ERIC Number: ED393624
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Maryetta School: The Center of a Rural Community.
Issues...about Change, v5 n1 1995
This theme issue describes Maryetta School, a rural pre-K-8 school in Stilwell, Oklahoma, with an enrollment of approximately 500 students, mostly American Indians of Cherokee descent. Although the area has a high poverty rate and virtually all the students are judged to be at risk, the school has an impressive array of programs and facilities and has won numerous awards, including National School of Excellence in 1988. This case study report traces the school's development, particularly since the early 1980s, and identifies leadership strategies that have promoted school improvement. Since 1968, the school has been under the leadership of a visionary "superintendent" (the title given to heads of dependent schools, which send students to another district for high school). The superintendent's beliefs that physical activity promotes academic learning and that right-brain learning styles are prevalent among Indian children led to the development of a "psychomotor program" that uses physical activities to reinforce cognitive skills and retention. This program and others have been funded through aggressive grantsmanship. The superintendent is the driving force for change and has several leadership strategies for effecting change and steady improvement. These include securing grants, determining and implementing the community's priorities, organizing special events that include the community, providing community education programs and other services, and planning for the long term and managing money wisely. The superintendent also hires strong, supportive staff with a variety of complementary skills, maintains good working relationships with them in a collegial atmosphere, and encourages new ideas. (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, Case Studies, Change Strategies, Cherokee (Tribe), Cognitive Style, Community Involvement, Educational Improvement, Elementary Education, Elementary Schools, Grantsmanship, Instructional Leadership, Principals, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, Superintendents
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.