BEND, OR -- Bend Senior High School is suddenly bursting at the seams, with a record number of incoming freshmen. Principal Christopher Reece tells KBND at 505, this year’s freshman class is about 20% larger than a typical year. "We knew this was going to be a large freshman class. Part of it was after they did the boundary changes for the new elementary and middle school, we saw that our freshman numbers were going to be large. And, we also have a large portion of our freshman on an area-change request from other high schools."
He believes the large number of in-district transfer requests is because families are attracted to the school's culture. "Students feel accepted, there’s a trust level there. It is a large class; our hallways are filled. But, we manage because we’re Bend High and that’s what we do, and we absolutely love this place. When kids come here, they feel that excitement." He says Career and Technical Education offerings – like Culinary, Engineering and Automotive – also attract students from area high schools. Officials have had to deny a number of transfer requests that came in after the March deadline due to the school’s current population.
Reece admits with total enrollment at about 1765, Bend Senior High is crowded, but the student body and staff take it in stride. "I have an absolutely phenomenal staff and we have just great upper classmen; our senior class, junior class, our sophomore class, they set the tone for the rest of the school. They’re really good role models. We pride ourselves on not only teaching academics, which we do, but also character. They help mold the culture of our school."