Native Village  Youth and Education news
February 2010 Volume 2

State eyes American Indian residential school
By Dirk Lammers
Condensed by Native Village

South Dakota: South Dakota has applied for a grant to help build a year-round residential school for Native American students. The new school is meant to improve academic achievement among Native youth. It will likely be built in the Black Hills. 

The grant, "Race to the Top
," is a U.S. Department of Education program aimed at student success.

In the grant, the school would serve grades 9 – 12 and offer two years of postsecondary education.  Curriculum would focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

The initiative would also involve family and tribal communities. Students could receive mentoring, internships, research experiences and cultural guidance.

The new venture would be an outgrowth of the GEAR UP honors program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.)  GEAR UP began in 1992. It targets mainly American Indian students and prepares them for postsecondary education.

GEAR UP”  success:
All students have graduated from high school;
87% have pursued postsecondary education;
9% have joined the military;
65% have either graduated, or are still enrolled, in college.

The school would begin with a freshman class and add a grade level at a time. The school may partner with state universities to offer postsecondary courses.

The U.S. Department of Education plans to announce its first-round winners in spring.

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