509-J Board views 1855 Treaty of Warm Springs
A viewing of the Warm Springs 1855 Treaty and student awards highlighted the Oct. 8 meeting of the School District 509-J Board of Directors.
During a work session prior to the meeting, board members had a guided tour of a new display at the Museum at Warm Springs, featuring original pages of the Treaty of 1855, which established the Warm Springs Reservation.
The board meeting followed at the Warm Springs K-8 Academy, and opened with a tribal honor song for students by a singer who observed it was Indigenous Peoples' Day, as designated by the state and other localities.
Outstanding achievement certificates and T-shirts were presented to students in kindergarten through eighth grade, who scored a level 4 on state assessment tests, exceeding state standards in literature and math. A large crowd of parents were on hand for the awards.
Also awarded were Madras High School students, who exceeded state standards in language arts, and the top Native language students. The teachers of the tribal Kiksht, Numu and Ichishkin languages noted 323 students are enrolled in language classes this year, and classes will soon be started at MHS.
Superintendent Ken Parshall gave a report on enrollment and class sizes, as of Oct. 1. Total enrollment for 509-J District was 2,951 students, down from 2,992 last year.
Enrollment at each school showed: Buff Elementary, 319; Madras Elementary, 417; Metolius Elementary, 299; Big Muddy, 15; Warm Springs K-8, 642; Jefferson County Middle School, 486; Bridges High School, 118; MHS, 655.
The average class size for the district was 24 students. Average class sizes by grade were: kindergarten, 20; first, 25; second, 22; third, 24; fourth, 24; and seventh, 25.
"The total class size of 24 is a significantly low size. We try to reduce the size at the kindergarten level, and now it is 20," Parshall said.
The board approved new Impact Aid policies, which were drawn up in collaboration with Tribal Council representatives and the Indian Education Advisory Committee.
Provisions of the policy include:
. The advisory committee will meet four times a year to address concerns of parents.
. The best method of communication with tribal parents will be used.
. A public engagement process to get feedback from tribal leaders and parents will be held in February each year.
. Programming goals will be discussed with Tribal Council annually.
. The district will annually assess the amount of Indian children's participation in educational and extracurricular activities, so it is on an equal basis with non-Indian children.
"I'm proud of the efforts of the district and tribal community in the adoption of these policies," Parshall said.
Under personnel, Jennifer Hall and Sarah O'Gorman were hired as districtwide substitute teachers, and Jared McFarlin was hired as a half-time drama advisor at MHS.
Donations were accepted of $6,553 from Bend Research for science equipment at MHS, and of $500 for instructional services.
Teacher Shawna McConnell requested to be able to offer old MHS softball uniforms to the alumni who wore them, for a donation. It would be a fundraiser for the sports program and make way for the new 2019 uniforms which will arrive in February. The request was approved.
Warm Springs K-8 students awarded for exceeding state benchmarks were: Armando Becerra Jr., Sebastian Bisland, John Buffalo Ball Jr., Audriyona Gilbert, Ramon Greene, Caroline Hintsatake, Azure Hoptowit, Zoe Kollen, Ambrose Napyer Smith, Edward Siers, Davin Slockish, Riyah Stacona, Kylen Stevens, LaRhia Stevens, Dustin Tanewasha, Sirita Wallulatum VanPelt, Isaiah Wapsheli and Gavin Williams.
MHS students awarded were: Samiakin Allen, Amaya Bisland, Thalia Culpus, Kahne Herkshan, Perry Isadore, Jackson Aiden, Mary Olney, Kiandra Smith, Killian Smith, and Jalaney Suppah.
Native language awards went to: (Ichiskin) Skye Victorino and Marissa Andy; (Numu) Falon Garcia, Lillian Libokmeto and Serenity Bisland; and (Kiksht) Gunner Herkshan and Wallace Herkshan.