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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education Sept. 2015  
Letter from the Secretary

I attended part of the Native American Student Achievement Advisory Council meeting Aug. 26-27 in Mission. This council is studying factors affecting achievement among our state’s Native students and identifying ways to improve achievement. This is difficult, but exciting, work.

Over the summer, the council heard from students and leaders involved with the WoLakota Project, the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program and the GEAR UP program. One meeting featured a panel discussion with students offering perspectives from public and Bureau of Indian Education schools. The council is also studying non-traditional schools, like the Native American Community Academy in New Mexico. A small group of council members will be visiting the school later this month.

At the August meeting, council members heard a presentation from Montana educators about that state’s Indian Education for All initiative.

The group meets two more times before its final report and recommendations are due to the Governor. I look forward to seeing the solutions they recommend and am hopeful that they bring forward ideas that will result in positive outcomes for Native students across the state.


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