• Science Education for Youth
    Science Education for Youth
  • Ronan Seniors
    Ronan Seniors
  • Career Fair
    Career Fair
  • River Honoring
    River Honoring
  • Diploma Wall 2016
    Diploma Wall 2016
  • Cultural Education Through Native Games
    Cultural Education Through Native Games
  • Science Education for Youth
    Science Education for Youth
  • Educational Partnerships
    Educational Partnerships
  • Horse Camp 2016
    Horse Camp 2016


Tribal Education is in partnership with Salish Kootenai College and Two Eagle River School on a US Department of Education funded "Native Youth Community Project".  Our NYCP is focused on College and Career Readiness. 

UPDATE 1/23/17  We have hired two people as College and Career Readiness Coaches and we expect them to start work on January 30!  Join us in welcoming Jodi Hunter-Ivins and Michael Hewankorn!


Tribal Education is in partnership with Salish Kootenai College and Two Eagle River School on a US Department of Education funded project that includes, among other things, a focus on College and Career Readiness.  


UPDATE 1/23/17 We have hired Jodi Hunter-Ivins and Michael Hewankorn as our new College and Career Readiness Coaches and we plan to bring them on Monday, January 30!  Please join us in welcoming them!

 The Montana Office of Public Instruction has provided guidance on what college and career readiness means to them.  It is available at http://opi.mt.gov/pdf/Superintendent/MCCRS/16OctMCCRS_Definition.pdf

We plan to develop our own working definition of college and career readiness and how it applies to students on the Flathead Reservation.  Feel free to contact us with your thoughts!

What’s Good To Know About Creating Rural Educator Networks

March 8, 2016

There is quite a bit of buzz these days about the concept of forming educator collaboratives, which is great news. Much is being written on the benefits of establishing educator networks designed to serve a specific purpose. For example, in The Mindful Teacher, Elizabeth MacDonald and Dennis Shirley show that teachers engaged in purposeful collaborative learning[external link] experiences gain the opportunity to improve their classroom practice as well as develop as leaders.

Yet, most of researchers’ focus has been on collaboratives in urban environments. So far, few studies have looked at the experiences and results from collaboratives in rural contexts. (One notable exception is our colleague Daniel Muijs’ piece on collaboration and networking among rural schools that appeared in thePeabody Journal of Education that we edited last year[external link].)

Educators in remote, rural schools often have limited access to the same professional development opportunities that their urban and suburban counterparts receive, and they consistently find themselves having to do more with less. Because of that, finding innovative ways to network and collaborate with other educators experiencing similar circumstances becomes a necessity.

We recently worked with Battelle for Kids on their new white paper[external link]Generating Opportunity and Prosperity: The Promise of Rural Educational Collaboratives. This report describes the current landscape of rural collaboratives and documents case studies from successful collaboratives across the United States. One collaborative featured in the white paper is our own Northwest Rural Innovation and Student Engagement (NW RISE) Network that brings together educators from 20 rural districts in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to focus on increasing student engagement. (You can learn more about NW RISE from our new video[external link] or theproject’s webpage.)

Through our experience creating and facilitating NW RISE since 2013, here are three takeaways for districts looking to form or join collaboratives:

Start Out With Evidence in Mind

One of the weakest aspects of collaboratives is producing evidence to show effectiveness. Often, networks are formed with passion and purpose at the forefront and with evaluation and evidence gathering as an afterthought. Not only can systematically gathering evidence help networks identify successes and guide course corrections, it can also help justify costs. (Networks can be expensive when it comes to funding travel for face-to-face meetings and bringing in professional development providers.) With three years’ experience supporting NW RISE under our belt, we are now reaching the stage where data collection has emerged as a top priority for members; a volunteer working group is tackling this head-on by developing and implementing an evidence plan.

Design With Intention

While successful collaboratives are organic and shaped by the participants, they also require intentional design. As described in the Battelle for Kids white paper, structuring a new network around research-based practices is ideal. It’s not always feasible, however, to implement a model with fidelity due to factors such as context, cost, and time. Keeping in mind a scarcity of available literature on the design and start-up phases of rural collaboratives and the need to create a model to match the context of our members, NW RISE didn’t base its structure on one specific model. Rather, we thoughtfully designed the network to include what we deduced from existing research on long-standing successful networks as essential elements —such as shared goals and careful participant selection. Having a solid design in place—what we refer to as our network “architecture”—gave us firm footing to launch our efforts. But, it hasn’t ended there. We continually revisit and refine the architectural elements as we learn and grow. (You can find more about the theoretical foundation of NW RISE, as well as literature related to the rural school context, professional capital, and education networks, in thePeabody article[external link] I coauthored with Andy Hargreaves and Elizabeth Cox.).

Provide Strong Behind-the-Scenes Support

Though NW RISE is self-directed by the participating districts and educators, Education Northwest’s role is to serve as the “backbone” organization that keeps the collaborative operating, communicating, and moving forward. When we designed NW RISE, our intent was to recede by this point. What we’ve learned is that without a backbone to keep fueling the mission and providing technical support, there is no network. Rather than reduce our role, we’ve worked with the steering committee to clarify it. With backbone support in place and a critical mass of committed network leaders, we are ready to expand the network and bring in new districts to mix in with our veteran NW RISE educators. In doing so, we hope to expand the network’s reach, innovation, and dedication to increasing student engagement in rural schools across our region.

Want to learn more about joining NW RISE? We are currently recruiting new rural and remote districts in the Northwest. Involvement includes two face-to-face meetings per year and year-round online opportunities to collaborate with other educators. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are now focused on planning for the next PIR Day, set for September 21, 2016 at Polson High School.  We want to first of all thank Polson for this change to the schedule, as the day will be Wednesday.


We are excited to announce that our keynote speakersthis year is Mandy Smoker Broaddus, Director of the Indian Education Division for Montana OPI.  We are working on development of additional new sessions for this year also and we look forward to seeing our Reservation teachers in September.  Stay tuned for further developments and the opening of online registration for the event, anticipated for September 8.

On Dec. 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reauthorizing the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Since 2001, states have been operating under the ESEA amendment known as No Child Left Behind, which expired in 2007 but had never been updated or reauthorized.

No Child Left Behind created a series of unattainable measures by which to grade student success and student performance, eventually requiring 100 percent of students to be proficient on an annual standardized test.

Every Student Succeeds rolls back those requirements and instead will give states the ability to develop their own accountability plans. The new law places a stronger emphasis on child wellbeing, and recognizes that one high-stakes test is not a reasonable way to measure performance.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction will now dig into the new education law, line by line, to develop a strategy for moving forward. This process will take time, and school leaders, parents and students should not anticipate noticeable changes during this window.

"For the first time in more than a decade, Montana educators will have a seat at the table in developing an education accountability and achievement model that will work for Montana students," Superintendent Juneau said. "Now the real work begins as we build upon the programs and ideas that have resulted in Montana's highest-ever graduation rate."

Every Student Succeeds will

  • Eliminate the federally-mandated school-grading system known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and will allow states to develop their own accountability measures.
  • Still require an annual statewide assessment in grades 3-8 and once in high school, but it will no longer be the only measure of school and student success.
  • Include ongoing support for the Preschool Development Grant, giving more children access to free, quality preschool.
  • Integrate School Improvement Grant funding under Title I, giving states the same amount of annual funding, with greater flexibility on how to use the money.
  • Include a literacy program that will build on the success Montana's Striving Readers program has developed.

The Office of Public Instruction will be required to submit its new accountability plan to the U.S. Department of Education for its approval. Any new accountability plan wouldn't take effect until the 2017/2018 school year.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has created this helpful side-by-side comparison of No Child Left Behind and Every Student Succeeds.


NYCP Overview

  • By William Swaney
  • 12/06/2016
  • Hits144

Tribal Education is in partnership with Salish Kootenai College and Two Eagle River School on a US Department of Education funded "Native Youth Community Project".  Our NYCP is focused on College and...

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