Special needs family support group forming

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Come help Special Needs Families Connect lay the groundwork for a much-needed support group in Eastern Oregon. It's no secret that families dealing with special needs issues everyday need the help of people who have "been there" and understand. Families Connect hopes to grow into a helpful community of special needs families, so please bring your ideas and join us on Facebook at You can also email Families Connect at

Eastern Promise program for high school college credit kicks off Nov. 4

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A unique program that will expand the ways high school students can earn college credit – and possibly even graduate high school with an associate’s degree – kicks off on Nov. 4 at Eastern Oregon University.

The Eastern Promise is a collaboration between the InterMountain Education Service District (IMESD), Blue Mountain and Treasure Valley community colleges, Eastern Oregon University and the 20 school districts in the eastern Oregon region served by IMESD. The program creates additional opportunities for high school students to participate in college-level courses, as well as earn college credits and/or certificates, while still in high school, a big money savings for families. The goal is that the Eastern Promise will increase the number of eastern Oregon high school students who are prepared for and attend college directly from high school.

IMESD offers hearing screenings to schools

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The InterMountain Education Service District (IMESD) is providing free hearing screenings to public elementary school students through November.

Hearing screenings are conducted annually by the IMESD’s Audiology Department for public school students in Umatilla, Morrow and Union counties, and is cooperatively sponsored by local school districts. Students to be screened include nearly 6,000 kindergarten, first and third grade students, new students to a county, and parent/teacher/principal referrals of students in other grades. Children who fail the initial screening will be re-screened within a three-week period.

Registration open for Crisis Flight Team training

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The InterMountain ESD is looking for individuals to join its Crisis Flight Team to respond to school-related crisis events. A free training will take place Oct. 11-13 at the Pendleton Convention Center and will be taught be Cheri Lovre, who has 30 years of experience in the areas of crisis response, grief and trauma. Education staff, counselors, school psychologists, faith leaders and other community members are encouraged to become a part of the Crisis Flight Team. For details, download the conference flyer. To register, please click here.

Congratulations to the Children's Rodeo!

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Congratulations to the Children’s Rodeo float, which took 2nd place for youth floats in the Dress-Up Parade in Pendleton Sept. 10! The Children’s Rodeo found even more success during its 27th annual event Sept. 14 at the Round-Up Grounds. Forty-five children with special needs were paired up with cowboys to participate in a variety of rodeo events, and hundreds of fans cheered from the stands. Thanks to our many staff volunteers for all your hard work and participation that made this event so successful! Check out the article and video about yesterday’s Children’s Rodeo in the Wednesday (Sept. 14) edition of the East Oregonian, as well as the video from the KEPR-tv (Tri-Cities, Wash.) newscast. Also be sure to check out our Children's Rodeo photos on the IMESD Facebook page!

Children’s Rodeo ready to Let ‘er Buck Sept. 14

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The Children’s Rodeo will mark its 27th year while bringing smiles to the faces of children with special needs on Wednesday, Sept. 14, just before the main Pendleton Round-Up rodeo event.

“This is really one of the greatest events of the Round-Up,” said Children’s Rodeo Director Karen Parker, who has been a part of the event for nearly 25 years. “Some of the kids who participate have never had a crowd cheering for them before, and this is just such a unique way to bring them some joy.”

The Children’s Rodeo is sponsored by the Pendleton Round-Up Association, and is an annual event the Wednesday of Round-Up week. Special needs children from around Eastern Oregon are given the opportunity to participate in rodeo-related activities in the famous Round-Up Arena with the help of volunteers, including PRCA and local cowboys. Activities include riding a horse, riding in a horse-drawn buggy, riding a hand-rocked pretend bull, roping a pretend steer, barrel racing on stick ponies and pulling a ribbon off a goat’s tail.

CSEPP book created by IMESD featured in news story

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Some of the work by IMESD staff is in the news! The CSEPP Legacy Book was designed by Cooperative Purchasing Coordinator Caryn Appler (who completed the design while still in the communications department) with assistance from Communications graphic design specialist Jennifer Richardson, and was printed by Glen Herman at the IMESD Print Shop. Communications staffer Maria Duron, who is contracted out to work as the public information officer for Morrow County CSEPP, assisted in the development of the book's content and with translation. KNDU/KNDO television news station in the Tri-Cities, Wash., highlighted the book in a news segment on Aug. 23. Watch it. See the entire booklet. Great work, everyone!

IMESD Superintendent tapped for Education Investment Board

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InterMountain Education Service District Superintendent Dr. Mark Mulvihill has been selected by Governor John Kitzhaber to serve on the newly-created Oregon Education Investment Board. Pending Senate approval on Sept. 22, Mulvihill will become one of 12 members of the Board and the only representative from Eastern Oregon. This Board – chaired by Gov. Kitzhaber – will serve as a unified public education system that begins with early childhood services and continues throughout public education from kindergarten to post-secondary education.

“I am honored to be selected by Governor Kitzhaber for this position and to provide Eastern Oregon and rural education with a strong voice at a statewide level,” Mulvihill said. “It’s exciting to play a role in creating a seamless 0-20 education system for our students.”

Community invited to IMESD Grand Opening celebration Aug. 18

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The InterMountain Education Service District will host its Grand Opening celebration this Thursday, Aug. 18, and the Eastern Oregon community is invited to attend. The celebration, which begins at 4:15 p.m., will take place at the IMESD main office, 2001 S.W. Nye Ave., in Pendleton.

IMESD to host regional school board training day

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Nearly 50 school board members and administrators from area school districts will come together to learn more about their roles and responsibilities and have the opportunity to network during the Regional Board Training day Aug. 17 at the Pendleton High School Commons.

Accessibility Statement - The InterMountain ESD is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities. We are currently in the process of upgrading our web site to ensure we meet or exceed the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA and the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 for web content.

For more information on how to report an issue related to the accessibility or how to file a formal Section 504 or ADA (Title II) complaint about the accessibility of any content on an InterMountain ESD website, please see our full Accessibility Statement.

Anti-Discrimination Policy - It is a policy of the InterMountain ESD that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment. For more information, visit the Anti-Discrimination Policy page.