ERIC Number: ED323070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Improving Attendance of Reservation Students by an Individualized Alternative School Which Emphasizes Native American Culture.
Gundersen, Linda A.
This paper describes an American Indian reservation's alternative secondary school which was designed to improve high risk students' attendance, basic skills, and self-image in preparation for transition to the public high school. Students: (1) had been expelled from public or boarding school; (2) had been referred by a social service agency; (3) were released from the tribal detention center only to attend school; or (4) had been out of school for at least a year. The program attempted to address factors contributing to poor attendance: drug abuse, poor self-concept, non-compliance with the law, peer pressure, and low academic achievement. Attendance was strictly monitored. Persistent absenteeism was handled by home visits, family counseling, and, as a last resort, student detention. Native American culture was emphasized in the curriculum through field trips, student interviews with tribal leaders, student participation in a tribal mental health fair, coordination with existing youth programs, guest speakers from other tribes, and a "big brother and sister" program with the state university's Indian Students' Club. An individualized course of study was designed for each student, based on entrance tests and transcripts. Other significant aspects of the program were communications workshops, assertiveness training, and provisions for young mothers to bring their babies with them to school. In the first 10 weeks of school, students' attendance increased 33% over the previous year. This report contains 21 references and the contract between the public school district and the tribal government. (SV)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: M.S. Practicum, Nova University.