▶️ Parents express concern over distance learning drop in grades

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Christie Otley is a parent of three boys.

One in seventh grade, one in third grade and a first grader with an Individualized Education Plan.

Otley said all of them are falling behind learning from home.

“They’ve had more hardships with learning and understanding the technologies, and the materials provided to them,” Otley said. “It’s just all around been very difficult and unfortunate.”

Susanna Abrahamson has two sons at Mountain View High School — Reed, a freshman, and Andrew, a junior also on IEPs.

“It is staggering,” Abrahamson said. “The bad habits that have been created that I’m so worried will continue with them.”

Both parents say their kids have lost motivation.

While none of them are currently failing a class, they are struggling.

“If we were to do a side by side comparison of all three of my kids from last year versus this year,” Otley said. “In my eyes, they’re all falling dramatically.”

“In the previous six weeks,” Abrahamson said. “My older son did have a D in his class.”

Lora Nordquist, Bend-La Pine Schools’ interim superintendent says this time away from in-person instruction could, and likely will, catch up with students.

“I think that we will see lagging learning in our students when we are able to return in-person,” Nordquist said. “That’s not just a few students, that’s many students.”

Nordquist says both school employees and teachers are reaching out to students who they notice aren’t doing so well, primarily those in middle and high school.

“We are looking to intervene more at all levels,” Nordquist said.

Both Otley and Abrahamson say they worry for their sons if distance learning goes on any longer.

“He’s just doing enough to get by,” Abrahamson said. “That’s never been the kind of student that he’s been.”

“They want to be in school,” Otley said. “They want to see their friends, they want to be able to talk to their teachers without a screen in their way or without technology in their way.”

Nordquist says exact numbers of how many Bend-La Pine students are failing will not be available until the end of the semester.

Redmond Welcomes New High School Principal

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Audrey Haugan spent more than three decades as an educator in the suburbs of Chicago before moving to Redmond for this opportunity.

Central Oregon Daily’s Dalton Roth has more.

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Central Oregon Daily’s Meghan Glova has more on how allowing mental health days could help local students.

A Message of Inclusion from Summit High’s Valedictorian

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Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with Joan to talk about the speech that stole the show, and her important message of inclusion.

Bend-La Pine School Board Discusses $500M Budget

Tonight the Bend-La Pine School Board met to discuss a potential $505 million budget

If passed, the budget would add 14 new staff positions within the district, half of which would be teachers in an effort to reduce class sizes and would include approving budgets for the new high school. $14 million from the budget will go towards the public employees retirement system, or PERS. The PERS budget is up nearly $5 million from last year due to ricing PERS rates across the state.

Regardless of whether or not the school board approves the budget at tonight’s meeting, the district doesn’t have a budget from the Oregon State Legislature, which could make things tricky for next year’s school board members if the state’s budget is lower than expected.