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BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools plans to launch two new “small high school” options next fall, similar to a charter or magnet school model.


Assistant Superintendent Lora Nordquist tells KBND News the idea came from a desire to balance enrollment at existing schools and create new options for students looking for alternatives to traditional high schools. "When you talk about a charter school or a magnet school, we usually think about those as ‘schools of choice’ that have a particular programming model or focus, and they definitely fit in that category of a school with a very focused intent." She adds, "We envision a school that would probably grow no larger than about 400 or 500 students." The new options don’t take the place of a new high school, funded by last year’s bond measure. "There will still be a fourth large building designed to accommodate between 1500 and 1700 students."


She acknowledges the new programs won't be right for everyone, "We look at these small high school options as not having the complete range of programming that you’d see in neighborhood high school - So, all the sports and co-curricular activities. They would definitely have electives, but they’ll be very specialized in terms of what is the focus of the school." And, Nordquist says there are still details to work out before the new programs can begin in September 2018, but things are moving quickly. "I’ve met with almost 500 people in a series of focus groups, this spring, and people are very excited about this idea. They think it’ll be great for kids." 


Community meetings are scheduled for next week, to discuss the three options. The first meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, September 11 at Bend Senior High. Click HERE for more details on the plan and meeting schedule. 

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