Forward Progress Reflecting on our successes and celebrating our staff

This week is Classified Employee Appreciation Week and I hope all of us can take time out to honor the outstanding support staff we have at Bend-La Pine Schools. This is a diverse group of staff members that include office and clerical staff, education assistants, nutrition services workers, bus drivers, IT workers, custodians, maintenance crew members and so many more. These are the folks who often work behind the scenes and ensure teachers can focus on teaching and learning.

Thank you to our dedicated classified staff members! I know I'm not alone in saying I couldn't do this work without you — your support means the world to me.

Recently, I heard a speaker reflect on what he was most thankful for during the past week. He said “forward progress.” It took me a second to catch on, but then I realized he was making a reference to football. In football, forward progress is a player’s forward momentum when carrying the ball.

That idea of forward progress stuck with me. It applies to so much beyond football, including the work we do in our schools. To accomplish significant goals, we need to focus on making forward progress. Even inches towards our goal make a difference.

I am happy to report that our schools are making forward progress on our collective vision of preparing each of our students to be future-ready.

Make no mistake. This progress is happening in no small measure because of you and the support of our outstanding team. I want to share some of the forward progress we have made, with the hopes that it will inspire all of us to continue to stretch and reach forward together.

That's the second highest graduation rate in district history. Graduates went on to attend colleges, universities and other institutes of higher education in 34 states, four countries and went on to serve in all branches of the military.
That's the highest amount EVER!
Students earned more than 2,500 college credit hours by passing AP exams.
Students earned more than 600 college credit hours by passing IB exams.
This is particularly noteworthy because all juniors in Bend-La Pine Schools take the test, whereas most in most district's the test is taken only by those who are college-bound. This represents a historic high and the achievement of a decade-long goal.
These CTE courses include subjects like health occupations, engineering, computer science, culinary, criminal justice, future energy and more — and they involve more than 460 employers!
We are home to top athletes and nationally-recognized student musicians, artists and writers.
Bend-La Pine Schools staff boast many state and national honors including Oregon teacher of the year, principal of the year, school nurse of the year and art, culinary, geography, journalism, and physical education teachers of the year as well as the Presidential Award winner in math and science teaching.
We also earned the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials.

This forward progress happens because we all work together to serve our students.

Thank you for all that you do!

Shay Mikalson

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