This week I would like to highlight just one extraordinary measure taken by staff at my school. I know I witness at least one a week but this one is blog-worthy.
Our school is attended by many students from the Nooksack Tribe and we have been working side-by-side with the tribe to problem solve issues of attendance, conflicts with school schedules and tribal celebrations, and to raise cultural awareness of this unique population in our county. One idea suggested this year by the Native task was to schedule a special evening for parent-teacher conferences on the tribal grounds.
Teachers were concerned about scheduling another long day just a week after their regular conference schedule but agreed to do it after the Thanksgiving Break. Extra pay was set aside and the tribe offered to provide dinner. The setting is a gym and there was concern about the noise level and possible interference of younger siblings who needed supervision. Tribal leadership created a table for art projects, teachers without students to conference with volunteered to interact with young ones as needed.
I was one of the latter. I went a little bit early to help with set up and took pictures of the event. We’re running a survey to see how people – teachers and families – felt about the event. My point of view is that it was an evening to celebrate – and I hope we do it again.