Read-A-Thon: Winners list and thanks

Hello Sunnyside families! Read-A-Thon 2018 was an enormous success. We surpassed our fundraising goal. Our total so far is over $34,000! If you still have pledges to collect, please do so and bring them to the main office. We are still accepting donations.

Please look for our complete list of winners in the school hallway. Below are the top prize winners:

  • Top Fundraising Class:
    • K-2: Eric
    • 3-5: Jeremy
    • Middle School: Tara
  • Top Individual Fundraisers
    • K-2 
      • 1st Place: Vivian Williams
      • 2nd Place: Bennett Lembo
      • 3rd Place: Ora Darling
    • 3-5
      • 1st Place: Naomi Granek Brown
      • 2nd Place: Vanport Bontemppo
      • 3rd Place: Adoniyas O’Connor
    • Middle School
      • 1st Place: Nicolas D’Aubin
      • 2nd Place: Zola Buhl Smith
      • 3rd Place: Ella Kirshbaum
    • Top Reading Class:
      • K-2: Rebecca
      • 3-5: Leo
      • Middle School: Indigo
    • Top Readers Per Grade:
      • K: Dionisis Fergadiotis Kapantzoglou
      • 1: Rowan LucKy Moon Bell
      • 2:Athena Anderson
      • 3: Alder Fife
      • 4: Eisley Shanor
      • 5: Jasmine Torain-Fass
      • 6: Haviva Kalenkowitz
      • 7: Ella KirshBaum
      • 8: Sierra Stein

Congratulations to all the winners, but also to each and every one of our students and parents for putting in so much work and dedication into making this fundraiser such a big success for our beloved school. We all win with Read-a-thon. To all the volunteers who helped me organize the event, come up with amazing ideas, design the reading logs, decorate the school hallway, secure authors to visit, catch kids reading, count money and so much more, you are all AMAZING. And finally a most special thanks to Leslie Lothamer, parent volunteer extraordinaire, and Gillian Grimm, the best librarian any school cold ever hope for! 

We will be bringing prizes to the students and classrooms within the next week or so. Please be patient; we will take care of everyone.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me
at (305) 528-7105 or  ~Yomari Cruz

Past News

The SafeOregon Tip Line aims to increase student safety

In keeping with its commitment to student safety, last October PPS joined school districts across the state in using the SafeOregon Tip Line. SafeOregon was funded by the Oregon Legislature as part of a statewide effort to improve school safety. It provides a secure means for anyone to anonymously report suspicious or imminently unsafe situations, such as threats of violence, fights, drugs and alcohol, weapons, bullying, harassment, intimidation or self-harm. 

Anyone, from students to parents to community members, can access the system in a variety of ways, including:

  • The “Report unsafe behavior” button found on every PPS school’s website
  • The SafeOregon website.
  • A live call/text (844-472-3367)
  • An email to
  • The mobile app that can be downloaded from your Smart Phone via iTunes or Google Play

Trained staff are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to respond. Please be sure to share this information with your friends and family. Remind your students: If you see or hear something, say something—immediately.

Past News

2018 8th Grade Speeches

Each year as our SES 8th graders prepare to leave for high school, they must complete a portfolio of assignments designed to help them think both retrospectively, prospectively and introspectively. One of those assignments is a speech that talks about something they believe.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during middle school morning meeting, 8th graders are delivering these speeches, starting at 8:45am. (No one is allowed to exit or enter the auditorium when a speech is in progress.)

Whether you want to watch loved 8th graders make their speeches or you want a little taste of what’s to come for your children as they make their journeys toward 8th grade, come listen to some of the speeches. You will be glad you did.

You can find the schedule of speeches here. The schedule does change, so please be sure to check for updates regularly if there’s someone you really want to see.


SES QSA t-shirts now available to order

SES’s newly-formed 3×5 QSA has been working hard on many projects. The design team has created a brilliant QSA T-shirt design. They are selling shirts to show queer pride and queer ally-ship, and to raise money for the QSA club. They will use funds for events, advocacy, field studies and supply costs. To order, download an order form here or pay online at SchoolPay.  All t-shirt order forms are due by April 4 for Spring 2018 delivery. Forms can be dropped off in the envelope outside of Leo’s classroom (room 200).

The 3×5 QSA’s mission statement: “The 3rd through 5th grade Sunnyside Environmental School Queer Straight Alliance, known as the 3×5 QSA, stands for LGBTQIA+ rights. Our alliance’s goal is to help people feel comfortable with who they are and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community. Not only do we learn, but we also ask questions such as, “Do LGBTQIA students get the support they need and deserve?” and “If you are queer, do you feel comfortable speaking up and telling people?” We welcome both LGBTQIA students and allies. At QSA, we make sure everyone feels safe, supported and loved. One way we do that is by completing projects. For example, we make posters, t-shirts, mugs, and bookmarks to raise money for queer organizations, students of color clubs and our QSA. We also have space for conversations and read articles to learn more about important issues that affect the LGBTQIA community, both at Sunnyside and in the world.”

Past News

Thursday, April 26: 8th grade job shadowing survey

As part of the 8th grade portfolio, all 8th graders choose a person to job shadow on Thursday, April 26. Students spend a portion of the day following a professional in their place of work to get a better understanding of a day in the life of various professions. 

If you are interested in bringing an SES 8th grader to work with you on April 26, please respond to this survey. Please consider hosting one or more students; this experience has been invaluable to SES 8th graders as they embark on their paths to high school and beyond. Thanks in advance for your time and participation.

Past News

2018-2019 PPS school calendar approved


The Portland Public Schools Board of Education, at its meeting Tuesday night, unanimously approved the school calendar for 2018-19. The calendar, a draft of which had been posted on the district website for public perusal, features several changes from 2017-18.

Image of the PPS Calendar, click for the full PDF.The district has eliminated early dismissals and late openings, a change that came out of the new three-year contract the district signed with Portland Association of Teachers in February.

A change in the November schedule has created a fall break for students the week of Thanksgiving. The two days of parent-teacher conferences that were held Nov. 8 and 9 in 2017 will be held on a Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 19 and 20, in 2018.

The district will close schools on Wednesday, Nov. 21, which combined with the traditional Thanksgiving and day after days off, creates a one-week fall break from classes for students.

“Staff shared with us the (feedback from) many stakeholders, whose input was considered in creating this new calendar,” said Board member Julie Esparza Brown, chair of the Board’s Teaching and Learning Committee that vetted the calendar after Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero approved a final draft.

One other potential change would affect Presidents’ Day, traditionally a day on which schools and offices have been closed in PPS. However, Feb. 18, 2019 is being set aside as a snow makeup day in the event that a day is lost because of weather. The district will be required to announce by Jan. 18 if it will use Feb. 18 as a makeup day or if it will be a holiday day off.

“It’s important to note that this calendar reflects wise planning,” said Julia Brim-Edwards, Board chair. “In past years, PPS hasn’t always planned in advance for snow days.  We’ve got an excellent plan for next year regardless of whether we have a year like last year or a year like this year. That should give our families something they can really count on.”

See the complete 2018-19 PPS calendar.


Easy ways to support SES (without spending a dime)

As we gear up for holiday shopping, I want to remind you of a few opportunities we have to give back to SES without spending a single extra dime. Easy money! Though the individual amounts seem small, they add up to a great deal for our sweet school.

Fred Meyer Community Rewards allows you to pick an organization to which they donate a percentage of all you spend. Follow this link and sign up if you haven’t already. Type in Sunnyside Environmental. You can choose the PTSA or the school account. Either one helps the school.

Amazon Smile also allows you to pick a non-profit to benefit from your shopping prowess. Visit the Amazon Smile page to get set up. Once you choose your charity (Sunnyside Environmental School), you won’t have to remember to do it again. You can even see how much your shopping has given back to SES on the home page. This is a great one for out-of-town family because they can give to SES when they shop at amazon as well. The only think you need to remember is to shop through Amazon Smile and not—regular purchases do not count toward Smile and thus no money to SES. Sad!

Powell’s also has a rewards program. If you click this link to get to Powell’s (using SES’s partner ID, 34798), they will donate a portion of each sale to SES.

Office Depot will donate 5% of any qualifying purchase back to SES. If you shop at the local Office Depot (323 SE MLK Boulevard), you can just ask them to apply the 5% Back to Schools to Sunnyside Environmental School. If you are shopping at another Office Depot, online or over the phone (1-800-GO-DEPOT), you can use the School ID 70084282.

Gift Cards! There is a wide variety of gift cards for you to peruse at the gift card table on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Gift cards are great for your shopping experience and they make amazing stocking stuffers. Just sayin’.

The Giving Tree is up in the main hall again this year. Though it doesn’t bring money into the coffers of the PTSA or the school, it supports our community at its foundation. Learn more about this program here.

Thanks for all that you do for the school. Every little bit helps!



Do you work for a company that supports matching gifts?

As you make plans for your Back to School Request to SES, did you know that many companies will match your gift? Some even double or triple your donation. All at no cost to you!

If you work at or are retired from one of the companies below, please consider a matching gift to the SES PTSA this year.

How do you do this? Ask your human resources office for a Matching Gift form. Fill it out and send it to SES PTSA, 3421 SE Salmon St. Portland, OR, or email to

View a list of local companies with matching gift programs here.