April 17, 2009

Meeting generates numerous ideas to better educate Native American children

Meeting generates numerous ideas to better educate Native American children
A number of ideas on how to better educate Native American children were generated Tuesday in a meeting of the Parshall School Board and Native American patrons.
The meeting is an annual requirement to address impact aid that has been as high as $800,000 but is expected to drop to $600,000 next year. It is used for a variety of expenditures, but is somewhat limited, according to Superintendent Steve Cascaden.
Marilyn Hudson, a grandparent, said she is happy to see more Indian students on the honor roll in recent years, but suggested more could be done to reach a greater number of students to help them improve their grades.
She said Parshall’s per pupil spending is one of the lowest in the state at $8,153, while Twin Buttes comes in at $46,000.
“That’s low, but on the other hand, math and reading at fourth grade level are high so you’re doing something right,” Hudson said. “Money isn’t always the answer for academics.”
She added that the Power Hour after-school program is one of the best in existence and suggested more emphasis should be placed there than on sports.
Finally, Hudson said it ultimately comes down to parental involvement.
“We like to think the school can do everything, it can’t,” she said. “There has to be a lot of parental support.”
Cascaden agreed with Hudson and said if more parents would become involved, attendance would certainly increase.
School Board President Karen Stevens made the point that parents need to be involved not only with younger children, but with those getting closer to graduation. She said the school is doing what it can to circumvent marginal grades, however, parents need to get involved before it is too late.

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