February 19, 2015

Students speak out about their schools


By Jerry W. Kram

When you want to learn about a place, it pays to talk to the people who spend a lot of time there.

The MHA Nation Education Department wanted to know more about what goes on in the schools on the Fort Berthold Reservation, so it invited students from each of schools on the reservation to talk about what is happening in their schools.

Education Department head Damon Brady said the last time the department had such a meeting was three years ago. He said he wanted to learn from the students themselves what the area schools are doing well, what they need to do better, how significant bullying problems are, and if the schools’ cultural programs are passing on the Three Affiliated Tribes language and culture.

Much of the meeting was taken up with adults telling the students about their own educational journeys, including Alan Demaray and TAT Chairman Mark Fox. But when the students got to talk, they expressed themselves eloquently.

Students from Mandaree said that they liked their teachers and classes, but it seemed to them that the there was an absence of spirit in the high school. They felt that sometimes there was a lack of respect between the students and the staff, an attitude that goes both ways. They said making the school a more welcoming place would help student performance. They thought adding a home economic class to teach life skills would be useful for students as well as more after school tutoring programs.



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