Bend’s Kenwood School Turns 100

Bend’s Kenwood School is turning 100 and will host a community celebration later this month.

The public is invited to join Bend-La Pine School staff, students and families during the interactive, family-friendly event on Sept. 21st from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are excited to celebrate our school’s rich history and look forward to hearing stories and memories from previous generations who spent time at Kenwood as we open up this historic space to the entire community,” said Principal Brian Kissell. “Our staff, students and parent community feel grateful to be a part of this school and take pride in its educational legacy.”

The event will include photos and memorabilia of the school from throughout the past century, a short film about Kenwood, space to share favorite memories of the school, a time capsule and more.

“We hope this will be a lively and engaging event with generations of families coming together to celebrate this school,” said Kissell.

Courtesy Deschutes County Historical Society

Kenwood School, now home to Highland Magnet, is the oldest school continuously in operation within Bend-La Pine Schools. It opened to the public for the 1919-20 school year. The school’s history includes livestock grazing in the outdoor courtyard, victory gardens planted in the front lawn during WWII and community dances held in the gym.

A massive snowstorm in 2017 led to the collapse of the school’s original gymnasium. A new gym opened on the same site last year.

Jack Ensworth was named National Teacher of the Year in 1973, while he was a teacher at Kenwood (Ensworth Elementary School is named in his honor.) Kenwood is now home to Highland, a Scottish storyline magnet, which began in a classroom at Thompson School and moved to six classrooms at Kenwood in 2000. In 2006 the program became school-wide. ​

The school is located at 701 NW Newport Ave.

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