Bend-La Pine Schools Consider Campus Safety Measures

Bend – La Pine school officials are considering new construction to improve the safety of campuses in the district. Before tonight’s school board meeting the budget committee will talk about the best way to move forward with the construction of safety vestibules on 19 different campuses listed here:

Kingston Elementary

Ponderosa Elementary

Summit High

W.E. Miller Elementary

Bear Creek Elementary

Elk Meadow Elementary

Juniper Elementary

La Pine Elementary

La Pine High

Rosland Elementary

Thompson Elementary

Three Rivers Elementary

Bend Senior High

High Desert Middle

La Pine Middle

Mountain View High

Cascade Middle

Education Center

Ensworth Elementary

In May voters approved a $268 million bond and one percent of that bound, roughly $2.6 million dollars, has been allocated for the construction of the vestibules, which would secure the main entry point to the schools.

The project has taken on added urgency in the wake of the Parkland school shooting in Florida.

Four Local High Schools Participate in a Food Drive Competition

 

It’s a friendly competition among local high schools, all for an important cause.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has a look at four local high schools that are helping a local non-profit make a difference.
The winners of the food drive challenge will be announced and presented with their prizes at Pine Tavern Restaurant on May 1st.

Though you can no longer drop off cans to the high school of your choice, you can still support them and NeighborImpact with a monetary donation.
When you donate make sure to write the school name you’d like to support in the donation memo line.
Every one dollar donation allows the organization to distribute 7 pounds of food or five meals.

Bend-La Pine Student Walkout

Students Leave Classrooms Calling for Stricter Gun Reforms

Thousands of high school students staged a walkout from their classes today calling for stricter gun reforms and paying tribute to the victims of the Columbine Massacre. At Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, a silent tribute was held for the victims,19 years after the fatal shots were fired.

A spokesperson for Bend-La Pine schools says students who missed classes today will be marked with unexcused absences per state guidance and the consequences for the absences will follow regular protocols. The consequences for the absence are due to participation in the walk-out, not the message of the walkout.

Thousands March Against Gun Violence in Bend

Nearly 4,000 community members, led by local high school students, gathered in Drake Park on Saturday to participate in the March for Our Lives – a national movement against gun violence sparked by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people in February.

Demonstrators began gathering in Drake Park around 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. As the crowd grew local high school students gave speeches asking for politicians to do more to keep them safe in schools. One student sang “Imagine” by John Lennon as Bend Mayor Casey Roats and city council member Nathan Boddie stood on stage behind him.

At noon students, carrying a blue ‘March for Our Lives,’ banner led a march through downtown Bend. The march was so large that the students leading the march came back around to Drake Park before many protestors had even left.

Demonstrators said they were marching specifically for common sense gun control measures including banning bump stocks, semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles; and implementing comprehensive background checks and funding mental health care.

This echoed the messages of the roughly 800 marches that took place across the country on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Washington D.C., which was led by survivors of the Parkland shooting, but was meant to raise awareness for all victims of gun violence.

The Parkland students shared the stage with other young people from across the country including Edna Chavez from Los Angles who lost her brother to gun violence; 11-year-old Naomi Wadler who spoke to raise awareness about African-American women and girls who were victims of gun violence; and Yolanda King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

While millions marched across the U.S., the movement did see plenty of criticism.

The NRA out out a video responding to the march, saying that the students leading the march were part of, and funded by, a “liberal agenda.” The video also said that the answer to school safety would be providing funding for armed guards in schools and arming teachers.

Here in Bend, Central Oregon Daily saw plenty of comments against the march on our Facebook page. Many community members expressed that they felt it was ridiculous for people to march against their Second Amendment Rights. Others said they should march against cars, since annually more young people die in car accidents then due to gun violence, and some echoed the NRA’s message that the march was part of a political agenda.

Bend-La Pine School Officials Weigh Options for Protecting Staff and Students on Campus

With thousands of students speaking out Wednesday on National Walkout Day in Bend and across the country, Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton sat down with a member of the Bend-La Pine School District to discuss the challenges facing school administrators and teachers as they try to keep our students safe on campus.

OSU-Cascades Gets Green Light for Expansion

State Legislature Approves Funding for OSU-Cascades on Final Day of Short Session

in the closing minutes of the 2018 short legislative session on Saturday, the Oregon House and Senate approved a budget which included $39 million in bonds for OSU-Cascades.
The bonds will be instrumental in moving forward with a second academic building on the Bend campus.
Retiring Representative Gene Whisnant from Sunriver officially presented the measure in the House as his last act in the legislature.
Governor Kate Brown says she will sign it into law.


Here is a statement released by OSU-Cascades officials on Sunday afternoon:

“Oregon State University’s campus in Bend is a step closer to meeting the needs of its growing student enrollment following the Oregon Legislature on Saturday approving $39 million in state-backed bonds for OSU-Cascades’ second academic building.

The facility will serve STEAM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

“We are very grateful for the support of Governor Brown, Speaker Kotek, Senator Knopp, Representative Rayfield and many legislators for the continued expansion of higher education programming in Central Oregon,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “We are also grateful to the many generous donors whose gifts of over $9 million helped match this state funding.”

“Funding for this academic building will allow us to serve our mission in Oregon, and especially in Central Oregon, where there are no other four-year university options closer than three hours,” said Ray.

The legislature approved $9.5 million in state bonding in the 2017 session in part to support site preparation of undeveloped campus property where the new academic building will be constructed.

At the time, OSU officials pledged to seek additional state funding for the building in the 2018 legislative session. Over the past months, Central Oregon community, business and economic leaders, advocates with the Beaver Caucus, and undergraduate students traveled to Salem to support funding for increasing campus capacity in what is the fastest growing region in Oregon.

“We anticipate construction to begin in summer 2019, following remediation of portions of the pumice mine and landfill that adjoin our campus,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “This new academic building will house classrooms and laboratories and be ready for students in fall 2021.””

Threat at Bend Senior High

Bend Police Increasing Presence at Bend Senior High Tuesday After Report of School Threat

Administrators at Bend Senior High School released the following letter to parents and students on Monday night to warn them about a police investigation involving a reported school threat, and the increased presence that Bend Police will have on campus on Tuesday when students return from the three-day holiday weekend:

February 19, 2018

Dear Bend Senior High School families,

In recent days, we have seen students and community members responding to, and talking about, the terrible act of violence that took place at a Parkland, Florida high school. For those who work and attend school in classroom environments every day – or send their students to school every day – we may find that events like the tragedy in Parkland feel close to home and raise intense emotions.

This weekend we talked with a student who reported overhearing two other students talking about general school attacks in ways that were perceived to be threatening to the Bend Senior High School learning environment. Bend Police Department and school administrators spent countless hours throughout the weekend attempting to follow up on this lead. The students who were said to have made these remarks were not identified and the single witness statement did not yield a viable lead. We will continue to investigate any new information that becomes available.

I share this with you tonight so that you are aware that we will have an increased police presence at Bend Senior High School tomorrow, which is the date that the reporting student said the two youth were allegedly discussing violence could take place at our school.

We and our partners at Bend Police Department have invested many resources into looking into this tip – all hours that we give willingly and with passion as we want to do everything we can to keep our students and schools safe.

That said, we have an opportunity for a ‘teachable moment’ where we can talk to our students about tone that is appropriate to use when having conversations with others about the tragedies that we are too frequently seeing on our mobile devices, on social media and on television.

It is my hope that you can help to reinforce to your student that if they see something, they should always say something. Please encourage your students to contact the main office, talk to a staff member or counselor, or use the SafeOregon tip line that they can find under the First Step icon on their iPad desktops at any time. (Parents, you can download First Step on your own device. Search for First Step OR in your app store.)

This single incident is not indicative of the Bend Senior High School culture or students. We, and our law enforcement partners, believe that our school will be safe for all students tomorrow. Patrols and police presence will be increased in an abundance of caution. Additionally, we understand that in informing our community of this threat we run the risk of other students copying this behavior. However, we felt it was important to communicate with our parents about this situation tonight.

Thank you for your support of our Lava Bear community.

Sincerely,

Bend Senior High School Administration Team

Hands-On Learning For Students Looking For Careers Right Out of High School

Governor Kate Brown made a case Monday for increased education funding and a focus on technical education programs across the state. The governor said more apprenticeships and hands-on learning will help students learn skills needed for higher-paying jobs in industries like technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.

Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed visited one technical education class at Redmond High School and files this report.

Recognition for Inclusion

On Thursday Bend High School received national recognition from the Special Olympics for the schools efforts in providing inclusive sports and activities for its students with and without disabilities.

Bend Senior High School is one of just 52 schools nationwide to be named a Special Olympics Unified Champion School this year and one of roughly 80 school across the county that have received this award ever.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan was at the school as they unveiled a new banner congratulating their efforts and got a special message from a famous Oregon athlete.

First Step: a suicide prevention app

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10-24 year olds in the state of Oregon and after two young suicides recently rocked the Central Oregon community, the Bend-La Pine School District pushed up the release date of an app that they’re hoping could save lives.

In light of recent events involving the deaths of two students at Summit and Redmond high schools earlier this month the Bend-La Pine School District is aiming to prevent any other young adult from taking their own life. Just before students left for the winter break, the school district rolled out the appFirst Step,” which aims to help students dealing with stressful situations, depressive or suicidal thoughts.

“First Step” provides resources for students who may need an outlet for discussion by connecting them to non-profits like lines for life, which allows students to communicate face to face, thought text or e-mail.

It also provides a link to “youth line,” a non-profit that connects students with other students to discuss problems they may currently be struggling with someone who understands. The app also provides students with tips on what to do when you’re feeling down as well as local organizations that provide free counseling.

Bend La-Pine schools’ Julianne Repman says that the school district wants “to open the door, and if someone has questions about suicide, we want to let them know they’re cared for and that they’ve been heard, and help them find assistance through a trusted adult or through one of the resources you’ll find here on this app.”

The school district says that the application was added to all iPads issued to around 11,000 sixth through 12th grade students. Students without a school-issued iPad and the general public can access First Step through the website firststeporegon.org.