The Pendleton School District assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or income as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related authorities, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any Pendleton School District sponsored program or activity.
Parent/Teacher conferences will be held on November 20 & 21, 2023. Please contact your student’s school if you have questions.
Monday, Nov 20: 4 – 8 pm
Tuesday, Nov 21: 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Monday, Nov 20: 4 – 8 pm
Tuesday, Nov 21: 7:30 am – 1 pm, 2 – 7 pm
Monday, Nov 20: 4 – 8 pm (commons)
Tuesday, Nov 21: 7:30 am – 1 pm (virtual), 2 – 4 pm (virtual), 4 – 7 pm (commons)
Pendleton School District’s Outdoor School (ODS) program recently encountered a big change. This is the last year that sixth graders from Sunridge Middle School will attend ODS. For several weeks last month (October), this year’s sixth graders attended the program. While ODS is usually run in the spring, the middle school had sixth graders attend this fall, as all fifth graders in the district will be attending in Spring 2024.
The district transition from having all fifth graders attend this traditional program instead of sixth graders was done for various reasons. The spring schedule conflicted with the testing schedule for sixth graders at SMS; also, many substitute teachers were needed for long periods of time.
The same curriculum and model, where students rotate to different stations around the outdoor camp, will be used for the fifth-grade Outdoor School program.
“Our sixth graders had a great time this fall at Outdoor School. We are excited to continue the program since it is a longstanding tradition for PSD, and we know our fifth graders will really enjoy the experience,” said John Summerfield, SMS Social Studies Teacher and ODS Coordinator.
Pendleton School District’s Outdoor School has been running for 52 years. It is held at the U.S. Forest Service’s Buck Creek Cabins/Corporation facility on the Umatilla National Forest, on the banks of the Umatilla River. Students are bused to the site every day and spend the day in field studies to learn about natural habitats and outdoor skills. The field studies are taught by federal, state, and local natural resource employees and volunteers from the region.
The Pendleton School District is happy to feature new PSD teachers.
In addition to robust academics, this year, Sunridge Middle School students are also learning how to connect with classmates, build social-emotional skills, and more.
A revision from last year’s calendar is the addition of a designated Advisory period of 32 minutes, which is the third period five days a week. This change means one less period for students, but Piper Kelm, SMS Principal, said Advisory is being utilized for growth. At the start of the period, all students watch a recorded video of school announcements. The announcements (video link and written) are emailed every day to 900 parents of SMS students. “This is one way we are trying to connect parents to our building and a way for them to ask their child about specific ways to be involved in school,” Kelm said.
Monday during Advisory is used for Grade Checks and follow-up with students who need extra academic support. Tuesday and Wednesday are for Character Strong, a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)/Character Education curriculum taught by every Advisory teacher. The goal is to help students develop self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, and more to become healthy and kind individuals.
On Thursdays and Fridays during Advisory, teachers provide lessons created by the SMS counselors. Topics may include digital citizenship (the ability to navigate the digital world safely and responsibly), suicide prevention, career education, and more.
Principal Kelm said since the pandemic, there are many students who struggle with dysregulated behaviors, the inability to control or regulate one’s emotional responses. She said having designated time during the week to provide lessons and skills about getting along with others, making connections, and addressing lagging skills in social-emotional learning is crucial to creating a successful learning environment.
Other supports in the building include DESSA screening for social-emotional wellness and small groups led by counselors for students and employees from Community Counseling Solutions in the building.
“We have students for only a little bit of time, and they are at a tender age with some vulnerability. Being socially-emotionally healthy helps kids feel safe, which means they can learn more effectively and make greater academic gains,” Kelm said.
She encourages parents to know who their child’s counselor at school is, reach out about concerns, and to always feel welcome to communicate with SMS staff.