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 9/30/2022

    09/30/22 School Messenger

    • School News (NEW)
    • Upcoming Dates
    • Websites to Know 
    • Fliers and community links (NEW)
    • Middle School field study emergency chaperone list (NEW)
    • Community Upstanders Ask (NEW)
    • PPS Racial Equity and Social Justice Community Advisory Committee (NEW)
    • COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic (NEW)
    • OHSU K-12 COVID-19 Screening Enrollment now open (UPDATED)
    • Wanted: Volunteers to help Christina serve lunch
    • Office Hours with the TAG Department
    • SES PTSA News (NEW)


    School News (NEW)
    Hello Sunnyside Community,

    Today our students of color led the school in "Wear Orange" to recognize National Reconciliation Day, a Canadian Holiday. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community intergenerational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”. The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations. For more information visit here.

    During our morning meeting, representatives from our students of color group explained the meaning behind the day and the reason for wearing orange shirts. We appreciate our students' leadership of this important recognition.

    Monday marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah which marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year. For more information about this holiday, visit here.

    Last week marked the official beginning of fall on September 22nd which is celebrated with the fall equinox. We are excited to be turning the corner of our school year into the fall where we have Harvest Fair and other exciting fall activities coming soon.

    Thank you to all for all your support in getting our school up and running this year and we are looking forward to a great year together.
    Eryn & Alix


    Upcoming Dates
    View the full SES calendar here.

    Fri October 7, 8:45am   PTSA meeting, SES room 102 (all welcome)
    Fri October 14   NO SCHOOL [Teacher planning day]
    Sun-Fri October 16-21   6th grade Outdoor School
    Sat October 22, 1-2pm   Spin For Sunnyside fundraiser at Revel Indoor Cycling
    Sat October 22, 4-7pm   SES Harvest Fair
    Fri, October 28, 6:30-8:30pm   MS fall dance


    Websites to Know


    Fliers and community links (NEW)


    Middle School field study emergency chaperone list (NEW)
    Because middle school classes travel every Thursday, and because each trip requires chaperones, we maintain an emergency chaperone list for middle school teachers. Some classes are flush with chaperones, while others struggle to find them. As an emergency chaperone volunteer, you’ll get to know other students, adults and teachers, all while saving the day for a Middle School teacher—you don’t even need to have a middle school student to volunteer. Would you be willing to put your name on the last-minute chaperone list? If so, please complete this form. THANK YOU!


    Community Upstanders Ask (NEW)
    Hey Friends!! As you look around the school grounds and take in all the wonderful happenings in the gardens, you will find newly made brick spirals and the 5th grade garden being revamped. These new spaces, all of them, are happening because of the hard work of YOUR kiddos and their classmates with help and guidance from our fearless gardenleader, Nathan. When using these spaces during school hours and before or after school, please be mindful that the bricks are not to be removed. Please take the time to talk with your kiddos, students and community members about the importance of respecting these community made spaces and redirect them from smashing the bricks on the library steps, sidewalks and other spaces. Thanks for keeping SES at its best.


    PPS Racial Equity and Social Justice Community Advisory Committee (NEW)
    PPS seeks membership applications for the district’s inaugural PPS Racial Equity and Social Justice Community Advisory Committee (RESJ CAC). This committee will advise both the Superintendent and School Board about about the racial equity and education impacts of policy decisions and work collaboratively to increase understanding and progress towards the PPS Racial Educational Equity Policy and the PPS RESJ Plan and Framework, PPS reImagined, and the PPS Strategic Plan.

    PPS seeks to fill the remaining 12 positions from a diverse pool of applications from students, staff and parents with lived experience to be able to provide critical advice and feedback to ensure that PPS meets its mission and vision to prepare students to lead a more just world. Read more and find links to the application here.


    COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic (NEW)
    PPS will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority. The clinic is open to all, and will offer first, second and booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, as well as to the new bivalent vaccine (for ages 12+). The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone 5 years and older. We ask that you please wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided at the door.

    • What: COVID-19 Vaccine clinic
    • When: Wednesday, October 5, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Where: PPS Headquarters - 501 N. Dixon St.
    • Who: Anyone 6 months or older wanting a first, second or booster dose, including boosters for children ages 5-11. There is no charge for the vaccine.

    Families can also search for vaccine opportunities at


    OHSU K-12 COVID-19 Screening Enrollment now open (UPDATED)
    PPS is partnering with OHSU to offer free weekly COVID-19 testing for students. Participation in this program is completely optional but encouraged. PPS students may participate in the program regardless of vaccination status. Participating students will submit spit samples in pre-labeled test tubes to their school on a designated day each week, regardless as to whether they have symptoms. Schools will begin collecting spit samples starting September 27th-29th, and SES’s collection day is every Thursday. Samples should be placed in one of the coolers located outside the Kindergarten doors, or outside the door to the SES office.

    Read the full letter here: English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Русский | Soomaali


    Wanted: Volunteers to help Christina serve lunch
    This year, SES has one person on site for nutrition services: Christina Wolfe. She could use some help! Please sign up here to support her, as you’re able.


    Office Hours with the TAG Department
    PPS has scheduled time for parents and guardians to ask questions and receive information related to TAG identification, services, and processes.

    PPS will be available on Zoom from 6-7 PM on the following dates:

    • September 28, 2022
    • October 26, 2022
    • November 30, 2022
    • January 25, 2023
    • February 22, 2023
    • March 22, 2023
    • April 26, 2023
    • May 31, 2023

    The first meeting will be Wednesday, September 28, 6-7 PM. The Zoom link for all meetings is:


    SES PTSA News (NEW)

    The latest PTSA newsletter is found here, and includes information about the following:

    • Become a PTSA member!
    • Harvest Fair
    • Spin for Sunnyside
    • Show support for our teachers
    • … and more!

    All PTSA newsletters are found here.

SES News

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  • 6th grader and new middle school student welcome day

    Dear 6th graders and new Middle School Students,

    Welcome to Sunnyside Environmental Middle School!
    Youʼre invited to 6th Grade and New Middle Schoolers Welcome Day 
    Tuesday, August 23rd 10am-12pm
    NOTE: This event is for students only

    On this Welcome Day, all 6th grade students and any new Middle Schoolers will learn about the ins and outs of what it’s like to be a middle schooler at Sunnyside. Together, with our middle school leaders and counselors, we’ll get to know each other and our school through activities. Students will leave the session feeling comfortable about life in middle school, having made new connections, and excited to start school on August 30th.

    A little about Sunnyside Environmental Middle School:
    There are 7 Middle School CORE classrooms, each made up of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students together.

    • Core: Social Studies (Grades 6-8, Thematic - Ocean, River, Forest, Mountain)
    • Math: 6th-Grade Math, 7th-Grade Math/Compacted Math, 8th-grade Math/Compacted Math
    • Core Elective: 6th grade school skills, 7th-8th grade Spanish 1-2 (receive HS Credit)
    • Elective Wheel: PE, Art, Media/Library, Science Lab. 

    An example of Middle School Schedule: (This is subject to change based on guidelines)

    • 8:45 School begins
    • 8:45-9:15 Morning Meeting whole middle school in the auditorium every Monday and Friday.
    • 9:20-10:20 Specials or CORE (Specials are Media, Science Enrichment, PE, Art/Environmental Justice elective)
    • 10:25-11:25 Specials or CORE (Specials are Media, Science Enrichment, PE, Art/Environmental Justice elective)
    • 11:30-12:05 lunch and recess entire MS
    • 12:10-1:05 CORE
    • 1:10-3:15 6th Grade Math/School Skills and Community (6th grade only, 2 hour afternoon block)

    Other things to look forward to in 6th grade:

    • Gardening
    • K-5 Buddies
    • Service Learning
    • Outdoor School (dates TBD)
    • MS Dances
    • Overnight trip in the spring

    We are very excited for the upcoming school year. This yearʼs middle school includes a truly great mix of 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

    Rebecca Johnson
    SES middle school counselor 

  • 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.

District News

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  • Ventilation and Air Quality in Our Schools

    Recently, we have received several questions from staff, families, and a media outlet, asking us to detail our efforts at maintaining optimal air quality in our schools. We understand the concern and the need for reassurance from our students and employees – that as a school system, we are taking prudent measures to promote a safe and healthy learning environment.

    Read More
  • Center for Black Student Excellence

    Español| Tiếng Việt| 中文| Soomaali| Русский

    On September 20, 2022, the Portland Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education unanimously approved a historic agreement that centers Black students, and embarks on the development of a community plan for their future by making the voter-approved Center for Black Student Excellence (CBSE) a reality.

    Read More
  • Announcing COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

    Español| 中文| Soomaali| Русский

    We are pleased to announce that we will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority. The clinic will be open to all, and offer first, second and booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available. Additionally, this clinic will include access to the new bivalent vaccine (12+). The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone 5 years and older.

    Read More
  • PPS Racial Equity and Social Justice Community Advisory Committee

    Español| Tiếng Việt| 中文| Soomaali| Русский

    We are currently seeking membership applications for the district’s inaugural PPS Racial Equity and Social Justice Community Advisory Committee (RESJ CAC). This committee will advise both the Superintendent and School Board about about the racial equity and education impacts of policy decisions and work collaboratively to increase understanding and progress towards the PPS Racial Educational Equity Policy and the PPS RESJ Plan and Framework, PPS reImagined, and the PPS Strategic Plan.

    Read More