Education Corner...Indian Education shows community collaboration, mutual support, great resultsRecently, MinnCAN, a statewide policy advocacy group, put the spotlight on our schools for outstanding performance by our Native American students when compared to state test scores and averages.
By: Ken Scarbrough, Pine Journal
Recently, MinnCAN, a statewide policy advocacy group, put the spotlight on our schools for outstanding performance by our Native American students when compared to state test scores and averages. We are so proud of our schools and our Indian Education program, so I would like to congratulate those who make this excellence possible. As I mentioned to my fellow Rotarians last week, when we consider this great performance, we have to start with our students. We have intelligent and motivated students. Much of that motivation comes from within the students who see visions of what they can become and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Much of that motivation comes from parents and extended families that provide all kinds of support and encouragement. Additional support comes from positive relationships which our students and school staff develop, as they all take advantage of the positive learning environment in our community.
Several years ago our Local Indian Education Committee decided to continue the tradition of our great Indian Education Program by doing a strategic plan which would end up setting and reaffirming our mission and processes. As past committees and leaders have focused, our strategic plan put a focus on academic excellence first with a corresponding blending of culturally relevant and best teaching practices.
Following my Rotary meeting, I went to the Warming House to visit with MinnCAN further about our American Indian Education Program. Those present at that meeting served to show a more complete reason for our success. At that meeting, we had representatives from the Fond du Lac community, the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School, Cloquet city government, and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. We discussed, in depth with MinnCAN that we are a community of collaboration and mutual support, and that the groups and organization at this meeting are examples of that outstanding collaboration. Just in the short eight years during which I have been superintendent for Cloquet Schools, we have had the opportunity to collaborate many times with the city of Cloquet, the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee and the services it provides, the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School, Carlton County government, and local colleges, especially Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.
At the risk of overusing the phrase, it does take a community to raise a child. We are fortunate to be a community that cares so much and provides so much to our students. So, a giant thank you goes out to our whole community for supporting our students so well.
Ken Scarbrough is superintendent of Cloquet Public Schools.