Sunnyside Environmental School

Fostering responsibility, excitement for learning
and respect for all living things.

3421 SE Salmon StPortland, OR 97214Ph 503-916-6226Fx 503-916-2676

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Weekly Messenger

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  • SES Messenger for December 6 2019

    Inside this Issue:
    • School News to Know (NEW)
    • Upcoming Dates
    • Websites to Know
    • Safety Upgrade: Entering the Buildings (NEW)
    • New Tags on the Circle of Giving (NEW)
    • SES Holiday Tree Recycling Event January 4-5 (NEW)
    • Student Meal Account Donations (NEW)
    • Stay Updated on Weather Closures (NEW)
    • Volunteers Wanted: Teach a Mini-Class at SES
    • 4-H Urban/Rural Exchange Program
    • Anti-Racist Reading and Resources (NEW)
    • News from SESPTSA (NEW)
    School News to Know (NEW)
    Happy Friday, SES Families, 
    I hope you all had an incredible fall break! We have had a busy, busy week here at school, and looking ahead we have some exciting events happening over the coming weeks before Winter Break. 
    Middle School Musical
    This weekend is our middle school musical, Crush. This show is written and performed by our middle school students and I am so excited to see them perform! There are shows tonight and tomorrow at 6:30 pm, and a Saturday afternoon show at 3 pm. I look forward to seeing you there. 
    Riparian Festival
    Please join us Friday, December 13 from 5:30-8 pm for the SES Riparian Festival, celebrating our 3rd--8th fall/winter curriculum showcase. The Riparian Festival brings our community together to celebrate student learning, and in addition to classrooms being open for tours and exploration of student work, we will also have some other activities for families and younger students. Although the 3rd-8th grade classes will be on display, this is truly an event for all of our families, K-8. We end the night with a quick, joyous sing-a-long in the auditorium from 7:40-8 pm. 
    In addition to the classroom tours, there will be a wonderful homemade lasagna dinner in the cafeteria, treats and sweets. Librarian Gillian will lead family coding activities in the library, and our Artist-in-Residence, Mr. Yingwana, will lead a drumming session in room 108. This event brings us together as a community...we eat, we learn, we explore, we play and we sing. The Riparian Festival is a celebration of our school and I hope to see all of you there. 
    Lastly, the meal at this event is also a community endeavor. Please consider donating a lasagna and/or baked goods (cookies, brownies, etc.) for the dinner that night, or join us for a shift in the kitchen, cafeteria, set up or clean up. Middle school students receive service hours for cooking, baking or volunteering at this event on the 13th. If you’re able to help, please sign up here.
    I look forward to seeing you next Friday evening!
    Upcoming Dates
    Check the district online calendar here.
    Fri-Sat, December 6-7 MS Musical [Fri at 6:30pm, Sat at 3:00 & 6:30pm]
    Friday, December 13 Deadline to bring Circle of Giving gifts
    Friday, December 13 Riparian Festival, 5:30-7:30pm
    Wed-Thu, Dec 18-19 MS Mini-Classes
    Wed, December 18 Spring Musical Info Meeting, 3:15-4:15
    December 23-January 3 Winter Break (no school)
    Sat-Sun, January 4-5 SES Tree Recycling Fundraiser
    Websites to Know
    Safety Upgrades: Entering the Building (NEW)
    Sunnyside was selected to receive safety upgrades by the PPS district. Part of our safety upgrade includes a new system for entering the building outside of drop-off and pick-up times. All exterior doors will be locked during the school day, from 9:00-2:45. The front door now has an intercom system that will call the office in order to buzz visitors into the building.
    New Tags on the Circle of Giving (NEW)
    We have added several new tags to the Circle of Giving! We have tags for gifts, gift cards (open amount), or cash donations to be used towards PGE accounts. If you are able, please consider choosing a tag to participate in the Circle of Giving. Families have until next Friday, December 13th, to bring items to the office. 
    If you have further questions, please contact Ashley Bevan in the counseling office. 
    SES Holiday Tree Recycling Event January 4-5 (NEW)
    During this busy season, we are looking for lots of middle school students and adult volunteers for the ​SES Holiday Tree Recycling Event on January 4th and 5th​. This is a great way for students to earn service hours and also help raise money for the PTSA and our own GO Fund! Hey 8th graders … think Catalina Island …
    We need assistance leading up to the event, as well as during event weekend. Parents and students should access the Google sign-up sheet at this link: Tree Recycling Sign Up
    Crucial needs include:
    • Several parent drivers to collect trees from the general neighborhood (we will have U-haul trailers)
    • MS students (20+ people in total) to work a 4 hour shift on that Sat or Sun. (unloading trees, pruning branches etc)
    • Parent and student to solicit in-kind support from local businesses
    • Student to plan and recruit event entertainment (amateur musicians...young, older, really talented, not so talented...doesn’t matter!)
    • Distributing promo flyers in local shops along Division, Hawthorne, Belmont, Burnside
    Please encourage friends and neighbors who have holiday trees to bring them to SES on event weekend, or reserve a pickup and we’ll do the work for them!
    Online pickup reservation form is at: ​
    Thank you very much!
    Jeff Skoke and Matt Pozos, SES Parent Volunteers and Event Co-chairs
    Jeff’s email: ​
    Matt’s email: ​
    Student Meal Account Donations (NEW)
    If you’d like to make a donation toward SES student meal accounts, visit the Nutrition Services website and click Donate Here. To ensure your donation goes to SES student accounts, please specify “Sunnyside” in the appropriate field. (You can also email the PPS Nutrition Services department directly at to set up a payment.)
    Stay Updated on Weather Closures (NEW)
    PPS recently posted a reminder listing the different ways you can learn about school closures and delays due to inclement weather.
    Volunteers Wanted: Teach a Mini-Class at SES
    For many years it has been a tradition in the SES middle school to invite parents, guardians, and community members to teach mini-classes. This is a time when we draw on the expertise and interests of our school community to teach an enrichment course to our middle school students who are excited and passionate about the topic. We've had parents from all grade levels offer to teach courses. Some examples of past classes are: woodworking, sewing, computer programming, trail running, history of radio, purse/wallet making, poetry, watercolor, yoga, chess and card games, and movie making. 
    This year our mini-classes will take place on two days:
    • Wednesday, December 18 from 12:05-3:15 and
    • Thursday, December 19, from 9:30am-2:55pm, with a lunch break from 11:30am-12pm (including clean up!)
    We look forward to providing our students with a range of offerings to choose from. If you are available, but undecided on what class to teach, we can help. If you have a class in mind, we look forward to learning what your class will be. We are happy to welcome you in whatever capacity your busy life allows.
    4-H Urban/Rural Exchange Program
    Upcoming Events:
    • March 11-15: Host families are needed to host rural youth
    • [ALL] April 2-7: 4-H Urban to Rural Exchange seeking adult chaperones
    • [Grade 7] April 2-7: Urban to Rural Exchange
    4-H will be presenting information about the programs at an upcoming morning meeting on Wednesday December 11th. We welcome adults to attend if they want to learn more about this program. 
    PLEASE NOTE: All applications need to be submitted online by December 13th. If you need additional assistance with this, please contact Courtney Lobo at 971-361-9629 or Space is limited, so get your application in ASAP. Learn more about the program in OPB's Oregon Field Guide, Crossing the Urban-Rural Divide.
    Anti-Racist Reading and Resources (NEW)
    This article from young writer Allen Salway is titled:  “Thanksgiving: National Day of Mourning.”
    And check back often for updates!
    • December 6th and 7th SES Presents a New, Original Musical: Crush
      Please come support the Sunnyside middle school students in their original production of Crush, a story exploring the complexities and nuances of all types of relationships. This musical is appropriate for all ages, but it might be best enjoyed by students in 3rd grade and up. Cost is $7 per ticket. Buy tickets online or they will also be available outside the auditorium one hour before each performance. There are three performances: 
      • Friday, December 6th, 6:30pm
      • Saturday, December 7th, 3:00pm
      • Saturday, December 7th, 6:30pm

    • Join the SES Spring Musical!
      It's time to embark on another completely original school musical! Our story will be created with the students (grades 1–5 for cast and middle schoolers welcome for crew). We will journey inside the human body, exploring the intriguing world of our microbiome. Humans are a host to a vast array of microorganisms known collectively as the microbiome, which affects many aspects of our health and happiness. Join us as we get microscopic and discover together the ways that diversity makes a community thrive!

      The Informational Meeting for adults and students is on Wednesday, December 18, from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. in the Auditorium. At the meeting, we'll cover expectations for participation (including code of conduct requirements), share about adult volunteer opportunities, and explore the theme. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. starting January 8, up until Performances on Friday, March 13 (6:30 p.m. show) and Saturday, March 14 (3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. shows). There is a role for everyone and no student will be turned away!

      Please contact Caitlin Quinn ( with questions. Please find the FAQ doc, registration form and code of conduct at:

SES News

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  • Slideshow from Middle School Info Session

    Thank you to all the families that attended one of our Middle School Info Sessions. We hope that you learned something about our middle school program. If you would like to review information from the presentations, you can follow the link below to the slideshow.
  • RESCHEDULED: Open House: Connect to Kindergarten

    We have rescheduled our Wednesday, February 19th 9:00-10:00am Open House. It will now occur on Friday, February 21st at 9:00-10:00am. 
  • For 5th grade families: MS information sessions

    To our 5th grade families,

    This year PPS has moved up the middle/high school lottery window significantly—it opens next week and closes in early December. You will be receiving a letter from PPS in the next few days; please disregard the Sunnyside Middle School info session dates that are listed in that mailing. Our sessions are at 9 am on Thursday, November 21 and at 6:30 pm on Thursday, November 21 here at Sunnyside. We have added the updated dates to our school calendar and website.

    If you are a current Sunnyside family PPS policy ensures that your child stay at Sunnyside through the highest grade of middle school regardless of your address, as long as you live within PPS district boundaries (not in Gresham or Beaverton, for example). If this is the case for your family, you do not need to participate in the school choice lottery if you're continuing into 6th grade at our school. If you are interested in a different school for middle school, PPS will be advertising the info nights for all of the middle schools who have open lottery slots. In most cases, if you are looking to change schools you would need to go through the lottery process. This is true even for schools where you live in the boundary. As an example, if you live in Mt. Tabor's boundary area and are looking to go there for middle school, if you're currently enrolled here the district assumes you are enrolled through 8th grade. If your address is in Tabor's boundary, you are guaranteed enrollment there but only if you go through the lottery process to declare that change. The same is true for families who live in our neighborhood and are leaving another program to come here as 6th graders—they must declare their intention through the lottery process so we can accurately plan for staffing.

    As principal I do believe it is important to attend this session if you're able, even if your child has been at Sunnyside for elementary school. Middle school is very different than K-5, and l believe that learning about our middle school program is valuable for our students and for families. I do realize that it feels as if 5th grade has just begun and these meetings feel early! PPS has shifted the timeline to try to improve staffing and support processes for schools across the district.

    Thank you and I hope to see you on the 21st.

    —Amy Kleiner
  • 2020 8th grade marine biology trip to Catalina Island

    The Catalina Island Marine Biology Trip is the culmination of our middle school curriculum. It takes place on Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California and involves travel by airplane, bus and ferry. The dates this year are May 18th-22nd 2020.

District News

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