HDESD’s Early Childhood speech and language team gathered for a quick photo while preparing for their virtual pirate theme zoom circle.

“We have found that having a theme each week helps the 3-5 year-olds stay engaged during our group circle time here in Redmond. Since it was pirate week, we dressed up like pirates and the kids dressed up too! We read a pirate book, sang songs, and dressed our pirate in pirate clothing. During their speech sessions, they all had pirate themed activities to focus on their individual speech or language goal. Each child was mailed pirate themed activities for each day of the week and the supplies to complete the activities. We believe that distance learning can be fun and engaging even for our littlest friends!”  – Kris Courtwright-Waldron, speech-language pathologist

Left to right: Kris Courtwright-Waldron, (SLP), Marie Pesek (SLP-A), and Shelley Laya (SLP intern)


Central Oregon rallies around families to address pandemic school aged child care crisis

In a rapid response to support local families, a team of educators, service providers and business and civic leaders came together in August under the leadership of Better Together to respond to the region’s evolving child care crisis created by the pandemic. In only four weeks, they have identified a short-term solution and secured $750,000 to launch work in Deschutes County. As most schools in Central Oregon kick off the year with Comprehensive Distance Learning, many families are struggling to balance work and child care while also supporting their kids who are attending school at home.

By the end of September, some of the region’s most experienced out-of-school child care organizations will be expanding their hours, calendars, service locations and expertise to accommodate the needs of local families while schools are operating under Comprehensive Distance Learning. This expanded capacity will provide 5 days of full-day school age child care each week for nearly 1,000 children ages 5-10 at 26 sites in Deschutes County.

Full article can be found here!

Ceremonies provide a platform for praise

A graduation ceremony signifies school is special! Ceremonies provide a platform for praise. Praise is pivotal for a young child. Praise for effort in their learning journey can begin a lifelong, positive association with school. This is a valuable moment of positive self-definition that can have enormous value in the social-emotional development of children. — Alyssa Van Syckel, HDESD ABA Teacher

Photo: Drive-by celebrations for children transitioning to Kindergarten

Kindness is always beautiful

Just look at the amazing work the Migrant Education program is doing to serve Central Oregon families in need. These fine folks reached out to several churches and received enough donations to fill 300 boxes of non-perishable items. Thank you for taking care of others.

Judy Rowe Therapist of the Year Award

We are honored and excited to announce that HDESD has recognized two outstanding therapists for the Judy Rowe Therapist of the Year Award.  This is a tremendous accomplishment for Katie-Ann Kailey and Steve Maddox.  

Steve- many letters of support from colleagues highlighted his years of service and dedication to students, families, and educators.

Katie-Ann- Nominated by Crook County School district staff for her innovation, creativity, and vibrant personality. 

Thank you both for your exceptional work!  

Fun-filled day at Mt. Bachelor

HDESD’s Vision Team paired with Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) for a sunny, fun-filled day at Mt. Bachelor.  Beginners got to enjoy the new Woodward Start Park and a couple of students tried the chair lift for the very first time. One student, a snowboarder, was speeding down the slopes and the teachers of the visually impaired had a hard time keeping up with her and her OAS guide.  The group was very thankful the storm held off until the end of the day.  

Thank You First Interstate Bank!

First Interstate Bank is an early investor in, i4Education, the innovation arm of the High Desert ESD! With their support, we’re taking the ThinkUp innovation process to Silver Rail Elementary to unlock the great ideas of educators and systematically connect them with local entrepreneurs to workshop, prototype and test their ideas. 

January is Board Appreciation Month

Thank you to our board members for their commitment to our students, staff and community. We are grateful for their service and dedication.Their service on the High Desert ESD Board directly impacts all of the wonderful children we have the privilege of serving and supports the incredible programs we provide for them. Without their steadfast leadership we could not focus all of our time and attention on serving children and their families.  Thank you from the entire HDESD team!

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.


HDESD Ready Schools, Safe Learners Operational Blueprint

(Updated August 11, 2020)

Under ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, each school has been directed to submit a plan to the district in order to provide on-site and/or hybrid instruction. Districts must submit each school’s plan to the local school board and make the plans available to the public. This form is to be used to document a district’s, school’s or program’s plan to ensure students can return for the 2020-21 school year, in some form, in accordance with Executive Order 20-25(10).

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

Former students can request records

Former students who were served by the High Desert Education Service District may request their records. Records will remain confidentially filed until the age of 26 for Central Oregon Regional Program and until the age of 22 for Early Intervention/Early Childhood...

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Having a ball with virtual speech therapy

"George Cocores and Alicia Fox, with the Early Intervention Evaluation Team, spent some time with our grandson for speech concerns back in July.  Due to COVID, the entire evaluation was virtual.  When they determined Henry could benefit from speech therapy, I wondered...

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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