Portland Public Schools Employee Reviews

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Disconnect between upper management and teachers
Teacher (Former Employee) –  PortlandJanuary 3, 2017
Not recommended unless you have a desire to work close to your home in Portland. This district is in serious need of upper management upheaval. Principals were wonderful...District offices were not.
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Rewarding work
Paraeducator (Current Employee) –  Portland, OROctober 5, 2016
Large school district, excellent dedicated teachers, hard but very rewarding work with special needs kids of all ages.
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Part time
Activity Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORJune 24, 2016
I love to work with Kids Very fun job I would do again
I got along with my co workers and developed a great relationship
with everyone.
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Culture is abysmal.
Help Desk Support (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORJune 18, 2016
Worked there as a contractor doing IT. Job culture was the worst. Many employees were more concerned about leveraging their seniority to avoid doing unpleasant tasks than with actually getting the job done efficiently, to the point that they just ended up creating more work for everyone. In terms of non-work culture it was actually pretty good, being very friendly to minorities and reasonably chill.

Management was hit or miss overall with some very good people, but watching some of the promotions that happened and having my feedback on a process improvement discounted by my immediate supervisor only to be implemented shortly thereafter (presumably because someone with more status brought up the idea, which was a very obvious improvement) was very demoralizing.

Staffing fluctuated between overstaffed and understaffed on the contractor side of things, never really finding the proper balance between overwhelmed and bored, and wasting lots of money on the over-staffed side.
Pros
No intrusion into off-work hours, except for overarching despair for the future.
Cons
Frustrating culture, mediocre pay.
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Completly out of wack
Paraeducator (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORJune 13, 2016
PPS treats paraprofessionals as cogs to be interchanged without thought. Each Special education environment is unique and skills useful in one environment are useless or a hindrance in others. One day you are working in SE Portland and the next at Jantzen Beach without consideration of where you live (transportation time and cost) or that you have been at one location four three years makes no difference. Even with a wage of 18.50 per hour after all the deductions are taken from your pay check your will make less than a full time minimum wage equivalency (consider multiple reductions in hours and day per year worked). All this while enduring numerous assaults from special education students, never know where you will be working next month, or even weather you will be able to bring a microwaveable lunch or have to bring a paper bag lunch (surprise your going on a field trip with a population you have never worked with at a building 30+ minutes away and no we won’t pay for your gas!), changing diapers of 200+lbs students (not part of my original contract) and just try to get medical help from the insurance.

The teachers do not know if paras work for them or the principal (changes almost every contract negotiation). They consider paras to have no valuable opinions (if they differ from theirs) and are treated with less respect and consideration than any other member of the work force or the special education students with sever cognitive impairments. Students with parents that are willing to sue the district get three or four times the resources of those who don’t. Students are
  more... allowed to terrorize class rooms with little or no consequence while the other students lose educational time. Student who show the ability for improvement take a back seat to those "high needs" or "in crisis" students so disabled students who could move to a place where they no longer require services are trapped. Higher power forbid if you hold a different political/educational theory/belief, you will become a pariah.

I will never work for Portland Public Schools again. PPS has soured me on the public educational process, and made it difficult for me see such institutions without bias.
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Pros
If you love children you will get exposer.
Cons
Low pay, expected to commit personal resources to work, no stability day to day, little respect, mono-political, unable to pick a place to live due to threat of reassignment, undependable work requirements, constant changes in job/contract duties, horrible work culture
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Doing it all for the kids
HRIS Senior Specialist (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORJune 2, 2016
You could not ask for more noble goals. With an equity policy in place, the administration has recognized that closing the achievement gap should be the district mission.

The employees understand that, regardless of their role, they are taking part in the advancement of kids.
Pros
Good benefits, locations throughout the city
Cons
While it might be a positive for some, most jobs are paid monthly rather than biweekly
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Good Place to work
Sr. Administrative Secretary, District Office (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORMay 31, 2016
I like working in schools, so this is a good fit for me. I am lucky to have co-workers who are hardworking, cooperative and have their hearts/skills in the right place to work toward the common goal of creating great schools for kids.
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Fun Fast paced work
Library and Warehouse Assistant (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORMay 4, 2016
I liked that for the most part you knew what to expect but with some curve balls thrown in...

I loved the interaction with teachers and helping them get their assignments/projects or curriculum put together.
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enjoyed the kids hated the politics
Para Educator Special Education (Former Employee) –  5210 N. Keby Portland OregonDecember 4, 2015
overall a good experience but the politics are what I didn't enjoy some people were not there for the children but there only for a check
Pros
summers off
Cons
having to understand some people dont really care about children
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Technology Leadership
Technology Specialist (Current Employee) –  Portland, OROctober 21, 2015
Opinion only.

IT at PPS is doing a good job with keep the lights on, however I see a lack of communication about its identity. In other words what does it want to be and where is it going. How are newly introduced technologies going to be leveraged, or it is just going with the flow.
Pros
Fairly relaxed work environment.
Cons
Direction - where is it going?
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Fun work place with great team memebers
Math Coach (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORSeptember 29, 2015
Go to a designated school and work with a group of students that have not met the state benchmark.. I learned that every student has many learning styles in completing a math problem. The hardest part of the job was getting the support from the parents. The most enjoyable part of the job was the improvement of the students grade and test scores.
Pros
Meeting the State benchmark
Cons
Not meeting the State benchmark
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good place to work
Custodian (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORSeptember 10, 2015
fun place to work with good benefits and fair pay. many different school locations so working close to home is an option. Management is resourceful and helpful.
Pros
different schedule options
Cons
hard to get promted
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Provided opportunit to expand professional skills.
Therapeutic Intervention Coach (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORJuly 19, 2015
Portland Public school afforded me the opportunity to use skills from my previous experience and to develop new skills in working with children and families. I was able to be a part of a team approach, while also maintaining my independent work ethic.
Pros
Positive professional team
Cons
Salary and benefits
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i will work for them again
Lead Assistant (Former Employee) –  portland,orJuly 15, 2015
this was a good job working around kids especailly if you have kids of your own.people was always nice and helpfull we worked together to completee task for the day.
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Productive place to work and grow with a supportive and positive community
High School Teacher (Current Employee) –  Portland, MIMarch 31, 2015
Initially hired as PE only, it was required that I gradually make the shift to nearly all classroom Health. Though I enjoy Health class, I would very much like to be primarily PE.
Most co-workers and administration are positive and supportive.
The most challenging part of my day is to inspire those who lack desire to be physically active or want to eat well. This also the most exciting and enjoyable part of my job.
Pros
Supportive administration.
Cons
Short transitional time between classes to set-up.
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Great place to develop skills and build your career
Intern (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORMarch 6, 2015
I have been interning at PPS since January. So far, I have had a great experience. The internship program is structured so that I get to have a part in deciding what tasks or projects I want to focus on during my time there. My supervisor is wonderful and the overall team is great! They are truly dedicated to finding the best quality teachers. I have learned a lot in the short time I have been there, and look forward to the experiences yet to come.
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i like my job
Custodian (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORFebruary 21, 2015
a typical day at work is usually fast pace.There is a lot of time management that goes into my job as a custodian. I have learned how to buff floors and use a buffer. management is good at staying on top of everything as far as stock and making the work place a healthy work place. my co workers are pretty cool people very kind some of them have brought in lunch for every one and it has been great getting to know my co workers.
Pros
nice lunch breaks, consistent schedule
Cons
paid monthly
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Challenging new standards push students to achieve more.
Para educator (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORFebruary 16, 2015
Portland Public Schools staff and administrators are working to raise overall graduation rates. Children are being provided with more academic opportunities and thus more testing to check progress. I think this a mixed blessing in that the tests are demanding and not necessarily an indicator of how well a child is progressing. This makes the job harder for teaching assistants as children are being pushed harder and harder at younger and younger ages. I do enjoy teaching and introducing children to new material, but also note how much children are struggling with the amount of material they must learn.
Pros
Excellent medical and retirement benefits.
Cons
Large classrooms, too much emphasis on test scores, lack of arts in some Title 1 schools.
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Fast paced work place
Warehouse Assistant (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORFebruary 10, 2015
Everyday at work I was in a warehouse putting science kits together for all grades K-8. This required me to clean all the kits out, making sure that all the materials in each kit were restocked and took inventory. I learned that it takes a hard working team to get this type of job done. My co-workers were hard workers as well which helped us get everything ready for the next year that much quicker. I liked my boss a lot she did not hoover so I was confident that I could do my job right and she was very understanding when it came to me taking time off work every once in a while. The hardest part of the job was the repetition and the most enjoyable part of my job was getting the opportunity to work with co-workers that I would now consider as friends.
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tire 1 helpdesk
Front desk IT support (Former Employee) –  portlandJanuary 22, 2015
loved the job just dident get to stay long due to it being portlnd public schools they dident have the mony to hire people. the people thirewere very good to me and i was good to them
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Overall rating

4.0
Based on 41 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.8
Compensation/Benefits
3.7
Job Security/Advancement
3.5
Management
3.5
Culture
3.9

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