About Robert Silva

Robert Silva is the Technology Director for the Hermiston School District.

Legume Lupin on FDA Radar as Risky Allergen

August 19, 2014 — Lupin, a legume in the peanut family, can cause allergic reactions, including potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns. Lupin, sometimes called lupine, is relatively new to the US market, the FDA notes. Some Americans may not be aware of this legume, which can be found in packaged food products and in the form of lupini beans at Italian and other ethnic specialty stores. “For many people, eating lupin or a lupin-derived ingredient, such as a flour, is safe. But there are reports in the medical literature of allergic reactions to lupin, some of which can be severe,” Stefano Luccioli, MD, a senior medical advisor at the FDA, says in the update.

Check the Label:
This legume is likely to become more popular because lupin-derived ingredients are “good substitutes” for gluten-containing flours and are frequently being used in gluten-free products, the FDA says. “We’re seeing more gluten-free products on the grocery aisles these days,” Dr. Luccioli reports, and increasingly, consumers are more aware of gluten and are buying these products. Therefore, the FDA says, it’s “increasingly important that they recognize that lupin is a potential allergen.” “While many parents know to look for and avoid peanut ingredients in the diet of their peanut-allergic child, they may have no idea what lupin is or whether it is an ingredient that could cause their child harm,” Dr. Luccioli notes. Consumers wishing to avoid this legume should carefully scan product labels for “lupin” or “lupine,” the FDA advises.The FDA is actively monitoring complaints of lupin allergies in the US. They ask consumers and health providers to report lupin-related adverse events to the FDA by phone at 240-402-2405; by email at CAERS@cfsan.fda.gov; or by mail to FDA, CAERS, HFS-700, 2A-012/CPK1, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740.

By |08/28/2014 7:10:27|Wellness|0 Comments

Give Kids a Smile Day – February 7

ODSFriday, February 7th, is GIVE KIDS A SMILE® DAY. Dentists from La Grande and surrounding counties in Eastern Oregon as well as ODS College of Dental Sciences will provide FREE dental services to qualifying children. This event is part of the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile Program.

GIVE KIDS A SMILE® DAY is held annually to:

provide free dental services to local, uninsured and under-insured children aged 17 years and under
raise awareness of the epidemic of untreated dental disease occurring here and across the country and
raise awareness of the need to build local public and private partnerships to increase access to oral health care to solve this crisis.
If you are interested in finding out more information or to schedule your child for an appointment, contact ODS School of Dental Hygiene at 541-663-2721. Together, we can give kids a smile!

By |12/08/2013 11:23:27|Wellness|0 Comments

Temperature and Wind Chill

We have all witnessed that a cool breeze can make a warm day feel colder. Following is a chart of temperature depicting how wind makes it cooler. The entire document, including an explanation page, is linked below.

File: Temperature and Wind Chill

By |11/24/2013 2:50:31|Wellness|0 Comments

Homeless in Hermiston

According to the Oregon Department of Education, the state observed a slight decrease in the number of students who were homeless at some point during the 2012-13 school year, compared to the previous year. The decline is expected to be the result of a more accurate accounting method, which deleted duplicate student counts when homeless students moved from district to district.

Hermiston School District saw a slight increase in its homeless count with 46 students, less than one percent of the student population, identified in 2012-13, up from 33 students identified in 2011-12. However, this figure is less than the statewide average of 3.2 percent of all Oregon K-12 students being homeless.

The 46 students identified in 2012-13 is a marked difference from the 2010-11 district-high of 74 identified students, or about 1.4 percent of the student population. At this time, HSD has already identified 39 students for the 2013-14 school year.

Using the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program (NCLB:  Title X), Hermiston School District identifies students and families who qualify as homeless and takes great effort to support them.

Homeless is officially defined as children and youth who are minors lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes children and youth who:

  • are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
  • are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  • are living in emergency or transitional shelters;
  • are abandoned in hospitals;
  • are awaiting foster care placement;
  • have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
  • are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  • migrant children and youth (as defined under NCLB Title IC – Migrant Education) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described above.
By |11/22/2013 5:15:19|District News|0 Comments

Parent University

Hermiston School District will host Dr. Luis Cruz, an education reformer from inner-city Los Angeles, who will present Parent University sessions to assist parents in finding out how to help their children be successful in school.

Dr. Cruz will speak at each secondary school in the district during the week of Dec. 2. Bulldog Parent University will be held at Hermiston High School on Monday, Dec. 2. Parent University will kick off for the middle schools on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Armand Larive Middle School, and Sandstone Middle School will host Dr. Cruz on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The events will begin at 5:00 pm with an English parent session, which will be followed by a Spanish parent session at 7:00 pm.

Dr. Cruz will present Success 101:  Support Your Student’s Educational Opportunities. He will highlight the value in students being involved in extra-curricular activities, the priority of education, and how parents can participate in their child’s education.

Future Parent University nights will be:

  • Week of January 27 – Student Testing Success
  • Week of March 10 – Finishing Strong, Celebrating Successes

Dr. Luis CruzDr. Luis Cruz is a former principal of Baldwin Park High School, located east of Los Angeles, Cal. His previous work experience includes being a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. His recognitions include New Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Administrator of the Year, and other community leadership awards. Dr. Cruz earned a doctorate in institutional leadership and policy studies from the University of California Riverside.

By |11/20/2013 7:04:31|District News|0 Comments

Additional Donations and Support Unveil Crown Jewel of Kennison Project

Amidst the bustling homecoming activities taking place at Hermiston High School during the week of October 14, a different commotion was taking place in the plaza of the newly renovated Kennison Field Complex:  preparations and installation of a larger-than-life bronze bulldog perched atop a two tier pedestal.

The almost six foot long, four foot tall bronze monument, weighing in excess of 400lbs, is the result of additional private donations and in-kind support pledged around late fall, soon after the Kennison grand opening.

“We had a few individuals express the need for such a landmark at our new complex.  Much to our surprise, within a few days, anonymous donors and local contractors stepped up to the plate to make it happen,” noted Wade Smith, deputy superintendent.

The bronze bulldog statue, identical to one commissioned by the US Marine Corps for their Devil Dog mascot, serves as the finishing touch on the remarkable complex.

“This monument serves as a tribute to the community’s efforts,” stated Smith.  “Without the unwavering financial and donated support, we would not be here today celebrating this achievement.”

Please help the district in thanking local supporters who helped see this project through:

  • Knerr Construction Co.
  • Ross-Brandt Electric
  • Platt Electric
  • Anonymous donors (2)
By |11/19/2013 1:23:02|District News|0 Comments

Board allocates remaining bond dollars and grant monies

Release Date: 10/25/2011

During a regularly scheduled School Board Work Session the Hermiston School District Board of Directors chose to use remaining bond dollars, and additional recently-awarded grant funding, to accomplish roof repairs, high priority heating/cooling upgrades, and energy efficiency projects across the district’s older campuses. Any remaining grant dollars will be earmarked for technology and full day kindergarten facility needs.

The scheduled discussion began with a presentation from Bond Oversight Committee Chairman Kelly Bissinger. Providing a yearly update to the Board, Bissinger relayed the nine member committee’s recommendation to complete a list of identified projects by using the remaining bond dollars available and additional dollars provided through a federal E-Rate grant. Once completed, the committee recommended the Board consider rebating back to taxpayers any additional grant monies remaining, estimated to be around $800,000.

Following Bissinger’s update, Interim Superintendent Wade Smith provided a detailed report of the district’s bond financial status, facilities, capacity forecasts, and the recommended list of projects identified as “high priority” by the Bond Oversight Committee.

“The elementary schools are currently at 92% capacity with seven available classrooms for growth district-wide,” said Smith. He pointed out that in 2015 the district intends to comply with the State expectation that full day kindergarten be offered. “This will likely require the district to purchase four additional modular buildings to house the students, due to this unforeseen initiative approved by the Oregon legislature late last spring,” noted Smith. “Fortunately with the construction of the two, larger elementary schools and the procurement of additional space, we will be able to offer this program.” However, the Board must consider how to pay for an estimated $850,000 of modular facilities and additional classroom needs which will be required.

The facilities report highlighted significant heating/cooling and maintenance challenges across the district’s older campuses. Outdated Freon-based units, broken-down equipment, and leaking roofs across the older buildings highlighted the need for application of bond and grant dollars to remedy the issues. “If we don’t use the remaining bond dollars and grant funds to fix some of our thirty-two-year- old heating equipment at Highland Hills and forty-year-old leaking roofs at Rocky Heights, we will be forced to use general fund dollars in the future. I don’t want to have to make the difficult choice of cutting programs and laying off teachers to fix these problems when we have the available dollars now,” noted Board Chair Karen Sherman.

The  Board  of  Directors  spent  over  an  hour  evaluating  the  financial  status  of  the  bond  account, debating  the  merit  of  the  identified  projects,  discussing  future  preparation  for  the  full  day kindergarten program, and evaluating rebate scenarios suggested by the Bond Oversight Committee. After completion of the capital projects and procurement of the fairgrounds property for future high school needs, an estimated $340,000 remains in the bond account. However, the district recently learned that they have been awarded $2.1 million in a Federal E-Rate grant, which must be spent on capital projects or technology. In previous years the Board chose to use E-Rate funds to pay for the district’s yearly internet connection fee. The previous grant, awarded after the completion of the 1998 bond, was depleted with this year’s fee.

“Unfortunately, rebating back $800,000 does not yield a large amount of savings for the average taxpayer in Hermiston,” noted Vice-chair Jason Middleton. “Although it will likely mean a Hermiston homeowner may receive a $12 discount for five consecutive years, their taxes will go back up once the rebate expires. We have a responsibility as Board members to weigh a $12, five-year discount verses the need to ensure our buildings are well maintained for years to come. We don’t want to be forced to cut teachers and programs to pay for facility repairs,” said Middleton.

After continued deliberation, the Board of Directors thanked the Bond Oversight Committee for its hard work and endorsed the committee’s recommendation to complete the “high priority” facility projects,  depleting  all  remaining  bond  dollars  and  over  half  of  the  ERATE  grant.  However,  after carefully scrutinizing rebate scenarios and future needs, the Board chose to retain the remaining ERATE grant dollars for continued technology fees and for anticipated full day kindergarten facility needs.

By |10/25/2011 3:00:13|District News|0 Comments

New Schools Retain History

Release Date: 08/26/2011

construction-blog-alms-saving-history-1 construction-blog-wpes-saving-history construction-blog-alms-saving-history

While much has been made about how the new schools incorporate the most modern technology, we haven’t talked much about the efforts made by District staff, the contractors and volunteers to insure each new facility

retains important aspects of its history.

These photos show how each new school incorporated a unique element of its past, giving the staff, students and community an important link to our rich history.

At Sunset Elementary the old facade to the original Union High School will provide a portal to the grassy sloped area and the football field below. I’ve heard several folks comment that this area will likely become Hermiston’s premier sledding area each winter.

At West Park Elementary, the contractor carefully relocated the large tile mural from the old school. This mural was created by staff and students in 1999 and provides a cheerful focal point to the front of the new school.

At Armand Larive a team of dedicated volunteers, led by David Bothum, carefully salvaged the center court logo from the old gym floor and mounted it on the wall of the new gymnasium, creating a striking connection between the current generation of students and all those from the past.

By |08/26/2011 3:00:27|Bond, District News|0 Comments

Desert View Student Drop Off Improvements Underway

construction-blog-dves-project-1While most of the District Wide Capital Improvement Projects are finishing up in time for the start of school there is one project that has just begun.

Crews recently began work on improvements to the North parking lot at Desert View Elementary.  The purpose of this project is to improve the traffic patterns to make parent drop off and pick up more efficient and increase safety.  When complete there will be a new entrance off of Johns Street and the whole lot will be wider and easier to navigate.  This project is expected to take about six weeks.

By |08/25/2011 3:00:17|Bond|0 Comments

Summer Projects Near Completion

construction-blog-hsd-security-upgrade-1 construction-blog-hhs-lockerroom-4With just a couple of weeks left the summer projects are nearing completion!  The new lockers have arrived and are being installed in the high school locker rooms while flooring is going down in the fitness room and tile is being grouted everywhere.  Many cameras have been mounted and can be seen now on the outside of the High School as well as the other schools.  There is much left to be done in order to be ready for students and staff so our construction crew will keep their heads down right on through completion.

By |08/10/2011 3:00:32|Bond|0 Comments