Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Sunnyside Environmental School

Fostering responsibility, excitement for learning and respect for all living things.

3421 SE Salmon St. | Portland, OR 97214
Phone: (503) 916-6226 | Fax: (503) 916-2676

About Us

Sunnyside offers a K-8 educational option that includes a neighborhood attendance area.

Mission statement

Sunnyside Environmental School is a group of students, educators, parents, and community partners working together to create a rich learning environment for all students through pedagogy and beliefs that are rooted in environmental education, environmental justice, culturally responsive teaching, place-based education and service learning.

The K-8 curriculum allows children to make meaning of the world around them by incorporating place-based learning experiences into the conventional school week. Place-based education differs from traditional classroom-based education in that it is founded on the belief that students' local community as one of the most important resources for learning. Place-based education at Sunnyside Environmental school means that part of the student learning experience is spent beyond the walls of the actual school building. Natural spaces, local neighborhoods, museums, our own school yard and university campuses are just a few places where our students learn in place. These locations provide a canvas upon which elements of history, environmental education, scientific and biological relationships, culture, mathematics, economy, literature, and art are used to help children authentically make meaning of the world around them.

Exploring themes of connectedness, environmental justice, and diversity, students develop academic knowledge and skills while demonstrating personal and social responsibility for all living systems.The city’s wild and urban areas become sites for inquiry, exploration and understanding as children are pushed to develop the academic and social-emotional skills that lead them to be critically conscious, curious members of the larger community. In pursuit of this goal, students are involved in service learning efforts throughout their years at the school.

Collective belief in equity of access, environmental justice and racial equity is the backbone of our pedagogy and practices. Our school community and students are taught to critically examine dominant culture norms, seek multiple perspectives and counter stories, and our staff are committed to culturally responsive teaching practices to meet the diverse needs of all students.

Enrollment: 530
Focus Option: Thematic environmental curriculum
Kindergarten: Two full-day kindergarten classes
Childcare: Camp Fire

Special programs and features

  • Service-learning experiences and curriculum-based field studies and overnights (grades 5-8)
  • School gardens and compost bins teach horticulture and sustainability.
  • Middle School Curriculum themes : River, Mountain, Forest.
  • Visual arts demonstrate and illustrate curriculum concepts.
  • Required Spanish language and culture courses enable students to earn high school level language credits.
  • Common Core Math Curriculum with the option of an 8th-grade Algebra courses that provides the opportunity to earn high school credit
  • Physical education, art, and media are provided weekly.