District hosts Western Washington Native American Education Consortium
District hosts Western Washington Native American Education Consortium
Posted on 09/27/2017
District hosts Western Washington Native American Education Consortium

More than 90 people came together on September 21 at the Karshner Center in Puyallup to discuss the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidelines and start the crucial conversations with our Washington State Tribal Nations. They represented school districts throughout Western Washington, Title VI Native Education Programs, and Washington State tribes.

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The group represented many key stakeholders as they focused on relationship building and creating the best educational opportunities for our Native students. Western Washington Native American Education Consortium’s (WWNAEC) purpose is to support, foster, and provide educational/cultural opportunities for our Native student’s success.

The meeting began with Mary Wilber, WWNAEC chair, who introduced Superintendent Tim Yeomans and Chief Academic Officer John Parker. Yeomans and Parker greeted the group who represented nine different tribal nations, 28 school districts, four tribal schools, OSPI directors, along with other various stakeholders in Native student education.

Guest speaker Native Education Program Supervisor, Michael Vendiola from Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) addressed the participants, sharing the new state plan for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the new guidelines outlined in ESSA for Tribal Consultation.

The day’s events also included Cina Littlebird, Northwest Justice Project, presenting a workshop about MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding) between schools and tribes; Gayle Pauley, OSPI Assistant Superintendent for Special Programs and Federal Accountability, sharing an overview of OSPI’s current status with Title l, a federal program designed, “To provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps;” Joshua Lynch, OSPI Program Supervisor of Behavior and Research, Readiness to Learn and Student Discipline, sharing about student discipline; and David Murphy, OSPI Bilingual Education Program Supervisor sharing on bilingual education.

“The partnership between the Puyallup School District and Puyallup Tribe is a priority for us to support new ESSA consultation requirements, but more importantly to collaborate with our tribal constituency in support of the Native American students we serve,” said Chief Academic Officer John Parker. 

The next WWNAEC meeting will be hosted by Renton School District and is scheduled for November 16, 2017.