ASBSD’s Board of Directors convened in Rapid City recently for their second meeting of 2017.
Board members were treated to a presentation by students and staff of the Ateyapi Mentoring Program. The program is led by American Indian mentors who are drug and alcohol free, and knowledgeable about Lakota culture.
Traditional Lakota dance and song were shared with board members, as well as information about the program, which was implemented in the district in 1994 through the Rural America Initiatives Agency and is offered in three high schools, five middle schools and five elementary schools for students between the 4th and 12th grades.
“We have seen major success with the program,” Ateyapi Coordinator Whitney Rencountre shared with the board.
In 2015, 93 percent of Ateyapi students in the senior class completed high school and the program helped lower the drop-out rates for students in the district from 63 percent in 2012 to 41 percent in 2015.
“I think we have an obligation to bring programs in to make our students feel welcome,” RC Central Principal Mike Talley told board members.
In addition, Sen. Troy Heinert joined in a discussion with board members on Native American education topics and other matters across the state.
“What do our kids see? Do they see that as a Lakota’s place?” Sen. Heinert said. “I tell kids all the time, you can be a Lakota everywhere.”
The Board of Directors also:
- Approved a Fiscal Year 2018 budget of $1.9 million for the Association;
- Reviewed appointments of Tom Farrell, Kathy Greeneway, Anita Peterson, Eric Stroeder and Todd Thoelke to the ASBSD Policy & Resolutions committee and discussed a variety of legislative topics that may arise during the 2018 legislative session;
- Received a report on the Associated School Boards Protective Trust, which included a note on the Colome Consolidated and Highmore-Harrold School Districts joining the health fund;
- Set the next meeting date for Wednesday, August 9 in Sioux Falls ahead of the 2017 ASBSD-SASD Convention.
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