Get ready for a surge in new students entering the Bend-La Pine school district this year. Administrators are estimating an influx of approximately 1,100 new Kindergarten children starting school in the fall. Between the years 2000 and 2016, Bend-La Pine schools’ total enrollment grew by more than 5,000 students. With the population of Bend growing annually by 2 -3%, schools are bursting at the seams, with no end in sight.
Middle school and high school students from across the Redmond School District recently participated
in a competition sponsored by the Redmond Education Foundation called Teen Tank. Inspired by the hit television show, Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their product ideas to a panel of successful industry judges, Teen Tank competitors similarly pitched their social, business and community-focused projects to a panel of local judges.
Teams were given ve minutes to pitch and then responded to questions from the panel of judges. Obsidian Middle School produced this year’s winning team, garnering a check for $2,500
to be directed toward their proposed project, “Growing Hope,” a community garden to be located off 15th Street near Obsidian Middle School. Members of the community will now have the opportunity to rent out spaces in the available beds to grow their own produce.
Voters recently chose to help mitigate the effects of rapid growth by passing the Bend-LaPine schools bond measure, making $268 million available for the construction of several much-needed new schools and also allowing for repairs to existing schools. The funding will help alleviate overcrowding issues and will modernize existing schools, address- ing safety issues, as well.
Bend Science Station Joins OSU
There’s good news for Central Ore- gon’s young aspiring scientists. The Bend Science Station (BSS) will soon make their home on the OSU-Cas- cades campus. Since 2002, BSS has been providing innovative hands-on science classes and camps for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Their fully equipped laboratories provide the essential backdrop for children to make discoveries not possible in a regular classroom. BSS is launching a Capital Campaign to build a state-of-the-art facility on the college campus, which will assure their continued success in educating children and training teachers in STEM areas for the future. They have already raised $2 million of the $2.3 million they need to start the building.