You Know What's NOT at the Seattle Schools News Page?

Any mention of Indigenous People's Day on Monday, October 12th.  Not on Twitter, either.

Now it IS the calendar but there is no story or reference to any events happening in our schools nor if the Superintendent or Board will be attending any events.  This is surprising given that Superintendent Nyland was very involved in Native American education when he was working in Marysville.

The Board voted on this resolution to change from Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day almost exactly a year ago (on Oct 1, 2014) so it's not like it's a surprise.

What is odd is that I know from listening to the Board meeting that Licton Springs K-8 is having an event and invited the Board/Superintendent to attend. It is the only Native American-focused K-8 school in the district. The speaker, Margit Moore, also announced that they received a grant (about $150K over three years) from the Gates Foundation to support Advanced Learning for Native American students.

The Board and Superintendent also got a fantastic report from the head of Native American Education for the district, Gail T. Morris.  She could not be more enthused about her job and her staff and all that they are doing.  Unfortunately, there is nothing on that SPS department webpage about any events for that day.


Flipper said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Oops! Anonymous at 7:31 was me
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
We've been told we must find a way to honor the day (and not by doing Native American craft projects). We had a one hour training in August. Books for read aloud have been made available, as well as a packet of possible project ideas for our grade level. I imagine this happened district-wide?
Anonymous said…
So how are native peoples treated in USA today? Does the trail of broken treaties still continue? Have a look here =>

Treaties Violated by lack of Highly Qualified Teachers in American Indian Schools

-- Dan Dempsey
dismayed said…
what happened to the district instructions that the teacher posted?

that's really wierd you'd delete that post, some body went to the effort to inform us of the work the district put into honoring first people on Monday and you deleted it.
Anonymous said…
So how is it going in WA State for 4th grade American Indian students?
Not well .....
and in Seattle slightly better

MSP ethnic trend results in WA State

WA scores followed by (Seattle) scores below.

In 2014 MSP reading grade 4 WA State
American Indian / Alaska Native ... lowest ethnic group 46% passing .. (50%)

In 2014 MSP math grade 4 WA State
American Indian / Alaska Native ... lowest ethnic group 34.8% passing .. (44.4%)

2015 SBAC English Language Arts grade 4 WA State
American Indian / Alaska Native ... 26.3% passing .. (20%)

2015 SBAC Math grade 4 WA State
American Indian / Alaska Native ... 26.8% passing .. (33.3%)

Since the Staff prefers to conceal achievement gap data ...
take a look for yourself .... Seattle MSP ethnic trends HERE for grade 4.
Anonymous said…
Melissa wrote:

"The Board and Superintendent also got a fantastic report from the head of Native American Education for the district, Gail T. Morris. She could not be more enthused about her job and her staff and all that they are doing."

Glad that Ms. Morris is enthused .. so exactly what is being done about academic performance? Does anyone in administration ever report on Opportunity Gaps or is it just all talk?

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
The 10:02 posting is mine.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Seriously Dan. Your posts are ridiculous. MSP isn't a measure of anything. Don't you have something better to do? You're a boring and broken record. What was that bit about intelligent application of relevant data? Try applying your own pearls of wisdom to your repetitive posts.

Ragweed said…
Here is the email that went out to all principals and assistant principals:

ACTION REQUIRED | INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY | Required observance on Oct. 12 | (All Principals and Assistant Principals) Please prepare for Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, Oct. 12. As you know, the School Board voted last October to require the observance of Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October.
Here are a number of options for recognizing the day:

We anticipate that every school would include a basic observance. This could be a statement during morning announcements and potentially also in school newsletters recognizing the day and including a few simple “did you know?” facts. You may use the following language or come up with your own:

Today we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. The word “indigenous” means original or native.
Did you know…

· In Washington state, there are 29 federally recognized Native American tribes.

· Thousands of people in Seattle Public Schools identify as Native American – from students to teachers to our district webmaster.

· In South King County, the Muckleshoot Tribe is the second largest employer.

· Seattle was named for Chief Sealth of the Duwamish Tribe.
We celebrate this day to honor the dignity and diversity of the cultures, traditions, histories, and aspirations of our city, state and country’s indigenous peoples.

More depth
Videos: In addition to the general announcement, a school may select one of the following videos and show it during certain classes or during common or advisory time. Please note that these videos are embedded within educational slideshows.
Elementary: Long Before You Were Born or Native Homelands
Middle: Tribal Perspectives on American History in the Northwest
High School

Read-alouds: K-5 or K-8 teachers may make time in class for a read-aloud on Oct. 12. The Huchoosedah Catalogue (attached) provides many options.

Tribal map: Teachers at any level may use the tribal map at to present a brief lesson reviewing the federally recognized tribes in Washington state.

Additional curriculum: The “Since Time Immemorial” site offers Common Core-aligned curriculum as well as resources and learning goals at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The state now requires that Native American education be incorporated into social studies teaching – ideally through the Since Time Immemorial curriculum, but some of the lessons on this site will also work for a one-day observance.

ASB-led activities or assemblies: Please let us know as soon as possible if your building would like to hold an assembly on Friday, Oct. 9 (which is now a school day) or Monday, Oct. 12, or would like to encourage its ASB to generate activities. We can help, and we’d like to share the story. Please contact Gail Morris, Native American Services Manager, for help finding speakers, resources, materials or other support.

STEREOTYPE WARNING: We encourage any or all of these additional activities, but we ask you avoid Native American-themed art projects as a means of observing Indigenous Peoples Day. These projects may lead to stereotyping or caricature of indigenous peoples.

Also, please be aware that the district is planning a number of events around Native American Education Month in November.

Gail Morris Native Education Services Manager
Ragweed said…
Also, Gail Morris's handout to the board included a list of the following schools that are doing Indigenous People's Day events

Pathfinder - Roger Fernandes is storytelling
Licton Springs, assembly and Roger Fernandes storytelling
Fairmount Park, Boo Balkin-Foster speaking about contributions Natives made to
Nathan Hale, Jolene Grimes made a display for the school and is coordinating with
UNEA upcoming events
South Shore, inviting Tulalip Drummers and has an evening Potlatch Event
Graham Hill, Deena Russo will discuss the meaning of Indigenous Peoples Day at
their school assembly.

I would add that the Licton Springs K-8 assembly will also feature student readings and an exhibition performance by some of our students who are accomplished Pow-wow dancers in Traditional, Grass Dance, and Jingle Dance.
Ragweed said…
This is the "Big 5" goals of the Washington State Tribal Sovereignty curriculum. The Since Time Immemorial curriculum at the OSPI website provides a number of lesson plans at all different grades. Also, there are several times during the year when free curriculum training is provided at different Western Washington Tribes sites. Shana Brown at Broadview Thomson is one of the authors of the curriculum and can do staff training.

Since Time Immemorial

Washington State Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum Standards
Elementary School Curriculum

By the time Washington State students leave elementary school, they will:
1. understand that over 500 independent tribal nations exist within the United
States today, and that they interact with the United States, as well as each
other, on a government-to-government basis;
2. understand tribal sovereignty is “a way that tribes govern themselves in order
to keep and support their ways of life;”
3. understand that tribal sovereignty predates treaty times;
4. understand how the treaties that tribal nations entered into with the United
States government limited their sovereignty; and
5. identify the names and locations of tribes in their area.

Middle School Curriculum
By the time Washington State students leave middle school, they will understand:
1. that according to the US Constitution, treaties are “the supreme law of the land”; consequently treaty rights supersede most state laws;
2. that tribal sovereignty has cultural, political, and economic bases;
3. that tribes are subject to federal law and taxes, as well as some state regulations;
4. that tribal sovereignty is ever-evolving and therefore levels of sovereignty and status vary from tribe to tribe; and
5. that there were and are frequent and continued threats to tribal sovereignty that are mostly addressed through the courts.

High School Curriculum
By the time Washington State students leave high school, they will:
1. recognize landmark court decisions and legislation that affected and continue to affect tribal sovereignty;
2. understand that tribal sovereignty protects tribes’ ways of life and the development of their nations;
3. understand that tribal, state, and federal agencies often work together toward the same goal;
4. explain the governmental structure of at least one tribe in their community; and
5. distinguish between federally and non-federally recognized tribes.
Anonymous said…

Awesome.... Really nice to see.

Thanks for posting

-- Dan Dempsey
I deleted three incoherent posts, not anything with teacher instructions.

This is all good but how come there is nothing about any of this right on the News page, acknowledging the day and what some schools are doing. If they can have a grinning Nyland in a story about college, maybe they could spare some time to tell us if he will be part of any of these school celebrations.
Carol Simmons said…
Thank you Ragweed, Melissa and Dan for your interest, information, data and advocacy regarding our Native students. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to state the data over and over again. Many do not have access to the data that demonstrates the opportunity gap (since the Data Profile Document was eliminated)......I make no apologies for stating this over and over again in hopes that the District will resume the publication. Without stating and displaying the disproportionality data over and over again, it will never be addressed. Dan your posts are not a "broken record." Please take precious time to keep the record playing. Thank you
Anonymous said…
Ridiculous ... humm...

Reader wrote:

" Your posts are ridiculous. MSP isn't a measure of anything. "

So are there any "standardized" objective tools that measure anything?

MSP - SBAC - NAEP - MAPs - End of Course testing..... just wondering.

Are the gaps that are the focus of "Closing Opportunity Gaps" unable to be measured?

If so, how do we know these gaps exist and of what size they might be?

How will we know if the "supposed Gaps" are being closed?

So who would know =>
What practices would work to "Close Opportunity Gaps" and how would we know?

-- Dan Dempsey
dan dempsey said…
September 2015

Nearly half of Native American people are under the age of 24; more than one-third of Native children live in poverty; and Native youth have the lowest high school graduation rate of students across all schools. Nationally, the American Indian/Alaskan Native high school graduation rate is 69 percent, far below the national average of 81 percent -- but the situation for the eight percent of Native students attending Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools is much worse with an average graduation rate of 53 percent.

Failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, failure to include tribal nations in the decision-making process and lack of access to broadband and teachers and principals shortages contribute to the urgency of the situation.


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