Return to Headlines

Special Board Meeting Highlights from June 6, 2023

Highlights from the June 6, 2023, special meeting of the NTPS School Board and Nisqually Tribal Council:

  • The group held a moment of silence in honor of Sen. John McCoy of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, a longtime public education champion who passed away on June 6.
  • NTPS School Board President Gretchen Maliska and Nisqually Tribal Chairman Willie Frank III reflected on the 10-year journey the district and tribe have been on to strengthen relationships and enhance educational opportunities for all students.
  • Gretchen Maliska presented Tribal Council members with wooden medallions created by Envision Career Academy students, which symbolize the partnership between the Tribe and the District.
  • River Ridge High School teachers Alison McCartan and Colin Sterling shared an update on the school’s Native Studies Program. These are just a few of the many activities happening:
    • River Ridge students now have access to three classes:  
      • Literature through Native Perspectives
      • U.S. History through Native Perspectives
      • Civics through Native Perspectives (this course is new this year for seniors)
    • River Ridge students have been working in partnership with TVW on a video to help educate students and staff on land acknowledgments.
  • NTPS Director of English Language Arts/Social Studies/Library Programs Jami Roberts updated on the Since Time Immemorial curriculum work in consultation with the tribe.
    • All NTPS district administrators and instructional specialists will receive training in August at the Nisqually Cultural Center, and certificated staff will get training in Sense of Place (peoples’ bonds and meanings associated with place) at the cultural center.
    • NTPS is building a native knowledge intranet site with lessons and professional development modules to build knowledge as leaders and instructors.
    • We are creating K-5 and 6-12 lessons on various concepts such as sovereignty, land acknowledgments, civic action, and care for resources. 
  • NTPS leaders acknowledged the many grants the Nisqually Tribe awarded to our schools this school year, including:  
    • $10,000 for a multicultural celebration and community literacy nights at Lydia Hawk Elementary.
    • $8,000 for art supplies, playground and garden equipment and to support a multicultural fair at Meadows Elementary.
    • $10,000 to support outside playground equipment so students can build their social-emotional learning skills during recess.
    • $2,000 for the 4th grade STEM Field student, “Salmon, Cedar, Canoe: Stewards of the Ecosystem.”
    • $13,000 to the Native Student Program for field studies around tribal government and culture.
A collage of three photos from the meeting, overlaid with a District logo
From left: Colin Sterling & Alison McCartan speaking about the Since Time Immemorial curriculum work at River Ridge; the Tribal Council and Board seated at their tables for the meeting; the crafted gifts made by Envision Career Academy Students.