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Lind named District Educator of the Year

Garth LindAssistant Superintendent of Human Resources Tricia Mooney revealed Garth Lind, as the 2016-17 HSD Teacher of the Year at the Hermiston Chamber’s Distinguished Citizens Awards Banquet on Wednesday night.

Garth Lind is a fifth grade teacher at Desert View Elementary. He has taught in the Hermiston School District for 17 years. He is a teacher, teachers come to see. His practice has been a model for over 70 visiting educators from schools as close as Armand Larvie Middle School and as far away as Grandview, Washington over the last four years. It is with good reason that Mr. Lind serves as this exemplary educator.

In the last three years, 87% of students in his class have scored benchmark or above on the Science OAKS assessment, 21% above the state average. The average growth his students have shown on the Smarter Balanced Assessment has been 55 points in Language Arts greatly outdistancing the expected 32 points of growth students are supposed to make during their fifth grade year. Those are great numbers, but they are outdistanced in math, were students in Mr. Lind’s class over the last three years have grown an average of 75 points while the expected growth is only 40.

While these numbers place him in the upper echelon of teachers, they are paled by his expertise in practice. Mr. Lind is the ultimate education facilitator. His ability to pose the right question to students and then step back and allow the students to wrestle with problem is unsurpassed.

Mr. Lind is not just a fantastic educator of children and colleagues, but he is also an avid learner. He continuously looks to learn from his peers. This effort to push his practice and constantly try to improve his already high level teaching skills serves as a model for all professionals to follow.

By |02/03/2017 2:16:49|District Awards, District News|0 Comments

District to make up snow day(s)

Hermiston students and staff will make up days at the end of the school year due to inclement weather. Last week’s snow day on Friday, December 9, resulted in a school cancellation. With a very tight calendar and no room for make up in the current schedule, students and staff will make up the days at the end of the school year.

The impact of this season’s cold weather will likely be felt most directly by Hermiston High School seniors, who will have their graduation day moved from June 3 to June 10. Due to the snow day, seniors would not meet the instructional hour minimum to qualify for graduation by June 3; thus, the 2017 graduation date will be June 10. The revised calendar incorporates a total of five days (highlighted in blue) for make-up, in the event inclement weather results in further delays. A copy of the revised calendar is included.

The following calendar changes take effect immediately:

  • June 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 are now designated as “Snow/Inclement Weather” make-up days (five student contact days for use in the event of inclement weather).
  • June 10 is now GRADUATION day (changed from June 3 and necessary for seniors to meet instructional hours).
  • June 14 is the last day for students.
  • June 15 is the last work day for staff.

The revised calendar allows for up to five days for inclement weather. The days are reserved for inclement weather and will only be used as needed.

“We understand that changing the graduation date and extending the school year is challenging for everyone involved,” said Superintendent Dr. Fred Maiocco. “However, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our entire community. We remain hopeful that with six months advance notification everyone will be able respond flexibly to this difficult situation.”

Oregon Department of Education takes a very strict view on how instructional hours are determined. Due to recent changes in Oregon Administrative Rules, there is no longer an allowance for inclement weather in meeting the minimum instructional hour requirements. The district’s previous calendar did not allow any room for make-up days; thus, the changes required to respond to recent weather related events.

Click here to see the revised 2016-17 school calendar.

By |12/14/2016 3:31:34|District News|0 Comments

2016-17 School Supply Lists

Below are the school supply lists for all elementary and middle schools in the Hermiston School District.

Armand Larive Middle School English/Spanish
Sandstone Middle School English/Spanish
Desert View Elementary School English/Spanish
Highland Hills Elementary School English Spanish
Rocky Heights Elementary School English Spanish
Sunset Elementary School English Spanish
West Park Elementary School English Spanish
By |07/28/2016 11:44:17|District News|0 Comments

Board declares vacant position

The Hermiston School District Board of Directors declared a vacancy at its meeting on July 11, 2016. Board member Maria Durón resigned from the board on July 1, following 9 years of service, in order to take a position with the district as its Communications Officer and Community Relations Specialist. Ms. Durón was first elected to the school board in 2007, and she was re-elected most recently in 2015.

“It has been an enriching experience serving with past and current Board members,” said Durón. “We have seen many challenges and celebrated many accomplishments. I am confident that current and future Boards will continue to take the district to greater levels.”

In the coming weeks, HSD will accept applications from those wishing to serve as an appointed member of the school board during the 2016-17 school year. Following the year of service, the appointed member will need to stand for election in May of 2017, to serve out the remaining term of the position through 2019.

Anyone interested in serving on the board of education should contact the board secretary at 541-667-6010. The application form may be downloaded here. Applications must be submitted by Thursday, August 4, at 4:00 pm and will be accepted either electronically to briana.cortaberria@hermiston.k12.or.us or in person at the district office, located at 305 SW 11th Street.

By |07/12/2016 11:23:33|District News|0 Comments

Homebuilders program announces scholarship recipients

Four participants of the Columbia Basin Student Homebuilders Program received the 2015-16 one-time $3,000 scholarship by the same name: Elizabeth Herrera, Cameron Meade, John Mejia and Emily Vandehey.

The application process included a scholarship application and required two letters of recommendation, a copy of the student’s transcripts, and an essay describing how the student’s educational plans/goals and experiences in the CBSHP helped to shape and support their career aspirations.

Applicants had to be senior classmen in Hermiston, Stanfield, or Umatilla High Schools; a student in good standing; an active participant in the CBSHP; and demonstrate a sincere interest in and intent to pursue a career in the building trades. These trades might include, but are not limited to, welding, sheet metal/HVAC, heavy equipment operating, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, construction managing, architecture, engineering (civil, landscape, mechanical, electrical, etc.). Recipients were selected on the basis of his/her desire and intent to pursue training and education, performance in the program during their high school tenure, and who best articulate their need through the application process.

The revolving scholarship fund was established through the generous sponsorship arrangement with the Northeast Oregon Home Builders Association. Awarded annually, generated dollars are provided to support graduating high school seniors who have actively participated in the program and express a desire to pursue post high school education in a CTE related field through a four year, two year, or trade school opportunity.

By |06/08/2016 2:40:17|District News|0 Comments

District introduces computer science instruction to students

Hermiston school district partners with Code.org to bring computer science instruction to the classroom, which is fast becoming a foundational knowledge for all students in the 21st century.post-image-Code-logo

Code.org is a public 501.c.3 nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing computer science to every school and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. With the help of Code.org, the district can provide no cost, one-day workshops for elementary school teachers interested in teaching computer science.

Incorporating computer science into K-5 classrooms will give students a leg up, as computer science is about higher-order thinking: logic, problem solving, and creativity. In a day and age where software and the internet are causing the greatest transformation in our society, having an effect on every single job in every industry, what can districts do to keep up? Code.org has developed an elementary school curriculum that allows even the youngest students to explore the limitless world of computing.

Each 20-hour course includes a variety of lessons, many of which are “unplugged” (no device needed) and incorporate real life examples and alignment with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). For example, kindergarten-aged students will get a grasp algorithms and how they are a part of everyday life. Students get the opportunity early on to create an algorithm for planting a seed, and they will end the lesson with a hands-on activity. Students in grades 3-5 will experience being artists, as they create designs moving characters by specific degrees and pixels to create the desired design. In another lesson, students might define conditional statements relevant to a certain outcome, all of which are situations found in the computer science industry and are necessary for extended problem solving and creative thinking skills.

By |06/07/2016 2:21:53|District News|0 Comments

Community favors $104 million bond question

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fred Maiocco shared results of the first community attitude survey with the Board of Education at its May special meeting/work session. Between April 25 and April 30, 363 registered voters were surveyed by The Nelson Report, in order to gauge community sentiment for the proposed bond, project priorities, key messages, and tax rate.

According to an executive summary, 47 percent of voters were initially favorable to the $104 million question. That level of support grew to 63 percent favorable when voters learned that the bond would include substantial safety and security upgrades and bring relief to overcrowding in schools.

The survey also confirmed the most urgent priorities for the district: replacement of Rocky Heights Elementary School, constructing an additional elementary school, expanding Hermiston High School, other district wide improvements, and replacement of Highland Hills Elementary School.

In a side-by-side comparison, voters were asked to consider a smaller package recommendation of $84 million, which would eliminate the replacement of Highland Hills Elementary School. The $104 million bond measure was 11 points more favorable than the smaller package, with the strongest support coming from 35-44 and 18-24 year olds.

In a statement, Dr. Fred Maiocco said, “This initial survey result is very favorable and indicates the community recognizes the challenges that come with student enrollment growth. We will continue to share more about these challenges with the community throughout the summer and fall.”

Hermiston School District is considering a proposed bond program totaling $104 million for consideration by voters in May 2017.

15nov-5PhasesThe survey, conducted in late April, is part of the district’s community outreach effort. Previous phases involved focus groups and technical analysis, including committee work by the Citizens’ Review Committee and the Facility Master Planning Committee.

By |05/24/2016 12:12:56|Bond, District News|0 Comments

Second student-built home up for sale

The second home of the Columbia Basin Student Homebuilders Program – Fieldstone #2 – is nearly complete and is open by appointment for viewing and sale by realtor.

Hermiston School District is partnering with Natallee Turner of Universal Realty to sell the second home in the Fieldstone Crossing cul-de-sac. Turner is available by mobile phone (541-922-8861) to schedule a home tour.

The grand opening of Fieldstone #2 is set for Friday, June 3, from 1 pm to 6 pm at the home site, on West Angus Court.

With substantial completion of the home slated for that week, the house will be set for show to the community. A contractor/supporter appreciation lunch is scheduled from 11 am to 1 pm, and media representatives are welcome to attend and interview the professionals who have worked side-by-side the students in building the home.

“We hope people will be able to visit the site on June 3rd, whether they are interested in purchasing the home or not,” said Deputy Superintendent Wade Smith. “I am confident that everyone who attends will be overwhelmed by the outstanding craftsmanship and quality of the house.”

Fieldstone #2 is the second of 11 homes from the CBSHP to be built. It is a custom 2295 sq ft home with many upgraded amenities:

  • 3 bedroom 2 bath energy efficient home
  • Two car garage, 676 sq ft
  • Office/den, fourth bedroom
  • Vaulted great room
  • Vault in entryway with tongue and groove ceiling
  • Coffered ceiling in dining room and kitchen
  • 9 ft ceilings thru out
  • Above code standards with Energy Trust of Oregon; enhanced insulation, energy efficient windows, sealed ductwork, energy efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems, envelope tightness measures, energy efficient lights, and appliances
  • Central Vacuum system
  • Security system
  • High speed fiber optics
  • Water softener
  • Built-in surround sound entertainment system, and whole-house audio with speakers in the garage, back porch, master bedroom, kitchen, dining room, den/office.
  • Large modern kitchen, double ovens, 5 burner gas top, center inland, pot filler, instant hot water, beverage cooler, 30 cubic inch door in door refrigerator.
  • Custom master bathroom, walk in shower, with Jacuzzi tub
  • Large walk in master closet
  • Double sinks both bathrooms, granite counter tops
  • Gas fire place, TV over top, book shelving on both sides
  • RV parking
  • Fully landscaped and fenced yard, water fixture in front
  • Front porch stamped concrete
  • Outdoor kitchen, with framed in barbeque and TV, live sink, refrigerator, tongue and groove ceiling,
  • Solar ready
  • 6’ x 8’ storage shed
  • Great location, quiet neighborhood, and amenable CC&Rs to ensure well-maintained homes, yards, and upscale homes.
By |05/18/2016 4:37:40|District News|0 Comments

District announces Keown as Distinguished Alumnus

16-DAKeownHermiston School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fred Maiocco announced Alan Keown, a 1975 Hermiston High School graduate, as the 2016 Hermiston High School Distinguished Alumnus, during the HHS Evening of Excellence celebration.

Keown is a well-known percussion teacher and arranger throughout the Pacific Northwest. In 1989 he founded the Alan Keown Marching Percussion Camp, held in Eugene, Ore., and he has instructed for entities such as University of Oregon, Oregon State University and various high school programs, along with Ted Turner’s Goodwill Games Ceremonies and the competitive tour sponsored by Drum Corps International.

The Distinguished Alumnus award is intended to recognize former HHS graduates who went on to serve in critical roles within business, industry, academia, and government throughout the United States and the world and who will inspire current students to pursue excellence and achievement in their own endeavors.

Keown is a 1975 graduate of University of Oregon, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance. He publishes marching band music with Matrix Publishing Company, concert percussion literature with Alfred Publishing and Tapspace Publications, and indoor drumline shows with Marching Show Concepts. Keown is married to Denise, and they have two sons, Matt and Chris.

By |05/13/2016 11:29:27|District Awards, District News|0 Comments

District announces admin hires

On May 9, the Board of Education approved the transfer of Sandstone Middle School Principal Larry Usher to serve as the district activities and athletic director. Mr. Usher will assume his new duties starting July 1, and he will work from Hermiston High School. Mr. Usher was hired into Hermiston School District in 2002 as a high school social studies teacher. In 2010 Usher assumed the Dean of Students position at Sandstone, where he served for three-and-a-half years, and was then promoted to Assistant Principal. Usher was promoted to SMS principal in 2014.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Fred Maiocco also announced that he will recommend Armand Larive Middle School Assistant Principal Lori Mills as the next SMS principal. Ms. Mills came to HSD in 2015 from Athena Weston Middle School in Weston, Ore., where she served as building principal. In addition, she served as the district’s assessment coordinator, curriculum director, and played an integral role in the development and coordination of such initiatives as talented and gifted programs and various curriculum adoptions.

The Board recently approved the hiring of Mr. Casey Arstein as the HHS head boys’ basketball coach, Ms. Elise Fleming as the HHS volleyball coach, and Mr. Sean McClanahan as the HHS band director. Each hire was selected from a competitive applicant pool and an extensive interview/screening process.

Arstein will replace Mr. Dave Ego who stepped in as a one-year interim coach for the 2015-16 season. Arstein is a longtime Hermiston resident and HHS graduate, who has coached at many levels both at the high school and middle school. He also serves as the SMS physical education teacher.

Fleming comes to HSD from Kennewick, Wa., and will be a physical education teacher at Armand Larive Middle School, as well as HHS volleyball coach. She has a degree in Health and Fitness, with a secondary concentration.

McClanahan currently works for the Kiona Benton City School District as the instrumental/choral/drama teacher. He has been instructing music for ten years, and he has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a Masters in Conducting.

By |05/12/2016 11:26:29|District News|0 Comments