Committee that week.

For all other contract exception applications not related to fall conferences, those applications will be due by December 19th, 2020.

Know Your Contract: Submit Transcripts

Know Your Contract: Submit Your Transcripts by October 31st to Retroactively Advance of the Salary Schedule

If you have earned educational credits over the summer, or if you are a new hire and have yet to submit your educational background, you must submit the official documentation to HR no later than October 31st if you want the credits to count retroactively from the start of the year.

The PAT-PPS Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states in Article 12:

“  In order to receive a salary adjustment retroactive to the beginning of the current school year, a professional educator must, by October 31st, provide the Human  Resources Department with proof of completion of coursework. Adjustments based upon proof received after October 31st will be made effective the first day of the next pay period.”

If you submit the credits to HR after October 31st, they will move you on the salary schedule, but the credits will not be calculated for any retroactive payments going back to the start of the school year. 

Sick Leave Bank Donation Drive: Now Paperless!

As in past years, we are starting our Sick Leave Bank donation (CBA Article When you choose to donate your accrued sick time to the bank, you are doing a great service to a colleague in dire need. Your donated hours allow members on approved medical leave to care for themselves and keep their health benefits after they have exhausted their own accrued sick leave time.  

Every year, we ask members to donate hours so that this program can continue. This year, it is easier than ever to donate hours: you can donate hours by filling out the online PAT/PPS Sick Leave Bank Donation Form! You will need to log in with your PPS email account and include your PPS employee ID number on the form.

Thank you for being part of this crucial program that allows us to support our colleagues through our union. 

Know Your Contract: Early Retirement

KNOW YOUR CONTRACT: Early Retirement: Benefits and Important Dates

During our last big contract negotiations, PAT protected what is called the “PERS Bubble” (officially called “Re-employment of Retirees”) and the Early Retirement Incentive. Both of those provisions are explained in detail in Article 15 of the PAT/PPS contract.

These benefits assure that educators are able to retire with dignity when they feel it’s time. They are benefits that all PAT members should receive, and they are benefits that we have all fought to maintain.


Continue reading

Get Involved: November is Native American/ Indigenous Peoples’ Heritage Month

November is National Native American/Indigenous Peoples’ Heritage Month. The PAT Racial Equity Committee is continuing our book reading recordings to grow the collection of asynchronous material to use in our classrooms.  If you are interested in participating in our storytelling project as a volunteer reader, please fill out this form

If you are looking for some inspiration to prepare for your book reading,  watch our series of PAT Educators reading children's books celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Culture.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for events, curriculum, and resources to help you celebrate Native American/ Indigenous Peoples’ Month with your students.

Bargaining Brief, October 16, 2020

PAT Colleagues:

The bargaining session on Friday, October 16 (view here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) resulted in some major gains for all PAT members.  The PAT and PPS bargaining teams reached tentative agreements on one complete section of the 2020 – 2021 Distance and Hybrid Work Agreement (view signed TA document here).

One of the most important issues settled Friday is working conditions for educators who have a total assignment of less than .66 FTE.  We were able to get an agreement that guarantees no less than the prorated amount of the 950 minutes per week of educator-directed time.  That means that .5 FTE teachers get at least 475 minutes of educator-directed time.  In addition, those educators are not required to attend PLC meetings, which means that some individuals may receive more than the prorated educator-directed time. 

Both teams agreed to terms for PLC meetings.  We were able to get the district to agree that the extraordinary number of PLC meetings is not an expectation for schedules once we return to a “normal” school year.  PLC meeting time must now be divided into two parts.  The first half of the time must follow a schedule agreed to by the building instructional team and the building administrator, and the second half must be mutually agreed to by the administrator and the professional educators in the meeting.  Starting this week, professional educators have a real say in how the PLC meetings are conducted. 

We reached agreement on access to technology.  Although we could not move the district to accepting a tech stipend for educators, we were able to get the district to accept that educators can not only have access to their classrooms if they want to conduct CDL lessons from their school building, but educators are also able to bring home any technology that would normally be part of their classroom tech setup.  That means that technology normally locked to carts in classrooms may now be taken home by professional educators who need to work away from the school buildings.  Additionally, professional educators are to have access to copy machines and any other shared resources or equipment at their worksite. Finally, educators are to have access to supplies / consumables that would normally be available during in person instruction for use at home.

We finalized the evaluation agreement by including language on Student Learning Goals (SLGs).  Now, educators must submit two SLGs and one professional growth goal.  The goals can be focused on SEL, family or student engagement, and they are not due until November 1st

Finally, we agreed to language regarding the PAT Extended Responsibility positions.  The agreement is complicated, but in general:

  • If the ER is not being conducted (e.g. Safety Patrol) then ER will be canceled until in-person education resumes.
  • If the ER position is still going on, even with reduced elements (e.g. testing coordinator) the ER will be paid in full.
  • If the ER position is directly connected to an educator’s class and marked with an asterisk on the ER schedule, the ER will be paid in full, although if the number of performances expected is reduced the rate of pay may be changed.
  • Athletic ER has its own section which grants pay for proportions of seasons worked, rather than no pay at all. 

Negotiations regarding the COVID work environment is not concluded.  We still need to bargain “safe return to in-person instruction” language, and community/family support language.  Once those are completed, we will bring the full MOA to members for ratification. 

Once ratified, PAT and PPS will begin to bargain for the successor agreement to the current CBA.  We have a great deal of work ahead, but thanks to your support and engagement we have been able to move the district to agreements that protect everyone.

Continue reading

President's Message: Building a More Just Future

Dear Educators,

This fall, we find ourselves in an ongoing state of disruption and uncertainty, and educators continue to go above and beyond to support our students.

Of course, educators are not alone grappling with the stress of this pandemic. We’ve all witnessed the terrible toll of COVID-19, especially for those most impacted- essential workers, those who have lost jobs, those without housing or enough to eat, those bearing the brunt of systemic racism, and everyone who has lost loved ones to the virus.

The pandemic has put a spotlight on the injustice and inequality permeating our society, and we need to do more than simply survive.

We must ensure Oregon emerges from this pandemic stronger.

This November, we have the opportunity to build toward our vision of a more just world, and this election, particularly the presidential race, is critical. I hope you’re doing everything you can to encourage your friends, family, and acquaintances to fill out their ballots and get them turned in.

But with all the national attention, and national significance, of November 3, please don’t ignore the state and local races, as well as a number of breakthrough ballot measures. There is so much opportunity on the Portland ballot to build toward a more just future.

We have the chance to provide essential supports for our students and their families, including providing Preschool for All, and the restoration of programming through our city Parks.

We have the chance to build much needed infrastructure. The PPS bond will ensure planned building renewals move forward, and will also create new partnerships through the Center for Black Student Excellence. We have the chance to invest in our county library system, including investing in the North Portland and Albina libraries, and a new flagship library in East Portland. And we can take a big step forward for public transportation, pedestrian safety, and accessibility through the Metro bond—including making busy roads like 82nd Avenue safe for students- and putting many more buses, bike paths, and sidewalks into service across the city.

These services and infrastructure do cost money, but they also create living-wage jobs for thousands of workers in our community, strengthening our economy and helping jumpstart our recovery.

Finally, we have the chance to make long-needed policy changes to create more justice and transparency. The Real Police Accountability measure will finally create a fair and transparent process for reviewing police use-of-force incidents. And the Fair and Honest Elections measure will finally amend our Constitution to allow for campaign contribution limits, so that we can curb the outsized influence of corporations and the extremely wealthy in decision-making in our state.

Look for your ballot in the mail by the end of the week!

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel
PAT President

VOTE to Invest in Our Values: PAT-Endorsed Ballot Measures

PAT is proud to endorse the following ballot measures on the November ballot which all play a part in building a more just, sustainable, and supportive city.

  • Preschool for All Measure 26-214 has merged with the Universal Preschool for All campaign. The combined package will tax high earners in order to provide preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds in Multnomah County. The plan will also guarantee a living wage for all preschool teachers and assistants, and gives them the right to unionize.
  • Multnomah County Library Bond Measure 26-211 will expand and modernize the library branches in the neighborhoods that need them most, and build a new flagship library in East County. 
  • Portland Schools Bond: Measure 26-215 will invest in our schools with funds to modernize Jefferson High School, create the new Center for Black Student Excellence, update curriculum resources, and make needed safety and accessibility improvements.
  • Let’s Get Moving: Metro Bond Measure 26-218 will improve 17 of our most dangerous and congested roadways, greatly improve public transit options, address climate and equity priorities, and provide free youth passes for everyone under 18.
  • Portland Parks Levy Measure 26-213 will maintain our parks and natural areas and restore vital recreation services and community center offerings, while maintaining jobs.
  • The Real Police Accountability Measure 26-217 will give our community a voice in police use-of-force incidents, ensuring that police live up to our community values.