The Great American Eclipse is almost upon us!
Did you know…in the past three decades, there have been five solar eclipses in the US. Earth has experienced 33 solar eclipses since 2000. Below is some interesting information on what will take place during the eclipse:
Sharpening Shadows As the Sun dwindles to a thin crescent, shadows become much sharper. Look at your own shadow — notice how you can see the shadows of individual hairs on your head or arms.
Animal and Human Behavior As the sunlight dims, you may spot the local fauna acting in a peculiar manner. Many start to settle in as if night is falling. Notice the people around you — they’re likely more animated than any local wildlife!
Weather As totality nears, you may notice a perceptible drop in the temperature, and the wind may pick up or change direction.
Temperature The temperature will likely continue to cool slightly after totality concludes and begin to rise shortly thereafter. However, the change may be subtle and could be masked by a shift in wind speed and direction.
Photographing it Don’t waste your time photographing it. Totality is brief, and you won’t experience it again for years. Experienced, professional eclipse photographers will produce the best pictures, but only you will get your first-person experience.
What if I miss the eclipse? Despair not. There will be solar eclipses visible from parts of the contiguous U.S. on Oct. 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024. The one in 2024 will be a total solar eclipse visible from Texas to Maine.
The AP Institute of the Cascades has arrived!
The AP Institute of the Cascades has finally 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 instructors from all over the US as well. This is the only AP Institute in Oregon and there hasn’t been one in the state since 2006. This event will save our local school district thousands of dollars and bring excellent professional development to our teachers and benefit our students by providing Advanced Placement courses all over the state.
Inspiring girls to pursue STEM fields as career choices
Central Oregon Tech Trek Camp was held at OSU Cascades, as a way to inspire incoming 8th grade girls to pursue STEM fields as career choices. According to research, girls give up science and math in about 8th-9th grade, due to a number of factors, not the least of which is intimidation by the boys in their classes. Growing a network of STEM oriented girls for support, the premise is that girls will be more likely to continue in these fields into high school and college. The campers will continue their support group through a closed facebook group, and through the friendships they developed over the week-long camp.
The excitement of the group was awe inspiring! 36 Girls from middle schools including Jefferson, Warm Springs, Elton Gregory, Obsidian, La Pine, Pilot Butte, High Desert, Three Rivers, Culver, and Crook County attended the camp. Science and Math teachers at the schools nominated the girls, who were interviewed by sponsoring American Association of University Women (AAUW) members. The committee worked all year to make the camp a success. A number of local and statewide grants added to the success of the camp. Camp counselors were Interns from COCC, with camp experience, and numerous STEM professionals shared their experience in workshops and at the information night. Main sponsors were AAUW of Oregon and AAUW of Bend, partnering with OSU Cascades, and a number of local STEM related businesses and agencies. The group hopes to double the participation next year, and aims for 100 girls by 2019.
La Pine’s Jemima Pearson is a role model for all young adults
Jemima Pearson is 21-years-old and she’s a homeowner in La Pine Oregon. Yes, you read that right… she owns a home at 21. And, she drives a car that she purchased with money earned working as a pony ride guide at Sunriver Stables. Jemima also lives with autism spectrum disorder and is part of La Pine High School’s Transition Program. The program helps students with intellectual and developmental disabilities transition to independent and productive lives after high school.
“When we met Jemima, she would not talk to anyone or eat in front of anyone. She refused to use the phone or go into new environments. Eventually, she became comfortable in our classroom, but was totally uncomfortable in any community setting. I remember that she refused to talk to new people including cashiers,” said Ken Thorp, Life Skills and Transition Program coordinator for La Pine High School. “It took seven years to get where she is today and we are so proud of her.”
Learning from autism
Pearson explained that autism has been like an “invisible teacher” to her.
“I’ve learned a lot of things, but one of the most important things is that it’s okay to be different,” she said. “You don’t have to be made of the same material as everyone else to be successful.”
Loving and working with animals
Pearson has been employed by Sunriver Stables for the past three years and is currently working six hours each day, five days a week. She said she loves animals.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved horses and I’ve been telling myself that I would be working with horses when I grew up since I was little,” said Pearson
To read the rest of Jemima’s story, chick here!
National Summer Learning Day - 7/13/17
National Summer Learning Day was enjoyed by many, including HDESD Superintendent Paul Andrews. With over 80 students enrolled in the Migrant Education summer school, the program celebrated today’s learning experience by having access to a variety of “hands on” activities, including STEM, Deschutes Public Library, Redmond Fire and Rescue, Children’s Forest of Central Oregon, OSU-Cascades, Wildfire Comics and Math in Real Life.
Summer school is more than a classroom experience and the Migrant Education Program would like to thank all the community partners in helping make this day a success.
Migrant Education offers summer school to all migrant students for three weeks each summer with the purpose of providing additional academic support in both Deschutes and Jefferson county.
New executive director named for Healthy Beginnings
This week, the Healthy Beginnings board of directors and the High Desert Education Service District announced that Diane Murray-Fleck has been selected as the next Executive Director for Healthy Beginnings. Murray-Fleck will replace Holly Remer, who will retire on July 1 after serving as the agency’s executive director for 16 years. Healthy Beginnings is both a non-profit organization and a program of High Desert ESD that provides free 12-point screenings to children birth through age 5. The program serves approximately 700 children annually in the communities of La Pine, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Bend, Madras and Prineville. Screenings focus on development (speech, motor and concepts), behavior, vision, hearing, health, dental, nutrition, kindergarten readiness and literacy. Along with screenings, Healthy Beginnings provides parent education, referral and follow-up, ensuring families are connected to the resources they need.
“We are excited to have Diane joining the Healthy Beginnings team and we look forward to her leadership and insights that will help us expand our reach,” said Healthy Beginnings board president Jennifer Moss Lewis.
Murray-Fleck is a licensed clinical social worker with more than ten years of experience in the education and non-profit sectors. She has also been a private business owner, executive coach/trainer and national speaker. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services from Potsdam College in New York and her Masters in Social Work from New York’s Syracuse University.
“In addition to bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the Healthy Beginnings program, Ms. Murray-Fleck also demonstrates extraordinary energy and passion for this cause to promote early childhood health and development in Central Oregon,” said HDESD Deputy Superintendent Paul Andrews who will serve as HDESD superintendent beginning July 1.
Having served as chair of the Portland public school Stephenson Foundation, Murray-Fleck is also passionate about community building and fundraising.
“The mission of Healthy Beginnings is in complete alignment with who I am as a social worker, leadership coach, public speaker, parent and community member,” said Murray-Fleck.
This month, we say farewell and happy trails to our fearless leader John Rexford
After more than 32 years in education, John is retiring from his role as Superintendent for HDESD.
Funny thing is, John never wanted to be an educator. Born and raised in a family of teachers, he was determined to do something different. His dad was his high school math teacher, and his mom, trained as a business and English teacher, worked as a substitute.
“I was firm set on not to go into education,” said Rexford with a laugh. In college, he earned a business degree from Oregon State University while working on the docks in Newport, Oregon, where he stayed on as a fishmonger after graduation.
During the long days and nights on the docks, he learned grit, perseverance and teamwork, but he also discovered that he loved teaching. His first teaching experience was alongside coworkers as he shared the ins-and-outs of cleaning, dressing and packing fish for sale at local fish markets or for wholesale customers around the world.
After eight years of working in the salty sea air, and with a baby girl in his arms, he traded fishing lines and canning equipment for a temporary office job with the Winston-Dillard School District. It was there that he found his calling in education.
“There really is nothing more satisfying than knowing that what you do every day makes a difference in the lives of children – OUR children – and that every decision we make can have a monumental effect on the future of our world in positive, unbelievable ways,” said Rexford of his discovery.
Still, he went on to earn a master’s degree in business, just in case he wanted to return to the private sector.
“I thought I might as well have a plan in case this fuzzy-feel-good business of teaching and learning turns out to be short lived,” said Rexford. “I plugged away learning from some of the best in the business including teachers, bus drivers and superintendents. I built budgets, I built schools, I built Lego castles in classrooms and I built relationships,” said Rexford. When he turned 40, he took his first education class and went on to earn an education administration credential at 42.
“Isn’t life funny, how it comes full circle in so many ways? I am my parents’ son, that is for sure,” he said.
In 1989 he was hired by Bend-La Pine Schools, where he enjoyed a 23-year career before accepting the position to lead the HDESD in 2012.
Under John’s leadership, the HDESD team has expanded its role as a regional leader and facilitator. Some examples include: the creation and development of Better Together Central Oregon, a collaborative community movement to ensure success for Central Oregon children from before birth to career; development of the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon in conjunction with the Forest Service and other partners; development and implementation of Cascades Commitment to ensure high school students have opportunities to achieve college credit while in high school; and convening a variety of “Hubs” for the state including STEM and Early Learning.
At the end of June, John will hand the HDESD reins to Paul Andrews who will expand the organization’s reach even further. John and Paul have worked closely to enhance partnerships within and outside of the organization while staying focused on their organization’s most important role: improving the lives of children and families.
In retirement, John plans to have a continued role in education, supporting children and families at the regional and state level. He will also continue teaching occasional graduate classes in educational administration and leadership. He is most looking forward to traveling with his wife, spending time with his grandchildren, and supporting the Oregon State Beavers.
National Service Opportunity
Better Together is recruiting full-time and summer AmeriCorps VISTAs. The VISTAs will work to build capacity with Better Together and community partner youth serving organizations in Central Oregon. Benefits include relevant work experience, professional development, bi-weekly living allowance, choice of education award or end of service stipend, and being part of a great team.
To apply, please fill out an application on the AmeriCorps Website. Start date: 7/15/2017. Please feel free to contact Better Together with any questions regarding the application process.
Applications can be found here!
Encouraging CTE Programs from an Early Start
CTE (Career & Technical Education) spent the day at Sky View Middle School in Bend for their first CTE Day! This was in partnership with Mountain View High School. Mt. View CTE teachers along with a few Mt. View high school students highlighted their programs with hands-on activities for the 8th graders preparing to forecast for next year’s classes. This was a great way to encourage CTE programs from an early start. Some of the activities included: soil testing, electric car driving, cooking Chinese fried rice, creating stickers, engineering a structure to support weight made out of paper, edible welding rods, and robotics to name a few. Thank you to the teachers and staff at both schools for putting on such a great event for the students.
Chick Tech... increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers
During the first part of February, approximately 20 high school girls from Crook County, Culver and Madras were invited to participate in ‘Chick Tech’ at the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) campus in Madras. Chick Tech’s mission is dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers.
Students participated in soft circuits or 3D printing workshops, aimed at enhancing their knowledge and collectively taking time to recognize unique skills that women bring to technology fields. A 3D printing company from Gresham as well as professor Yong Bakos (and two students) from the OSU-Cascades computer science department were on hand to lead the workshop.
We are extremely grateful for the support of COCC and the leadership of Chick Tech in helping organize this event and hope for it to be a launching point to get even more young women here in central Oregon interested in pursuing meaningful careers in technology.
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 NeedsWe partner with local school districts to provide services to families and students who are at risk or have special educational needs.
School Improvement ServicesWe provide consultation, on-site and regional professional development, consortiums, grant projects, and student programs.
Administrative ServicesWe support business, administrative and operational functions for HDESD and partner school districts. Other services are also available to support home and alternative learning.
Information ServicesWe offer a wide range of information technology and instructional support services to both HDESD and school district staff.
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.
Be a state leader in providing quality services to schools, children and families
Improve student outcomes with Excellence, Equity and Efficiency
Together, Engaging Students to Succeed
Our Central Oregon School District Partners
- 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