K-12 Services Program Summary
The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Education Department has effectively used Tribal funds in conjunction with other funding sources such as Title VII and JOM funds to establish and maintain the K-12 Services Program. K-12 services provide the community with many successful programs. The foundation of K-12 services is the Parent-Student Advocate program. We employ 6 full time advocates and 7 part-time tutors, and one part-time administrative assistant.
The advocates wear many hats but are primarily placed in the schools as a liaison whom fosters communications between the parent/guardian and the school. They are also responsible for tracking and recording grades and attendance for all eligible students and keeping the parent/guardian updated in this area. Advocates also serve as academic counselors, youth group advisors, and mentors.
The Tribal Tutoring program provides every eligible student with the opportunity to receive assistance in any academic need. Based on Native population and academic priority as assessed by the parent, teacher, advocate and tutor, the tutor will schedule times to work with the student at her/his individual school. This enables the tutor to have easy access to the teacher and any resources the student may require. Tutors are also responsible for operating our Homework Lab. Available every Monday through Thursday on school days, the Homework Lab provides every eligible student with a time and place to complete any work he or she was unable to complete in school. Students have access to computers with Internet service, supplies, the Tribal Education staff, and even an afternoon snack to get them through their tasks.
The K-12 coordinator supervises these programs, and others provided by the K-12 program. The coordinator also documents and compiles the information needed to assess existing programs and implement new ones if necessary.
When planning programs each year, we gather pertinent information from parents, students, community, education staff, and the schools to determine the best way to serve the needs of the Native students. With the experiences and knowledge of all these components, we adjust, restructure, or start new programs to reach our goal of giving Native students a successful academic experience.