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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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