Lake County  ESD – helping schools help kids!

Message from Superintendent Jack Thompson


Lake County Education Service District welcomes the 2017-2018 school year. The Lake County Education Service District assists students and school districts of Lake County by providing equitable, high quality, cost-effective and locally responsive educational services.  Our mission is to respond to the educational needs of Lakeview, Adel, Plush, Paisley and North Lake school districts.  The core services we provide are: special education services, school improvement services, technology support, and administrative support services. 

In addition, the Lake County ESD is continuing its efforts to provide students and staff of Lake County with many other services including school psychologist, library consulting, Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, youth mentoring, business services, state work sample development, and counseling.

We continue to focus on providing high-quality special education services in order to support our most vulnerable students.   This year we are continuing our partnership with Lake District Hospital to increase our speech pathologist services.   We will continue our professional development support to Lake County school districts to assist them in meeting the educational challenges they face.     

The Lake County ESD continues to identify grant opportunities to help our school districts address their needs.  Last year we were awarded a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) grant in order to provide students with increased opportunities for hands-on curriculum and connecting coursework with real world needs and experiences. 

In addition we continue to look for resources to ensure children in Lake County become kindergarten ready.  This summer kindergarten camps were held in Lakeview and Paisley to help students prepare for kindergarten.  These camps were a collective effort between the ESD, Lakeview and Paisley school districts, the Lake County Commissioners, and a Regional Achievement Collaborative grant from the Chief Education Office.  Also, using grants from South Central Oregon Early Learning Hub the ESD supports kindergarten readiness and kindergarten engagement activities.

The hard-working, dedicated and professional staff of the Lake County ESD is the key to our success.  Their student focused and service orientated work ethic is what makes Lake County ESD successful in supporting the districts of Lake County.

My goals as superintendent of the Lake County ESD are to be responsive to the needs of the schools and students of Lake County, provide the highest quality services, and help all our students be successful.

Jack Thompson


10/25/17 7 p.m. - ESD Board Mtg.
10/25/17 7 p.m. - ESD Board Mtg.

Health and Safety Updates

The Lake County ESD has tested all faucets for lead content.  The sink in the EI/ECSE modular and the utility sink in the ladies bathroom are both well below the allowable level of lead.  The two hand washing sinks in the ESD bathrooms have tested above the allowable level.  As these sinks are not used for drinking water or food preparation, no further action will be taken to reduce the level of lead in these faucets.

For complete results and report, clink on the following linkLead-Copper Results Report


Spotlight on Success

Lake County Youth Mentor Program Recognized

On Friday, May 19, 2017 at the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts (OAESD) conference, the Lake County Youth Mentor Program (LCYMP) won one of six innovation awards given to Oregon ESD’s.  In announcing the award, OAESD Executive Director Gary Peterson commended the LCYMP for their hard work on behalf of the youth of Lake County, the strong data showing the success of the program, and the services that had been added to the program in the past two years.  LCYMP Director Kathy Miles and staff member Sammy Withers were on hand to accept the award.  On Saturday, May 20, 2017 Kathy Miles made a presentation to the OAESD about the Lake County Youth Mentor Program.

Seven years ago the Lake County ESD recognized that many children needed extra support in order to be successful in school and life.  The ESD began to build the Youth Mentor program to connect Lake County youth with caring adult mentors to enhance both academic and personal achievement.  The goals of the program are to improve academic achievement, reduce school absenteeism, and reduce disciplinary referrals which lead to higher self-esteem and personal success.

The program has undergone continual changes since its inception, including several in the past two years.  These include expansion of mentoring program to all areas of the county and addition of the Go Girls Empowerment Program.

LCYMP provides mentoring services to three of the major communities in Lake County, Oregon:   Lakeview, Paisley and North Lake.  The students served are at-risk youth, grades K-12.   The main focus of the program is one-on-one mentoring.  However, in order to reach a larger number of students with fewer volunteers, the program also provides team mentoring which encompasses two different projects:  1) team mentor programs in Lakeview, North Lake, and Paisley; and 2) the Go Girls Empowerment Program in Lakeview.  The ultimate goal of all programs is to provide mentors who can help the at-risk youth learn the necessary life skills to succeed academically, socially, and personally.

One-on-one mentoring is a weekly, individualized program.  The students referred to the program are experiencing mainly academic or behavioral challenges and are generally from low income homes.  The mentors are volunteers who spend a minimum of one hour a week for one year with their students engaging in activities they mutually enjoy and encouraging the students in their academic, social, and personal endeavors.  The focus is on establishing relationships where the youth feel comfortable sharing concerns and challenges that the two can work through together.  The program organizes quarterly group activities that provide opportunities for support and interaction. Past activities have included a variety of craft projects and participating in community-sponsored events.

Over 70 individual students have been served in one-on-one mentoring since 2010. While mentors and mentees are only required to be matched for one year, our retention rate is 73%.  There are currently 27 students enrolled.   Most students leave the program only because they graduate or move. Recent grade reports reveal 68% of students have maintained or improved grades; 36% had lower grades but of that percentage, 37% still had a GPA above 2.0.

In the team mentor program, staff and volunteer mentors develop activities for each program throughout Lake County.  The Lakeview program includes one group for students, grades 4-6, and one group for students grades 7-8, that meet monthly.  Paisley and North Lake each have one group that includes students in grades 4-8 that meet monthly.  At each location mentors facilitate hands-on activities that teach a variety of skills to include team building, cooperation, leadership, and critical thinking.  Past activities included building rockets and robots, scavenger hunts, and cooperative games.

The team mentor programs serve over 85 different students annually. Approximately 64% attend three or more monthly activities. Each participant completes a self-evaluation at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year. Results of the evaluation reveal overall improvements in following directions, leadership skills, interacting with peers, trying new activities, and participating with adults.

The Go Girls Empowerment Program is a program at Lakeview High School offered in conjunction with Lake District Hospital Community Health Improvement Program.  The program is open to all females but targets at-risk females, grades 7-12, who are experiencing social and personal issues that make it difficult to be successful in their academic and personal lives.  In two separate 11-week sessions paid facilitators present weekly topics and provide hands-on group activities that enable participants to discuss topics in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. Topics include, but are not limited to, peer relationships, analyzing media portrayal of women, being a friend, and exploring future career opportunities.

In its first year, the Go Girls Empowerment Program served 18 females. The girls were asked to complete a survey at the beginning of the program and again at the end of the program. Students reported improvements in learning to be assertive, understanding media portrayal of body image and how it impacts their image of themselves, self-esteem, and career focus.

The Lake County Youth Mentor Program is entirely self-funded through grants and fundraising activities.  It receives no general funds from Lake County ESD.  The ESD does provide the Youth Mentor program in-kind support (office space, waiving grant administration fees, printing costs).  Program staff must raise the funds required for the program in order to provide services.  Approximately 80% of the budget is provided through grants, with the other 20% by local fundraising activities such as an annual dinner/auction, raffles, local business sponsorships, and donations.   Their projected budget for 2017-18 is $117,700.

Current funders:  Collins Foundation, Silver Family Foundation, Oregon Early Learning Council/Juvenile Crime Prevention, Lake County Commissioners, Umpqua Bank Charitable Giving, Garcia Fund, Lake District Hospital/Community Health Improvement Program, Lake Wellness Center/Prevention, Lake County ESD, Lakeview Soroptimists.

Prior Funders:  Oregon Community Foundation, Ford Family Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, US Bank, Lake County Community Foundation,  Lakeview Rotary Club, Lakeview Lions Club, Juan Young Foundation.

 The Lake County Youth Mentor Program is innovative, creative, and unique in a number of respects:

  • The Lake County Youth Mentor program is the only program of its kind offering support to at-risk students in Lake County.


  • The program has a very strong relationship with the schools, mentor staff work with the schools on grades, behavior, and school activities.


  • Many program activities are offered in the schools to facilitate student access, rather than being offered offsite.  In addition, program activities are offered at three communities in Lake County.


  • The programs are tailored to the individual needs of each community.  Data is gathered to guide program activities at each site.


  • The program offers a wide variety of activities to improve student access and outcomes (individual mentoring, team mentoring, classroom-based mentoring, Go Girls)


  • The program is self-funded. Program staff must raise all necessary revenue in addition to organizing student activities.

The Lake County Youth Mentor program has provided at-risk students in Lake County with very important support.  This program has produced tangible academic outcomes in student attendance, grades, academic achievement, behavior, and graduation rates. 




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