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Alternative High School in Bend Shifts Focus

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools is changing the focus of its alternative high school, to a Career and Technical Education (CTE) hub for its 189 students. Marshall High's new principal Sal Cassaro says he's excited about the shift, "What we wanted to do is reinvent Marshall so that kids have an absolute purpose and a reason and a relevance for coming to school in the morning."


Gone are the days when students built chairs and chessboards, Cassaro says. Marshall wants to train kids in construction technologies like electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and tile, "And then, we also offer engineering and STEM, and then we have our business and marketing academy where kids will learn about business," Cassaro tells KBND News, "And then, lastly, we have our health academies. The other caveat is that we are a National Guard Army JROTC program." 


There are also internships and job-shadowing opportunities, "In today's world where we're becoming more connected, but at the same time disconnected; putting together a curriculum where students really come to school with a purpose, I just think we're going to hit a ton of success with a lot of kids."


Cassaro, who was just named Principal over the summer, says his staff is committed to this change, "A kid that graduates completing a program of study of two credits of CTE, the data shows they have a 95% chance of graduating high school. For that reason right there alone, I just see that as a perfect match for Marshall, where we're going to give kids a purpose for getting out of bed and coming to school in the morning."


Construction is also underway, at Marshall, on a new multi-use building with classrooms and a dedicated gym, funded by the school bond. That facility is slated to open in January. 

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