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State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP)

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The Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma
PR Number: S415A120014

The goal of this project is to establish a Tribal Education Agency (TEA) consortium between the Chickasaw Nation Division of Education and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Department of Education to transfer some ESEA state administered functions for formula grant programs in an effort to increase TEAs role in the education of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and improve academic achievement of AI/AN students through a partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The TEA consortium will partner with the State Education Agency (SEA) to provide administrative assistance of Title I, Part A, Title II, Part A and 21st Century Community Learning Center ESEA formula grant programs within the TEA consortium’s tribal boundaries.

LEAs selected for the first year of the State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) pilot meet the following criteria: 1) Are receiving Title I funding, or Title II funding, or 21st Century Community Learning Center funding; or 2) Are ranked by learning deficiencies based on school classification of reward schools, targeted intervention, priority school or focus school or scores of the AI/AN students in the subject areas of math and reading; or 3) Schools that have a high AI/AN student population.

The SEA will provide the following trainings: 1) The use of the WISE tool; 2) To train in the administrative functions of title formula grant programmatic activities; 3) To serve on various title program committees that are site based; 4) To participate in various family, parent and community outreach activities; and 5) To serve as the liaison between the TEA and LEA and SEA.

Department of Diné Education (DODE) and New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) Partnership
PR Number: S415A120013

The two objectives of the grant will identify challenges to Navajo student learning in two of the United State’s largest school district serving Native Americans. Through the English Learner Education State Grant (Title III, Part A), the Department of Diné Education, in partnership with New Mexico Public Education Department, will identify challenges to Navajo student learning through the collection of accurate and real-time student-level data information related to academic achievement, demographics, teacher demographics, tribal cultural online survey, and any additional indicators necessary to improve the achievement of Navajo students attending the New Mexico public schools on the Navajo Nation.

The second objective is through the Improving Teacher Quality State Grant (Title II, Part A), the partners will develop a culturally relevant and highly effective professional development program to address Teachers working with students in the New Mexico public schools on the Navajo Nation. These in-service teachers will receive NMPED-approved professional development on implementing the common core standards with fidelity and will receive subsequent training. The DoDE will collaborate with the two LEAs to support and provide professional development to in-service and pre-service teachers in the areas of: language and culture, cultural competency, and development of relevant curriculum that is tied to the common core standards. The common core standards professional development shall be approved by the NMPED. The outcome will be a culturally relevant professional development program to address challenges confronting Navajo student learning.

The pilot models developed here will be shared with all Tribal Education Agencies (TEAs) throughout the United States. The population served is approximately 6,884 Navajo students and Teachers working within 25 schools in two New Mexico’s school districts. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveal both Central Consolidated School District and Gallup McKinley County School District are in the top three of the largest public school districts serving Native American students nationally. In New Mexico, there are 89 school districts and charter schools, and GMCSD and CCSD are the two largest throughout the state. A majority of the students attending those two school districts are Navajo.

The Nez Perce Tribe
PR Number: S415A120010

The Nez Perce tribe Tribal Education Agency (TEA) will partner with the Idaho SEA to implement a federally funded State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP). Two LEA’s located on the Nez Perce reservation will also be involved, Kamiah and Lapwai. The project will engage the services of the Academic Development Institute, a non-profit organization to assist with evaluating progress. Under this STEP Pilot project, the Nez Perce TEA staff will be trained to provide technical assistance to partner LEA and SEA staff, related to Title I, Part A; School Improvement Grants (ESEA §1003(g)); and Improving Teacher Quality State Grants (Title II, Part A) and specifically designed to meet the unique educational and cultural needs of AI/AN students.

The above programs were selected because target LEA’s qualify for the programs. Also, the ESEA Director, in the Idaho State Department of Education, administers the programs and will be serve on the administrative team along with the TEA Manager. The above federally funded programs are also in the TEA’s area of interest related to improving academic achievement of disadvantaged students through targeted assistance, school-tribal collaboration on school improvement plans, and improvement of a culturally-responsive learning environment as specified in the 2012 Nez Perce Strategic Plan.

The STEP pilot rationale builds and expands upon current SEA capacity building work. Building on the current efforts of the TEA, SEA, LEA’s, and Idaho Indian Education Committee, the Nez Perce STEP Pilot project will expand, enhance, and create new partnerships by working collaboratively to improve the educational outcomes of AI/AN students in the Kamiah and Lapwai school districts. The improvement in student achievement will be reached by the following objectives: Objective 1: Strengthen collaboration between the SEA and TEA in the administration of three (3) state formula grant programs, implemented by the partner LEA’s, that target improved academic achievement for disadvantaged students, school improvement, and teacher quality; Objective 2: Improve the performance of TEA and SEA staff by providing coherent, web-based guidance and structure (with ample resources), on-site training , and distance learning; Objective 3: Build the capacity of the TEA to support its schools to meet the unique cultural and educational needs of AI/AN students; and Objective 4: Enhance the capacity of the SEA and TEA to support the engagement of families and apply culturally responsive principals to enhance students’ motivation to learn and to persist in school to graduation.

Under this STEP Pilot project, the TEA staff will be prepared to provide technical assistance to partner LEA staff, related to the selected formula grant programs and specific to meeting the unique educational and cultural needs of AI/AN students by participating in the following STEP capacity building activities i.e. Oversight Team Meetings; Project Director’s Meeting in DC; SEA trains TEA on identified three federal formula grants; SEA trains TEA on School Improvement Plans; SEA and TEA conduct capacity building training with STEP Coaches; Joint SEA and TEA meetings with LEA Superintendents; development of content for TEA and SEA websites for STEP Pilot; present drafted final agreement to Tribe and SEA for approval consideration; ongoing joint TEA and SEA Team Research Based Training; SEA and TEA present project at Statewide ESEA Conference; monthly distance learning and phone conferences; obtain approval of Final Agreement and submit to DOE for approval; Native American Researcher Summit; and Evaluation meetings. The Idaho SEA staff will increase the capacity of the Nez Perce TEA staff to provide specific cultural technical assistance to the LEA’s finalized in the “Final Agreement,” by June 29, 2013.

Oregon Department of Education- Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Department of Education Partnership Project Proposal
PR Number: S415A120008

The main goal of this State-Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) Pilot proposal is for the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) in its role as the State Education Agency (SEA) to develop agreements with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Department of Education, in its role as the Tribal Education Agency (TEA) ODE will transfer to the CTUIR TEA as a recipient of continued federal funding under the STEP Program the Development of School Policies, Provision of Technical Assistance, Collecting, Analyzing and Reporting performance of information, and Program Evaluation.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) is a federally recognized tribe. Located in Pendleton, Oregon, the Umatilla Indian Reservation is about 172,000 acres. Nixyáawii Community School (NCS) is a public charter high school, under Pendleton School District. NCS operates inside the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and it serves grades 9th to 12th students, most of whom are American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN). Nixyáawii Community School is a Local Education Agency (LEA), an eligible school that will participate in this project.

The CTUIR Department of Education is the Tribal Education Agency (TEA) that is primarily responsible for supporting the elementary and secondary education of tribal students in the reservation and its surrounding school districts namely, Athena-Weston School District, Pilot Rock School District and Pendleton School District including Nixyáawii Community School. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is the State Education Agency (SEA). It is the agency that is primarily responsible for the State supervision of public elementary schools and secondary schools. SEA-level functions include making subgrants (either competitively or by formula) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and other subgrantees; developing policy; providing technical assistance to subgrantees; monitoring for compliance; collecting, analyzing, and reporting performance information; and evaluating programs With the focus on the improvement of the performance and outcomes of the students of the Nixyáawii Community School, the following project components are proposed:

  • Component One (C1): Student Performance Develop learning activities and policies to improve student performance.

  • Component Two (C2):strong> Staff Development Develop agreements regarding collaborative plans in providing technical assistance for staff development activities.

  • Component Three (C3): Cultural Activities, Family and Community Involvement Build upon tribal culture and knowledge of family and community member as they provide support to successful learning among the students.

  • Component Four (C4): Transfer of Identified Responsibilities from SEA to TEA Forge an agreement for the transfer of administrative functions in implementing the School Improvement Program from SEA to TEA.

  • The STEP Pilot project will implement plans and activities at Nixyáawii Community School to improve student performance, equip its staff with tools and strategies for successful student outcomes while honoring the cultural tradition of the CTUIR families and community members.
    (October 15, 2012)

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    Last Modified: 10/15/2012