Tuba City Boarding School (TCBS) seventh grade teachers and other staff were officially commended and recognized by the acting Director of the Bureau of Indian Education's (BIE) First National Partnership Conference held in Denver, Colo., on July 24-26. Kevin Skennadore promised a meeting with the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs to praise the achievement of not only the seventh grade students, but also to recognize the tremendous performance of students and staff of the school.
While at the conference the teachers presented their methods and strategies to the conference attendees on how they assist Native students to become high-achievers on the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS). Over 100 seventh grade students were tested in reading in the spring. Seventy students attained a rating of either proficient or advanced in reading. This is equivalent to a 69 percent proficiency rating. The Arizona Department of Education requires an annual measurable objective (AMO) of 49 percent in reading. TCBS seventh graders surpassed the AMO by 20 percent. For 2008-2010 the AMO for reading in the seventh grade will increase to 59.2 percent. If TCBS continues this trend in excellence they are prepared to meet the challenges of achieving academic excellence up to 2010. For mathematics, 101 seventh grade students were tested. Eighty students attained a ranking of proficient or advance. This is equivalent to an AMO of 79 percent which is well above the requirement of 48 percent for seventh grade mathematics.
TCBS uses the AIMS as required by NCLB legislation for grades 3 to 8.
There are other criteria which are included in the NCLB legislation for determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in addition to making the AMO. Attendance rate, test participation, sub-groups, and graduation rate (high schools only) are also part of the process when determining AYP status. TCBS met the additional requirements and awaits official word from the Bureau of Indian Education's state office for AYP determination.
Seventh grade teachers, Roger Tsingine Jr., Lorna Etsitty, Dana Wilson, Tina Glotfelty, and Betty Hernandez attribute the seventh grade theme "Teamwork Leads to Success" as key to their success and phenomenal achievement scores. Another common goal is to help the students realize they can succeed. The students live up to what is expected of them. Medge Windmiller is the academic department head and Don Coffland is the school principal and they were also commended for their leadership.
Partners in the Bureau of Indian Education's Partnership Conference included the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Labor, Health and Human Services -Indian Health Service, National Indian School Board Association, Association of Community Tribal Schools, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, National Indian Education Association, National Congress of American Indians, Tribal Education Departments National Assembly, National Education Association, and the National Museum of the American Indian.