Bend-La Pine Schools hosted a public virtual forum on its Vimeo and Facebook pages Wednesday night with two candidates looking to become superintendent.
Dr. Kristina Bellamy and Dr. Steven Cook took questions from staff and community members.
Parents addressed concerns regarding COVID-19 and the effect it had on students’ learning abilities.
“The difficult conflict is kids are going to come back to us in many different places,” Cook said. “If kids didn’t have that environment at home, the gaps just grew even larger. How do we then close those gaps without sacrificing high achievement and high expectations for every kid? That’s going to be a collaborative focus we’re going to have to work on for multiple years.”
Cook currently serves as Superintendent at Coeur d’Alene School District in Idaho.
The candidates were asked about how schools will adjust once students return to the classroom.
“I can’t stand on high to say, ‘This is what I think we should do,’ because this a community conversation,” Bellamy said. “It requires feedback from our students. It requires feedback and their voice in what they need to move forward. Not just with their academics, but with their mental health, their wellbeing, and their personhood.”
Bellamy has been the Director of K-12 Teaching and Learning Anchorage School District in Alaska since 2018.
The two are vying to replace Interim Superintendent Lora Nordquist. A decision is expected in January.
The full recordings of the virtual forums can be found on Bend-La Pine Schools’ website.