Oglala Lakota County School District welcomes its new online learning students

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 6:51 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - NDN Collective hosted the district to help provide devices, resources, and class schedules for families who transferred their students out of schools in the Rapid City area and into the Oglala Lakota District.

Sarah Pierce is the Director of education equity at NDN Collective and says 127 families are making the switch and taking advantage of the opportunity to mix culture and education together.

“The most unique opportunity about it was providing choice options for families so that families could actually identify a school of choice option that suited their needs both culturally and linguistically primarily, but academically as well,” says Pierce.

The Superintendent of the Oglala Lakota County School District Anthony Fairbanks says the more they support the student’s cultural identity, the more successful the student will be.

The district says more than 1,700 students are already enrolled, and now more are coming.

And it’s not just the district excited about families making the switch. The parents are excited too.

Shawn Clemmons is enrolling his six-year-old daughter into the distance learning program.

“You know, she’s Native American, and I want her to know that part of her ancestry, I want her to be able to feel it, and grow into it. I was raised as such, and I want to be able to have her experience that because it’s a beautiful culture. I love it, and I know I do. It’s just the way of life I feel would be best for her,” says Clemmons.

Pierce says it’s not too late to enroll in the program.

Parents will just need to fill out an out of district transfer form before the school board convenes on Sept. 22.

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