High school students earning college credit

The students in the Madras High School Digital Photography I class are taking pictures as part of their class portfolio. These Career and Technical Education (CTE) students are also earning college credit through Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC)  in the Integrated Media program. At the completion of high school, they can continue their education at MHCC to earn a one-year certificate or two year degree in Digital Media. This in one of the fastest growing sectors in Oregon.

Nancy Hitchcock receives 2015 Judy Rowe Award

Nancy Hitchcock, Occupational Therapist for the High Desert Education Service (HDESD), has been recognized for her outstanding achievements in providing education-based therapy services to Oregon children. As the 2015 recipient of the Judy Rowe Exemplary Therapist Award, Hitchcock was nominated by her colleagues for her professional expertise and dedication to children and families in Central Oregon. The award is presented each year by Regional and Statewide Services for Students with Orthopedic Impairments (RSOI) at the annual TIES (Therapy in Educational Setting) Conference.

* Nancy Hitchcock center with award

HDESD Liaisons gather for their Spring Meeting

Meet High Desert Education Service District Liaisons.  Several years ago, the ESD administrative office decided that with over 250 ESD employees, it needed a point person who could assist program staff with leave activity and purchasing.   The definition of a Liaison is a person who helps organizations or groups to work together and provide information. These Liaisons not only help their departments with communication, they also wear other hats. Some are office managers, executive assistants, or program support personal but one thing they all have in common is team work.  Hats off to these employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. An unknown author said, “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.”  So true for this group.

Also pictured  is Jayel Hayden, Human Resource Director

Regional Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) team hosted a state-wide training

The Regional Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) team hosted a state-wide training on April 1.  Nearly 100 educators from around the state came to learn from Tim Feeney, who speaks to audiences all over the world about collaborative supports for individuals with brain injury and challenging behaviors. No one ever leaves empty handed, they always have a tool they can put in place the next day for a student who is struggling to regulate their behavior.

April is National Occupational Therapy Month

High Desert Education Service District honors the service and dedication of our Occupational Therapy team. These therapists serve over 400 children, birth to 21 in 7 counties.

The High Desert Education Service District’s Occupational Therapists help to maximize a child’s independence both at home (ages birth to 3) and in the educational setting (ages 3 to 21). OT’s collaborate with students, families, teachers and school staff to meet each child’s individual needs as stated on the child’s IEP/IFSP/504 plan. OT services can include evaluation and development of intervention strategies to improve fine motor, sensory motor, self-regulation, and daily living skills in order to facilitate their development (birth-3) or access their education (3-21).

Pictured l to r: Steve Maddox, Lisa Hackett, Taryn Dubose, Jodi Ferenz, Nancy Hitchcock and Rich Cedros

Not pictured: Renee Wilson,  Cheryl Even, Jenny Faircloth, Katie Diez and Katy Hietala

PBIS Welcomes 375 Participants

Over 375 teachers, administrators, and staff from the Early Childhood program and many others attended the 2015 Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) conference held in Central Oregon. This is the 6th year for the PBIS conference with Dr. Rob Horner as their keynote speaker. Rob Horner is the Alumni-Knight endowed professor of special education at the University of Oregon where he directs the Educational and Community Supports research unit.

Some of the break-out sessions include:

  • Bullying Prevention in PBIS
  • Keep Your Students In Class and On Task
  • Bullying Prevention in PBIS Part 2: Student Ownership
  • Individual Problem Solving for Students with Intensive Needs
  • Creating a Safe and Positive Playground with Systematic Supervision
  • Using Behavior Data with Academic Data for Yellow and Red Zone Interventions   
  • Reaching the Needs of Students in Poverty

If you would like more information on PBIS, check out their site: http://pbis-2015.hdesd.org/home


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, consortiums, 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.

Latest News

School Ski Day for Participants with Visual Impairments

On Wednesday, March 11th, Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) held its eighth annual ski day for Central Oregon students who are blind or have visual impairments (VI) at Mt. Bachelor. Students participating have a diverse range of vision abilities, and the ski day is all... read more

Our Central Oregon School District Partners

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