On Sept. 13, Gov. Kate Brown experienced first-hand several innovative programs at High Desert Middle School in southeast Bend. Brown spoke Spanish with students in the Spanish Dual Immersion program and discussed with these students the benefits of bilingualism.
“I loved the bilingual program,” said Gov. Brown after interacting with students in the classroom. “I think it truly creates students who are ready to compete in a global economy.”
Brown visited a fine arts classroom, where students shared their passion for art. Gov. Brown said she believes in the importance of students having access to hands-on learning, like art.
“Art helps them be creative and helps them be innovative,” said Gov. Brown.
Oregon Department of Education’s Deputy Superintendent Dr. Salam Noor also visited High Desert with Brown and experienced the new culinary program, now in full swing. State officials also learned about High Desert’s modeling and design class in which students are introduced to the world of engineering and get to try their hands at traditional drafting and computer modeling.
The culinary, arts and pre-engineering courses serve as an introduction to courses offered at Bend Senior High School. The teachers at the middle and high school levels collaborate to ensure continuity to maximize student learning.
These courses are some of the new electives offered at High Desert, which has been an emphasis for Principal Brian Moran-Crook. Above all, however, Crook and the staff at High Desert endeavor to emphasize building relationships with students and families. “Relationships are the foundation of everything we do,” said Crook.
Find out more about High Desert Middle School at: www.bend.k12.or.us/HighDesert