Tribal Youth Education Program building.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — The Tribal Youth Education Department is getting ready to host a series of meetings to examine the Strategic Education Planning initiative.
Strategic Education Planning is a guiding tool for TYEP to utilize to help students in their education process. The current plan is general and the new one will be more specified.
The original plan was specifically aimed at helping to improve ISAT scores, while they still have the same mission they want to focus on a broader scope with the hopes to one day only have one education department.
A local education planning committee that represents different departments and discusses the ways they can engage youth has had a couple meetings so far. A larger planning meeting specifically for invited departments, community and elders has been set for January 30 at Fort Hall Housing from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will do an activity called “The Wall of Resistance.”
A reality workshop will follow on February 6 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Fort Hall Housing, where data and information will be presented from the first workshop.
An overall community Strategic Education Planning workshop is set for February 13 at Fort Hall Housing, which will get input from youth, graduate students, college students, elders and community members. In the meantime, they will also set up data gathering at the district meetings and will also present the information collected.
Jessica James, TYEP manager, said they’re excited to get things going and explained the strategic plan will cover kindergarten through graduate school.
“We just really want to get a streamline process for education,” she said. “It gives us the guiding tool to provide for the students.”
Getting input from the community will better indicate what are the needs and what areas can they work and improve upon, and what can they keep doing.
James said they are limited due to the space they have now, in addition to hopefully increase staff capacity. They currently have six staff which cover education for 1,500 Native students within a 50-mile radius of the Fort Hall Reservation.
“We would like to have a robust staff in education and helping our students, whether it be more after school programming, more weekend programming, more tutoring services available after hours,” she said, adding it's that type of information they need to gather from the community to see if it’s something that they want.
James said they want to make a good plan and come up with a strategic way to solve the education problems and barriers.
She said they will be providing more information on scholarships, helping to prepare students to make the transition to college, FASFA nights to help with application and giving them the resources, they need to be successful.
Right now, TYEP offers an after-school program, summer reading and math enrichment program, last summer they had a robotics program, they help refer students to other programs in the summertime, they also have liaisons who check on kids to see how they’re progressing and do home visits, they also help with paying for school education fees for tribal members.
James encourages parents to keep track of how their students are doing in school, with grades and attendance She suggests using Infinite Campus and to keep track of new student policies.