“A part of our mission statement is similar to mission statements in almost any school, anywhere in America. We want our students to have an “effective education.” By implication we want them to be academically and socially competent; to make positive choices in their own lives in the context of their communities.
A part of our mission statement is more specific to our school district and the context in which we live. Our communities are bilingual and bicultural. Although we enjoy the cultural and ethnic diversity common in the United States: many races, many backgrounds, many languages, the clear majority of citizens in this Southwest region of Alaska are indigenous Yup’ik or Cup’ig people. The 2011 administration of the Alaska Standards Based Assessment yielded a population that is 95% Alaska Native and 5% all other ethnic groups together in grades 3 – 10. We, in LKSD, live our lives and school days in a Yup’ik-Cup’ig context.
So what does this mean for instruction, curriculum and assessment in schools?
It means we support the heart of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. We do not want our students left behind academically. We want them to know as much and as deeply as students anywhere in the United States. We want them to apply what they know to any life situation.
It means that we are committed to educating with respect for and celebration of Yup’ik-Cup’ig culture and language.
If we return to the dual nature of the LKSD mission statement: academic success in a bilingual, culturally appropriate way, we have not always been as successful as we would have liked.
As a human race we are resistant to change and do not always embrace new ways of teaching and learning. As educators we are responsible for changing our curriculum and pedagogy (what we teach and how we teach it) until that day we reach the limits of the LKSD mission statement.”
~From the LKSD Instructional Framework