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:


Two High Desert ESD employees receive Northwest Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports awards

Two High Desert ESD employees were the recipients of awards handed out by the Northwest Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (NWPBIS) Network at their annual conference in Eugene earlier in March.

Catherine Halliwell-Templin received the Champion Award which acknowledges and recognizes a practitioner who has made an outstanding contribution to PBIS and the social-behavioral success of children and families in the Pacific Northwest.  It is awarded to a leader who has demonstrated sustained support for PBIS and the Network’s targeted goal of sustained implementation.

Paul Andrews received the President’s Award which is given at the discretion of the Board President to acknowledge and recognize outstanding contribution to the Northwest PBIS Network.

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

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