Portland Public Schools district headquarters, Portland, Ore., Dec. 15, 2018.

An OPB file photo of the Portland Public Schools district headquarters in North Portland. District officials say they're trying to make in-person learning a priority, but staff absences have made that challenging at some schools.

Bradley W. Parks / OPB

Oregon’s largest school district has a handful of middle schools in distance learning right now. But several other schools in the district have recently reopened.

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Guadalupe Guerrero, the Portland Public Schools superintendent, told OPB’s “Think Out Loud” on Monday that the main priority for the district is to maintain in-person learning. Some schools in the district have been harder hit by staffing challenges than others, however, and a handful of middle schools remain in remote learning.

“What we’ve tried to do is to sort of mitigate for when substitutes are less likely to take jobs at certain schools,” he said. “We’ve dedicated what we call building subs in those schools. So there’s always extra staffing in places where substitutes are less likely sometimes to take jobs in certain schools.”

The district has also faced criticism over coronavirus protocols.

Listen to the entire conversation:

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