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July 14, 2015
New American Indian/Alaska Native State Plan Aims to Boost Student Outcomes
State partners with tribes and community organizations on updated plan
(Salem, Ore) – At their April meeting, the State Board of Education adopted an updated plan to improve opportunities and outcomes for Native American youth. The plan includes strategies to increase graduation and attendance rates as well as ensure culturally relevant instruction is being offered across the state.
Oregon’s American Indian/Alaska Native State Plan was updated in collaboration with Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes, culturally specific community based organizations, and other key partners. Key efforts outlined in the plan include boosting attendance and graduation rates for American Indian/Alaska Native students, providing culturally relevant professional development for school district staff, increasing recruitment and retention of Native teachers, and implementing historically-accurate, culturally-embedded Native American curriculum and instructional materials across the K-12 system. The plan is aligned with the Oregon Department of Education’s key strategic goals.
“In order for instruction to be effective, it needs to be both high-quality and culturally relevant,” said Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor. “This plan will help guide our efforts at the state level as we engage our tribal partners and communities in the important work underway. Our system has historically underserved our Native students, and this plan is an important step in turning things around and providing our students with what they need to excel.”
The plan was reviewed and revised over a nine month process and key partners in the work included representatives from the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw; Klamath Tribes; Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde; Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians; Coquille Indian Tribe; Burns Pauite; Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians; Native American Youth and Family Center; Oregon Indian Education Association; Springfield School District, Portland Public Schools; Bethel School District; Siuslaw School District; Beaverton School District; Jefferson County School District; Oregon State University; University of Oregon; George Fox University; Northwest Health Foundation; and the Oregon Education Investment Board. The advisory panel meetings were co-facilitated by the Oregon Department of Education and Education Northwest.
“I want to thank all of our tribal and community partners for their participation in this process,” said April Campbell, Oregon Department of Education Advisor on Indian Education. “Their contributions and insights have been invaluable. Improving education for our Native students must be a joint effort – something owned by our schools, our tribes, our families, and our communities as a whole. The collaborative nature of this plan helps set the groundwork for continued partnership and coordination as we roll these effort out across the state.”
To access the American Indian/Alaska Native State Plan, go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/opportunities/grants/nclb/title_vii/2015-final-oregon-american-indian-alaska-native-state-plan.pdf .
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