Announcements & News
|Irrigon Elementary Celebrates STEAM||
More than 125 participants enjoyed Irrigon Elementary’s STEAM Open House Extravaganza on Thursday, January 18. Students and their families joined in the fun of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics with a variety of activities in classrooms, the cafeteria and the gymnasium.
In the library, students downloaded instructions from laptop computers into small robots, and then lined them up to race. Students quickly learned it was important to give the robots the correct coding if you wanted to win. As soon as one race was over, the students scrambled back to the laptops to try it again, big smiles on their faces and brains churning with ideas for next time. Also in the library, parents and their children dived into LEGO building, with tall towers and complicated patterns emerging.
The Irrigon Jr/Sr High Drone Club had a demonstration in the cafeteria, with club members using First Person View (FPV) goggles to drive their drones around a course. Others could watch the drones on large screens. Junior Gracie Stirk, a member of the new club, said she got involved because she finds drones interesting and she thinks it is a recent thing that the public can really explore.
In one classroom, students assembled their own science kits, with materials and instructions to conduct 12 experiments at home. Another classroom featured “Hour of Code,” a global movement introducing tens of millions of students worldwide to computer science. Lisa Mueller, a design manager at Microsoft in Seattle, was volunteering. Her three nieces attend Irrigon schools and she was excited to be able to share the excitement with students. “Coding is just a set of instructions, anybody can do it. This shows kids it’s a career path that can take them anywhere they want to go,” Mueller said. She encouraged anyone to visit HourofCode.com to get involved.
STEAM participants learned about “Oobleck” in Classroom A1, to the delight of many. Oobleck is a material that is polymers and non-Newtonian fluid -- in other words, it’s not a liquid or a solid and consists of cornstarch and water. Students loved making it, touching it and playing with it to a chorus of “that’s cool,” “is it slime?” and “wow, this is amazing!” This station was sponsored by the Port of Morrow.
The “A” in STEAM was evident in Classroom A4, where parents and children were painting rocks. Vibrant colors and all kinds of themes were emerging. The rock art was organized by “Irrigon Rocks”, a community group that helps to inspire creativity and energize people to explore the beautiful area around Irrigon. The organization, which has a Facebook group, encourages the painted rocks to be hidden for others to find. In another classroom, Movement Art also engaged many students in active dancing.
Students practiced their math skills in a delicious way in the cafeteria kitchen. They measured ingredients to make smoothies under the direction of staff from the Oregon State University Extension Service. Bank of Eastern Oregon had a station for practicing decimals and learning the proper way to write a check.
The STEAM Open House's grand finale was a “Science of Electricity” assembly by OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) as part of their outreach program. The assembly used numerous student volunteers from the audience to teach about electrons, static electricity and currents with a variety of hands-on demonstrations.
Erin Stocker, principal of Irrigon Elementary, said the STEAM event was a great way to celebrate science and art for students and their families. “We want our kids excited about all of these concepts and able to share that fun with their parents. Finding ways to show participants how technology touches so many aspects of our lives and what career paths it can lead to is really positive,” Stocker said. Irrigon Elementary thanks all of the community partners and volunteers who helped make the event possible.
|District Spotlight: Heppner Elementary Math||
Mrs. Matheny’s first grade class is using the Activ Panel to demonstrate multiple ways of solving their math problems during their math lesson.
In order to share more good news about our schools, programs and students, the MCSD is starting this new feature on our district website and district Facebook page. Each month, we will provide a short summary about something positive happening at one of our buildings.
Windy River Elementary’s Self-Manager Program
The Self-Manager program is designed to help students “prepare and inspire” to become “future leaders”. This program helps students become self-managers by being responsible and respectful, participating in all classes, being kind/safe at recess and completing schoolwork on time. The entire school staff provides input to students to help them complete the application to become a self-manager. Those who meet these criteria are able to participate in various special activities.
|District Recently Honored Area Veterans||
Morrow County School District schools honored veterans in several ways for Veterans Day last week.
After classroom visits, all staff and students gathered with the guests in the gym where each veteran was given a gift. A program followed, featuring the HJSHS band and choir performing “Armed Forces on Parade” and “Already Home”. A video presentation followed with pictures of the veterans during their time in the military. Former HJSHS math teacher David Melville was the honored guest speaker. Captain Melville (Ret.) spoke about the sacrifices that veterans and their families have made, and he urged students to continue to support the veterans. Each veteran in attendance was then recognized in a roll call that included their name, rank, branch of service and dates of enlistment. This was followed by a moment of silence and “Taps” to recognize veterans who have passed away. After the program, a lunch was served by HJSHS students to the veterans and their families.
At A.C. Houghton Elementary, the Lions Club visited and gave a presentation to all 1st grade students about Veterans Day. At the conclusion of the presentation, each student received their own U.S. flags.
|New 3-Hour Delays for Inclement Weather this Winter||
With winter quickly approaching we would like to share our inclement weather plan with you. Our goal is to provide the safest possible learning opportunities for our students and staff. Throughout the winter the district administration closely monitors weather and road conditions in our district and strives to inform families of changes in a timely manner. Typically, we try to notify family’s the night before of a late start or closure, but there are times when the weather changes overnight and requires an early morning change in school plans.
This year Morrow County School District will be implementing a 3-hour delay for bad weather. With this later start on inclement weather days it will allow us more time to evaluate the weather and road conditions before students and staff are traveling for school. Buses will run their normal routes, only 3 hours later. On late start days’ schools will still have breakfast and lunch available to students.
Con el invierno acercándose rápidamente, nos gustaría compartir nuestro plan de clima inclemente con usted. Nuestro objetivo es proporcionar las oportunidades de aprendizaje más seguras posibles para nuestros estudiantes y personal. Durante todo el invierno, la administración del distrito supervisa de cerca el clima y las condiciones de las carreteras en nuestro distrito, y se esfuerza por informar a las familias de los cambios de manera oportuna. Por lo general, tratamos de notificar a las familias la noche antes de un comienzo o cierre tardío, pero a veces cambia el clima de la noche a la mañana y se requiere un cambio en los planes escolares temprano en la mañana. Este año, el Distrito Escolar del Condado de Morrow, implementará un retraso de 3 horas por el mal tiempo. Con este lapso de tiempo en los días del clima inclementes, nos permitirá tener más tiempo para evaluar el clima y las condiciones de las carreteras antes de que los estudiantes y el personal escolar viajen a la escuela. Los camiones escolares operarán sus rutas normales solo con 3 horas después.
En los días en que iniciemos tarde las clases en las escuelas, las cocinas escolares todavía tendrán/ proveerán el desayuno y el almuerzo a disposición de los estudiantes.
Ustedes pueden mantenerse informados por lo cierres escolares de varias maneras:
|Pacific Ethanol Makes Donations to MCSD Schools||
Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (Columbia Plant) in Boardman recently donated $50 each to three Morrow County School District schools: Sam Boardman Elementary, Windy River Elementary and Riverside Jr/Sr High. Pacific Ethanol organized a company-wide “Community Day Challenge” and the Boardman plant was the winner and was awarded $250.
Daniel Koch, plant manager, said, “To support our ever growing community we would like to offer this money to different organizations, groups and schools. We hope our contribution to our community will help in some small way.”
Two other Boardman organizations also received donations.
|Boardman Schools Collaborated for Community Event||
On September 12, schools in the Boardman community hosted the 7th Annual Boardman Community Resource Extravaganza at Sam Boardman Elementary. The event is an opportunity for various organizations and businesses to share with families the support and help available within the Boardman community.
An estimated 300 to 400 people attended the event, including many families from all three schools: Sam Boardman Elementary, Windy River Elementary and Riverside Junior/Senior High School. In previous years, the Extravaganza was held only at Windy River Elementary, but the district wanted to expand to include more families.
The community was well represented with over 20 local organizations including banks, the police department, the Port of Morrow Workforce Center and the new Boardman Recreation Center. Many local service organizations, ranging from the Department of Human Services to Morrow County School District’s Care Team to OSU Extension and 4-H, also attended and provided information, prizes and games for families.
Brandon Hammond, principal of Windy River Elementary, said, “This is an excellent event for our community and allows our families to see all the various entities available to support them and their child.” Hammond said the school district appreciates the organizations that made time to attend the event and provide information. He also said staff at Boardman schools are excited to collaborate with the community and look forward to the event next year and for many years to come.
|Morrow County School District Board Vacancy||
The Morrow County School Board of Directors currently has a vacancy for position #2. Persons interested in applying to serve on the Morrow County School District Board of Directors must be a legally registered voter and reside within Morrow County. Please submit a letter of interest by 5:00 PM October 3, 2017 to Dirk Dirksen, PO Box 100, Heppner, OR 97836. Contact Executive Secretary, Cheryl Costello, 541-922-4016 or cheryl.costellomorrow.k12.or.us if you have any questions. This position will run through June 30, 2019.
|Notice of Special Board Meeting||
Morrow County School District Board of Directors has called a special Board meeting for Monday, August 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Heppner Elementary School in Heppner, OR.
The purpose of the meeting is to consider an OSAA Cooperative Sponsorship between Ione and Riverside Jr/Sr High School for football.
|Eclipse Viewing in Morrow County||
On Monday, August 21, the continental United States will experience a solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, totally or partially blocking the view of the Sun. An eclipse's area of totality means that people viewing the eclipse in that geographic location will be able to experience the entire eclipse, while people outside that area can view a partial eclipse. The path of the total eclipse includes the southern portion of Morrow County, but even viewing the partial eclipse is an exciting scientific event for students and families to experience.
You need a way to safely view the eclipse! People should never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, as this can result in serious eye injury. Eclipse glasses that are ISO 12312-2 compliant are needed to safely view the eclipse. They can be purchased at some stores or online.
The SAGE Center in Boardman is LIVE streaming the Total Solar Eclipse. In Heppner, there will be transportation available to Morrow-Grant OHV Park.
Here are some helpful links to eclipse-related websites:
Sage Center: http://visitsage.com/event/180
Morrow County/Heppner Transportation: http://www.co.morrow.or.us/community/page/solar-eclipse-august-21-2017
Oregon Trail Libraries: https://www.facebook.com/OTLDlibraries/
|Board Schedules Work Session to Develop Goals||
The purpose of the work session is development of 2017/18 Board Goals.
|Notice of Special Board Meeting - Location Change||
UPDATE 6/22/17 - The location of this meeting has CHANGED, it will be held in Heppner High School Library due to work that is taking place in the HES library.
Morrow County School District Board of Directors has called a Special Board Meeting for Monday, June 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm. The purpose of the meeting is ratification of contracts.
|Morrow County Announces “Ready for Kindergarten” Preschool Program||
Morrow County School District is offering high quality preschool opportunities to equip all three & four-year-old Morrow County residents with the skills and resources necessary to ensure kindergarten readiness. Print Flyer (PDF)
The goal is to provide all three and four-year-old children in Heppner, Irrigon and Boardman with the opportunity to receive a preschool education.
Children in Irrigon and Boardman will be taught in four classes with up to 20 children in each class. Sessions will take place 4 days per week, 3 hours per day from approximately September 5, 2017 through May 17, 2018. There will be an AM session and a PM session at each location.
Please call Umatilla-Morrow Head Start at 1-800-559- 5878, Laura Celis at 541-564-6878 or Ana Pineyro at 541-256-0514 to learn more or to register your child.
|Schedule an Adolescent Well Care Exam With Your Local Medical Clinic!||
¡Programe un Examen de Adolescente de Bien Cuidado con su Clínica Médica Local! *Haga clic aquí para descargar este anuncio en español (PDF)
Morrow County and Ione School Districts strongly encourage you to schedule an adolescent well care exam appointment (which includes an evaluation for OSAA sport/activity participation) beginning June 1, and throughout the summer months to be prepared for the fall school year.
Morrow County Health District and Columbia River Community Health Services will be providing exams for youth ages 11-21 by appointment only. Print the Flyer (PDF)
Why are wellness exams important? Physical, social and emotional changes during adolescence increase the need for continuous, comprehensive preventive services and adolescents are laying the foundation for lifestyle and behaviors that persist into adulthood.
The American Medical Association’s Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Bright Futures Guidelines, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend comprehensive annual check-ups for adolescents. Adolescents who can easily access preventive health services are more likely to be healthy and able to reach milestones such as high school graduation, entry into the work force, higher education or military service.
What can you expect during an exam? During an adolescent well care exam, the health care professional conducts a risk and strength assessment, listens to parent and youth concerns, conducts necessary screening and provides guidance on key health promotion priorities such as family support, healthy weight, nutrition and physical activity, mental health, healthy growth and development, safety and injury prevention, and oral health. The exam will include, if necessary, an evaluation for clearance to participate in sports/activities and completion of the required OSAA form.
Who provides the AWC exam? Morrow County health care providers care about you, your family and community. Make an appointment for an adolescent well care exam with your local Morrow County health clinic. If the patient has insurance, the insurance will be billed, and the balance, if any, will not be charged to the patient. There will be no out of pocket cost to you.
If you need assistance with transportation, please contact the CARE Team at 541-481-4200.
|District Re-Structures Administration for 2017-18 School Year||
The Morrow County School District has re-structured its administrative team, allowing the district to continue to be proactive and efficient in providing the highest quality education for all its students, according to Dirk Dirksen, district Superintendent.
Erin Stocker has been promoted to Executive Director of Human Resources. She will continue to be the Principal at Irrigon Elementary School for the 2017-18 school year while assuming additional district-level responsibilities. Stocker has taught for 13 years in the district and been the Principal and the Director of Human Resources for four years. Kaira Rysdam will be the Vice Principal at Irrigon Elementary.
Marie Shimer has been hired as the Director of Educational Services. She has been the Principal at Riverside Jr/Sr High School since 2013; before that, she was the Assistant Principal there for two years. Shimer has an extensive background in curriculum and staff development and has worked with special programs including TAG, ELL, DART, Eastern Promise and CTE. The district is posting a position for the RHS Principal vacancy.
Matt Combe will remain the Director of Facilities for the district. Currently the Principal at Heppner Elementary and Heppner Jr/Sr High School, Combe has been an administrator for 11 years in Heppner. Previously, he was the Alternative Education Coordinator for eight years and taught for three years. Combe will continue as the Principal of Heppner High, while Dieter Waite will become the Principal of Heppner Elementary School.
Jack Johns will become the district’s Director of Special Education, a change from his current position of Special Education Consultant. Johns has more than 20 years of experience as a Special Education Director and has been a Special Education consultant for nine years, including the last three in MCSD.
“We are pleased with the new structure of our district administrative team – all of these individuals will continue to be important assets in serving students in all three of our communities,” Dirksen said.
All changes will be effective July 1, 2017.
|Riverside Students Thanked by Oregon State Police Superintendent||
On Monday, March 13, the students in the “Exploration of Law Enforcement” class at Riverside Jr/Sr High School received a special visit from Travis Hampton, Superintendent of the Oregon State Police. Hampton came to personally thank the high school students for the time and input they have given to the SafeOregon project, a new statewide safety tip line for all schools.
The 15 students in the class have been involved with SafeOregon for several months, offering feedback about the name of the tip line, the website colors and functions and how they think students can promote it in their schools.
“I want to commend you all for a job well done on a statewide effort. You have been engaged in something in your young lives that has already made a difference for students, and that’s great,” said Hampton. Oregon State Police is giving the students T-shirts and water bottles, plus a donation of $250 from the Oregon State Police Officers’ Association.
Dirk Dirksen, Morrow County School District Superintendent, was also in attendance and thanked the students. “On behalf of the school district, thank you for making an effort in our county to help SafeOregon become a reality. I also applaud Officer Shimer for taking the lead with this class,” Dirksen said. George Shimer is the Safety Resource Officer for MCSD’s schools in Boardman.
SafeOregon is available to all public K-12 schools in Oregon at no cost and is a way for students, staff or other members of the public to anonymously report and share confidential information of a threat or a potential threat to student safety. For more information, visit safeoregon.com.
|District Releases Plan to Make Up Snow Days||
When the Morrow County School District established its 2016-17 school year calendar, administrators built in extra days to allow for potential snow days. Due to extreme inclement weather conditions this winter, schools in Boardman and Irrigon have been closed for 7 days and Heppner schools were closed for 5 days. To compensate for this lost instructional time for students, the MCSD will now be implementing the following adjustments to the 2016-17 calendar:
Boardman and Irrigon Schools:
The state of Oregon has minimum seat time requirements of at least 900 hours; Grades K-8 need 900, Grades 9-11 need 990 and seniors need 966. The MCSD will be above the minimum seat requirements for all grade levels as set by the state of Oregon.
|Get Immunizations Updated Before School Exclusion Day February 15, 2017||
Morrow County School District reminds families that School Exclusion Day is Wednesday, February 15. If a child’s record on file shows missing immunizations, he/she will not be able to attend school until immunizations are brought up-to-date. State law requires that all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations or the necessary paperwork exempting the requirement. If you need assistance with completing all necessary immunizations for your child please contact the Morrow County Health Department.
Morrow County Health Department Heppner Clinic: (541) 676-5421
Morrow County Health Department Boardman Clinic: (541) 481-4200
In an effort to increase accessibility to Immunizations, Morrow County Health Department is providing office hours in addition to the regular clinic hours for students to access vaccinations. Any student can access any location.
Heppner: 110 N Court St,. Heppner, Or 97836
Boardman: 101 NW Boardman Ave., 97801
Obtenga Las Vacunas Actualizadas antes del día de Exclusión Escolar 15 de febrero de 2017
El Distrito Escolar del Condado de Morrow, les recuerda a las familias que el Día de Exclusión Escolar para las vacunas es el miércoles, 15 de febrero. Si el expediente de un niño en el archivo muestra vacunas faltantes, él / ella no podrá asistir a la escuela hasta que las vacunas sean actualizadas. La ley estatal requiere que todos los niños en las escuelas públicas, privadas, preescolares, y centros de cuidado infantil certificados, tengan documentación sobre sus vacunas o los papeles necesario de exclusión actualizadas. Si necesita ayuda para poner las vacunas faltantes de su hijo, comuníquese con el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow.
Clinica del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow - Heppner: (541) 676-5421
Clinica del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow - Boardman: (541) 481-4200
En un esfuerzo por aumentar la accesibilidad a las inmunizaciones, el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow está proporcionando horas de oficina además de las horas regulares de la clínica para que los estudiantes tengan acceso a las vacunas. Cualquier estudiante puede acceder a cualquier lugar.
|Nominations for 2017 Crystal Apple Awards Now Open||
Nominations for the 2017 Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards are now open. These awards recognize outstanding individuals in the education field who are dedicated to the success of students.
Those eligible are employees in any of the InterMountain Education Service District's (IMESD) 18 component school districts in Morrow, Umatilla and Union counties. Crystal Apple Awards can be given to principals, assistant principals, teachers, paraeducators, office staff, maintenance staff and other district staff.
Information and the nomination form are available here. Nominations are due April 1, 2017.
Nominations are also being accepted for the Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award, which recognizes one outstanding administrator (Superintendent, Principal, Vice Principal) each year.
Information and the nomination form for the Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award are available here. Nominations are due April 1, 2017.
|Science Curriculum Public Viewing||
For all Families and Patrons of Morrow County School District:
Please view science curriculum and give us your input! Parents, guardians, and community stakeholders are invited to give us input.
Contact each school listed for viewing location: Books may be located in staff lounge, library or in the office. Please check in at the main office.
|Morrow County Graduation Rate Higher than State Average||
Students in the Morrow County School District are graduating at a higher rate than other students across the state of Oregon, according to graduation rates released today by the Oregon Department of Education.
The statewide cohort graduation rate for 2015-16 is 74.83%. Morrow County School District’s average is more than 10 percentage points above that figure at 85.14%. All three high schools in the county had higher rates than the state average. The graduation rates are:
Morrow County School District 85.14%
Figures are based on a 4-year cohort graduation rate, which includes all students who entered high school for the first time in 2012-2013 and earned their regular or modified high school diplomas by the end of August 2016 – essentially students who earned their diplomas within four years of high school.
Superintendent Dirk Dirksen said that he is pleased with the district’s results and continued improvement. “We have put some energy and focus into supporting students towards graduation. We have been monitoring attendance and student progress, communicating and supporting students so that they stay on track to graduate. I am pleased and thankful for the relationships, support and dedication our teachers, counselors, administrators and wraparound support staff have displayed towards our students. I am also very appreciative of our students and families as we have all partnered to communicate, stay engaged and support of one another to so that students in the Morrow County School District can graduate on time,” Dirksen said.
The Morrow County School District’s rates for specific student populations were also positive. The district average for Economically Disadvantaged Students was 85.85%, compared to the state rate of 68.05%; for Students with Disabilities the district rate was 87.50% while the state average was 55.50%; Limited English Proficient district average was 80% while the state average was 52.90%.
All three MCSD high schools exceeded the state average on most student categories:
More detailed information on the district’s graduation rates and rates for all school districts in Oregon can be found at: http://www.oregon.gov/ode/reports-and-data/students/Pages/Cohort-Gradua….
|MCSD Releases Results of Testing for Lead in Water||
In June 2016, the Morrow County School District tested drinking water sites at all of its schools for the potential presence of lead. Results from Box R Water Analysis Laboratory in Prineville indicate that all sites tested showed “no lead detected” or were below the EPA limit of 0.020.
The Morrow County district joined school districts across eastern Oregon who are testing their drinking water this summer. Currently, there are no state or federal requirements for schools to test drinking water for lead, and it has not been a practice in the past. In mid May, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) created a plan regarding lead in school water. The plan requests all school districts that get drinking water from public water systems test for lead in school buildings; requires districts to use certified drinking water testing labs to process the water samples; asks ODE and OHA to develop a method for schools to report results to OHA; and for OHA to provide drinking water expertise to schools for support as they test.
Many schools receive their water from community or city water systems. These public water systems regularly test the water and many already treat the water to help reduce corrosion of plumbing. However, lead that is present in pipes and fixtures in building plumbing can enter the water at the tap and expose those who drink it --- that is why sampling and testing for lead at each tap is important.
“The Morrow County School District is pleased to report that water at our schools is safe for drinking. We will continue to monitor this and will keep communicating to parents and our community,” said Dirk Dirksen, superintendent.