Health & Education

Tribal Education Department releases fall learning plan

09.14.2020 Danielle Frost Education


By Danielle Frost

Smoke Signals staff writer 

Just as public school districts have been doing around the state, the Grand Ronde Education Department has grappled with how to best serve students during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

After being closed to in-person services since March 16, the department has developed a response plan after consulting with General Manager David Fullerton and Tribal Council.

“Throughout the spring and summer, each program within the department has worked to provide as much service as possible while balancing the safety of employees, students and families,” Education Department Manager Angela Fasana said. “The Education Department realizes this school year will pose new challenges for our students and families, (so) we are excited to announce the highlights for the newly adopted Education Department COVID Response Plan.”

The plan became effective on Sept. 1 and will remain in place for the 2020-21 school year. Some of the highlights include:

  • Technology Assistance Program: Allocation of $500 to assist with the purchase of technology equipment to support Tribal member students in kindergarten through college.
  • Distance learning with weekly physical distance visits for all pre-school students.
  • Internet classrooms for kindergarten through third-grade Chinuk Immersion Program students as well as kindergarten through 12th grade students in the community. The classroom will be on the Tribal campus where students can bring their own devices to access the Internet.
  • Academic coaching services for kindergarten through 12th grade Tribal member students regardless of location, and academic advising services for kindergarten through 12th grade Tribal member students in the Grand Ronde, Willamina and Sheridan areas. This will be a combination of virtual and physically distanced, in-person services.
  • Continuation of activity boxes for Tribal member students, regardless of location, on a monthly basis.
  • Adult Chinuk language classes offered weekly on a virtual platform.
  • Education/career coaching services offered through Higher Education with a focus on assisting Tribal members with preparing for their education or careers. Virtual, as well as in-person, options will be available as long as it is safe to do so.
  • Enhanced family support services with expansion of home visits.
  • Continuation of literacy programs such as the Summer Reading Program. The Tribal Library will be offering fall, winter and spring reading programs as well.
  • Implementation of a mobile library for the local community.

“We are working diligently to develop these services and will roll out delivery as soon as possible, so stay tuned for more information on the CTGR Education Programs Facebook page,” Fasana said.