April 9, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Survey on Distance Learning

Message sent to our membership on April 9th, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

The announcement yesterday that we would not meet face-to-face with our colleagues and students for the rest of the year didn’t surprise us, and yet, we all shared in the collective grief. It is the right decision, for everyone’s health and safety. We know how hard everyone has been working, and we hate to trouble you with any more asks, but since distance learning is how we will finish the school year, we would really value your time in taking a short survey so we can better advocate for you and our students.


We have heard from many of you that reaching students and families has been difficult: many of our students have not been able to access online platforms, and some families haven’t been reachable by email or phone. 

To be able to describe the challenges to providing “Distance Learning for All,” we are surveying members. Based on your experiences reaching out to students and families this week, we will be able to convey to District and State Leaders the extent of barriers to learning that our students are facing, as well as the challenges educators face working at home. We will use the information to advocate for solutions that center equity.

Please complete the survey by Sunday, April 19, or as soon as you are able. It should take about 10 minutes or less. 

We want to stress that District Leaders share our concerns that distance learning will exacerbate inequities, especially if we were to hold children accountable to learning new content without providing them with an appropriate learning environment and in-person support. Moving forward, our primary responsibility continues to be the well-being of our students, supporting our classroom communities, and maintaining relationships. 

Beginning next week, in addition to connecting with students, you are asked to provide supplementary learning opportunities. You know your students best, and we know you will use your creativity and compassion to support students with what is most important throughout this prolonged closure.

Portland Association of Teachers