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 about having a safe, fun day where vision impairments are not an obstacle. Speaking of fun…the photo is student Jacob Scott and his guide having a snowball fight.

The partnership between OAS and the High Desert Educational Service District allows approximately 14 students throughout the area as far as La Pine, and as young as seven years old, to ski and snowboard with OAS guides. The OAS guides are skilled and knowledgeable thanks to the ongoing guidance and training from local skier Nancy Stevens. Stevens was born blind but hasn’t let that stop her. She has cross-country skied for over 40 years and competed in Nagano, Japan, through the U.S. Paralympic Cross Country Ski Team.

Nooooo…was their answer when asked if they wanted to meet Smokey the Bear

Of course that only lasted a second once Smokey the Bear entered the room wearing his personalized ranger hat, blue jeans and belt. The children and Smokey the Bear soon became fast friends.

Stacy Lacey from the Deschutes National Forest and Smokey the Bear visited with the children at the Early Childhood program in Crook County to share Smokey’s five rules: 1) Only you can prevent wildfires 2) Always be careful with fire 3) Never play with matches or lighters 4) Always watch your campfire and 5) Make sure your campfire is completely out before leaving it.

Smokey the Bear is America’s wildfire prevention icon. He has educated generations of Americans about their role in preventing human-caused wildfires. Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest running public service advertising campaign in U.S. History

Thank you Redmond Fire Department for visiting Redmond Early Childhood Program

Did you know that the tip of a fire hose glows in the dark?  The children from the Redmond Early Childhood program learned this and more when the Redmond Fire Department stopped by for a visit.  They also learned that the shoes they wear have steel toes and a metal plate built into the sole of their shoes to protect them from the heat.  After learning about the gear they wear, all were invited to check out the fire engine. Thank you Redmond Fire Department for teaching our youngsters about fire safety.

Better Together releases baseline report on student success indicators in Central Oregon

“Find your role” is the community call to action

This week, a local movement called Better Together released the first and most comprehensive collection of Central Oregon data on student success indicators. As Central Oregon’s most collaborative effort to support and advocate for children and young adults, Better Together partners are asking community members to find a role in helping youth excel from cradle to career. The Baseline Report features data on 25 community-identified measures that research has shown to significantly impact high school graduation rates and overall school success.

“There has never been a more inclusive or expansive effort to address the needs of youth in Central Oregon,” said John Rexford, Superintendent for the High Desert Education Service District that oversees the Better Together initiative. “Better Together includes a broad reach of educators, service agencies, government agencies, business leaders and community members who are taking this data and creating a systematic approach to helping our children be successful in school and life.”

According to Rexford, the Baseline Report data is intended to guide and inspire collective community action and to engage community members beyond just the education system to get involved.

Click here to view Better Together Baseline Report.

For more information, contact Anna Higgins via phone: 541.693.5773 or email:

Meet our Special Programs Department

Central Oregon Regional Program provides support to students with low incidence disabilities in the following seven counties (Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Harney, Gilliam, Wheeler and Sherman).  In collaboration with local school districts, Early Intervention (EI), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), families and community agencies, support is provided to students with visual impairments, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, deaf-blindness, autism, and traumatic brain injury. The services provided may include evaluation, consultation/coaching, direct instruction, as well as adaptive equipment to ensure access and safety.

Thank you!

A big shout out and thank you to all of our partners in law enforcement, fire safety, public and mental heath, juvenile justice, and law who work to make Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson county public and private schools safer!

Today, they joined HDESD Superintendent John Rexford and other regional school leaders to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the Safe Schools Alliance.

“Our partnership is growing stronger each year as we continue working together to enhance the safety of our students, staff, schools and communities,” said Rexford. “Through the Safe School Alliance, we are more equipped as a community to reduce crime, prevent bullying and create a better environment for students and educators.”

In photo:
Bend Police Department
Crook Cty. Sheriff’s Office
Deschutes Cty. Sheriff’s Office
Jefferson Cty. Sheriff’s Office
Prineville Police Department
Redmond Police Department
Sunriver Police Department
Deschutes Cty. DA
Crook Cty. DA
Jefferson Cty. DA
Bend-La Pine Schools
Crook Cty. School District
Culver School District
Jefferson Cty. School Dist.
Redmond School District
Sisters School District
High Desert ESD
Deschutes Cty. Juvenile Justice
Jefferson Cty. Juvenile Justice
Crook County Juvenile Justice
Bend Fire Department
Crook Cty. Fire Department
Jefferson Cty. Fire Dept.
La Pine Fire Department
Redmond Fire Department
Sisters Fire Department
Sunriver Fire Department
Crook Cty. Public Health
Deschutes Cty. Public Health
Cascade Academy
Seven Peaks School
St. Francis School
St. Thomas Academy
Trinity Lutheran School
Oregon Youth Authority


Happy Friendship Day

The children at the Early Childhood program in Redmond were busy making cookies and coloring hearts to celebrate ‘Friendship Day.’ I think we have a budding artist on our hands showing her lovely, colored heart.

The High Desert Education Service District provides early childhood developmental support for children birth to 5 years of age (prior to kindergarten). Services include screening, evaluation, and specially designed instruction for young children with special needs in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties.

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

Thank you High Desert Porsche Club!

The High Desert Porsche Club of Bend donated $3,600 to High Desert Driver Education Program.   This fund will put 40 students through the Deschutes County Skidcar Training Program. The students will learn skills that will stay with them for a life time. We would like... read more

We appreciate our Board of Directors!

The children attending Small Wonders Preschool, located at the Alyce Hatch Center, got busy with stickers and markers creating original art work for our Board of Directors. Gov. Kitzhaber has signed a proclamation declaring January as “School Board Recognition Month.”... 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