‘Katie Calm Time’

The Behavior Intervention Center and Options students had access to these African Drums for less than a week.  We used them to do a surprise “Thank You” for our amazing OT, Katie Diez who comes to work with our students in groups every Tuesday.  The students have affectionately called it “Katie Calm time.”  We started having Katie come to the program as a proposal for our innovation grant.  She has helped the students using a multi-faceted approach to emotional regulation such as:  Mindfulness, Yoga Calm, Brain Gym and other techniques that have involved hands-on projects, Yoga, and other calming strategies.  The students did such a nice job, that we have decided to invest in drums for the program.  The students were able to work on turn taking, impulse control and social skills.  It was so wonderful to see students who normally struggle to get along encouraging one another and listening.  The drum resembles the heart beat and research has shown that it is a calming strategy in itself. Drumming has the potential to be a therapeutic technique that provides both relaxation and energy to the emotionally...

STEM Week is here!

May 1 – 7, 2017 marks STEM Week Oregon. STEM Week Oregon is a statewide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Register your class, school, organization or activity on the STEM Week Oregon website to show the statewide impact of STEM Hubs. Activities will be marked on the map and be eligible for PRIZE giveaways! http://stemoregon.org/stemweek2017/ http://stemoregon.org/ Photo: Students from Rimrock Expeditionary Alternative Learning Middle School in...

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 Special Education, at which time they will be destroyed. Contact 541-693-5700 for more information. In accordance with state and federal law (ORS 326.565, OAR 166-400-0060 & 34 CFR § 300.573), the HDESD is not required to keep records after former students have reached the age of 26.  At that time it is the practice of the HDESD to destroy student records.  Please contact Central Oregon Regional Program at 541.693.5700 to request...
From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. – Dr. Seuss

From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. – Dr. Seuss

HDESD’s Deputy Superintendent Paul Andrews was invited to Ms. Cron’s first grade class at Tom McCall Elementary in Redmond for the annual NEA’s Read Across America. Seuss’ silliness is contagious as you can see by this photo. Statistics show that children who are motivated about reading and read more do better in school.  Read Across America takes place on the closest school day to Dr. Seuss birthday which is on March 2nd. “Be awesome! Be a book Nut!” -Dr....
April marks Autism Awareness Month

April marks Autism Awareness Month

Our Autism program was established in 1984 with one Autism specialist who provided expertise throughout our service area. Today, we are proud to be home to nine Autism specialists, a number of specialized classrooms and a team of support staff who change the lives of children and families. Over the years, the team has provided direct, consultative and coaching support for children, families as well as special and general education teachers and staff. In addition to recognizing our team, Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.  Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. Central Oregon will be celebrating the 4th Annual Autism Walk is on Saturday, May 6, at the Highland Baptist Church, 3100 SW Highland Ave, in Redmond. To register for the walk go to, Autism Society Central Oregon 2017 Walk. Photo L to R: Autism Consultants/Specialists Joe Devine, Jennie Willis, Susan Zenor, Suzy Hayes, Margie Blackmore, Carol Cooley-Reid, Lauri Powers, Wendy Beall, Kitty Peterson and program secretary, Meg...
Horses touch the lives of children with special needs

Horses touch the lives of children with special needs

Something extraordinary happens when horses touch the lives of children with special needs. A relationship is formed—a partnership to inspire the discovery of trust, freedom, strength and hope. The Bridges Program is a partnership between High Desert ESD and the Bend La Pine School District to serve elementary children who are on the far end of the autism spectrum—many are non-verbal, using devices to communicate. All are unable to function in a typical elementary classroom. In an effort to decrease isolation for our students and their families, positively effect their learning goals and provide a sustainable avenue for being INCLUDED in our larger community we pitched an idea through the High Desert ESD’s innovation process. With an investment from the Innovation [leverage] Fund we kick-started a partnership with the Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, which affords 8 students the opportunity to attend Healing Reins every week. Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center is the only program east of the Cascades in Oregon that offers professionally accredited adaptive horse centered therapy to children and adults who experience a diverse range of needs and abilities. A devoted team of certified instructors and staff bring horse and people together in an alternative learning environment transforming lives in the process. Specific curriculum and equine-assisted activities are designed to address all aspects of mind, body and soul. With the help of specially trained volunteers and horses carefully selected for the work Healing Reins delivers horse centered programs that develop, nurture, and preserve healthy brain and body function to improve quality of...