Art and music coming to Oglala Lakota School District

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PIINE RIDGE, S.D. (KOTA TV) The school board and administrators in the Oglala Lakota County School District are not satisfied with the status quo.

They have serious and ambitious plans to build a new high school.

But they also want to bring a sense of fun to students.

“Everyone loves music and art,” said Superintendent Anthony Fairbanks. “And this week we got approval from the school board to advertise for music and art teachers coming into the district. And I'm excited about that and working with the principles to integrate that into next year’s plans.”

It’s a move that is an integral part of the overall move to integrate more material and methodology that reflects the Lakota heritage of district students who are all residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

“We are actually assessing how we can make our curriculum more culturally relevant -- more within the identity of our students,” said Fairbanks.

And it all comes with a sense of mission.

“With the problems that we have existing on the reservation now,” said School Board President Bryan Brewer. “We are running out of time. Something has to happen right now. We can't look wait too long. This is why we’re doing these things with a sense of urgency. We need to have it done because every year that nothing happens, we're losing a whole group of children. This is why it's important that we get this going right away, next year. This is an emergency and we're going to push it and go as fast as we can to help our children.”