Children’s Forest Receives Forest Service’s Highest Award

The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon has received the 2014 Forest Service’s Chief’s Honor Award, the highest award given by the Forest Service.

The Chief’s Honor Award publicly recognizes outstanding accomplishments that contribute to the Forest Service’s strategic goals. The prestigious honor was given to the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon, formerly the Deschutes Children’s Forest, for “Engaging Urban America,” through exemplary accomplishments in creating a Children’s Forest that inspires youth to be stewards of public lands through connections with nature.

In giving the award, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said, “I appreciate your work to double participation in environmental education programs, develop resources for teachers, parents and children, and raise overall community awareness of the critical link between time spent in nature and better health.”

Sean Ferrell, Volunteer and Partnerships Program Manager for the Deschutes National Forest, accepted the award at a ceremony on December 5, 2014 in Washington D.C. on behalf of the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon (CFCO). He will be accompanied by Paul Andrews (High Desert Education Service District), Bruce Abernethy (Bend La Pine School District), and Sue Jorgenson (Bend Park & Recreation District), who are all founding partners of the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon.

“From the beginning it has been the community partners who believed in the greatest possibility of the Children’s Forest, which to date has reached over 40% of our student population and offered programs in every school in Central Oregon,” Ferrell stated when learning of the award.

“We see hundreds of Central Oregon students flourishing from the Children’s Forest programs when they come through our Skyliners Lodge Discovery Center,” said Paul Andrews, Deputy Superintendent for the High Desert Education Service District which serves as the fiscal agent and employer for The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon. “These programs help our teachers take learning outside of the four classroom walls and into nature.”

Pictured left to right: Mary Wagner, Associate Chief of the Forest Service; Sue Jorgenson, Bend Parks & Recreation; Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service; Sage Ferrell, Mr. Ferrell’s daughter; Sean Ferrell, Deschutes National Forest; Paul Andrews, High Desert Education Service District and Bruce Abernethy, Bend La Pine School District.

This Culver High School student is using 3-D modeling software to illustrate a water wheel designed by the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) class, taught by Career and Technical Education teacher, Dale Crawford. Students in this class designed a water wheel for an irrigation water return stream at Lake Billy Chinook. As the waste water moves down the creek and moves the wheel, electricity is generated and powers a campground on the same property. It is estimated that close to $5 of electricity is generated by the water wheel on a daily basis.

A fun way to learn about technology

At Sisters Middle School, the after school SMILE Club students are building and flying quadcopters!  With the help of the ESD’s Educational Technology Coordinator, Steve Prull, teams of 3-4 students are building their own copter from a kit, and learning a bit about flight principles, physics, math, and engineering along the way.  What a fun way to learn about a new and exciting technology!

Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) is a precollege program at Oregon State University (OSU) supporting out-of-school time learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to improve student achievement and close the achievement gap for students from groups underrepresented in higher education in Oregon.

SMILE clubs and events engage students in STEM activities wherein the practices of art, design, and communication contribute to creative and innovative problem solving. At the Sisters Middle School this club is going to fly!

Meet Erin Leonard, Speech Language Pathologist

High Desert Education Service District employs over 200 staff members. Here’s a little behind the scenes of one such employee, Erin Leonard, Speech Language Pathologist.

“I have been a member of the HDESD team since January of 2014. I am a speech-language pathologist (SLP).

SLPs wear many hats; we work with people across the lifespan from infants to the elderly, targeting speech, language, swallowing, and cognition. As an SLP in early childhood intervention and early childhood special education, I work closely with kids and their families to provide individualized treatment targeting language acquisition and development, speech-sound disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, and feeding and swallowing difficulties.

I love seeing a child’s face light up when they feel successful and I’ve found that success comes in all shapes and sizes. Success might be saying a sound correctly, being able to sing along in circle with sign, or eating snack without trouble.

In my free time I enjoy hiking and camping, cuddling with my Cocker Spaniel, singing to my house plants, and sharing a meal with friends and family. I’m currently learning how to knit and I’m always on the lookout for a good book, the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe, and my next adventure–my fingers are crossed for some place warm and sunny.”

The Sisters High School fire sciences program now has an ambulance for realistic training

The Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD) delivered a reserve ambulance to the Sisters School District for use in the high school’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Fire Science program.

The ambulance was surplus to the district’s needs and will provide the students an opportunity to simulate treating injured patients in a realistic environment.

Sisters High School teacher Heather Johnson is the lead EMS instructor and program coordinator. The Sisters High School Emergency Medical Services and Fire Science Program relies on establishing and developing industry partnerships. The High Desert Educational Services District  Career Technical Education (CTE) department provides funds for equipment, teacher training and student training through the federal Perkins Act. Ray Hasart and Brook Rich from CTE have been instrumental in providing assistance to the program.

Central Oregon Community College (COCC) has worked closely with the High Desert Education Service District and Sisters High School to provide college credits for students who successfully complete the program. Students are able to earn five college credits for Introduction to EMS and Communication and Documentation.

Essential Skills in the Smarter Balanced Era

Bryan Toller, Mathematics Assessment Specialist from Oregon Department of Education, presented the Essential Skills requirement and the procedures for work sample administration to central Oregon teachers. Emphasis was placed on how teachers can structure activities during regular classroom instruction to promote student confidence and success.  The training also provided participants with an in-depth training and calibration to the Official Mathematics Scoring Guide including scoring student work samples to meet the Essential Skills requirement.

 

 

A Learning Experience in the Forest

Visually Impaired students from Redmond, Crook County, and Bend La Pine Schools schools got the opportunity to get up close and personal with various wild life at Skyliner Lodge in Bend. The Audubon Society was there to share their knowledge on various birds and the sounds they make.  Did you know that the Meadowlark is Oregon’s state bird? Forest Service biologist were also present to share and show information on bobcats, bears, and eagles. Students got to touch various animal skulls, feathers of large prey as well as their talons. A great day for learning in the outdoors!

 

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.

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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