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Information on Walkout

Dear parents/guardians and community members:

The most recent school shooting in Florida has sparked a national discussion regarding school safety and the rights of staff and students to work in a safe learning environment. Because of the messages posted on social media and widespread news reports, several national events have been promoted/scheduled, including a national school walkout on March 14.

In general, the events are a memorial for victims and a call to action to end gun violence in America. Nationally, the walkout on March 14 is set to start at 10 a.m. and will last 17 minutes, one minute for each victim during the Florida shooting. Other planned events are on Saturday, March 24, for the “March for Our Lives” and on Friday, April 20, for the “National Student Walkout,” in commemoration of the Columbine shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999.

Hermiston School District has provided guidance to staff in preparation for the March 14 walkout, should students choose to participate, as student and staff safety is our top priority.

  • While this is a non-district sponsored event, students will be supervised should they choose to participate in the student-initiated walkout. Students have a constitutional right to free speech at school, so long as it does not disrupt the learning environment for others.
  • Should HSD students choose to participate in a walkout on school grounds during school hours, access will be limited to HSD students and the staff providing their supervision. These will not be public events.
  • Staff will not participate in walkouts, but they will be present to supervise students on school grounds.
  • We do not expect a walkout at the elementary schools; however, staff will be ready to supervise students should it be necessary.
  • At the middle school level, staff will supervise students, should they want to exercise their right to walk out.
  • At the high school, staff will supervise students on school grounds. Should students choose to leave campus, they will be unsupervised.
  • It is the expectation that all students return to class according to the regular schedule at the conclusion of the 17 minutes.
  • Instruction will continue during any walkout event.

The Associated Student Body of Hermiston High School prepared the following statement:

We, the Associated Student Body Leadership of HHS, recognize that there needs to be a solution found to end school violence. There are varied opinions and feelings associated with this topic throughout the student body and we believe there is no simple singular solution. What we know is that our students need an opportunity to voice their opinions. Therefore, during the National Walkout on March 14, at 10 am, for 17 minutes, we will be providing students with the means of communicating their ideas to their elected government officials at the local, state, and federal levels. We support our student body in their opinions and ability to express their ideas and concerns in a safe, appropriate, and respectful manner.

I am proud of our student body leadership and the level of maturity shown in creating their proactive stance on this issue, which directly affects them. The district has a close working relationship with the Hermiston Police Department. Together we work every day to keep our schools a safe place for our students and staff. This stance will not change in light of a potential walkout.

While we understand that parents and community members may want to show their support for students, we ask that you do so off school grounds so we can conduct our safety protocol procedures. As always, if parents and community members have business to conduct during the time of the walkout, you will be required to follow all visitor/volunteer check-in processes.

Thank you for your continued support of our students and the safety of our community.


Tricia Mooney

Interim Superintendent

By |03/12/2018 6:27:46|District News|0 Comments

Community invited to Desert View Elementary principal meet and greet

Hermiston School District will host a “meet and greet” event with finalists for the Desert View Elementary principal position. The meet and greet session is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, in Desert View’s library, from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m., and is open to staff and community members. Finalists, Mr. Greenough and Mr. Neil will be present, and Ms. Berry and Mr. Grimaud will not be able to make it.

Meet and greet attendees are asked to remain for the entire duration, in order to meet all candidates and provide feedback to the selection committee through anonymous comment cards.

The four finalists are:

Mona Berry

The Global Educational Excellence in Michigan currently employs Ms. Berry as a director of curriculum and instruction. She was a teacher for three years and later promoted to building principal for Multicultural Academy in Michigan.

Ms. Berry is currently a doctorate candidate (ABD) in instructional leadership at Northcentral University. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Eastern Michigan University.


Daniel Greenough

Mr. Greenough currently serves as principal for Pendleton High School and Hawthorne Alternative School in Pendleton. He was the high school principal for the Athena School District for four years, and a mathematics teacher and department head for the Bendle Public Schools for five years before moving to the Pacific Northwest.

Mr. Greenough holds a continuing education, educational administration certification from Concordia University-Chicago and a master of arts in K-12 administration from Michigan State University.


Paul Grimaud

Mr. Grimaud currently serves as the vice principal for American Creativity Academy in Kuwait. For two years he was the department head for second grade.

Mr. Grimaud holds a master’s degree in elementary education and cross-certification in Art Education from the University of Bridgeport, as well as a certificate of advanced graduate study in Advanced Educational Leadership and Management from the University of New England.

Bruce Neil

For the past year, Mr. Neil has served as the interim principal for Ferndale Elementary School. Prior to that Mr. Neil was the superintendent and elementary principal for the Cove School District for five years. He has been the Dean of Students, Assistant Principal at Central Middle School in Milton Freewater.

Mr. Neil holds an administrative license from Lewis and Clark College. He has a master’s degree in curriculum development and leadership from Eastern Washington University.

By |03/09/2018 2:54:30|District News|0 Comments

HSD elementary schools welcome author Megan Wagner Lloyd

Megan Wagner Lloyd, the author of Finding Wild and Fort-Building Time, is scheduled to visit all five elementary schools in the Hermiston School District from February 20-22. Lloyd will meet with Kindergartners through 3rd graders. On Wednesday, high school students aspiring to be authors will have the opportunity to meet with her.

Kinder through 3rd-grade classes have been reading Lloyd’s books in anticipation of the visit. An order form was sent home to allow parents to purchase the books. Megan Wagner Lloyd will be available to autograph books at each elementary school. The author’s visit was made possible by Altrusa International of Hermiston.

Below is the elementary schedule:

  • Tuesday, February 20
    Rocky Heights—8:45 a.m., book signing; 9:20 a.m., grades Kinder and 1st; and 10:20 a.m., grades 2nd and 3rd.
    Desert View—12:00 p.m., grades Kinder and 1st; 12:45 p.m., book signing; and 1:30 p.m., grades 2nd and 3rd.
  • Wednesday, February 21
    West Park—8:15 a.m., grades 2nd and 3rd; 9:15 a.m., grades Kinder and 1st; and 10 a.m., book signing.
  • Thursday, February 22
    Sunset—8:15 a.m., grades 2nd and 3rd; 9:30 a.m., grades Kinder and 1st; and 10:30 a.m., book signing.
    Highland Hills—12:00 p.m., book signing; 12:45 p.m., grades 2nd and 3rd; and 1:40 p.m., grades Kinder and 1st.

Megan Wagner Lloyd is married to Seth Lloyd, a 1999 graduate of Hermiston High School. Lloyd lives in Washington, D.C. and has three upcoming books— Building Books, Paper Mice, and The ABCs of Catching Zs.

To learn more about Megan Wagner Lloyd, go to https://meganwagnerlloyd.com

By |02/20/2018 10:59:45|District News|0 Comments

District saddened by Florida shooting

Hermiston School District is deeply saddened by the events that took place in Parkland, Florida. Acts of violence occur across our country, and whether near or far, they have an effect on district staff, students, and community.

In difficult times students may turn to either their teachers, parents or a trusted adult to seek information and guidance that will help them process the events and gain a sense of security. Students may want to know what adults are doing to keep them safe at school, in their community, and at home. District officials encourage families to have conversations, creating a safe place for children to share their fears and concerns.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends the following strategies:

  • Reassure children that they are safe.
  • Make time to talk.
  • Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
  • Review safety procedures.
  • Observe children’s emotional state.
  • Limit television viewing of these events.
  • Maintain a normal routine.

Parents, staff, students and community members are also encouraged to report any safety threats by using SafeOregon, an anonymous tip line operated in cooperation with Oregon State Police. Information can be shared by calling or texting 844-472-3367, e-mailing tip@safeoregon.com, or via the website safeoregon.com.

The safety of students and staff is paramount. District officials continue to work on providing a safe environment where students can learn and thrive. Safety drills are conducted on a regular basis to prepare students and staff for various types of incidents.

The National Association of School Psychologists created an infographic and a document in English and other languages to assist your communication about violence.

By |02/15/2018 3:54:23|District News|0 Comments

Board approves the 2018-19 school calendar

The Hermiston Board of Directors approved the 2018-19 school calendar at its February 12, 2018, regular meeting.

There will be two full weeks of winter break and spring break will be moved to the first week in April.

Next year’s school calendar will look like this:

  • August 27, 2018—start date
  • December 24,2018-January 4, 2019—winter break
  • April 1-5, 2019—spring break
  • June 10, 2019—last day of school

“We knew that this was going to be a difficult decision,” said Karen Sherman, chairperson of the Hermiston school board. “We know that the decision will have a negative impact on some more than others. We have been working really hard to get the most student seat time as much as we can. The discussions have all revolved around continuing to focus on keeping students in class. I wish we could make everyone happy, but we have to honor the work and the recommendation done by ED Council.”

Loretta Fitterer—president of the Hermiston Association of teachers read the following statement to the Board–“The Hermiston Association of Teachers Executive Team would like to share its support for the processes conducted through Ed Council in regards to the matter of changing spring break for the year 2018/2019. Realizing this would be a significant change for all within the district and community, we know that not all will agree with the decision. However, we would like to thank our HAT reps as well as the school board and administrators who truly made fair efforts to hear from our members and the community. We appreciate this time invested for collaboration.”

To view the complete school calendar, go to the calendar page on the district’s website.

By |02/12/2018 8:52:20|District News|0 Comments

HSD celebrates National School Counseling Week

Hermiston School District joins other school districts in the nation in celebrating National School Counseling Week. The district has a counselor in each elementary and middle school, and four at the high school. At the elementary level, a single counselor can work with up to 400-600 students, at the middle school up to 800 students and at the high school four counselors work with over 1,600 students.

School counselors serve a very important role in our schools. Counselors provide individual or group counseling to teach students important social skills such as conflict resolution, anger management, and self-esteem, as well as academic and emotional support, and planning for a career post-high school. Counselors are the first to be called upon to provide emotional support in safe rooms when there is a staff or student loss or a crisis.

At the high school, counselors have the opportunity to work with students on exploring different college and career options. Students are given many opportunities to go on college visits, to attend career/job fairs, for assistance in completing the Federal Student Aid Form, to receive information on scholarship opportunities. Counselors work hand in hand with parents to motivate students to reach their potential and set goals and aspirations for themselves and their future.

Counselors often serve as a lifeline for some students and families. Students may open up to the counselor about tough situations such as homelessness, dating violence, bullying, teen pregnancy, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Counselors work with school administrators, teachers, and parents to connect the students to resources or agencies available within the community or elsewhere to help with the challenges the student or family might be facing.

The district encourages parents and community members to take a minute this week to thank a school counselor for their contribution and for the impact they are making as a result of their hard work.

By |02/06/2018 12:39:01|District News|0 Comments

District saddened by student’s death

The Hermiston School District was notified by the Hermiston Police Department of the death of Jenna Thomas, a sophomore at Hermiston High School.

This is a difficult day for our staff and students. When things like this happen, people have all different kinds of reactions, like shock, sadness, fear, and anger. A safe room has been set up at Hermiston High School by members of the crisis flight team to assist staff and students deal with today’s news.

The district asks for parent and community support by keeping an eye out for those students, or staff members, that may be struggling with the news. If a student is struggling with the news counselors are available to provide emotional support.

We are heartbroken for the Thomas family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and friends and relatives of Jenna.

By |02/05/2018 11:34:02|District News|0 Comments

February is attendance awareness month

Hermiston School District made February Attendance Awareness Month. Students’ education and success is the District’s top priority. With the start of a new quarter/semester district officials ask that parents join forces with school administrators and staff to ensure children understand the importance attendance has in their ability to learn and be successful in school.

Research has proven that attendance is the greatest predictor of student success. Simply missing a day or two a month can add up to nearly 10% (about 18 days) of the school year. If a student is chronically absent from school, that can be a leading indicator that there will be academic trouble and the student will drop out and not graduate from high school.

According to AttedanceWorks.org, chronic absence, whether it is excused or unexcused, or if the student is suspended from school, the attendance problem may translate into third-graders not being able to master reading, sixth-graders failing classes and ninth-graders dropping out of high school.

It is especially important that kindergartners attend school so that they can have a solid foundation in their early learning years. Attendance habits that are learned at an early age will help them form good habits when they transition to the middle and high school.

How parents can assist:

  • Make sure that your child has all the required immunizations.
  • Address health needs the child might have such as asthma, diabetes, dental concerns.
  • Avoid making medical or dental appointments during the school day.
  • Avoid making extended trips when school is in session.
  • Have a backup plan to get your child to school if something unexpected comes up. Call on a family member, another parent or a friend.
  • Do not let your child stay home unless he/she is really sick.

The district, building staff, and parents/guardians play an important role in the success of each student. Parents/guardians and community can help make attendance an important life skill that will help the child be successful in school, in college and in maintaining a job.

To learn more about the importance of attendance please visit attendanceworks.org.

By |02/01/2018 11:48:29|District News|0 Comments

HSD recommendations during flu season

Hermiston School District wants to remind families that the flu season is in full swing this winter. To protect their student and others, good hand hygiene should be practiced. Hands should be washed with soap and water frequently to help prevent the spread of illness.

If you have an ill student, please refer to the following criteria to know when students should be kept at home:

  • Fever greater than 100.5°F; (stay home until fever free for 24 hours);
  • Vomiting (stay at home until vomiting has stopped for 24 hours);
  • Stiff neck or headache with fever;
  • Any rash with or without fever;
  • Unusual behavior change, such as irritability, sleepiness/fatigue;
  • Jaundice (yellow color of skin or eyes);
  • Diarrhea (stay home until diarrhea has stopped for 24 hours);
  • Skin lesions that are “weepy” (fluid or pus-filled);
  • Colored drainage from eyes;
  • Brown/green drainage from nose with fever greater than 105 F;
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath;
  • Serious, sustained cough;
  • Symptoms or complaints that prevent the student from participating in his/her usual school activities, such as a persistent cough, with or without presence of fever;
  • A need for care that is greater than school staff can safely provide.

If a student becomes ill at school and the teacher or school nurse feels that the child is too sick to benefit from being in school or might be contagious to other children, the parent will be called to pick up the student from school. It is important that the school is informed any time there is a change in a daytime or emergency phone number; so parents or guardians can be easily reached.

If your child is showing some of the symptoms above or if your child is recovering from the flu and you are not sure when your child can go back to school, ask your healthcare provider.

By |01/31/2018 8:57:28|District News|0 Comments

Rusted pipes create water leak at Highland Hills

Hermiston School District wants Highland Hills parents to know that there is a water leak outside of the building at Highland Hills due to rusted, aging pipes. The District administrators contacted the City and a work crew will be working to fix the leak. The water to the building will be shut off at 12:30 p.m.

Administrators have portable restrooms, bottled water, and hand sanitizers on site, available for students and staff. Lunchtimes will not be affected by the water leak.

Parents of the students that attend Champions will be contacted by the administrators of the program for alternate arrangements.

District administrators will provide an update as more information is available.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.

District officials were informed at approximately 3 p.m. that the water leak had been fixed at Highland Hills. Water has been restored at Highland Hills.

Thank you to the crew from the City of Hermiston and Hermiston School District maintenance department for working together to resolve the water issue in such a timely manner.

By |01/29/2018 3:27:22|District News|0 Comments