A Vision Teacher Reflects On Student Success

Brenda Krueger met Jaylee King when she was 8 years old. Although the two spend a few hours together every day now, their first interaction was evidence of the work ahead of them. Jaylee, who was born with DiGeorge Syndrome, is totally blind, nonverbal, and extremely tiny. Consequently, Jaylee has had to overcome overwhelming obstacles caused by DiGeorge Syndrome that most people simply never have to face.

This is where Krueger comes in. As a teacher for visually impaired students with nearly 20 years of experience, Krueger works for the High Desert Education Service District (HDESD) alongside other professionals in order to improve student outcomes regardless of disadvantages and disabilities. As a result, she travels to schools in the Jefferson County, Redmond, and Bend-La Pine School Districts serving students from the ages of birth through 22 years.

Jaylee, for example, sees Krueger in a classroom setting where she has learned to use a communication device, write in braille, and identify others around her. These successes are especially impressive given the fact that Jaylee disliked interacting with others or using braille only 2 years ago. In fact, when Krueger and Jaylee first began working together, they would only get through about 30 minutes of instruction and participation. Now, that time has increased by threefold to an hour and a half.

This progress has occurred largely due to Krueger’s ability to see potential in all kids, regardless of what others may say of them. By allowing her students to own their personal learning process, Krueger is able to pioneer, experiment and listen in order to create an environment where her success as a teacher produces and encourages the success of others.  For example, Krueger quickly observed that Jaylee loved music and thus began incorporating songs and playlists as a form of reward for hard work. She also integrates tactual tools such as velcro, straws and magnets into every learning exercise so that Jaylee is able to communicate using materials that correlate to people, objects and ideas.

However, one of Krueger’s most effective strategy may be her ability to write tactual original rhymes and books about Jaylee’s favorite subjects, such as pickles, in order to develop interest and a desire to learn. In Kruegers own words, “She loves reading pickle stories and then at the end we eat real pickles and cut real pickles up.”

When Jaylee turned ten, they celebrated with different types of cake and a handmade “book of tens.” Additionally, Krueger recently observed Jaylee’s swim practice in order to write her another story about an activity that she loves. With a smile in her voice, she states that, “I enjoy creating stuff, and sometimes it flops. I just try to make it real for her.”

In the future,  Krueger and the other  teachers, therapists and school staff working with Jaylee hope to conquer braille and increase communications. Krueger also notes that she’d like to get a better grasp on what Jaylee does and does not understand when it comes to reading in braille and imitating words. In the end, Jaylee is similar to other kids who have had to overcome overwhelming challenges. She loves music, snacks, and learning in an environment where the experiences are real and interesting. Her progress over the past 24 months has been astounding and future development is equally exciting and made possible by the HDESD and people like Krueger who are intent on engaging students to succeed.

Written by McKenna Boen
Photos Courtesy of Brenda Krueger

We invite you to join us!

The High Desert Education Service District is proud to announce the 9th Annual Central Oregon PBIS Conference scheduled for Monday, April 23th, 2018 at The Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend.

About the PBIS Conference
The goal of the Central Oregon PBIS Conference is to provide schools and districts evidence-based tools and strategies in order to implement all aspects of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). MTSS has been shown to improve overall school climate, maximize academic achievement and address the specific needs of all students in early intervention through high school.

The conference offers sessions in school-wide PBIS, academic interventions, successful interventions for students with challenging behaviors, and effective data-based decision making.

New This Year: Special Session for Administrators
Leadership to Maximize SW-PBIS
Dr. Chris Chris Borgmeier and Verne Ferguson, MS
Implementing and sustaining SW-PBIS requires strong leadership at the building and district level. This session for school and district leaders will focus on ways to maximize efforts and investment in SW-PBIS by moving beyond “train and hope activities” to effective long term systems change. Proven strategies will be presented that administrators can use to maximize efforts to improve school climate, reduce problem behavior, improve classroom practices, and implement supports for students with challenging behavior.

Group with Administrator Discount: $75 off total registration
If you register three or more attendees and at least one of them is an administrator, you will receive $75 off the total registration price. In order to receive this discount, you will need to register the attendees together in the same form.

To register: http://pbisconference.org/



Retired Nurse Volunteers to Ensure Kids Start Kindergarten Ready to Learn

Marylou Paterson will do whatever it takes to get a child ready for school. As a result of her determination to help children succeed, she has worked as a nurse for over 45 years in four different states. After moving to Bend in 1989, Marylou served as one of Bend-La Pine’s first district nurses. Oftentimes commuting from Tumalo to La Pine to help students in need, she did anything and everything from medication distribution to catheterizations. It was during this time that Marylou heard of Central Oregon’s Healthy Beginning’s program through the High Desert Education Service District. With a shared passion for providing medical attention and advocacy, Marylou became a volunteer for Healthy Beginnings immediately after retirement to help provide free health screenings for children who have yet to enter school.

Partnering with parents to raise healthy kids

Characterized by a kind demeanor, instant likability, and years of experience, Marylou is known for her ability to calm toddlers and preschoolers, connect with parents, and accurately assess needs.

Working most frequently at the health and behavior screening stations, Marylou states that she has, “met very few parents who don’t want the best for their child. Healthy Beginnings is a way for them to see if they’re doing well or if they need to do more or even if they can help others… you don’t have to have a sick kid to come to Healthy Beginnings.”

Besides providing obvious health benefits, screenings also foster and build community, as parents of young children have the opportunity to meet and support each other. Similarly, Healthy Beginnings is designed to work alongside other advocacy organizations by providing more time for check-ups in conjunction with other pediatric appointments.

Helping kids start kindergarten ready to learn

In addition to these partnerships, Healthy Beginnings volunteers often boast years of experience which culminates in free health screenings from health professionals with diverse backgrounds and expertise. However, the volunteers often self-identify simply as professionals who just “love children.” In Marylou’s own words, “The best parts of volunteering are the moments with the little tiny babies,” and thanks to Healthy Beginnings screenings, these babies are later able to enter kindergarten prepared — something that only 60% of most Oregonian kindergarteners are equipped to do according to Oregon Learns.  

Providing more than just health screenings

Besides attending screenings, Marylou also recommends that parents help their kids by substituting time in front of electronics with human interaction and encouraging healthy lifestyles early on. Having worked with hundreds of families and children over the course of an impressive career, Marylou knowingly acknowledges that,parenting is the hardest job there is, and anything we [Healthy Beginnings] can do to help is worth it.” Whether that means eye checks, nutritional education, or both, Marylou and other volunteers like her are dedicated to helping the children and families of Central Oregon the best way they know how.

For more information on Healthy Beginnings, the free screenings, or volunteering, please click here.

Written by McKenna Boen

Request for Presenters for PBIS Conference

The goal of the Central Oregon Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) Conference is to provide schools and districts evidence-based tools and strategies in order to implement all aspects of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS).  MTSS has been shown to improve overall school climate, maximize academic achievement and address the specific needs of all students in early childhood through high school.

Here is the key information regarding the conference:

The date of the Central Oregon PBIS Conference is Monday, April 23, 2018 at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend, Oregon.

Sessions that have recently been requested by districts and previous attendees:

  • Getting Started/PBIS 101
  • Using PBIS in my classroom
  • Equitable practices
  • Family/ Community engagement
  • Tips for Substitutes
  • PBIS for Bus Drivers
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Systems and Policy
  • Trauma Informed Practices
  • PBIS in Special Education
  • Sensory Integration

Other session topics are welcomed and encouraged!

Sessions are 75 minutes in length.

Proposals are due by March 1, 2018 and you will be notified by March 8th whether or not your submission has been accepted.

If interested, apply here

School Retool: A unique opportunity for Central Oregon

Last week kicked off the start of an exciting partnership with Stanford University’s d. School K12 Lab and the design firm IDEO. 20 school leaders from the Central Oregon region took part in School Retool – a fellowship that helps school leaders to redesign their school cultures to foster innovation in teaching and learning. The High Desert Education Service District, together with Innovate Oregon and the Construct Foundation, is bringing this unique opportunity to Central Oregon.

For more information on School Retool: http://www.schoolretool.org/


January is Board Appreciation Month

High Desert Education Service District would like to thank our Board of Directors for putting children first! While our resources are limited, our gratitude to our board members for their time and dedication is limitless.

These nine individuals spend countless hours working with staff to ensure we are able to provide excellent service to all of the districts in the region. Their dedication to the High Desert ESD Board directly impacts the wonderful children we have the privilege of serving and supports the amazing programs we provide for them.

Without their steadfast leadership we could not direct so much time and attention to the children and their families. May they be rewarded tenfold for donating their most valuable resource – time!

HDESD Board of Directors:

Seana Barry
Kathy Biles – Vice-Chair
Gwen Carr
John Lang
Mike McGowan
Bob Moore
Carol Moorehead – Chair
Doug Nelson
Scott Reynolds

Evergreen Spiral Walk

The Behavior Intervention Center did something extra special today for the students. They made an evergreen spiral walk. Small battery operated candles were placed about the spiral and each child was given their own candle to place in the spiral-adding more light. Soft music played and everyone practiced being quiet, taking mindful steps and noticing  the senses. It was a welcome calm relief from all the parties and hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Alyce Hatch Center helps special needs kids

In today’s Bulletin, December 7, 2017, Janet Stevens wrote a great article about the Alyce Hatch Center. Here’s a portion of it:

Though I had read about it earlier, my first real exposure to the Alyce Hatch Center occurred in 1989, shortly after my younger daughter, Mary, was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, a genetic condition that includes intellectual disability.

It was a scary time in my life. Although her dad and I had suspected Mary might have a disability, it didn’t become official until a week shy of her third birthday. Neither I nor her father knew quite what to expect or how to go about expecting it.

Pediatrician Mary Brown told us about the Alyce Hatch Center, if I remember correctly, and before long, Mary — tiny, skinny little Mary —enrolled in the school NW Juniper and NW Newport avenues.

The center was named for the late Alyce Hatch, a Bend woman who had given a lifetime of herself to volunteer causes in the area, many of them involving children. It had begun life in the basement of the United Methodist Church in the 1970s, and got a new name and new building in 1984.

Today, the center is the hub of services for Bend children from birth to age 5 with a variety of special needs. It’s run by the High Desert Education Service District, which offers similar services throughout Central Oregon. More than 200 children attend school at Alyce Hatch Center daily, a number that will surely increase by spring, says Diane Tipton, director of early childhood education for the ESD. Regionwide, the ESD oversees early-learning programs for more than 600 children.

To read the full article, you can find it here.



Creating a Circuit of Fun


High Desert ESD and Career and Technical Education partnered with Sky View Middle School to launch Innovate Oregon (Innovate Oregon’s) Make-a-thon program in Central Oregon. At the Make-a-thon, teams comprised of middle school students, educators, and industry professionals. These teams gathered for an afternoon of creating solutions using electronic circuit boards.

Pictured here is Shawna Bell, HDESD financial analyst, and Reid who worked together on a circuit board. Reid, who is a 7th grader said, “This is the best programming I have ever done in my entire life.” Pretty cool considering Reid placed 13th out of 60 at state for robotics.

The Make-a-thon model brings together a diverse set of perspectives (students, educators, professionals) in a non-typical environment where teams are challenged to learn, design, and create a solution together.

USAjobs Workshop Helps Create Natural Resources Career Pathways for Youth

Central Oregon STEM Hub partnered with the Deschutes National Forest, Ochoco National Forest and, Bureau of Land Management on a USAjobs Youth Workshop in Redmond.

At these events, Central Oregon youth will hear about seasonal positions and will interact with firefighters, wildlife biologists, botanists, human resources specialists, public affairs staff and others to understand what each job entails and will be offered help refining their resume for open positions.

The need for a USAjobs Youth Workshop was born out of the Central Oregon STEM Hub’s Natural Resource Pathways Workgroup over the last year. Partners recognized that youth encountered a multitude of challenges in navigating the federal hiring process in order to gain a seasonal position with a public land agency. These challenges include a short window to apply, the need for a highly technical and specific resume to demonstrate qualifications, and an increasingly large and competitive pool of applicants.

The next workshop will be held on November 8 from 9 to 1pm at the Ochoco National Forest Supervisor’s office, 3160 NE 3rd Street in Prineville, Oregon.

Seasonal Recruitment is open for the BLM and opens November 14th for the Forest Service.

ABC Time in Miss Louise’s Class

In Miss Louise early childhood speech and language class, these youngsters are working their letters. They are using wood pieces from Handwriting Without Tears material to learn the alphabet. In today’s class, they are learning how to make the letter ‘D’ using the big line and big circle and matching them to the letter on the paper.

Learning how to support families who live with Traumatic Brain Injury

Roberta DePompei from the University of Ohio brought her passion and expertise to educational professionals, community organizations and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) team members to our fall Regional TBI training. The importance of developing social language, anatomy of the brain, and how to best support the family who lives with TBI were just a few of the many topics shared.

For more information on TBI, visit our site.


Migrant Education program gears up for preschool students

The Migrant Education program is looking forward to serving their preschool students and families this year by providing each child with a back pack filled with school supplies. To get the incoming students ready, the Migrant program will work with preschool students and their families to develop a learning plan that will ease the transition to their first year of school. The goal is to help make their learning experience a fun and rewarding one.  Jamie Benton is pictured here getting the back packs ready for their new home.

 “El Programa de Educación Migrante se adapta a los estudiantes de preescolar”

El programa de Educación para Migrantes está deseando servir a sus estudiantes y familias preescolares este año proveyendo a cada niño con una mochila llena de útiles escolares. Para que los estudiantes recién llegados estén listos, el programa migrante trabajará con los estudiantes de preescolar y sus familias para desarrollar un plan de aprendizaje que facilite la transición a su primer año de escuela. El objetivo es ayudar a que su experiencia de aprendizaje sea divertida y gratificante. Jamie Benton se muestra aquí para conseguir las mochilas listas para su nuevo hogar.

Ambitious Teaching for Math-in-Real-Life

These teachers attended, ‘Ambitious Teaching’ a Math-in-Real-Life Cohort meeting.

In the photo they are working on a geometry assignment; trying to fold a square piece of paper and cut out polygons with a single cut. It actually involves a mathematical theorem that says every pattern (plane graph) of straight-line cuts can be made by folding and using one complete straight cut.

Teachers were feeling the disequilibrium that their students experience when they don’t understand how to solve a problem easily.

A day of processing innovative ideas and prioritizing organizational culture

Dave Burke, assistant superintendent for the ESD, welcomed the Administrative Leadership Team (ALT) on Thursday, August 24 with a packed agenda. The ALT consists of supervisors and program managers who oversee the 20+ programs under the ESD umbrella. The retreat focused on collecting powerful feedback, processing innovative ideas and prioritizing organizational culture. In the photo, Karina Smith, (left) Migrant Education Program Coordinator collaborates with Geraldine Casimiro, Oregon Mexico Education Program/Language Interpreter Coordinator.

Better Together assembles VISTA team from all corners of the US!

Better Together would like to introduce you their 2017-2018 AmeriCorps VISTA team. We are so excited they are here bringing their talents to support youth success in the region!

Photo: Front row (L-R)
Shenika Cumberbatch is our STEM Partnership VISTA from Orlando, Florida. She will be supporting the Central Oregon STEM Hub at the HDESD with a focus on community engagement.

Jenny Huang is our College Engagement VISTA from Boise, Idaho. She is working on building systems that focus on college transitions in Prineville and La Pine.

Jordan Trivette is our AmeriCorps VISTA Leader from Boone, North Carolina, who started in March after serving a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the NC Migrant Education Program.

Tim McCleary, our YouthCareerConnect VISTA from Fairbanks, Alaska is returning for a 2nd year of service, focusing on connecting youth to meaningful internships and careers and helping develop the Volunteer Central Oregon website.

Back Row: (L-R)
Clarissa Hinshaw is our Mentor Programs VISTA from Heyworth, Illinois. She is based at Big Brother Big Sisters in Bend with a focus on developing and implementing school based mentoring programs in middle schools in central Oregon.

Gina Beer is our Building Healthy Connections VISTA from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She serves at the Family Resource Center in Bend with a focus on increasing FRC’s capacity to deliver parenting education/community engagement with families living in poverty.

McKaelie Wolfe is our Teen Programs VISTA from Newberg, Oregon. She is based at “The Zone” an after school program for teens at the Jefferson County Middle School in Madras with a focus on capacity building, fundraising and program development.

Not pictured:
Melanie Acevedo is our Community Engagement VISTA from West Springfield, Massachusetts. She supports the 8+9 project, which focuses on the transition between middle and high school, with capacity building, program development, and community engagement.

Katie Stewart is our Latino Success Initiative VISTA from Sisters, Oregon. Her efforts support the Latino Success Initiative—which is tasked with building capacity to engage and encourage increased opportunities and resources for low-income Latino students and families.

Welcome VISTA team members…we are glad you are here!


What is the High Desert Education Service District?

HDESD is a publicly-funded agency that partners with local school districts to provide high-quality, cost-effective and locally responsive education services at a regional level. These services range from business, legal, and administrative support to school improvement efforts and special education programs.

What types of services do we provide?

Services for Children with Special Needs

We partner with local school districts to provide services to families and students who are at risk or have special educational needs.

School Improvement Services

We provide consultation, on-site and regional professional development, consortia, grant projects, and student programs.

Administrative Services

We support business, administrative and operational functions for HDESD and partner school districts. Other services are also available to support home and alternative learning.

Information Services

We offer a wide range of information technology and instructional support services to both HDESD and school district staff.

The Promise of Oregon banner with student photos

Students are Oregon’s greatest natural resource, and we must invest in their education. High Desert ESD is keeping the Promise of Oregon. To learn more, visit: promiseoregon.org

The Oregon School Boards Association, a member services organization based in Salem, founded “The Promise of Oregon” campaign in 2014 to focus attention on the accomplishments of Oregon’s kindergarten-14 students and the need to adequately fund public education.

Safe Oregon logo

SafeOregon is a program created for Oregon students, parents, school staff, community members and law enforcement officers to report and respond to student safety threats.

Call or Text: 844-472-3367

Our Vision

Be a state leader in providing quality services to schools, children and families

Our Mission

Improve student outcomes with Excellence, Equity and Efficiency

Our Motto

Together, Engaging Students to Succeed

Recent Posts

A Vision Teacher Reflects On Student Success

Brenda Krueger met Jaylee King when she was 8 years old. Although the two spend a few hours together every day now, their first interaction was evidence of the work ahead of them. Jaylee, who was born with DiGeorge Syndrome, is totally blind, nonverbal, and extremely...

read more

The AP Institute of the Cascades has arrived!

The School Improvement program has been working on this event for over a year. There are approximately 133 registrations from Canada, South Korea, Alaska to Massachusetts and everywhere in between.  In addition to those who registered for the institute, we have 10...

read more

Our Central Oregon School District Partners

Bend-La Pine Schools logo
Crook County Schools logo
Redmond Schools logo
Sisters Schools logo
Additional Partners

We also partner with:

  • Jefferson County 509J School District
  • Black Butte School District
  • Culver School District
  • North Central Counties School District
  • Harney Education Service District
  • Jefferson Education Service District
  • Grant Education Service District
  • Lake Education Service District
  • Southern Oregon Education Service District
  • Umatilla/Morrow Education Service District