Publisher’s Note

Bend Families, Activities for kids in Bend, Family Activities in Central Oregon, Things to do for families in Bend

Angela Switzer

With the close of summer and back-to-school excitement in the air, as parents, it’s time to put away the flip-flops and refocus on education and family.

For starters, we thought you’d like to meet our superintendent of schools, Shay Mikalson, who’s got one successful year under his belt and big plans for another.  Last year, Mikalson implemented the digital conversion in our schools with iPads being issued to every student in grades three through 12.  (See Lizzi Katz’s interview on page 10).

With tech an important part of how our kids learn in and out of the school setting, Jacklyn Brandt gleans some pretty cool family-friendly apps and websites for your arsenal. (See page 12).

Are your kids interested in Spanish, French, or even Japanese?  Find out just how important the mastery of a foreign language is to your kids’ future.  Central Oregon has some outstanding options for dual enrollment and international education (see page 31).

Speaking of education, parents, are you hoping to be more environmentally conscious when it comes to packing your kids’ school lunches?  On page 18, discover some amazing locally sourced foods and how to package them in a kid-friendly way (bento boxes anyone?)

Just as important as formal education are extra-curricular activities, including everyone’s favorite – dance!  Annette Benedetti does the footwork and discovers Central Oregon’s diverse dance studios, which offer something for everyone.

While school is important, let’s not forget that knowledge comes from other sources, including family influences and the great outdoors.  Don’t miss the interview with Maxwell Friedman (featured on our cover), an inspiring young man, who has found passion in his music.  The great outdoors calls to Jim Anderson, who recently enjoyed an outing with the Children’s Forest, educating middle-schoolers and pulling weeds.

Finally, catch up on news of the gap year, an option more and more families are considering for their teens before college.  Take a glimpse at the pros and cons, as well as some helpful resources for getting started on this journey in Leaving the Nest (page 45).

Happy reading…enjoy the structured autumn days and the joy of kids learning every day!

All the best to you and yours…

Angela Switzer

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