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March 18, 2022
Helping families stay connected to Bend-La Pine Schools
Feeling Safe, Welcomed and Included in This Ever-Shifting World
From Superintendent Steven Cook:
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what the changes in masking requirements mean for our schools, students, staff and community. I’ve been considering the logistics and details, of course, but even more so, reflecting on how we can create connections and support one another as we once again navigate a shifting world together.

For some, this is an exciting, long-anticipated change - a joy, a palpable relief. For others, this change brings feelings of worry, anxiety, and even anger. And there are likely plenty of folks who aren’t sure what to feel about the change.

Even though our choices are visible to those around us, my hope is that our students and staff don’t feel like they are taking sides. As I’ve shared, I will likely wear a mask sometimes but not at other times, depending on the conditions and circumstances. Staff and students may choose to share their thinking or they may choose to remain silent on the why behind whether or not they are wearing a mask. And that needs to be OK and respected.

We are committed to affirming folks’ right to make their own decisions on this and to creating an atmosphere of respect. Thank you, families, for modeling for our students how to be kind and gracious to one another as all individuals make the best choices about masks for themselves and their families.

Mask or no mask, we want to foster a community where all feel respected and included. That inclusive atmosphere also extends beyond masking. We are committed to ensuring our schools are safe, welcoming spaces where each student feels known and accepted as they are so they are able to learn and grow.

As we head into Spring Break, days grow longer and weather shifts, families will also see some shifts in our schools. When we return from break, volunteers will be invited to return to our classrooms and schools. We have been eager for volunteers to return to partner and support our schools. Teachers and schools in need of volunteers are reaching out to families about available opportunities.  Additionally, our schools are planning to host more after school in-person events and activities this spring, so watch for details about ways to connect with your school community.

Spring, for me, has always been a time of optimism, hope and new beginnings. I am optimistic when I think about the road in front of us and the opportunities for our students to continue to grow and thrive in our schools with all of our support.

In partnership,

Dr. Steven Cook, Superintendent
We saw a great example of fostering community during a recent visit to Bear Creek Elementary School. Be sure to check out the heart-warming video of kindergartners singing (and signing!) the school's theme song, which includes the lyric: "working together to be our best, is what the world needs now"
News & Updates
Meet New Principals at Silver Rail, Cascade and Pacific Crest
New principals have been selected at three of our schools. Take a moment to get to know Megan Filiault at Silver Rail Elementary, Sean Keating at Cascade Middle and Gabe Pagano at Cascade Middle.
Megan Filiault, Silver Rail Elementary School

“Every single child has personal experiences and those experiences matter. I care about their needs and their wishes and I want to focus on academic learning as well as social-emotional learning. When kids feel good, they do good. When kids have empathy for others, they pass that on to the world.”

Gabe Pagano, Cascade Middle School

“I want all students to leave Cascade with the knowledge of what it’s going to take to be successful in the years to come. Middle school goes so fast. I want us to enjoy these moments together, to slow down and let students be kids and enjoy their middle school years.”

Sean Keating, Pacific Crest Middle School

“I am excited to work alongside the talented staff at Pacific Crest, who are dedicated to fostering academic excellence and character development. Middle school is a wonderful time for kids to try new things and we are there to guide them. I love the spirit and energy and open mindedness of middle school.”

Join Our Team: Teacher Job Fair Set April 11
Bend-La Pine Schools is hosting our annual job fair April 11, 2022 from 12 to 6 p.m. at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond.

Representatives from Bend-La Pine Schools, as well as other school districts in the region, will be on hand to answer questions about current openings and offer information about their district. The job fair is for licensed teachers and other certified staff members, serving grades K-12. Please make sure to register in advance to avoid delays on the day of the event. This event is free and open to the public

Policies Under Review: Share Your Thoughts by Tuesday
Kudos and Celebrations
Champions For Students: Amber Linn and Mikki Morris
Amber Linn is a Champion for Students! She was recently awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching - honoring her as one of the top math teachers in the nation. She is the only award recipient in the state!

Math is one of those subjects that can be intimidating to some students. Amber works every day to demystify math for students, make it accessible for youngest students so they develop confidence and the building blocks they need.

Former Principal Kevin Gehrig remembers Amber getting inspiration for math lessons everywhere, like on her drives to school. He says Amber has “an insatiable eagerness to learn about math, teach her students about math and support colleagues in teaching math. Her enthusiasm, energy and creativity when it comes to math instruction are inspiring for everyone in a school community.”
It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of a home; and that's also true at La Pine Middle School, where Mikki Morris has made the kitchen the heart of the school! Join us in celebrating our Champion for Students, La Pine Middle School Kitchen Manager Mikki Morris!

Mikki shows tremendous pride in everything she does and it starts with the food itself: Mikki works hard to offer as many different entree options for students as she can; and she provides huge fresh fruit and vegetable offerings and a salad bar. She’s even gotten creative and invented a few new menu items like chicken bacon wraps. Mikki says this is important to her because her middle school students like a lot of options and they are HUNGRY. It fills her heart to see students getting their fill of healthy options.

Beyond pride in the food she serves, Mikki is a champion for students because of the heart she shows the students. She loves working with middle school students, saying “they are the ones who need us the most.” She welcomes students to volunteer in her program when safety allows and has served as a professional reference for students applying for jobs.

Winter Sports Round Up
Bend Senior High Unified Basketball Team Earns State Title
Join us in congratulating the Bend Senior High Unified Basketball team, who just won the state title! The team earned the second Unified basketball title in school history with a win over Forest Grove. Unified teams include students with special needs and additional students who serve as partners.

“We’re thrilled to have won a state championship,” head coach and teacher Robert Tadjiki said. “Unified is a special program that brings different types of kids together and allows them to become not just teammates, but friends. It’s part of our school culture. Playing on a Unified team teaches students patience, kindness and empathy. I’m honored to be a part of it and watching all of our players grow as people.”

The Bend Senior High team will now go on to compete at a national level, earning an invite to represent Oregon at the Special Olympics this summer.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Tadjiki, who also teaches a unified sports class that includes about 40 students.
La Pine High Wrestlers Earn State Title

Congratulations to the La Pine High School Hawks Wrestling Team on capturing the 3A State Championship!
Individual finishes for all top-three wrestlers from La Pine:
3rd Place - Tyson Flack of La Pine (106)
3rd Place - Kanoa Machin of La Pine (113)
1st Place - Landyn Philpott of La Pine (120)
1st Place - Devon Kerr of La Pine (132)
1st Place - Dylan Mann of La Pine (138)
3rd Place - Kaden Lorimor of La Pine (152)
2nd Place - Garrett Forbes of La Pine (160)
2nd Place - Dylan Hankey of La Pine (195)
3rd Place - Landen Roggenkamp of La Pine (220)

Mountain View High also had many top-three finishers during the 6A competition:
2nd Place - Scout Santos of Mountain View (113)
1st Place - Drew Jones of Mountain View (138)
3rd Place - Jackson Potts of Mountain View (145)
2nd Place - Liam Byrne of Mountain View (160)

Congrats are also in order for La Pine High's Kira Kerr who won first place in her weight class in the girls wrestling state tournament! Kira won in an 8-6 decision over the returning state champion!

Congrats also go to Mountain Mountain View’s Arianne Korish who earned third place and Bend High’s Analise Smith who placed second.
Mountain View, Caldera Swimmers Earn State Titles

Congrats to Mountain View's Diggory Dillingham on swimming his way to two state titles in the 100 and 50 yard freestyle.

Caldera High's Kamryn Meskill also earned first place in the 50 yard freestyle, the first state title in Caldera's history!
Bend Bowling Team Places 3rd at State

The Bend High Schools Boys Bowling Team recently represented well at the State High School Bowling Tourney, with Bend Senior High junior Seth Klaus placing third in the singles event with a combined three game score of a 667 and the Boys Team taking third overall, the highest they have placed so far at the state level!

The team is made up of players from four high schools in Bend (and one player from Ridgeview High), Bend Senior High, Caldera High, Mountain View High and Summit High.

The Bend Boys Bowling Team is qualified to compete in the National tournament in Lexington Kentucky this spring.
Summit High Boys Basketball Take Second in State

Congrats to Summit High School Boys Basketball on an amazing 27-1 season and taking home the silver in the 6A State Tourney!

La Pine Elementary Earns State Wellness Honor

Congrats to La Pine Elementary for recently earning the 2022 Oregon School wellness award from the Oregon Department of Education! This is huge honor! The annual award is given to schools that display outstanding wellness policies and practices and programs that promote healthy behaviors in students and staff.

La Pine Elementary physical education teacher Jack Thomas nominated the school for the honor and is part of the school’s Wellness Team, which helped spearhead many changes over the years.

“This honor is a really big deal. It’s great recognition for how our school community cares for the whole child, including physical health, mental health and nutrition,” said Thomas, who loves helping students develop physical fitness and new skills. “I hope students come away from my classes understanding that physical activity is an important part of a healthy life and that lesson can stick with them.”

School-wide wellness efforts include large-scale changes, like the addition of a full-time school counselor to support student mental health, as well as changes to the school culture, like offering school-made smoothies as celebration treats (instead of cookies or cupcakes, for instance).

As part of the honor, La Pine Elementary will receive statewide recognition, a personalized plaque and custom banner, and a $2,500 award to be used to further nutrition, physical activity and wellness efforts within the school.
Classroom Corner
Pi Day Fun at Caldera High

On Monday, March 14, Caldera High celebrated International Pi Day! Pi Day is celebrated by math (and pie) enthusiasts from around the world due to March 14 reading as 3/14 or 3.14, the first significant numbers of Pi. Pi is the ratio of the circumference of any circle to the diameter of that circle.
The Caldera Media Center hosted Pi Day all day with math students coming down to participate in a variety of math activities centered around Pi. Activities included cross-curricular with writing "Pi-kus" (think haikus) and some art activities. There was also a cross class competition AND a competition to see who can memorize the most digits of Pi. They rounded out the fun day with a raffle with math prizes and the grand prize - a personal pie!
Bear Creek Elementary Students Raise Over $28K 

Bear Creek Elementary students recently got comfortable with quite a few good books, reading for more than 60,000 minutes and raising more than $28,000 during their Read-a-thon to go toward the school and new music keyboards. Love seeing the readers celebrated on the Tower Theater marquee downtown Bend.
North Star Kindergartners Learn the Science of Machines

North Star Elementary School kindergartners received a visit from Susie Scientist. They discussed how machines use forces, such as a push or a pull, to do work.

Students learned how a wrecking ball can be used to knock down big walls. They also practiced using a paper wrecking ball to knock down plastic cups.
Key Dates
Upcoming key dates and days of recognition:

  • March 18 – Choice Option K-8 Applications Due
  • March 21-25 - Spring Break, no school
  • April - School Library Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Poetry Month
  • April 12 - School Board Meeting
  • April 13 - No School Elementary, School Conferences
  • April 14 - No School Elementary and Middle, School Conferences
  • April 15 - No School All Schools, School Conferences
  • April 21 - School Board Leadership Listening Session
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