HEP Celebration

The Central Oregon High School Equivalency Program (HEP) celebrated these four students as their first to complete the program and obtain their General Education Diploma (GED). HEP is an educational program sponsored by the federal government to help migrant students complete their studies and obtain their GED.

HDESD will reopen programs to in-person learning this fall

Dear HDESD families, partners and neighbors,

We are excited to announce that the High Desert Education School District expects to fully reopen programs to in-person learning starting this fall. We are working closely with our team, our board of directors and our partner school districts to plan for a successful school year which includes COVID-19 safety and mitigation measures. We will also continue our ongoing partnerships with local public health officials to help ensure the safety of our students, staff, families and communities.

For more information about health and safety, equity, and mental health supports, please visit the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year.

Culture of CARE Coaches are happy to be back!

Culture of CARE Coaches had their first in-person training on Wednesday at Tom McCall Elementary school in Redmond. They provided professional development on trauma-informed and restorative classroom strategies. They demonstrated proactive circles that staff could use to build belonging and community for both colleagues and students. Approximately 40 staff attended with highly positive feedback. 

Culture of CARE Coach team, left to right:  Sierra Jackson (from Jefferson County SD), and Amber McGill, Amy Yillik, Erin Taylor from HDESD

Alyce Hatch Center donates building and land to HDESD

The Alyce Hatch Center Inc. board of directors announced this week that they are donating their building, land and assets to High Desert Education Service District. Through this donation, the board’s goal is to continue the Hatch family legacy of serving young Central Oregon children with developmental disabilities and their families. The High Desert Education Service District will now own the building and property that they have leased from the nonprofit for the past 36 years. To continue reading…

Learning about plants

Children attending the early childhood program in La Pine drew their own plant pictures yesterday. They are learning about soil, sunlight, water and, air (what plants need), and seeds, roots, stems, leaves, and petals (parts of a flower).

We congratulate you, Maria!

Maria and her family have been with the Migrant Education program since her preschool days. The goal of the program is to support and ensure that all migrant students reach academic standards and graduate with a high school diploma. This will prepare them for further learning and employment.

Maria went above and beyond that goal by graduating with the highest honors and Valedictorian of her 2021 class at Redmond High School.

“As a senior at Redmond High School I was involved in leading multiple community service clubs and served as my class president. I plan on attending Washington and Lee University in the fall where I want to major in Biochemistry and minor in French on the pre-med track. Then, I hope to go to medical school and complete a surgical residency. I will be the first person from my family to go to college. In anything I do, I strive to do my very best in hopes of serving as an example to others.”

– Maria, Redmond High School Class of 2021

“The Migrant Education program serves migrant students and their families in many ways. As a graduation specialist, I work with students from, middle to high school and provide support and guidance through high school and assist in planning for higher education.”

– Kayla Hefling, Graduation Specialist

About us

We are working to change education for children in central Oregon. We help students thrive in school and life by providing specialized programs and services that might not be available through their school districts. We engage with families and community members to bridge the gaps in our education system. Because we know if we can do that from cradle to career, we’ll be on the road to be a better future for all of us.

HDESD is looking for two board members

HDESD has two open board positions available: Business Representative and Social Services Representative. If interested, please submit an application with a cover letter and current resume or curriculum vitae. Thank you!



Happy New Year


Let’s unify.

Let’s love.

Let’s respect.

Let’s forgive.

Let’s learn.

Let’s grow.

To our classified staff

You are the backbone of our public education system. We could not do this work without your skilled administrative support, your work to ensure the safety and maintenance of our buildings and property, the safe transportation you provide, and the healthy nutrition and direct instruction of students you make possible. Happy Classified Employee Appreciation Week!


HDESD’s Early Childhood speech and language team gathered for a quick photo while preparing for their virtual pirate theme zoom circle.

“We have found that having a theme each week helps the 3-5 year-olds stay engaged during our group circle time here in Redmond. Since it was pirate week, we dressed up like pirates and the kids dressed up too! We read a pirate book, sang songs, and dressed our pirate in pirate clothing. During their speech sessions, they all had pirate themed activities to focus on their individual speech or language goal. Each child was mailed pirate themed activities for each day of the week and the supplies to complete the activities. We believe that distance learning can be fun and engaging even for our littlest friends!”  – Kris Courtwright-Waldron, speech-language pathologist

Left to right: Kris Courtwright-Waldron, (SLP), Marie Pesek (SLP-A), and Shelley Laya (SLP intern)


Central Oregon rallies around families to address pandemic school aged child care crisis

In a rapid response to support local families, a team of educators, service providers and business and civic leaders came together in August under the leadership of Better Together to respond to the region’s evolving child care crisis created by the pandemic. In only four weeks, they have identified a short-term solution and secured $750,000 to launch work in Deschutes County. As most schools in Central Oregon kick off the year with Comprehensive Distance Learning, many families are struggling to balance work and child care while also supporting their kids who are attending school at home.

By the end of September, some of the region’s most experienced out-of-school child care organizations will be expanding their hours, calendars, service locations and expertise to accommodate the needs of local families while schools are operating under Comprehensive Distance Learning. This expanded capacity will provide 5 days of full-day school age child care each week for nearly 1,000 children ages 5-10 at 26 sites in Deschutes County.

Full article can be found here!

Ceremonies provide a platform for praise

A graduation ceremony signifies school is special! Ceremonies provide a platform for praise. Praise is pivotal for a young child. Praise for effort in their learning journey can begin a lifelong, positive association with school. This is a valuable moment of positive self-definition that can have enormous value in the social-emotional development of children. — Alyssa Van Syckel, HDESD ABA Teacher

Photo: Drive-by celebrations for children transitioning to Kindergarten

Kindness is always beautiful

Just look at the amazing work the Migrant Education program is doing to serve Central Oregon families in need. These fine folks reached out to several churches and received enough donations to fill 300 boxes of non-perishable items. Thank you for taking care of others.

Judy Rowe Therapist of the Year Award

We are honored and excited to announce that HDESD has recognized two outstanding therapists for the Judy Rowe Therapist of the Year Award.  This is a tremendous accomplishment for Katie-Ann Kailey and Steve Maddox.  

Steve- many letters of support from colleagues highlighted his years of service and dedication to students, families, and educators.

Katie-Ann- Nominated by Crook County School district staff for her innovation, creativity, and vibrant personality. 

Thank you both for your exceptional work!  

Fun-filled day at Mt. Bachelor

HDESD’s Vision Team paired with Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) for a sunny, fun-filled day at Mt. Bachelor.  Beginners got to enjoy the new Woodward Start Park and a couple of students tried the chair lift for the very first time. One student, a snowboarder, was speeding down the slopes and the teachers of the visually impaired had a hard time keeping up with her and her OAS guide.  The group was very thankful the storm held off until the end of the day.  

Thank You First Interstate Bank!

First Interstate Bank is an early investor in, i4Education, the innovation arm of the High Desert ESD! With their support, we’re taking the ThinkUp innovation process to Silver Rail Elementary to unlock the great ideas of educators and systematically connect them with local entrepreneurs to workshop, prototype and test their ideas. 

What is the High Desert Education Service District?

HDESD is a publicly-funded agency that partners with local school districts to provide high-quality, cost-effective and locally responsive education services at a regional level. These services range from business, legal, and administrative support to school improvement efforts and special education programs.

What types of services do we provide?

Services for Children with Special Needs

We partner with local school districts to provide services to families and students who are at risk or have special educational needs.

School Improvement Services

We provide consultation, on-site and regional professional development, consortia, grant projects, and student programs.

Administrative Services

We support business, administrative and operational functions for HDESD and partner school districts. Other services are also available to support home and alternative learning.

Information Services

We offer a wide range of information technology and instructional support services to both HDESD and school district staff.

The Promise of Oregon banner with student photos

Students are Oregon’s greatest natural resource, and we must invest in their education. High Desert ESD is keeping the Promise of Oregon. To learn more, visit: promiseoregon.org

The Oregon School Boards Association, a member services organization based in Salem, founded “The Promise of Oregon” campaign in 2014 to focus attention on the accomplishments of Oregon’s kindergarten-14 students and the need to adequately fund public education.

Safe Oregon logo

SafeOregon is a program created for Oregon students, parents, school staff, community members and law enforcement officers to report and respond to student safety threats.

Call or Text: 844-472-3367

Our Vision

Be a state leader in providing quality services to schools, children and families

Our Mission

Improve student outcomes with Excellence, Equity and Efficiency

Our Motto

Together, Engaging Students to Succeed

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Our Central Oregon School District Partners

Bend-La Pine Schools logo
Crook County Schools logo
Redmond Schools logo
Sisters Schools logo
Additional Partners

We also partner with:

  • Jefferson County 509J School District
  • Black Butte School District
  • Culver School District
  • North Central Counties School District
  • Harney Education Service District
  • Jefferson Education Service District
  • Grant Education Service District
  • Lake Education Service District
  • Southern Oregon Education Service District
  • Umatilla/Morrow Education Service District