Kalapuya High School

Enrollment: 142
10 through 12
Phone number: 541-607-9853
Fax number: 607-9857
Address: 1200 N. Terry,
Eugene, OR 97402
(map link)

Driving instructions: Beltline to Barger Drive. West on Barger one mile. Left on Terry.

Kalapuya sets new Graduation Record!

Kalapuya High School seniors Seth Sargent (left), Amber Severe and Hazel Ramirez will graduate Tuesday night after attending the alternative school for two years. (Josephine Woolington/The Register-Guard)
Kalapuya High School seniors Seth Sargent (left), Amber Severe and Hazel Ramirez will graduate Tuesday night after attending the alternative school for two years. (Josephine Woolington/The Register-Guard)

Come celebrate the achievements of the Kalapuya Graduating Class of 2015 – Tuesday, 7 PM, Kalapuya High School

Graduates of alternative Kalapuya High School in Bethel School District excited about their futures

By Josephine Woolington
The Register-Guard

During his brief time at Willamette High School, Seth Sargent didn’t think much about what he wanted to do with his life.

The 17-year-old earned bad grades and missed a lot of school because of surgeries for a medical condition.

Sargent fell behind and landed at Kalapuya High School, an alternative school in west Eugene’s Bethel School District, off Terry Street.

He said he started focusing more on his classes — earning mostly A’s and B’s — and discovered a passion for the environment after going on a field trip to the Redwood National Park in California last year.

Sargent has decided that he wants to become an invasive species specialist for a public agency, such as the federal Bureau of Land Management.

“I didn’t even know that was a job,” Sargent said, laughing.

He’s registered to take classes at Lane Community College in the fall, becoming the first in his family to go to college.

Sargent is one of 40 students at Kalapuya High School who will earn a diploma tonight — the highest number of students graduating since the school opened 13 years ago.

During the last several years, the school has made dramatic changes to how much time students spend in class. Students are required to be in school for a full day, rather than half. This year, students were in school for about a week longer than other local high schools.

The school also requires that students must earn college credit — either through taking a class at LCC or through an internship — to graduate.

Principal Stefan Aumack said when students enroll at Kalapuya, teachers and staff try to immediately introduce them to some kind of college major or career that might interest them.

“We’ve done a good job of making the education engaging, relevant and rigorous at the same time, and I think students have responded well to that,” Aumack said.

Since 2011, the school has increased the number of students earning a diploma more than fivefold, from seven students graduating four years ago to this year’s 40 students.

“Aiming higher”

Alternative schools typically have much smaller graduating classes than traditional high schools because most students who enroll in such schools are two or three grade levels behind. Some students can catch up and graduate in four years, while others take longer to earn a diploma.

Some alternative-school students also may be coping with drug abuse, poverty or a lack of support from home.

The Bethel district recently capped enrollment at Kalapuya at 105 students to be able to provide more individualized instruction, Aumack said.

Students have earned credit through internships at a number of places in the Eugene-­Springfield area, including the Eugene Water & Electric Board, Ophelia’s Place, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, NextStep Recycling and St. Vincent DePaul, among others, Aumack said.

“If you can tie their learning to something meaningful in life and toward a career path, they respond well,” Aumack said. “They find themselves aiming higher and going further.”

Students also can take personal finance classes where they learn about paying taxes, rent and a mortgage. The school also emphasizes community projects, such as removing invasive species from Eugene wetlands or teaching elementary students about gardening and sustainability at a greenhouse that students built and manage.

Students will start work next school year on a community farm and learn about wind turbines that will be installed next to the school and paid for through an EWEB renewable energy grant.

Hands-on learning

Students Amber Severe and Hazel Ramirez said they appreciate the hands-on learning experiences they’ve had while attending the school for the last two years.

Severe, 18, interned at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for six months at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. That experience earned her college credit and gave her a glimpse into what it’s like to work with babies and families.

“I love waking up and coming to school now,” Severe said.

Severe said she isn’t sure whether she wants to become a midwife or a police officer. She plans to go on a ride-along with an officer sometime soon, she said, to see what it’s like.

The two students attended Willamette before Kalapuya and said they weren’t inspired by their classes and didn’t put much effort into their school work.

The “family-like” atmosphere at Kalapuya, they said, sparked their interest in working toward a career goal.

The 19-year-old Ramirez plans to enroll at LCC next fall to work toward becoming either an ultrasound technician or a phlebotomist, a medical professional trained to draw blood from patients.

She will be the first in her family to go to college.

“I never cared about college,” Ramirez said, “but now I think, ‘Wow, I can actually do something.’ ”

Follow Josephine on Twitter @j_woolington . Email josephine.woolington@registerguard.com .


2015: 40 students

2014: 32 students

2013: 33 students

2012: 11 students

2011: 7 students

Source: Kalapuya High School

This Weekend at Kalapuya & Around Bethel

There are a lot of great events planned for Saturday in Bethel.

Hanging Baskets and Organic Veggies for sale!

Hanging Baskets and Organic Veggies for sale!

The annual Kalapuya Mother’s Day Weekend Plant Sale is Saturday. Hanging flower baskets from Kalapuya’s green house and other Mother’s Day gift ideas will be sold at Kalapuya High School Saturday. This is a popular sale and it’s first come, first served.

Watch for the Bethel Education Foundation Compost Sale. Bags of rich, plant-friendly compost created from food waste in Eugene are being sold at Shasta, Irving, Kalapuya and Fairfield schools Saturday. The BEF will also be holding a raffle for great gift prizes.

The Bethel Boosters’ Show N Shine car show will brighten the parking lot at Willamette High School Saturday. This free event will display some of the prettiest vehicles in the area. Look for the BBQ, silent auction, raffle and more at this traditional Boosters’ fundraiser.


Este Fin de Semana en Bethel

Muchos Eventos fantásticos están planeados para este Sábado En el distrito de Bethel.

La Venta anual de plantas y abono del Fin de Semana del Día de Las Madres es Este Sábado. Canastas de flores colgantes del invernadero de Kalapuya y otras ideas de regalos para el Día de Las Madres estarán en venta este Sábado en Kalapuya. Este evento es muy popular, así que el que llega primero se le atiende primero.

Este atento para  La venta de La fundación de Educación de abono. Bolsas de rico abono, plantas creadas con residuos de alimentos en Eugene estarán en venta en las escuelas Shasta, Irving, Kalapuya y Fairfield este sábado. De igual manera se estará llevando acabo rifas con buenos regalos por BEF.

El Bethel Boosters’ Show N Shine Espectáculo de carros Estará alumbrando el estacionamiento de la Escuela Preparatoria Willamette este Sábado. Este evento es completamente Gratis, estará mostrando los hermosos vehículos del área. Este en la mira por el BBQ (la parrillada), rifas y mucho más sobre este evento de recaudador de fondos de Boosters’.z

Kalapuya Wins $50,000 EWEB Greenpower Grant!

EWEB General Manager Roger Gray and EWEB Commissioner James Manning present a ceremonial $50,000 check to KHS principal Stefan Aumack at the Bethel School Board meeting.

EWEB General Manager Roger Gray and EWEB Commissioner James Manning present a ceremonial $50,000 check to KHS principal Stefan Aumack at the Bethel School Board meeting.

A wind and solar energy production site will be going up at Kalapuya High School thanks to a $50,000 EWEB Greenpower grant.

EWEB Greenpower customers voted Kalapuya’s proposal as the top project among the 6 finalists from throughout the county.

In collaboration with the University of Oregon Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory, Kalapuya will design, build and install the dual solar and wind power generating station.

The solar panels will be adjustable and the wind turbine will be on a retractable tower to allow for student experiments.

The project will also be combined with the KHS greenhouse, wetlands, gardens and beehives to become an outdoor science site for Bethel elementary school students.

For more information on the project, go to:



Last Trimester Schedule Reminders

As we head into the final stretch we wanted to send out a few reminders about the Kalapuya schedule between now and June 16th.

Tuesday, April 28th: NO SCHOOL. The teaching staff will be participating in an Inquiry by Design professional development training session all day. This work will directly support our work with students as we continue to improve our instructional practices.  (NIGHT SCHOOL WILL STILL BE IN SESSION THAT DAY)

The week of May 18th: Smarter Balanced testing and local work sample assessments. All students in the school will be testing that week (in the morning) in an effort to meet state reading, writing, and mathematics benchmarks required for graduation. All juniors will take the Smarter Balanced test (required by the state), and all other students will be completing local work sample assessments. Both tests can be used to meet graduation requirements.

For the past three years we have had every credit-eligible senior meet all reading, writing, and math Essential Skills. This has required students to put their best effort into these assessments. Parents’ support and encouragement of their students as they work toward this goal is greatly appreciated.

June 15th: This is the last regular day of school for all students.

June 16th, 7 pm: GRADUATION! The entire Kalapuya community is invited to celebrate the well-earned achievements of their fellow Kalapuya students!

Klamath Field-Based Education

With Mt. McLaughlin in the background, Kalapuya students and staff meet with Fish and Game scientists to learn more about the endangered Sucker fish in the Upper Klamath Lake.

With Mt. McLaughlin in the background, Kalapuya students and staff meet with Fish and Game scientists to learn more about the endangered Sucker fish in the Upper Klamath Lake.

Kalapuya students are experiencing some incredible learning opportunities.

Recently one group of students and staff traveled to Klamath Falls for three days to study America’s most ambitious environmental restoration project in the Upper Klamath Lake.

They met with leaders of the Klamath Tribes, farmers, and Fish and Game scientists to learn how all sides came together – after years of fighting – to best manage water resources in the Klamath Basin.

The exploration began in Chiloquin where the class met with Don Gentry, leader of the Klamath Tribes. Mr. Gentry shared the cultural importance of the endangered sucker fish with students, as well as tribal stories, and how fishing and sharing his catch with elders helped him reconnect with his heritage when he moved back to Chiloquin at the age of fifteen. Students also met with farmer and past chair of the Klamath Irrigators Association, Luther Horsely and Matt Vickery, a lawyer for the Association at the Link River dam. Students learned about the 2001 irrigation shut down and how interests that fought in court for decades came to sit down and work together on a solution. Students witnessed science in action with a biologist on the lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge, the first waterfowl refuge in the United States.

Nearly 15 years after the initial agreement work on that collaborative project continues.

Students paddled canoes for several miles to access a 9,000 acre camping area where they were the only group for four days and three nights.

Meanwhile, another group explored the geologic, cultural, and contemporary history of the northern California area known as the Hundred Mile Square, home to the indigenous Pit River Indians.

KHS students learned about geology, ecology, ethnobotany, geography, canoeing, land use/water rights issues, the history of the Pit River tribe, and contemporary issues of Native Americans.

For four days and three nights they cooked meals, explored caves, built shelters, engaged with guest speakers (who also canoed in to the site), and visited various historical sites throughout the park.  A notable highlight was getting to spend an entire day with a member of the Ajamawi tribe who had known AIM leader Russel Means personally and was able to provide a unique perspective not only on Ajamawi history, but contemporary Native American issues as well.

They learned all this at a depth that would not be possible in a traditional classroom setting.


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