Wednesday, May 16, 8:40-10:40: Garden morning

A huge THANK YOU to those of you who came to help on Garden Day this spring. We made big progress on the big projects that take “big” humans to accomplish. 

That being true and said, the turn out on that semi-rainy day was relatively small, so we are left with some unfinished big projects and we need more help. Please come on Wednesday, May 16 during late start to assist with finishing up: fence-building, irrigation, garden bed-creating and painting projects. Just bring yourselves and friends, tools and gardens provided.


Staff and Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up: May 29 to June 1

Here comes our annual chance to show love and gratitude to our incredibly talented and committed Sunnyside teachers and staff by…

  • Contributing a small and simple gift to your classroom teacher’s Love Basket, coordinated by your Room Parents.
  • Making contributions to the gift card fund which purchases gift cards for non-classroom teachers and staff, such as our caring custodians, outstanding office staff, Learning Center teachers, cafeteria goddesses, educational assistants, and the specialists who teach PE, Art, Gardening, Media and Music.
  • Bringing in FOOD for staff on your grade level’s day. (More information and a Sign-Up Genius will be coming soon via your Room Parents.)

Please take a moment with your child to start thinking about how you both would like to express thanks and care to the people who make Sunnyside the incredibly student-centered, engaging, connected and fun school that it is.

Past News

Late start+babysitting: Wednesday, May 16

Wednesday, May 16 is a late start. First bell is at 10:40am.

  • Babysitting: SES 8th graders, many of whom are Red Cross and/or CPR-certified, will be on hand to babysit, for those who need it. All proceeds benefit the Go Fund. Drop off is 8:30am, and sitters will be responsible for making sure each child gets to class. Cost is $20. Space is limited to 25 students and granted on a first-come, first-serve basis; sign up via the SES PTSA site.
Past News

Want to join to PTSA? We need you!

Are you ready to step into a new role at SES? The PTSA has many openings for you to consider! First and perhaps most importantly, we are holding elections at our final PTSA General Meeting on May 30. If you would like to get your name in the hat for any of the elected positions, please let me know. The elected positions are Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President. We have some wonderful folks who have expressed an interest in these roles, but we welcome all who are interested to reach out, learn more and sign up!

If an elected position seems too extreme but you still want to help out, take a look at the following openings. There is surely something for you:

  • Communications coordinator (Messenger & Facebook)
  • Coordinator of wreath and poinsettia sales
  • Coordinator of tree recycling (with help form last year’s awesome leads)
  • Middle school childcare coordinator
  • Lord of the Lost and Found 

I am happy to answer questions and provide more information if you are unsure or curious about what any of these positions entail. Let me know: We would love to have you come aboard!

Past News

Sunday, April 29, 9am-1pm: SES Garden Day

SES Garden Day is a whole-school work party to care for our schoolyard spaces. This spring, it will take place on Sunday, April 29, from 9am until 1pm.

Come one and all to help shape up the living landscape with your Sunnyside students. You can come to simply pull some weeds or spread compost, but if you have a special skill we can really use that too!

Our outdoor classroom has many different types of projects, so there should be something for everyone. Sweeping, building raised beds, setting up the irrigation for the summer…Even if you can only stop by and help for one hour—please come and show your support!

Can you bring a lil somethin’ extra?:

  • Some snacks to share
  • Coffee or drinks to share
  • Toolbox for small construction projects
  • Your wheelbarrow and gloves
  • Piece of 2’x3′ plywood

Volunteers please contact Steph if you can help with specific tasks. Examples:

  • Painting over graffiti
  • Building 5th grade fence project
  • Heading up a project area

Please email Steph with any questions or ideas.


Get your tickets for the SES Derby Day Foundation Auction

The auction will take place May 5, 6-9 pm at Beeswing Café. Purchase tickets in the hall at SES every day beginning Friday, April 20 or online here.

The SES Foundation Auction is a fundraiser for the SES Foundation, which supports hiring staff for our fair school. In the current budget era we need the foundation more than ever to help us fund some of the amazing extra staff we are so fortunate to have (think art, music, PE, counseling, etc.) at Sunnyside.  

In addition to fundraising, the auction is SUPER fun! So even if you don’t plan on spending lots of money, you can still come and have fun with fellow SESers.

We will have:

  • Live karaoke (back by popular demand)
  • The amazing and beloved Mo Philips as our MC (hammer time!)
  • Delicious food and desserts catereing to all the diets
  • A signature Derby Day cocktail, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Ridiculous hats!

We need help to make this all happen. Please check out our sign-up genius and sign up for a volunteer shift or two.

If you have any questions, please contact Corby Watkins. Can’t wait to see you there!

Past News

Wednesdays, 3:20-4:20pm: SES homework help sessions

  • What: Opportunity for middle students to work in a quiet space after school to work on homework with adults and peer tutors.
  • Who: Open to any middle school student who would like help (and/or a quiet space) to work on Math, Core, or Spanish homework. Students must be working quietly during homework help. Students who are NOT being productive and/or quiet will be sent home.
  • When: 3:20-4:20pm Wednesday afternoons. Students must be in the room and signed in at 3:20pm and sign out when they leave.
  • Where: Heidi’s room in the Middle School wing.
Past News

Information from PPS and SES on the April 20 walkout

Dear 5th-8th grade families,

Please see the message below regarding the student-led, national walk out that is planned for April 20 at 10 am. We will be speaking with students, reminding them that we can only ensure their safety if they remain at school. We will take attendance at 10 am in our upper grade classrooms, and plan to call families to alert them if their child walks out. It it unlikely that they will be accompanied by any adult staff if they choose to take public transportation to the courthouse (some middle school students have shared this as their plan, beginning at 10 am Fridaymorning). Please use the information below to have a conversation with your student prior to Friday–as the principal, it is important to me that I balance students’ wishes to demonstrate and speak their respective truths while also keeping them safe. As stated in the letter below, PPS is reminding families that we are able to keep students safe if they remain at school Friday. If you know your student will be attending this event and are able to go with them, please let me know. 

Thank you!

The original email:

Dear PPS families,

The topic of school safety will once again be in the national spotlight on Friday, April 20, which has been designated by some groups as National School Walkout Day. The date has significance as the anniversary of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. At PPS, we support student-driven conversations and actions to make our schools as safe, welcoming and inclusive as possible. With safety as our top priority, however, we are not able to authorize activities in which students leave campus.

We hope that you take this occasion to talk with your students about how they can add their voices to the ongoing debate over school safety and gun violence. These are critical issues for which all of us must take responsibility. We also hope that you make sure your students know that the safest place to have these conversations during the school day is on campus. When students choose to leave or walk out during the school day, we are not able to guarantee their safety. Further, we have talked with the Portland Police Bureau, and they have let us know they do not have the resources to monitor or intercede in events in which students leave campus during school hours.

We will be closely monitoring school activities on Friday and will make sure school communities are kept informed if there are unscheduled walkouts or activities in which students leave campus. We have established a central “hot line” for parents and others to call with questions or concerns: 503-916-6600. This number will be staffed throughout the day on Friday

Here are some questions and answers that may provide additional guidance:

Q: Will students be punished if they walk out?

A: Students will not be punished, but they will receive an unexcused absence if they leave school premises. Families and staff should understand that there are specific Board of Education policies on the topic of political activity or walkouts which must be observed.

Q: What if parents send a note allowing their student to participate in a walkout?

A: A note will not excuse a student to participate in activities off school premises.

Q: If students leave school property, will staff accompany them?

A: Depending on the number of students involved, principals might ask staff to accompany students to help ensure safety, but they cannot lead or actively participate in a march off campus. 

Q: If students leave school property, will police help ensure safety?

A: The Portland Police Bureau says they do not have the resources to monitor unauthorized school walkouts.

Q: What can parents do to help?

A: Please discuss this important topic with your students and watch for messages from your school principal.  We know from past events that students may choose to leave individually or as a group. Talk with your students about staying safe and staying in contact.

Thank you for all your support of our schools. It is a pleasure to serve your students.

Dr. Yvonne Curtis, Deputy Superintendent

Past News

April 19 and May 2: Student-led conferences

You are all invited to our upcoming student-led conferences. This is a wonderful event, one where your student will guide you through their classroom and showcase their learning with you. Students take the lead on this event by sharing their individual class work, as well as the collective learning of their classroom community. During this event, you can expect to deeply engage with your child as their teacher takes more of an observational role (“conference” literally means you will be conferencing with your student at this time, not their teacher). 

In order to best reflect current, classroom units, we have adapted our calendar and have two, possible dates for this event. Your child’s teacher should have already communicated with families in regard to which date the classroom will be open, and then all students have an early release on Friday, May 11 in exchange for participation in this event. The schedule is as follows:

Student-led conferences on Thursday, April 19, 3:30-6:30 pm (drop in):

  • 3rd grade: Heather, Levia, Jeremy
  • 4th grade: Leo and Daniel
  • Middle School Year of the Forest: Heidi and Tara
  • Middle School Year of the Mountain: Indigo only

Student-led conferences on Wednesday, May 2, 3:30-6:30 pm (drop in):

  • Kindergarten: Marcy, Allye, Logan
  • 1st/2nd grade: Rebecca, Michelle, Corbin, Kelly, Eric
  • 5th grade: Monica, Asa, Karen
  • Middle School Year of the Mountain: Carrie and Michael (not Indigo)
  • Middle School Year of the River: Karen and Cori