Angela Switzer: Publisher’s Note: Summer 2015

By Angela Switzer, Associate Publisher

Wow! Spring is certainly in full force here in Central Oregon—the time of year when we’re surrounded briefly by lush green before the dry, dusty brown that comes with living in a high desert.  Add in some cooler spring temperatures before the heat arrives, and it’s the perfect time to recreate out-of-doors with your kiddos.

Most students are wrapping up the school year, getting those last minute projects done, especially high school seniors who are looking forward to graduation and that exciting transition into adulthood. You may be surprised, however, to discover that Oregon has one of the worst graduation rates in the nation. In 2014, our state achieved an all time record of 72 percent of students who graduated on time. Compare this with the national average, which is 81 percent overall. The three Bend high schools do perform above state and national levels, averaging 87 percent, but LaPine and Redmond High Schools fall short with 72 and 67 percent graduation rates respectively.

It is a tough reality to recognize that we are failing many of our teenagers.

In this issue, we explore parental advice (Feature, page 14), and also take a look at an amazing arts education program at Caldera, near Sisters, which works with at-risk teens—and raises graduation rates to nearly perfect! (See Culture, page 29) Our Outdoors section (page 36) also explores this theme—about finding ways to engage students—and we are proud to provide a robust list of summer camps and programs in our Calendar.

Enjoy!

—Angela Switzer

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