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Nov. 1, 2022
Helping families stay connected to Bend-La Pine Schools
Three key goals that guide all we do in our schools
From Superintendent Steven Cook:
During the past few weeks, I have had the great pleasure to meet with more than 40 community and school groups to share a message about the State of our Schools. I am so proud to be able to share with families, business leaders, civic organizations, neighborhood associations and staff about the work our schools are doing, the pride I share in our many accomplishments and the goals we set before us. 

We have much to be proud of in Bend-La Pine Schools and getting to share that is a great source of joy for me - our focus on early literacy, award-winning staff, incredible career technical education courses and steadily increasing graduation rates to name just a few. 

During the presentation, I also share our vision and goals for the future. No matter the group I’m sharing with, this is the section where I see people the most engaged and excited. I want to take a moment and share with all of you these goals. 

First of all - at the forefront of everything we do - is our mission around education. That's why our first priority is for students to develop a strong academic foundation.

Next, we want to ensure that our schools are preparing students for life in the world. Our goal is for every student to have a passion, purpose and plan for their future. Whether that’s college, a skilled trade, the military or community service, we want our students to have a plan and graduate with a limitless future ahead. 

Finally, we are prioritizing the culture within our schools. We want all students and families to experience wellness, inclusion and belonging in our schools. When any of us think back to our own experiences in school, we can instantly feel whether or not that was a place where we felt we belonged. Remembering some years, teachers and classmates, makes us smile - while recalling other times may bring up memories of isolation, loneliness or feeling out of place. Our 33 schools are like second homes to our students and we want them to be safe, welcoming spaces where students feel they belong. 

I am excited to continue to share these goals with our community, staff and students in the months and years ahead. 

Thank you for your partnership, 

Dr. Steven Cook, Superintendent 
November construction bond for Bend-La Pine Schools
News & Updates
Stay connected to learn about delays, closures

Snow it begins! Now is a great time to remind staff and families about how to stay connected to find out about delays and closures due to inclement weather. 
How to find out if there is a delay to the start of the school day, an early release or school closure:

  • Visit our website: (an alert banner will be posted to every page in the case of a delay, closure or early release.)
  • Call our hotline, which will be updated with weather delay or closure information: English 541-323-7669 or Spanish 541-355-0044.
  • Subscribe to MyStop to receive push notifications on your mobile device about changes to the school bus. Sign up today:
  • Visit our social media pages: Facebook or Twitter
  • Sign up for BLConnect, an emergency alert text messaging system.
  • Tune it to local media.
Learn more about how we make decisions:
Schools team with Deschutes County for Connect Workshops

Students are going to hear about marijuana, tobacco and other drugs
one way or another – it's best if they hear about it from their parents.
Join Deschutes County Health for a free, 2-hour parent workshop to learn information and skills to navigate conversations with your kids about marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Connect and learn with other parents in a non-judgmental Environment.
Upcoming Connect Workshop sessions:
  • Bend Senior High School (English) – Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m.
  •  Bend Senior High School and Pilot Butte Middle School (Spanish) – Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.
  •  Pilot Butte Middle School (English) – Monday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.
To sign up, please visit Deschutes County Connect Workshops. 
Board policies in review: learn what's up next at Nov. 8 meeting

The Board of Directors will review policies and regulations focused on field trips and interscholastic activities , inclement weather and emergency closure procedures, bilingual education, and restorative practices in relation to student conduct and discipline at their November 8 board meeting.

To view drafts of upcoming policies and regulations in review, please visit our Policies in Review webpage.
Bend-La Pine Schools Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month – a month recognized by the federal government and a great time for students, families and community members to celebrate and learn more about the rich and diverse cultures, traditions and histories of Native Americans. 

Here in Central Oregon, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs offer many excellent resources about our local shared history and the cultures of tribes in this region. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs include members from the Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute tribes, each of which has its own language and traditions. Our community has much to learn from the rich knowledge and practices of our local indigenous community. Read more about the history of these tribes:

In our schools, students learn about the historical context and current-day contributions of Native Americans through lessons in social studies as well as in other content areas, in accordance with our state learning standards. 

We recognize and honor our students, staff, families, and community members who identify as Native American, indigenous, or tribal members, and we honor the culture and wisdom they contribute to our community, as stewards of this land on which we live and learn together. 
Kudos and Celebrations
Bend-La Pine Schools' Outstanding Staff of the Year
Educator of the Year
Maria Leistad
Second Grade Teacher
Three Rivers School

Three Rivers School second grade teacher Maria Leistad is Bend-La Pine Schools Educator of the Year! Mrs. Leistad has served the Sunriver community for eight years and is known for her caring demeanor and creativity in the classroom.

Principal Tim Broadbent said, “To know Mrs. Leistad is to know a human who loves her students deeply, carries their burdens and cares for each one unconditionally. Her classroom is a magical place and her students enter each day knowing that something wonderful will happen.”
Support Staff of the Year
Jessica Weisgerber
Media Manager
R.E. Jewell Elementary

Jessica Weisgerber, media manager at R. E. Jewell Elementary School is Bend-La Pine Schools Outstanding Support Staff Person of the Year!

Ms. W has served as media manager at R.E. Jewell Elementary School for the past three years.

She serves seven classes a day and absolutely loves reading to students and helping them connect with books. Ms. W knows how best to use technology while also serving supporting students social, emotional and literacy needs.
Administrator of the Year
Lisa Birk
Bear Creek Elementary

Bear Creek Elementary School Principal Lisa Birk is Bend-La Pine Schools Distinguished Administrator of the Year!

A 15-year veteran of Bend-La Pine Schools, Ms. Birk is an incredible leader. She’s someone who knows when to lead a conversation and when to listen. She is good at developing warm, caring relationships with those around her - including staff, students and families - and she also holds folks to high expectations.

Champion for Students: Mountain View High's Office Manager Lindsey Corley
We’re excited to celebrate Lindsey Corley, office manager at Mountain View High School as our most recent Champion for Students!

Lindsey is pretty incredible and we think that most people who work alongside her likely feel the same, but we guess that most people who simply pass through the Mountain View front lobby can sense it. Lindsey’s warmth, kindness and good humor permeate through the office and through the school. As office manager, she has her hand in so much - she is smart and friendly and her customer service is through the roof, whether that means getting a sub, answering questions, updating the website, directing traffic and just making sure to greet people with a smile.

Principal Michael Hicks told us, “If she weren’t here, school would come to a screeching halt. She does it all. Lindsey is the heart of Mountain View.”

Lindsey Corley, thank you for everything you do to create a warm, inclusive welcoming environment at Mountain View High School. You are instrumental in shaping the school culture and helping staff and students thrive.

Do you know of someone who is a Champion for Students?

Caldera High School earns recognition for innovative building design
See why Caldera High School, Bend-La Pine Schools' newest high school, received recognition for creating innovative learning environments, earning a Building a Better Central Oregon award.
Bend FFA returns from successful national convention
Bend FFA just returned from the 95th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis where they had great representation at the convention, and students experienced a tremendous amount of growth during the week, according to FFA advisor Jaimee Brentano.  
Highlights from the trip:
  • FFA students give back to the community by planting 5,000 bulbs in a local park through National Days of Service
  • Recent Bend-La Pine Schools’ graduates Lauren Neumann, Chelsea Buhmann and Kailei Ouellette received their American FFA Degree – the highest level of achievement in the national organization, only about 1% of members ever achieve this honor.
  • Lauren Neumann also served as one of the nine delegates for Oregon FFA during National FFA committee meetings. She was a part of debating business items of the organization and helped to vote on important matters that move National FFA forward.
  • 2019 graduate Josiah Cruikshank (who attended ag classes at Mountain View High) finished off his year as an officer of the National FFA (there’s only six elected each year). They watched him lead sessions, connect with members, and provide his reflections to the members through a retiring address speech.
Classroom Corner
Bend Tech Academy students support breast cancer survivors

Business leadership students at Bend Tech Academy at Marshall are putting their skills to work for a good cause as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Students are designing and filling out cards to share with breast cancer survivors ("You are strong") and designing and selling T-shirts to help raise money for Sara's Project, a local breast cancer support and education effort. The class will also soon visit the cancer center at St. Charles to learn more about treatment and prevention of the disease. We love to see our students giving back to our community in such creative, thoughtful ways!
Things are getting intense at Realms High School

It was recently Intensives Week at Realms High School, which means students take a break from regular classes to do a deep dive into all sorts of interactive academic offerings, including fermentation
cooking, culinary, aviation, archery and more!
Having fun with pumpkins at Elk Meadow Elementary

Students at Elk Meadow Elementary School transformed pumpkins into their favorite book characters … including Gerald and Piggy, Gossie and Spot!
Key Dates
Upcoming key dates and days of recognition:

  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Nov. 1-2 - Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead
  • Nov. 6 – Daylight Savings ends
  • Nov. 7-11 – National School Psychology Week 
  • Nov. 8 – Election Day, Remember to vote!
  • Nov. 8 – School Board Meeting, La Pine High School at 5:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 11 – Veterans Day, no school
  • Nov. 13 – World Kindness Day
  • Nov. 15 – School Board Meeting, Sky View Middle School at 5:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 18 - College & Career Day
  • Nov. 21-25 – Thanksgiving Break, no school
  • Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving
  • Nov. 28-Dec. 6 – Hanukkah
Resources for Families
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