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Planned Bend charter school up for review


Bend-La Pine Schools could be getting a new charter school, if it is approved by the school board.

Tuesday night, dozens packed the room at the Education Center in downtown Bend to voice their support.

While many parents and community members look forward to the addition of the Bend International School, school board members brought up some concerns like the lease structure and liabilities of the plan.

Many of the charter and magnet schools in the district have waiting lists. Many parents support the idea of a new school with new opportunities for students such as a Spanish immersion program. Diversity is a common theme among community members in support of the new charter school.

“Bend is not a diverse community,” Jaye Gibb, parent of a 4-year-old, said Tuesday night. “That’s something we want for her is to be a well-rounded, understanding human being.”

The director of the proposed charter school, which has received a three-year, $700,000 federal grant, has been dreaming of opening an international, bilingual school for years.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” school founder Meera Rupp said. “It’s coming together right now.”

Parents and community members were invited for public comment at the school board meeting after a presentation was given on the school.

Some parents have known Rupp for years, while others attended simply to voice support and to get another chance to get their child enrolled in a charter school.

Bend International School says it aims to provide a global model for education.

“It’s kind of all about promoting global competence,” Rupp said. “We’re kind of on the minority level here in Bend.”

The next step in the approval process comes March 10, when the board is scheduled to decide whether to approve Bend International School, which would open in the fall.

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