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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  • SES Messenger for 5/20/2022

    05/20/22 School Messenger

    • School News (NEW)
    • Upcoming Dates (NEW)
    • Websites to Know
    • Reminders
    • SES Auction and Toffee Club tickets for sale (NEW)
    • Walk Run Move - Final Call for Fundraising! (NEW)
    • A message from your sunny librarian (NEW)
    • No Heelys at school (NEW)
    • Food drive for Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers (UPDATED)
    • PPS-Approved Fliers (NEW)
    • QSA Gear for the Sunnyside Community
    • Connect to Kindergarten: Wednesday, May 25, 3:15pm
    • 2022 Youth Mental Health Forum
    • Astronaut Dr. Jose Hernandez coming to PPS
    • Franklin athletics: Summer and fall opportunities
    • Order class pictures on SchoolPay
    • End-of-year Middle School dance: Friday, June 10
    • No SES supervision before 8:40am or after school
    • Lice (again)
    • SES PTSA News


    School News (NEW)
    Dear Sunnyside Community,

    Thank you so much for yet another wonderful week. We started the week with heavy hearts as we contemplated the tragedy in Buffalo and our teachers searched yet again for a way to stand in front of your children and lead through life events. I was privileged enough to sit in middle school as the teachers led discussions around what happened and engaged in critical thinking about the role of white nationalism and supremacy on our national landscape. Led by Levia and Tiffany, our 3rd-5th graders held some safe spaces for our students of color and then there was a student-led lowering of the flag in honor of those who lost their lives in Buffalo. Our 3rd grade students of color assembled for the first time and led by Tiffany, those students shared powerful testaments to the strength of solidarity. Watching our students come together and comfort and lead each other is the most inspiring aspect of being in schools. I thank you for your children.

    As we approach the final three weeks of school, we know things will be rushed and busy. Please take a moment to reflect on the growth of your students and our community over the year. This has not been an easy year for anyone and the strength of this community has pulled us all through and given us optimism. We are all looking forward to celebrating your children as this year ends and looking forward to a bright year next year.

    In community,


    Upcoming Dates (NEW)
    View the full SES calendar here.

    Mon, May 23, 3:15pm   Garden Club
    Wed, May 25, 3:15pm   Connect to Kindergarten
    Mon, May 30   NO SCHOOL (Memorial Day)
    Mon, Jun 6, 3:15pm   Garden Club
    Mon, Jun 6, 5-9pm   Sunnyside Comeback Campaign: Wrap-up Party at the Toffee Club
    Thu, Jun 9, 8:45-9:45am   Coffee and Connection
    Thu, Jun 9, 7-8:30pm   8th grade promotion at Franklin High School
    Fri, Jun 10, 8:45am   5th grade promotion
    Fri, Jun 10   LAST DAY OF SCHOOL


    Websites to Know


    To help keep things working smoothly, here are some gentle reminders from the front office:

    • Have your students wear coats and bring an extra change of clothes.

    • Do not park in no-parking zones or crosswalks.

    • Walk or carry anything wheeled while on school grounds.

    • Volunteer during lunch to help keep kids distanced.

    • Do not idle your car engine while waiting to pick up students.

    • Come to the front door and buzz if your student arrives late or leaves early.


    SES Auction and Toffee Club tickets for sale (NEW)
    The Comeback Campaign Auction is off to an exciting start! If you haven't registered and started bidding yet, please jump in NOW! Auction items are being added every day, so check out all of the new vacations, workshops, tickets and fun Portland events that are now in the mix! Bidding closes on June 6th!

    Time to get tickets for the end-of-year party at THE TOFFEE CLUB on June 6th! We'll be sending off the auction season in style with a 70s theme night, so dust off your platform sandals and get ready to boogie. Pay what you can ($7-70 per person) for this adults-only event!


    Walk Run Move - Final Call for Fundraising! (NEW)
    We are NEARLY to our fundraising goal of $12,000 for SES Programs! Thank you to everyone who has participated so far! GOOD NEWS: You can still collect pledges online until Monday, May 23! Envelopes with cash or checks were due to the office today, but we will still accept any that come in until Monday of next week. We will tally all the individual and classroom winners early next week and announce results soon. Contact Steph Barnhart with questions at:


    A message from your sunny librarian (NEW)
    Hey Friends, have we got a special Donors Choose for you! Our library classroom has expanded to include the MakerSpace, making more alternative wiggly inclusive seating necessary for our K-8 kiddos. Please and thank you, take a moment to check it out. A huge thanks to those who have already donated. Gillian, Becky & Winnie really appreciate you, and our wiggly kiddos do too!! Donors Choose: Wiggle Stools for Wiggly Readers.

    … AND ...

    Today, Friday May 20th, was the last day of checkout for this school year and so the Book Return Balloon Race has begun!! Our library goal is to have all checked out/lost books returned and fines satisfied by Friday June 3rd. Be sure to stop by the library and see who's class balloon is closest to the finish line. The first class to have all their books returned and fines satisfied by June 3rd will win a popsicle party. Summer Reading info to follow.


    No Heelys at school (NEW)
    As a reminder, Heelys and other rolling shoes are not allowed at SES during school hours. Please remind your students to leave them at home, or to change into shoes without wheels when they arrive.


    Food drive for Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers (UPDATED)
    Becca Hawk’s middle school class is hosting a food drive. All collected food will be donated to Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers. Starting on May 11 until Friday May 27, please bring the following items to SES and place in boxes in students’ classrooms:

    • White rice
    • Cooking oil (canola or corn)
    • Beans
    • Pasta & sauce
    • Peanut butter & jelly
    • Bread
    • Tortillas
    • Onions
    • Cabbage
    • Potatoes
    • Any non-expired food

    PPS-Approved Fliers (NEW)
    The following fliers have been approved by PPS to share:

    QSA Gear for the Sunnyside Community
    Show your pride for LGBTQIA2S+ kids, staff, & families! We welcome all kids, families, community members, and staff (not just QSA members) to order shirts to show your passion for supporting queer and trans youth. Using these funds, our QSA will create a book list and order them for the Sunnyside School Library to be enjoyed for generations to come. The design was created by 4th and 5th grade leaders and modeled after this year's QSA zine cover.

    Please make sure to carefully select adult vs. youth sizing. All orders will be shipped directly to you and will be made based on the time of your order. The sooner the better! The campaign closes on Wednesday, June 1st, just in time for Portland Pride, a celebration uplifting LGBTQIA2S+ people and a remembrance of our trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson and the Stonewall Riots.

    These shirts represent a community of affirmation, togetherness, and celebration, which are acts of resistance as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, agender, Two Spirit, pansexual, genderqueer, nonbinary and many many more types of people! 

    At Sunnyside, we have three QSA's- one for 3rd graders, one for 4x5, and one for middle school. We proudly have one of the most highly-attended QSAs, and our learners are leading the way towards the radical change that needs to come in order for all kids to feel safe and free to be themselves. As adults, we have a lot to learn to catch up with our incredible queer youth, and there has never been a more important time to show up and proudly support all of our learners.

    Thank you for uplifting our learners and for being you :D
    ~Leo 3x5 QSA Advisor (they/them) 


    Connect to Kindergarten: Wednesday, May 25, 3:15pm
    Families with children who will start Kindergarten in the fall of 2022 are invited to visit Sunnyside on Wednesday, May 25 at 3:15 pm for a tour and information about our school. (Please check in at the office when you arrive.) To enroll at Sunnyside or any other PPS school, please visit this page.


    2022 Youth Mental Health Forum
    Join peers and policy makers for a listening session to raise awareness and empower youth voice (ages 13-21) in talking about youth mental health challenges and solutions. This is a free event hosted by Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran in partnership with youth leaders and community organizations.

    The event will include opening remarks from Commissioner Meieran, invited speakers Portland Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty and youth leaders, small group conversations, free lunch, resources, & affinity spaces. 

    • Date: Saturday, May 21, 2022
    • Time: 10:00 am-1:30 pm
      • 9:30 am: Doors Open
      • 10:00 am-12:00 pm: Main Event
      • 12:00 pm-12:30 pm: Free Lunch and Resource Fair
      • 12:30 pm-1:30 pm: Affinity Spaces, Resource Fair Continued, and Closing
    • Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Portland (1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232) and virtual
    • Incentives: peer to peer connection, employee passes to local sportswear stores, lunch, and more! (Some incentives are only available for youth who attend in person.)
    • Learn more:

    If you would like to attend the forum, please fill out the EVENT REGISTRATION FORM.

    If you would like to volunteer at the forum, please fill out the VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP FORM.


    Astronaut Dr. Jose Hernandez coming to PPS
    On May 20th at Jefferson High School, PPS will host a speaking event featuring Dr. Jose Hernandez, a NASA astronaut, STEM education advocate, engineer, and author. This free event is open to PPS students and families of all ages.

    • Friday, May 20th (English with interpretation available in American Sign Language, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Somali, and Russian)
      Time: 6:00-8:00pm
      Location: Jefferson High School Auditorium
      Address: 5210 N. Kirby Ave., Portland, OR 97217 (map)
      Registration forms: English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Chinese | Somali | Russian


    Franklin athletics: Summer and fall opportunities
    FHS offers students a number of opportunities to get involved in sport over the summer and throughout the year. If you have a student interested in participating in any sport, please download the following for more information:


    Order class pictures on SchoolPay
    This week, each class took one formal photo and one goofy photo; each photo is available to order for $8.00. (If you are able, please consider contributing additional funds towards a scholarship. Our desire is for every student to take home a copy of their class photo.)


    End-of-year Middle School dance: Friday, June 10
    The last Middle School Dance of the year is on the last day of school: Friday, June 10th from 6:30-8:30, featuring a DJ, lights and awesome snacks! We hope all middle schoolers will come celebrate the graduating 8th grade class. Families: Please visit this SugnUpGenius to sign up for chaperoning and snack bringing! (Volunteers must have active volunteer background checks.) Let’s kick off summer right!


    No SES supervision before 8:40am or after school
    Please note that there is no supervision on the playground or school grounds before or after school.

    School starts at 8:45. The office is really busy in the morning so if you can make every effort to get here on time, we would appreciate it.


    Lice (again)
    Our students love Sunnyside, and unfortunately LICE love all of those heads roaming around. Please remember to do weekly head checks for lice and nits, and remind your student(s) to not share hats or hooded tops/coats. It is advised to purchase a Nit Terminator comb (a one-time investment that will last forever, and can be used on multiple people with cleaning in between). Avoid chemicals and harsh ingredients, and comb through wet hair for the most effective removal. Email the school health captain Amy if you need support:


    SES PTSA News
    Please check here for any new information from our incredibly supportive PTSA.

    • PTSA needs volunteers
      The parents currently serving in SES PTSA positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer will be ending their terms this year - we need new parents to step up and help run the PTSA! This is a vital part of our school that raises funds for art, gardening and field trips. If you're interested please reach out to our current President, Corby Watkins at, or come to an upcoming PTSA meeting.

SES News

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  • Lunch Plan for Sunnyside

    Dear Sunnyside Community,

    As many of you know, we are heading into fall and to the rainy season. I have worked with the Sunnyside Safety Team to update our indoor lunch plan to adhere to the latest guidelines.

    I have made sure that we have six feet apart in the school cafeteria, in the hallway, and in the auditorium for students to eat inside if necessary. In addition, I have two air filters running in each of these spaces, fans, and windows/doors open. We will have lunch volunteers who will be helping to supervise these spaces and we can make available spaces outside for students to sit if you do not want your student eating inside. Please note, if you do not want your student inside, please let them know that they need to choose on their own to go outside and eat under the supervision of the volunteers. With the amount of supervision that is needed by school personnel, we cannot track individual requests and students will need to choose to go outside on their own. If you choose to pick your student up because it is raining, please do so by 11:00 AM so that school staff can all help supervise lunch and recess as needed.

    I will try to watch the rain and if we can go outside and eat without it pouring, we will do so. Please use your best judgement as a parent to decide whether or not to pick your child up. Please send your child in warm and rain appropriate gear.

    If you have further questions or questions about our COVID safety plan, please reference the COVID presentation and the Back to School Night Presentation. Both are attached below.

    I know that there are many concerns about COVID and safety in our schools. Please rest assured that I consider those concerns when making a plan and any instances or reports of COVID exposure will be investigated and reported to our team of nurses at the MESD and appropriate notifications will be made.

    In partnership,
    Dr. Eryn Berg
    Principal, Sunnyside Environmental School
    Sunnyside BTSN slides
    She/ Hers/ They (Why?)


    Every corner of my heart loves you

    In a field of fields you are the largest field
    In a field of moons you are the most moons

    ~ Anis Mojgani
      The Piano Farm

  • Back to School Night


    Hello families!

    We look forward to seeing you all tonight at Back to School Night (virtually). Classroom teachers have emailed you their zoom or google meet links; here's a reminder of the schedule:




    SPED staff:
    6:30 - 7:45
    Adrianne / Eva / Ellen / Megan



    • Grades 3-5 6:20 - 6:45
    • Middle School 6:50 - 7:15
    • Grades 1-2 7:20 - 7:45


    Can't wait to see you soon!
    Alix and Eryn

  • Climate Strike Friday

    Dear PPS Families,

    On September 24, 2021, we expect some PPS students to participate in a Climate Strike. Students are planning to walk out of class and gather at the Oregon Convention Center at 11:00 am and then march to city hall to share their concerns related to climate change and climate justice.

    PPS is not sponsoring this event, but we do recognize students’ constitutional right to freedom of expression. We also recognize that:

    This student-led event involves learning opportunities that align with the spirit of the PPS Board of Education's approved Climate Justice Resolution #5272.

    Our district vision, PPS reImagined, includes a graduate portrait that describes expectations for student growth in their understanding of racial equity and climate justice issues.

    The subject matter aligns with both our district policies and core curriculum.

    Please talk with your student about this event. Once students leave our campus for unsponsored events, Portland Public Schools can no longer guarantee their safety. We ask you to please discuss your family's expectations with your student about their participation, safety during walkout and demonstrations, expectations regarding COVID-19 prevention strategies (masks, physical distancing, etc), and communication with you if they choose to leave school during the day.

    For our high school students: Consistent with Oregon law and district policies, students must make arrangements with their teachers or principals for addressing any missed school assignments (including quizzes, tests). High school students must make arrangements and have parent/guardian permission with their teachers in order to receive an excused absence if they choose to take part in local climate strike activities. Staff will not be able to supervise students after they leave campus.

    For our high school student athletes: Additionally, student athletes who choose to participate in activities on September 24 must communicate with teachers prior to participating in the walkout to talk about missed work and have a parent/guardian or the student give advance notice to their school’s athletic director of their participation in the strike. If these actions are taken, student athletes will be eligible to play in games or practices that afternoon/evening.

    For our elementary and middle school students: Elementary and Middle School students will be asked to remain in the building. Parents may choose to sign their students out and participate with them. If parents plan for an adult other than parent/guardian to check out their student, you will need to update the school that another adult is authorized to pick up your student.

    Students who are not in class will be marked absent, and regular attendance phone calls will be made through our standard notification system. Once students leave school grounds we cannot ensure their location or their safety. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we encourage limiting large gatherings to avoid possible spread. Please discuss with your student your family’s expectations for the day. Please reach out to your principal with any questions or concerns.

    Finally, per PPS reImagined, our district vision, we recognize that student leadership and advocacy is an important part of the educational experience:

    PPS Climate Justice Youth Advisory Group: We encourage students to join the PPS Climate Justice Youth Advisory Group, which serves to advise PPS senior leaders on the future of climate justice efforts in our school district. For details, please contact Yian Saechao, PPS’ Youth Engagement Specialist at

    Climate Crisis Response Policy Survey: We also encourage your students and you to provide feedback via this survey on our emerging Climate Crisis Response Policy, a set of policy strategies the PPS Board of Education is considering to reduce PPS’ greenhouse gas emissions and build a culture of learning, responsibility, and resilience around climate justice.

    Thank you.

  • Welcome, Señor Gawronski!

    Please join me in welcoming our new Spanish teacher, Peter Gawronski.

    Mr. Gawronski comes to us with a wealth of talent, experience, education and enthusiasm. He has taught Spanish at every level from 1st grade through 3rd year college. The former owner of Gawronski Tutoring & Translating, he also speaks German, French and Japanese. When not teaching Spanish, Mr. Gawronski can be found spending time with his family, doing housework to become "inspection ready," or engaging in wholesome recreational activities.

    Please give him a warm welcome, bienvenido, youkoso, welcomen or bienvenue!


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