The Pendleton School District assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or income as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related authorities, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any Pendleton School District sponsored program or activity.
Who needs the Super Bowl in February? McKay’s students have the Read Bowl!
Second graders in Shelby Cook’s classroom and third graders in Noele Mead’s classroom have been highly focused on reading with a fun football component. The students in the two classes are participating in Read Bowl, which uses a football theme and some friendly competition in the four weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
Each day, students get to count the reading they do while at school – this could be reading instruction, reading silently, group reading, or anything they have read during the day. They also keep track of the minutes they read at home. On their own football tracker, they color in how many minutes they read every day.
Second-grade teacher Cook said she saw the idea of Read Bowl on social media and thought she would try it to get her students reading more because she has a lot of students who really like football. “My main goal is to help my students find books they really like so they start loving to read!”
Mead’s third-grade class is also participating. At halftime, or halfway through the Read Bowl of four weeks, Mead’s students have read 26,838 minutes (about 447 hours). “This competition has really helped all my students, even the non-readers, find a love for reading!” Mead said.
So, no matter who wins the Super Bowl, these young readers are stars!
On Thursday, January 25, 2024, the Oregon Department of Education released graduation rates for school districts in Oregon.
The Pendleton School District’s graduation rate for 2022-2023 was 76.70%, as compared to 81.99% the previous year. This number includes Pendleton High School, Hawthorne High School, and Nixyáawii Community School. Kevin Headings, district superintendent, said, “Our rate dropped slightly, and while that’s of some concern, there are a lot of positives in our numbers. Considering all our students have been through the past few years, we’re considering these numbers a success.”
The graduation rate for Pendleton High School (PHS) for 2022-2023 was 82.4%, above the state average, but a decrease from 89% in 2021-22. Hawthorne High School’s rate continued a 5–year upward trend with a 44.7% rate, as compared to 39.1% in 2021-2022. Nixyáawii Community School’s rate was 76%, which was a slight decrease as compared to 2021-2022.
Headings said the real improvements were among our Native American students. PHS’s Native American graduation rate was 82.4%, which represents a 10% increase from last year and is 13% above the state average. Nixyáawii Community School’s Native American graduation rate was 78.3%, which is a 2% increase over last year and well above the state average. PSD’s overall Native American graduation rate was 80%, which is 12% above the state average and a 13% increase from last year. “Our staff have not stopped working to help all students graduate. Our overall numbers continue to be positive with continued improvements in key areas,” Headings said.
“Although the district would like to see more students graduate, the results across the board are positive, especially with our Native American students,” Headings said, “These increases reflect the many hundreds of hours PSD staff, students, and families pour into their efforts to find success. We are working to improve and grow at all levels in our schools and remain committed to every student, every day,”
The Pendleton School District School Board has approved the appointment of TJ Presley as Principal of Sherwood Elementary School, effective July 1, 2024.
Presley is currently the vice principal at Sherwood Elementary. Prior to his time in Pendleton, Presley worked in Pilot Rock School District, where he taught middle school math before being hired as their secondary principal and athletic director. Before going into public education, Mr. Presley worked in senior-level management at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Hermiston.
Colleagues describe Mr. Presley as a talented leader who is thoughtful, considerate, and passionate. He is also described as a leader who has a high level of integrity and puts the needs of students, staff, and parents at the forefront of every decision he makes.
Mr. Presley earned a bachelor of science in business and management/finance from Western Oregon University in 2007. He earned his Master of Arts in education from Eastern Oregon University in 2017.
According to Superintendent Kevin Headings, appointing Mr. Presley as principal of Sherwood was an easy decision. “Mr. Presley has proven to be a skilled and talented administrator – both during his time in Pilot Rock and in his two years with Pendleton. He has the respect of the Sherwood staff, students, and families. He possesses the qualities needed for Sherwood Elementary’s continued success – high integrity, student-centered decision making and strong communication skills. We’re fortunate he works in Pendleton School District.” Headings said.
Mr. Presley will officially take over as principal on July 1. He is replacing Principal Ronda Smith, who is retiring effective June 30, 2024.
January is School Board Appreciation Month, and we recognize the hard work and dedication they give to the Pendleton School District! YOU ARE APPRECIATED!
The Pendleton School District welcomed students in its ELD (English Language Development) Program to a family event on Thursday, December 14th, at the Pendleton Early Learning Center. The theme of the evening event was Winter Celebrations Around the World.
Former and current students and their families were invited. A variety of arts and crafts were set up at different tables in the PELC’s Commons, with activities from different countries. Activities included making a holiday card for England, lanterns and fortune cookies for China, a Hanukkah dreidel for Israel, mini pinatas for Mexico, and gingerbread house cookie decorating for Germany.
Auna Alferez attended the event with her two daughters, who are in third and fourth grade. She said her children like to come to family events like these. Asked what their favorite part of the night was, her two girls said, “Everything!”
According to Cary Wasem-Varela, ELD Teacher, the events the program staff previously organized were not very well attended, so they started talking to the parents. “We found out they didn’t want to come to events to fill out paperwork or be asked to serve on committees. They enjoy socializing and getting together, so we feel like we really succeeded with this arts and crafts winter event where they can have fun as a family.”
Julie Smith, Director of Special Programs for the Pendleton School District, said one of the goals at the event is for ELD staff to circulate and talk with parents and families. “Our bilingual educators help bridge the language gap so parents can share their thoughts about our program. The staff try to talk to as many families as they can to gather information on what is working well and how we can improve our programs,” Smith said.
About 115 students are currently enrolled in the Pendleton School District’s ELD Program, and they are K-12 students from all of the district’s schools.