Education, Springfield

Tribal Education coming to Oregon curriculum

Elementary Director Suzanne Price (far left) informs the Springfield School Board about the progress towards implementing Senate Bill 13 Tribal Education into the curriculum during the Jan. 27 work session. Aliya Hall/The Chronicle

SPRINGFIELD – During the Jan. 27 school board work session, the board received an update from Elementary Director Suzanne Price about Senate Bill 13 Tribal Education, and how the school board will be implementing it.
Originally passed in 2017 by the Oregon Legislature, SB 13 directs the Oregon Department of Education to create a K-12 Native American curriculum for public schools. The curriculum will be implemented in fourth, eighth and 10th grades in the 2020-21 school year.
Price explained that the state is supporting the curriculum through funding the nine tribes that helped create the curriculum. The mission is to deliver and give students an accurate depiction of Native American experience and history.
”We will be sharing with our students a history that is honest and accurate,” Price explained, adding that it will also be culturally relevant.
The goal is to help the state shape future relationships with Oregon’s tribes through a lens of inclusivity and broader equity.
”It’s another opportunity for us to to support particularly our native students, but all our students,” Price said.
On Feb. 26, a teacher from each grade will receive two and a half days of training at a Train the Trainer professional development event.
Board Director Emilio Hernandez asked if the trainers will be indigenous, but Price said she didn’t know. Hernandez said that although the curriculum has input from the tribes, having the trainers also be indigenous is important.
”Things get twisted quickly and lost by who is delivering the messages,” he said, adding that he hopes the curriculum will recognize more than just the visible nine tribes in Oregon, because there are over 100 tribes in the Pacific Northwest.
The board also broke out into 40 minute focus groups to learn more about better reading and understanding assessments informing student growth.
Vice Chair Naomi Raven said the breakout session will help the board better understand the numbers and ask more educated questions, which in turn will help them better communicate with community members.
The next board meeting will be Feb. 10. The public is encouraged to attend.



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