Connecting JCSD 509J

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509J Feature Stories

MHS Seniors win at Regional Thespian Competition

The Madras High School Thespian Troupe made a splash at the Southern Oregon Regional Acting Competition in early February. After being inactive for nearly a decade, the school sent a number of students to Summit High School in Bend for regionals.

The students who performed at regionals include:

Brennan Frank: Solo musical, novice

Lane Strode and Manny Meraz: Duo Comedic Acting, novice

Alyssia Scott, Jenelle Scott: Duo Dramatic Acting, novice

Olivia Johnson, Vanessa Young: Musical Theater Duo, regular

MHS seniors Johnson & Young made school history by winning their category, Musical Theater Duo. The two competed against more than 70 other duos from 27 high schools across Oregon.

“All four judges unanimously ranked us first,” Johnson said.

“It was definitely a shock,” Young added. “We just went in there wanting to have fun and compete. We wanted to get in the top half.”

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Warm Springs K8 Academy students get glimpse of life as a student at Madras High School

It wasn’t a typical day at school for more than a dozen Warm Springs K8 students. Instead, the students boarded a school bus and headed 15 miles south to Madras.

On this day, these students had an opportunity to see what it is like to be a student at Madras High School. They experienced what it would be like when they are walking the halls as a freshman.

“My first thought about the high school was that it was really big and when I first attended there I was probably going to get lost,” 8th Grade Student Riyah Stacona said.

The students were paired with a mentor student from MHS. The WSK8 students asked their mentors questions throughout the day, followed them around, and attended some of their classes with them.

“In my head it felt like it was kind of fun, but then kind of nervous at the same time,” 8th Grade Student Arthur Miller said.

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Madras Elementary Parent Club helps create positive environment

Parent organizations in schools do so much to help create a positive and nurturing environment for students, families, and staff. The Madras Elementary Parent Club aims to add to the nurturing environment already present at the school and more.

The group is made up of about a dozen committed parents or guardians. They meet monthly to discuss activities, events, and fundraisers that will help the school. The president of the club is Miriam Pope. She currently has six students in the school district. Five of those are her kids and she is hosting a foreign exchange student this school year. Two of her kids attend Madras Elementary. Pope welcomes families thinking about becoming more involved with the school.

“It’s always good to have fresh, new ideas,” she said. “So, we love it when new people come and join.”

The club’s main purpose is to help raise funds for the school.

“These funds are used to purchase technology, to do field trips and assemblies,” Pope said. “We also try to do something for the teachers and staff during staff appreciation weeks, and we also do fun events for the school and families.”

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Pictures from Madras Elementary Fall Carnival organized by the Parent Club

MHS students get real life lesson in personal finance, budgeting

MHS Seniors learned about personal finance and budgeting through an activity provided by ECMC.

FAB Life is a financial literacy simulation that is intended to teach students about personal finance in an interactive way. Students were given a piece of paper that had their occupation, marital status, and if they had any kids on it.

Once they had that info, they had to "shop" for services that adults need. Things like housing, transportation, insurance, and more. Watch the video to learn more about the activity and to hear from a student on what they learned about budgeting.

Watch the video to watch the exercise in action!

Understanding Personal Finance at Madras High School

JCSD 509J families can stay up to date on bond projects through website

The Jefferson County School District 509J offers a one-stop shop for our community to stay up to date on bond projects:

The work is starting to take shape after voters approved the District’s $24 million bond request in November 2021. As a renewal, the bond measure maintains the current tax rate and bond proceeds can only be spent on 509J schools as approved by the voters.

The district launched the website last summer in an effort to provide the community with real-time updates and transparency on how bond funds are used. Visitors can see what voters approved, where bond dollars are spent, projects at each school, and more.

When construction begins at each site, users can follow along for updates.

The 2021 bond was designed to address health, safety, and security needs, update and repair aging facilities, and expand vocational and early learning programs within the district.

In addition to the $24 million approved by voters, the district received a $4 million matching grant from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching Program. This additional funding will support bond projects and help the district prepare for supply chain issues and rising costs.

If you have questions about the 2021 Bond Measure or would like more information, please reach out to us at

JCSD 509J Schools in Action

Our Schools in Action ad ran in the Madras Pioneer and Spillyay Tymoo this past month. That ad included a list of stories to update our community on the progress of fulfilling the promise of the 2021 Bond.

Click on the images below to view or download the ad and read about the progress on the Bond projects.

Around 509J

This school year, JCSD 509J adopted a new form of school-to-home communication called ParentSquare. This unified communications platform is designed to keep parents and guardians informed and encourage greater engagement and connection with 509J. It provides a safe way for district administrators, school principals, teachers, staff, and parents to:

  • Send and receive school and class information
  • Share pictures and files
  • See calendar items
  • Sign up to volunteer
  • Schedule parent-teacher conferences
  • and much more . . . all in one centralized place!

Madras Elementary students learn about sustainability and conservation through ‘Earth Smart’ series

5th grade students at Madras Elementary are learning to become more sustainable. This is thanks to a partnership between the school and The Environmental Center in Bend.

Every Wednesday, 5th grade students receive an interactive lesson focusing on waste reduction, resource conservation, and sustainability.

The first lesson covered Natural Resources. Becky Yaeger, the Youth Education Program Manager for The Environmental Center, talked to the students about renewable and non-renewable resources and about how natural resources are used in our daily lives.

To read more, follow the link to our website,

JCMS 8th grade students to get opportunity to be certified in CPR

The JCMS health program in conjunction with the school district is proving a unique opportunity for all 8th grade students.

They are currently in the midst of their CPR/AED and First Aid unit. Our District Nurse Christina Kelley has graciously offered to certify all JCMS 8th grade students in CPR/AED and First Aid. Nurse Kelley is a certified instructor through the American Heart Association. The district will cover all the cost of training and certification for the first time ever!

Students must demonstrate skills necessary for effective CPR, first aid and AED use. Students must pass a written test as well as a skills test administered by Nurse Kelley.

They have been working on their skills to get prepped for the test!

JCSD 509J staff get better every day with professional development time

Our teacher teams got together for professional development at the beginning of February. This time is invaluable for our teaching staff as they continue to learn best practices.

Our elementary teachers met with their grade level teams from across the district to talk about and learn from each other on how they’re implementing the District's new Benchmark ELA curriculum in their classrooms. After an informal Q&A session with a consultant, the school level teams met to discuss possible adjustments in instruction and using different resources provided by Benchmark.

At the middle and high school levels, our teachers worked together in teams to identify where they can better meet student's needs.

The professional development time our teachers receive is just one way the District aims to get better every day to ensure that students are flourishing academically in 509J schools.

MHS Athletics Round Up

509J recognizes one of our Certified and Classified employees every month. These employees are nominated by their colleagues for the work they do to ensure that students flourish in the District.

January's recipients were:

Dan Stroup, 4th Grade Teacher at Madras Elementary

Kayla Dupont, 509J Online Secretary/Registrar

Congrats to both of them! Watch the videos below to learn more about them and their work!

Employee Spotlight: Dan Stroup, 4th Grade Teacher at Madras Elementary
Employee Spotlight: Kayla DuPont, 509J Online Secretary and Registrar

Event Calendar

MHS Music in Our Schools Concert TONIGHT!

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Senator Ron Wyden to hold Town Hall at Madras Performing Arts Center

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21st Century After School Program March Family Engagement Night

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Spring Break

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JCSD 509J School Board Work Session & Regular Meeting

Monday, March 13th, 5:30pm

50 Chukar Road

Warm Springs, OR