USD 445 Indian Education Program
Erin Lee, Director
It is the mission of the USD 445 Indian Education Program to support local educational agencies, individual tribes, organizations, post-secondary institutions, and other entities in meeting the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of American Indian students.
The USD 445 Indian Education Program is primarily funded through two grants:
- The Title VI U.S. Department of Education
To be eligible for programs funded through the Title VI grant, students are NOT required to possess their own tribal certification but must have a parent or grandparent who DO possess their own tribal registration card.
- JOM (Johnson O’Malley, Bureau of Indian Education/Cherokee Nation)
To be eligible for programs funded through the JOM grant, students MUST possess their own tribal certification or tribal membership from a federally recognized tribe.
In order for the USD 445 Indian Education program to continue to receive ongoing grant support under these programs, it is critical that parents continue to enroll their qualifying students in the program. Currently the district has 401 students enrolled and participating in the Title VI program and 155 students enrolled and participating in JOM.
The USD 445 Indian Education Program is currently comprised of three main components:
- Elementary Initiatives
- Middle/High School Initiatives
- Community Outreach Initiatives
- Students enrolled in either program, Title VI or JOM, have the opportunity to participate in our after-school “Indian Club”. Available to attend one day each week, September through April, students in grades K-6 are provided opportunities to learn about their American Indian culture and heritage through storytelling, crafts, music, games, and presentations.
- Students who participate in the Indian Club activities throughout the year may also attend an end of the year field trip to the Woolaroc Museum.
- Additionally the district assess all Title VI/JOM students test scores in Reading and Math annually and tutoring services are made available to all students needing extra assistance.
- Finally, for students enrolled in the JOM Program, a portion of their yearly book fees are paid through the grant.
Middle/High School Component
- Students enrolled in either program are offered the opportunity to attend monthly meetings and participate in field trips through the individual school’s Native American Clubs. These activities and field trips are geared to educate the students about their unique culture and heritage. Examples of these activities include the annual Native American Food & Craft Day, Community Service-Learning field trips, participation in the FKHS Homecoming and City Christmas parades, and team building activities.
- As with the elementary component, tutoring services are available to those Native American Middle/High school students who are in need of extra assistance.
- For students enrolled in the JOM Program, a portion of their yearly book fees are paid through the grant.
- All High School seniors enrolled in the JOM Program receive $25.00 towards the purchase of their senior cap and gown. Additionally, these students are invited to attend a luncheon honoring their graduation and academic achievement where they receive additional information about college and post-graduation resources.
Community Outreach Component
- Participants of Middle/High School Native American Clubs participate in various community service activities to be determined each year.
- Participants of the Middle and High School Native American Clubs combine their efforts to decorate and ride on a float for the FKHS Homecoming and City Christmas Parades.
- The USD 445 Indian Education Program facilitates several community outreach programs each year including a Native American pow-wow themed presentation held at Community Elementary School, featuring dancers/drummers and attended by all elementary students. Each September a Native American Unity Gathering is hosted on a Saturday that is open to general public highlighting Native American heritage and culture. Lastly, each year during Coffeyville’s Dalton Defender Day celebration, the program facilitates a dancing and drumming presentation, providing yet another opportunity to share Native American culture with the broader public.
Other Community Service/Service Learning opportunities are offered to all students with the intent of further instilling Native American attributes such as respect, integrity, self-confidence, cooperation, commitment, responsibility, and leadership. Through a partnership with Native American Fellowship, Inc., USD 445 American Indian students are encouraged to attend NAFI’s Youth Group meetings and educational opportunities such as Cherokee Language classes that are currently being offered.
Lastly, the Indian Education Program Director is available to provide resources and assist, if possible, those students applying for their own tribal certification/tribal membership.
For more information, or to enroll you student in the programs being offered, please contact Indian Education Director, Erin Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-252-6420, ext. 13201.