Local News

Native education resolution on Board agenda

Native education continues to be a topic of discussion for the Ketchikan School Board.

On Wednesday, the board will consider a resolution that states the district “joins the Organized Village of Saxman and the Ketchikan Indian Community in affirmation and support of Indian Education.”

The resolution is one of three possible options suggested by Superintendent Robert Boyle as the board’s response to a resolution approved by Saxman and sent to the district. He writes that the board also could choose to simply approve motions to support Saxman’s resolution.

If the board opts for a district resolution, the suggested wording calls for support of tribal children through equal access to all programs; support of KIC and Saxman’s efforts to help families participate in their children’s education; practice of Alaska standards for culturally responsive schools; support of cultural training for district employees; and twice yearly meetings with KIC, Saxman and the district’s Indian policy and procedures committee.

In his report to the School Board, Boyle writes that Native students in the district are performing well. He writes that assessment data and results of student and staff surveys “find the vast majority of our Native students are academically successful, well-adjusted and have a positive attitude about school.”

He adds that the dropout rate for Native students is about 4.5 percent. That number conflicts with the 43-percent dropout rate cited in the Saxman resolution.

Boyle writes that the dropout rate for non-Native students is 2.2 percent.

The School Board will meet a little earlier than usual Wednesday for a half-hour presentation on a school climate and connectedness survey. That starts at 5:30 p.m., with the regular meeting starting at 6 p.m., all in Borough Assembly chambers. There will be time for public comment at the start and end of the meeting.

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