Enumclaw School District extends agreement with Muckleshoot Tribal School

Enumclaw School Board members have extended the district's interlocal agreement with the Muckleshoot Tribal School through 2014.

The district, which originally signed an agreement with the tribal school in 2004, opted last year for a one-year agreement to see if the larger student population with the new school would work.

The contract between the district and tribe is to provide educational services to students enrolled in the district, but placed at the tribal school, allowing the tribal school to receive basic education funds from the state. The agreement also allows tribal students to tap into areas they previously have not able to access like athletics and college prep classes. In turn, the preschool through 12th-grade tribal school supplies Enumclaw students with cultural enrichment opportunities.

Enumclaw Superintendent Mike Nelson said the agreement has been beneficial to both districts, financially and culturally.

The bond between the district and tribe has grown so strong, the Enumclaw School District nominated the Muckleshoot Tribal School with a Puget Sound Educational Service District award.

The tribe earned the Washington Association of School Administrators 2010 Community Recognition Award.

"The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has a rich history of supporting the youth of their neighboring communities in a variety of ways," Enumclaw School District Curriculum and Assessment Director Terry Parker wrote in the nomination letter. "The tribe’s support of education has been especially long-standing and continually growing – grounded in their belief that it’s important to teach our children about the cultural values of generosity, honoring elders and education.

"For their ongoing commitment to the education of all students in the Enumclaw School District and to their special support of our Native students, regardless of their tribal affiliation, I am nominating the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe for the 2010 WASA Community Recognition Award. I wish to express my most sincere appreciation for their partnership with our school district."

In other business during their May 17 meeting, board members:

• heard Nelson report he felt good about signing on for federal Race to the Top dollars after he received more information. The awards are expected to be announced in August and presented in September. Nelson said even after the award, the district would have 90 days to write a plan or opt out. Board member Cathy Dahlquist continued to express concern that time and stress on the district would not be worth the money.

• announced its next board workshop is June 7 and its next regular meeting is June 21, both at 6:30 p.m. in the district office.

• adopted the high school science curriculum and textbooks which completes the K-12 adoption started three years ago.

• authorized a field trip for a Family, Career and Community Leaders of America student and adviser to attend the national conference in Chicago.

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