Timber Lake School Board votes to add Native American Coordinator/Teacher position

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The Timber Lake School Board voted unanimously on Sept. 11 to add the position of Coordinator and Teacher of Native American Education and to begin to advertise the position.

Discussion about the position took place at a public input meeting that occurred prior to the regular board meeting and also during the Native American Education Committee (NAEC) report/update portion of the regular meeting. The district is beginning to advertise the position for the 2019-2020 school year, open until filled, in case a candidate is not found soon. Discussion indicated that the right candidate for the job will need to evaluate and build the program before transitioning into teaching as well as facilitating and administering. Qualifications include that the candidate have or be willing to obtain a Lakota, Dakota, Nakota language and culture permit. It is preferred that the candidate is endorsed in Secondary South Dakota Indian Studies and be highly qualified for the position, according to South Dakota Department of Education guidelines and regulations. (See ad on p. 14)

Essential duties laid out in the job description, prepared by the NAEC with Superintendent Dan Martin, include: serve as coordinator in administration of the Title VI and Johnson O’Malley Indian Education Acts Program, teach and facilitate, member of Data Leadership Team, act as liaison between the school district and the Native American Education Committee (NAEC), promote awareness of American Indian heritage and culture, draft the Title VI and Johnson O’Malley grants and budgets each year, and elicit parental and community involvement in Native American Education Programs.

The motion was met with approval from NAEC parents who have been in attendance this month and previous months as the matter has been discussed. Some asked when would be the soonest the position could be implemented. Martin was non-committal on time frame, in part because the position must first be filled.

“Now we’ll have to work backwards a bit, because I haven’t brought this to my admin team until recently,” Martin said. “Now it’s important for us to sit down and have some meetings.”

In other business, the board:

• Heard reports from High School Principal Julie Marshall and Elementary Principal Danae Paxton. Marshall reported that there are 183 middle/high school students, 11 more than last year at this time. Paxton reported 182 total for Pre-K-5th grade.

• Approved a resolution and adoption of the 2020 budget, after making changes that included adding $65,000 for the new position (salary/benefits). Adopted annual totals are: General Fund $4,515,271; Capital Outlay $858,865; Special Education $519,440; Food Service Fund $303,100; and Impact Aid Fund $2,502,809.

Adopted tax levy requests are: General Fund - maximum levy requested and opt outs of $195,000; Capital Outlay $0; and Special Education Fund - maximum levy requested.

• Approved 2019-20 Board Goals, which are: 1. School Safety and Building/Grounds Enhancements,

2. Using Data to Drive Instruction,

3. Continued Growth in Native American Education, 4. Ensure Students are College and Career Ready.

Full proceedings from the meeting can be found on pages 12-13.

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