Family Involvement Statement

Sunnyside Environmental School (SES) is a unique learning community, defined in part by a high level of parent involvement. At SES, we consider parent involvement to be one of the taproots of a healthy school. As such, we ask that parents plan to be consistently involved in volunteering at the school in ways that are meaningful to them throughout their child’s entire SES experience from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Participating in the life of the school allows parents to stay connected not only to their child, but also to the community that is sharing in the raising of that child. Being in the school teaches us about our children and their lives • how they build competence in academics and their developing relationship to art, nature and gardens, and service. We encourage parent involvement in the school as a helpful component of parenting, and something that nurtures parents’ sense of community and connectedness.

The SES model provides opportunities for direct parent involvement in a variety of ways to meet the needs, talents, interests, and availability of our many different kinds of families. These opportunities include:

  • nature-based outdoor studies and field trips during the school day;
  • direct classroom support, parent led workshops, and hand crafts;
  • community service projects;
  • special community and school-based celebrations in the evenings;
  • weekend or evening events and gardening days;
  • fundraising and service on our Site Council or PTSA.

The Sunnyside PTSA has volunteer coordinators and a strong room parent program to help parents find ways to support the school’s mission.

The Sunnyside Environmental School is a community of students, educators, parents, neighbors, and alumni, working together to create a safe, nurturing, and educationally excellent learning environment for young people. We are a small, multi-cultural urban public K-8 school drawing students from all of Portland’s diverse neighborhoods. We are actively teaching and learning a holistic, integrated curriculum. Exploring themes of our many overlapping environments, students develop academic knowledge and skills while demonstrating personal and social responsibility for all living systems.