A prep school in Colorado is making Native-themed education a priority. And the students of all races there enjoying the benefits.
The Daily Camera reports that Boulder Preparatory High School, an alternative charter has started a Native American focus program.
It includes math that incorporates beading and other traditional practices, along with curriculum that uses Native authors and in-depth history lessons focused on local tribes.
“Our view of education is that it’s a way out for our kids, a way to be successful,” said program director Ruth Cameron, who’s an American Indian. “Boulder Prep is the perfect school for this program.
Her goal is to improve both achievement and graduation rates for American Indian students, who traditionally don’t perform as well academically as their non-Native classmates. At Boulder Prep, the graduation requirements include a college acceptance letter.
For the classes, Cameron developed most of the curriculum herself with the help of American Indian elders.
Along with American Indian-specific classes, Boulder Prep teachers also are encouraged to use “culturally competent” teaching practices, including incorporating using literature and films from American Indian writers and directors, and teaching math in the context of beading, weaving or other cultural traditions.
The program benefits not just American Indian students, but all students, said Lili Adeli, Boulder Prep’s development director.