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Education Department works to start Tribal school
April 1, 2007

Would begin with Kindergarten and 1st Grade; eventually will add more levels

The CRIT Education Department is moving forward on the necessary steps to start a Tribal school. With a working title of Four Nations Community School, it would begin as a Kindergarten and First Grade elementary school. From there, plans are to add grades incrementally to a K-3 school, making sure enrolled students are able to remain in the program through all four grades.

“Eventually, the school may include grade levels up through the sixth grade,”said Dr. Jay Cravath of the CRIT Education Department. “The decision to add grade levels will be based on multiple factors, including student enrollment and construction issues.”

STAR (Service to All Relations), an existing charter school in Leupp, Arizona, near Flagstaff, has agreed to have Four Nations as a second site. With a large Native student population, STAR integrates the regional culture into its curriculum and has won numerous awards for its innovative programs.

By collaborating, CRITwill be able to replicate a successful academic model that reflects our student population, and is tailored to their needs and goals. The Tribal school would maintain its autonomy while incorporating STAR’s proven approaches. For example, last year the school’s second graders averaged in the 92nd percentile on standardized math tests.

According to state statutes, after one year of successful operation, the Tribes’ school could then become an independent charter school. A goal of the school includes using current research on best practices for teaching and learning. Arizona State University has asked to partner in supporting professional development and grant writing for special programs. Potential sites for the school are under consideration.

Also, three bids for doing the survey and master site plan for developing the school are being reviewed by members of the Tribal School Master Plan Proposal Committee. Once there is consensus on a proposal, it will be recommended to the Tribal Council for approval.

For further information, contact the CRIT Education Department at (928) 669-8831.

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