▶️ Redmond Launches New School Bus Tracking App

By Anyssa Bohanan
Central Oregon Daily

Starting this week, hundreds of students across the Redmond School District will be headed to school on yellow buses.

For relatives like Tammy, knowing where and when their students are after they hop on the bus can be a relief.

“It’s good information and kind of can put your mind at ease when you know where they got on, what time they got on, when you know they should be getting home you’ll know exactly at least that they were at the bus stop that they were left off there,” said Tammy McKinley, Routing Specialist for the district and a grandmother of a student.

A new app created by the district is making it easier for parents and grandparents like McKinley to keep up with their children on their way to and *from* school.

“It’s just one more tool that they have to partner with us and know what’s going on with their kids,” McKinley said.

‘Here Comes the Bus’ allows parents and students to track their bus location in real time through push notifications and email.

“It’ll be great in the winter when buses are running late and they know they’re running late they’ll be able to see when they’re getting close by,” said Michelle Rainville, transportation supervisor for the Redmond School District. “It doesn’t follow the bus clear around but once it gets within a vicinity of their bus stop then it alerts them that the bus is there and it lets them know when the bus has came and left.”

The district has been developing the app for about a year.

Once it was complete, they ran a pilot program with parents and students…to ensure it ran successfully.

“The moms that used it thought it was awesome! It just gave them a little bit of a piece of mind that they didn’t have to wonder “Did the bus show up yet? Is it running late? Is it cold outside and they’re sitting out there waiting for it?” So it worked great,” Rainville said.

There are a few kinks that still need to be worked out.

“One thing I noticed with my granddaughter it was showing the bus being at her stop before it really was but I know how to alleviate that,” McKinley said.

In addition to working out a few bugs, Rainville says they hope to have cards assigned to students riding the bus in the future that could be scanned to ensure student safety.

“We want to know our bus riders, we need to know who’s on the bus. Are you supposed to be on the bus? Are you even a student of the school?,” she said. “We can’t just let anyone ride the bus. So you know we have bus rosters that print based on your home address, the drivers have all of those and they do monitor them. So if we were able to have those student cards it would save the bus drivers some efforts.”

Tumalo Community School Now Accepting Pre-K Applications

Tumalo Community School is now accepting applications for the school’s afternoon Pre-Kindergarten program this fall.

The afternoon Pre-K program operates from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Classes begin the week of September 9th and will run throughout the school year.

“Tumalo Community School is proud to continue our Pre-K program this year,” said Justin Nicklous, Tumalo Community School Principal. “Participation in Pre-K classes offer a wonderful start to a child’s education and introduces them to their school community in a positive way.”

Students must be four years old before September 1, 2019 in order to apply to the program. Tuition is $225 per student monthly.

Registration closes Friday, August 30th.

For questions or more information about Tumalo Community School’s Pre-K program, please contact the school directly at 541-382-2853.

Tumalo Community School is currently open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

Redmond Schools Open Online Registration

 

The Redmond School District has opened the 2019-20 online student registration and verification process for all students.

The ParentVue portal gives parents or guardians a secure way to register new students or verify current student information for all grade levels. The online method reduces traditional paper documentation that previously had to be completed in person and brought to the schools.

“The online registration process is fast and convenient for Redmond School District families,” said Superintendent Mike McIntosh. “It is designed to ensure accuracy of student information while offering a helpful tool to save time during the busy back-to-school season.”

To register new students or verify returning student information, parents can visit the district website at www.redmondschools.org and click the online registration link on the home page. 

Parents of new students will still be required to bring certain documents to their student’s school such as proof of birth, proof of immunization and proof of address. The online registration process will detail which documents are required for new student registration. 

Incoming in-town kindergarten students who have not yet registered may do so at the Redmond Early Learning Center Registration Event on Thursday, August 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Redmond Early Learning Center located at 2105 West Antler Avenue in Redmond, Ore. For questions about this event, parents can contact the Redmond Early Learning Center at 541-923-8900. Incoming kindergarten students attending Tumalo Community School and Terrebonne Community School may register by contacting each school respectively.

Parents can contact their student’s school or synergyhelp@hdesd.org for questions or more information about Redmond School District online registration.

Surgeon General Warns of the Dangers of Vaping

As e-cigarettes gain popularity among youth across the country, the message from Washington is stop smoking.

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome Adams held a press release today to warn students, parents and educators of the dangers of vaping. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on what local schools are doing to deter students from picking up the habit.

New School Planned if Redmond Bond Passes

Voters in Redmond will have a chance to vote on a school bond measure in November after the school board approved a $69.7 million bond proposal.

At the school board meeting Wednesday night, the Redmond School District board of directors unanimously approved a resolution to place the bond proposal on the ballot.

If passed about half of the nearly $70 million would immediately go toward the designing and building of a new elementary school to replace the over 50-year-old M.A. Lynch Elementary. The district hopes that with the bond funds, construction could start as early as summer 2019 and students could be in classrooms by summer 2020.

The money from the bond would also go towards district-wide capital repairs and security improvements to classrooms and school facilities, like secure school entrances and upgrading or installing security cameras at each of their 15 facilities.

The school board’s resolution also includes the establishment of a citizen oversight committee, an independent citizen-led body in charge of monitoring the planned improvements, progress and schedule of costs of the bond program.

Property owners in the Redmond School District are currently paying $2.45 per thousand of assessed value. The proposed $70 million bond would cost taxpayers an additional $0.54 per $1,000 of assessed value, making the total anticipated rate $2.99 per thousand of assessed value.

Redmond Middle Schooler Holds Second Annual Toy Drive for Children at Shriner’s Hospital

The holidays can be a tough time for many, including those who are unable to spend it with their families due to medical reasons. One middle school student in Redmond, Oregon is hoping to put smiles on children’s’ faces even though they’re spending Christmas in the hospital.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with Payton Gregory, an 11-year-old with a heart of gold, as he collects toys for his second annual toy drive for the Portland Shriners Hospitals for Children.

School Budget Passes in Oregon Legislature

A record $8.2 billion package to fund Oregon’s K-12 public school system passed in the legislature, but many school officials across the state aren’t happy about the results.

Central Oregon Daily’s Mackenzie Wilson speaks with Redmond School District Superintendent Mike McIntosh about why the highest school fund in Oregon’s history still isn’t enough.

Young Athlete Catches the Eye of Hometown Hero Ashton Eaton

Running is not something that everyone enjoys. In fact, a lot of us completely dread it. So, when we heard about a little boy in Redmond, Oregon who loves running so much that he literally ran through multiple pairs of shoes in less than a month, we knew we had to meet him.

In the story, we show you how Family Access Network, a local non-profit, and FootZone of Bend swooped in to save the day so Jacob Yep’s shoes can now finally keep up with him.