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So far Wade Smith has created 13 entries.

Hermiston Grads Continue Post-Secondary Trend Success

Based on data compiled from six years of graduates (from 2008-2013), Hermiston School District boasts nearly a nine percent increase over that span in senior accessions to two- and four-year colleges, where almost 56 percent of 2013 graduates enrolled in a two- or four-year program by spring 2014. This rate has increased notably faster for Hispanic students, at 19 percent, where the district has all but closed the Hispanic to Caucasian college-attending achievement gap; over 50 percent of all Hispanic graduates boasted college enrollment by spring term.

HSD contracts with Baker Evaluation Research Consulting, a.k.a The BERC Group, annually to draft a comprehensive report summarizing analyses of college enrollment and persistence data for Hermiston High School graduates. BERC compared Hermiston High School student graduation information with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) database to track graduates over the six year timeframe. NSC is a national repository of college student attendance created by colleges and universities to track students for financial aid reporting purposes.

“We are extremely proud of this data, and it is a testament to our dedicated staff and programs we have in place to support and emphasize the importance of post high school education,” noted Deputy Superintendent Smith. “If we continue to see the gains we have experienced over the last six years, we are well poised as an educational community to meet Oregon’s 40-40-20 goal by the year 2025, where 40 percent of graduates are expected to attain a four-year college degree, 40 percent a two-year or trade certificated credential, and the remaining 20 percent workforce ready.”

Another district accomplishment has been the increase in college-going culture for their students of poverty.  Over the six year analysis, the district has fostered a thirteen percent increase, where just over half of the students of poverty attend post secondary schools after graduation.

Seniors graduating with “honors” diplomas are about 37 percent more likely attend college after graduation, than students graduating with a standard diploma.

For the complete report, click the link below.

2013 Graduation Data

By |11/25/2014 6:23:00|District News|0 Comments

Hermiston Praised as One of The State’s Best English Language Learner Performers

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released the Annual Measurable Achievement Objective (AMAO) report for 2014 today, detailing three performance criteria districts are intended to achieve. The report describes the progress districts are making in helping English Language Learners (ELL) gain proficiency in English.

In its press release, the Department congratulated Hermiston, as one of only eight districts (others being Cascade, Centennial, Culver, David Douglas, Eagle Point, Lake Oswego, and McMinnville) in the state who attained the lofty goals established. ODE staff will be contacting Hermiston, and its successful counterparts, to determine best practices that may be replicated throughout the state.

Hermiston results are identified and explained below.

  • AMAO 1 refers to the percentage of students on track to attain English language proficiency demonstrated by achievement growth on the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA). Hermiston surpassed the State benchmark by three percent, with over half of its students demonstrating outstanding language acquisition growth on the ELPA test.
  • AMAO 2A refers to the percentage of students who attain English language proficiency in less than five years. Hermiston again surpassed State expectations, almost doubling the number of students required who attained English language proficiency in less than five school years.
  • AMAO 2B identifies the percentage of students who attain English proficiency after five years of academic support. The State provided guidance that at least 27 percent of students should be proficient after five years. Hermiston exceeded this standard with nearly 35 percent reaching proficiency.

According to Bryn Browning, the district’s assistant superintendent and director of English Language Learner programs, “Continued efforts by our ELL specialists to align curriculum and collaborate with classroom teachers has created a remarkable learning environment for our language learner students. Likewise, classroom teachers across the district have embraced and modified their instruction to better educate students who are attempting to master the English language.”

Support for students and families has also been a focus for the district. Over the last two years, Hermiston has partnered with Dr. Luis Cruz to help improve parent involvement and communication through “Parent University” opportunities.

By |11/05/2014 9:55:18|District News|0 Comments

“Best Prep Stadium in Oregon” Featured in Promotional Video

Recently identified as the “Best Prep Stadium in Oregon” by Oregonlive, Kennison Field was again lauded last week, this time by the installers of the premium synthetic turf selected for the complex.  Hellas Company, the manufacturer of Matrix artificial turf, chose to highlight Kennison Field in Hermiston to showcase their state-of-the-art synthetic turf material and installation.  Out of hundreds of stadium installations across the county, they chose to promote Kennison Field at Bulldog Stadium as one of their showcase projects.

As a part of the comprehensive research undertaken by the Kennison Design Committee, the community and district chose Hellas Matrix Turf and their patented E-layer system.  As a result, Kennison Field boasts one of the safest, fastest, and most durable artificial turf installations in the country.  To view some of the unique aerial footage taken by the drone camera, click on the images below to view their promotional video or raw aerial footage.

Hellas Promo Video

Hellas Promotional Video

Kennison Field Drone Video

Aerial Drone Video Coverage

By |10/31/2014 6:54:47|District News|0 Comments

SWX Lauds Kennison Field During Half-time Interview With Deputy Superintendent Smith

SWX broadcaster Shane Edinger talks with Deputy Superintendent Wade Smith about Kennison Field during the half-time show of the Hermiston vs. Kamiakin football game on 9/12/14. Hermiston went on to defeat the Kamiakin Braves 28-7 in the pre-season non-league game.

By |09/16/2014 6:25:08|District News|0 Comments

Board Receives Report: Enrollment Up – Capacity Challenges Loom

The Hermiston School District Board of Education listened intently as Deputy Superintendent Wade Smith offered sobering news at its September Board Meeting. Highlighted in his report was the addition of over one hundred new students, from last school year at the same time, as well as a Facility Capacity Report, commissioned by the district’s Facility Master Planning Committee.

“We now utilize 24 modular classrooms across our elementary campuses in order to serve our growing student population, which is four more than we maintained prior to the 2008 bond,” said Deputy Superintendent Smith. “If we continue to grow at our current rate, that number will balloon to 56 modular classrooms over the next 9 years across all campuses, especially needed at the middle and high school levels.”

The 2008 bond program, which replaced West Park Elementary, Sunset Elementary, and Armand Larive Middle School, provided nearly 500 additional seats due to larger campus footprints than their predecessors. However, as the district continues to grow at an average rate of about 100 students per year and is predicted to continue at that growth rate from a recently-released Portland State University Population Study, the additional seats have already been consumed at the elementary level and are nearing maximum utilization at the middle and high school campuses.

The Capacity Report, commissioned by the district’s Facility Master Planning Committee, noted the following by level:

Elementary Level

  • One available classroom for growth across the five elementary campuses (includes full-day KG implementation)
  • Elementary schools currently utilize 12 modular facilities (24 classrooms) to support current enrollment and programs
  • Up to 17 modulars (34 classrooms) will be required to meet student growth over the next 9 years
  • Over 400 students already housed in modulars (will increase to nearly 600 students over the next nine years)
  • Significant shuttling of students to non-neighborhood schools have, and will continue to be necessary to accommodate overcrowded conditions

Middle School Level

  • Six classrooms available for growth
  • All six rooms will be consumed over the next three years with elementary growth rolling up into the middle schools
  • Up to four modulars (eight classrooms) will be required to meet student growth over the next nine years

High School Level

  • Four available classrooms for growth
  • All four classrooms will be consumed as early as next school year to accommodate high school growth
  • One modular facility (two classrooms) may be required as soon as next year to meet student growth demands
  • Over the next nine years, seven modulars (14 classrooms) will likely be required to meet growing student population demands

The Capacity Report, as well as additional studies commissioned by the District’s Facility Master Planning Committee, are available on the district’s website under the Community tab at www.hermiston.k12.or.us.

By |09/09/2014 10:04:19|District News|0 Comments

Hermiston School District Partners With Lions Club International to Offer Free Vision Screening

The Hermiston School District is partnering with Lions Club International to provide a free, preliminary vision screening for all Kindergarten through grade 8 children in the district.

According to the Lions Club, “screening for vision problems takes just minutes and is completely non-invasive.” Trained staff will utilize an automated system to perform a screening check on student eyesight.  Following the process, parents will be notified if initial screening results reveal potential eyesight irregularities.

Recent State law requires that all students are required to submit certification of a vision screening or eye exam within 120 days of enrollment with the district.  Rather than placing the burden on parents and families, the district partnered with the Lions Club to provide the service gratis.

“This is a great opportunity we are privileged to be able to offer through our partnership with the Lions Club,” noted Executive Director of Special Programs Dr. Jon Mishra.  “If irregularities are found, it is recommended that parents seek further consultation with local professionals who will be able to further diagnose and support potential student needs.”

List of screenings dates by location are listed below:

Sept. 8:  Highland Hills Elementary

Sept. 9:  Armand Larive Middle School

Sept. 10:  Rocky Heights Elementary School

Sept. 11:  Sunset Elementary School

Sept. 12:  Sandstone Middle School

Sept. 15:  Desert View Elementary

Sept. 16:  West Park Elementary

Sept. 17:  Any students at a school that have not completed the process.

If parents have any questions they are asked to contact their school’s front office staff.

By |09/03/2014 7:52:01|District News|0 Comments

Hermiston Students Attend FCCLA National Leadership Conference

More than 7,500 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country gathered in San Antonio for the 2014 National Leadership Conference. The conference was based on the student-originated theme “SOAR.” Twelve Hermiston High School students were among the members who took part in competitive events, leadership training, career workshops, and sightseeing at the conference. The Hermiston contingent was led by FCCLA chapter co-Presidents Laura Dewey and Becky Alanis.

FCCLA offers 33 competitive events which represent the college and career readiness skills taught in the Family and Consumer Sciences classroom. Members compete at the District, State and National level. This year, Becky Alanis who competed in “Chapter in Review” and Nikkole Duitsman, competing in “Focus on Children” were among the recipients of gold medals. Silver medal winners included Makeba Lake, Jordon Smith, Savannah Diaz, Maria Avila-Ambriz, Evelia Navarrete-Lopez, and Natali Duron. In addition, Hermiston’s Culinary Team consisting of AJ Cervantes, Jocey Franco and Adriana Acevedo represented the state of Oregon in a competition held at the San Antonio campus of Culinary Institute of America.

At the national leadership conference, students and chaperones also had an opportunity to learn about the history of San Antonio and the Spanish missions. Members visited the Alamo, Sea World and were able to spend time along San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk.


Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has more than 200,000 members and more than 5,500 chapters from 49 state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million youth since its founding in 1945.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members. It is the only career and technical in-school student organization with the family as its central focus. Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.

For more information on FCCLA, please contact Susie Cobb at 667-6100 or Susie.Cobb@hermiston.k12.or.us.

By |08/28/2014 11:50:07|District News|0 Comments

Students Break Ground on First Student-built Home

HERMISTON – Early this week students began preparatory work for the foundation phase of the first student-built home, referred to as Fieldstone #1, as a part of the Columbia Basin Student Homebuilding Program. Working under the direction of local professionals provided by the Northeast Oregon Home Builders Association (NEOHBA), students began setting forms for the footing/foundation components for the home. A 2050 square foot, one-story, craftsman-style house with a large 676 square foot garage, will serve as the first of eleven homes to be built by students.

“The mentorship, guidance, and expertise provided by our local professionals have been outstanding,” noted Wade Smith, Deputy Superintendent. “The students have already learned a tremendous amount about the process and are well on their way towards building a high quality home.” Four students, paired with two mentors provided by NEOHBA member Knerr Construction, have been busy putting in eight hours a day before school starts to ensure the project stays on schedule. “With an expected completion date of the first of June, it is crucial that we stay on target,” noted Curt Berger, teacher and project lead. “These students are amazing workers and it has been spectacular watching them learn and interact with the two experts from Knerr. The professionals have already commented on how much they are going to miss working with the students when the concrete phase of the project is complete and we move on to another mentor for the framing component of the home.”

Later this week, students will be presenting the program to the local Rotary Service Club, and will soon be joined by eight additional Hermiston students as well as four more from Stanfield and Umatilla, once school resumes.

For information about the Columbia Basin Student Homebuilding Program, including design plans for the first home, pictures, and live video feed, visit the program website at: www.columbiabasinstudenthomes.org


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By |08/20/2014 4:04:57|District News|0 Comments

Rampant Student Growth Forecasted in Updated Study

HERMISTON – Hermiston Board of Education listened intently as Deputy Superintendent Smith highlighted student population forecasts predicted in a recently-unveiled 2014 Enrollment Forecast Study commissioned by the district’s Facility Master Planning Committee as a part of their comprehensive work. Performed by the Portland State University Population Research Center, one of most lauded statistical organizations in the Pacific Northwest, the comprehensive 10-year analysis predicts growth of up to twelve hundred students by the 2023 school year, or about 120 additional students per year, exceeding historical growth rates for the district.

The fifty-five page inclusive analysis uses numerous indicators such as birth and fertility rates, migration statistics, employment, and economic trends, to statistically predict low, medium, and high growth scenarios over the next ten years for the Hermiston school community. Commissioned in 2007, the predecessor report was one of the key instruments used by the Board of Education to outline the need for additional campus space included in the 2008 bond program to meet growing student populations. “Despite the recession impacting our country after the 2007 report was released, PSU’s estimates were very accurate,” noted Deputy Superintendent Smith. “This updated study provides a revised glimpse into out near future; and that future is significant and continued growth for our district and community.”

Even at the middle range growth assumption, labeled as “most probable” by PSU, the district is poised to see over 800 additional students come through their doors over the next ten years, almost identical to the previous ten year actual growth. “The report shows that our high school will balloon to nearly 1950 students by the 2023 school year, a 33% growth in numbers over current levels, and nearly twice the size it was just prior to the campus updates performed in 2002,” according to Smith.

Required by statute, the Board of Education established a Facility Master Planning Committee last spring who have been meeting monthly reviewing all aspects of the district’s facilities, infrastructure, and growth. They are expected to present their report to the Board in March, which will summarize the key components of their work, including facility conditions, enrollment trends, student capacity analysis, and site safety and security recommendations.

Key highlights from the 2014 PSU Report reveal the following:

  • Middle Range Forecast (high range forecast)
    • Over the next ten years grades K-5 add 229 students (431)
    • Grades 6-8 add 204 students (263)
    • Grades 9-12 add 351 for a high school population of 1841 students (491 for a high school population of approximately 2000 students)
  • Between 2000 and 2010, HSD’s population within its boundaries grew by 22%, while the balance of Umatilla County outside of HSD grew by only 1%.
  • The 2030 population forecast for residents residing in the Hermiston School District boundary under the middle range forecast is 35,283, an increase of 8,494 from the 2010 census.
  • 3,900 additional housing units over the next 20 years, equating to nearly 200 single family homes or multi-family complexes per year, will be needed to support the population growth.
  • Altogether HSD encompasses 154 square miles. The City of Hermiston covers only 5% of the District’s land area and accounts for about 63% of the District’s population.
  • Seven percent of District residents work in Morrow County and another 5% in Benton County, Wa.
  • In the next ten year period (2020-30), population growth attributed to net migration into the Hermiston region is expected to accelerate.
  • The net inflow of workers characterizes Hermiston as a community with employment opportunities that attract workers from beyond the district.

The entire report can be downloaded from the district’s website here

By |08/12/2014 7:24:16|District News|0 Comments

District Announces Substitute Teacher In-service

Attention Substitute Teachers:

We would like you to be our guest at the annual Hermiston Substitute Training & Luncheon on Friday, August 15th at Armand Larive Middle School (located at 1497 SW 9th St).

• If you are a new substitute to our district, and have yet to complete employment paperwork, please arrive at 9:30 a.m. to process paperwork. Please bring the following items:
 Driver’s License or US Passport and Social Security Card or Birth Certificate for I-9 purposes
 Knowledge of the number of allowances to claim on your W-4 Form
 Voided check for direct deposit. Direct deposit is a requirement.

• If you are a current/returning substitute, or recent retiree in our system, please arrive by 11:00 a.m.

At 11:00 a.m. there will be an overview/training covering AESOP, our automated substitute management system; Employee Access Center (EAC); TSPC/Sub-license updates; student tutor opportunities; and required annual policy review. At 11:45 a.m. lunch will be served, and you will have an opportunity to interact with district staff. Following lunch, at 12:30 p.m. there will be two, half-hour-long, breakout session trainings provided just for you. One will cover “Technology in the Classroom,” and the other will include “Classroom Behavior Strategies That Work.” PDU’s will be provided to you at the end of both sessions.

Please RSVP to let us know if you plan to attend this function by:
• Sending an email to us at hr@hermiston.k12.or.us or,
• Contacting us by phone at 541-667-6031
Please Note: If you are unable to attend this function, you will need to schedule an appointment with the Human Resources Department in order to fulfill the annual training requirements prior to your ability to substitute for the district.

Thank you again for serving an important role as a guest/substitute teacher in the Hermiston School District. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brooke Carnine, Human Resources Assistant, at 541-667-6031.

By |07/29/2014 6:10:17|District News|0 Comments