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Indian Education Program

Colleagues,

This year we are refocusing our energy on high school support as I have assigned two IE specialists to provide support for our Native high school students whereas in the past we only had one HS specialist. You have all been wonderful in supporting the IE department, as has been reflected in raising our Native American population graduation rates. I hope this additional employee will assist you in your mission serving our Native students. Our two highest native high school population schools, Lincoln and Mt. Tahoma, will receive two days per week support. Our two IE specialists are Orlonda Rodriguez and Liz Leines. Orlonda served at the HS level last year and Liz worked with middle school Native students last year. 

We are here to support your Native students, admin staff, counseling staff, and a new refocus is reaching out and establishing/maintaining/retaining relationships with the classroom teachers. Not only will the specialist be meeting with students, they will be reaching out/meeting face to face with all teachers so as to establish a consistent relationship to dialogue real time needs and obstacles we can assist with regarding student needs. I want to ask that the schedule be shared with your certificated staff and let them know Orlonda and Liz will be reaching out on a regular basis(in person). I do know the standard operating procedures vary from building to building and I am confident in Liz and Orlonda will adapt to what process works best for your staff on how to best serve your specific Native students with the IE personnel I have assigned. I have attached a schedule for your perusal and share.

We strive to improve our process each year and as always please share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on how to best serve this high needs population. We think the world of our Native American/Alaska Native students as I know you do as well. 

Thank you for your support, have  a great year and above all “Keep Hustlin!”

David A. Syth, M.Ed. (Crow Nation)
Director of Title VI Indian Education Program
Tacoma Public Schools 
253.571.1846