Committee explains their concerns

Edgar's picture


It has been over a month since we celebrated the school board approval of a new position, Native American Education Coordinator. A position that will bring Native American culture, cultural understanding, and cultural activities, while seeking answers to the 10-15 point achievement gap between Native and non-Native students at Timber Lake School(TLS). As the Native American Education Committee, it is our responsibility to look at what the TLS is doing for their Native students (which is 54% of the student body), and what TLS could do to better serve its Native students. This is what led the Committee to work passionately over the summer to educate ourselves on funding guidelines and regulations and ultimately to proposing the new position. We wanted a position that could be identifying and working on the issues Native students were having at the school, as well as enhancing school life with Native culture for all the students.

In August, the Committee found there was an American Indian Education Coordinator position at another school, in Aberdeen, and we felt it would be a good fit for TLS. (This school in Aberdeen has found an abundance of success for the ENTIRE student body through this position.) The position deals with the JOM and Title VI funding, ensuring the funding is used consistently within its guidelines “to meet the unique cultural, language, and educational needs” for Native students, along with organizing cultural activities and advising on culturally appropriateness of school practices. This position would allow for our concerns to begin being addressed in the 2019-2020 school year. The Committee changed the name to Native American Education Coordinator and proposed it to the Timber Lake school board for approval.

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