The Santa Fe Indian School Curriculum and Professional Development is aligned to the strategic plan, and feeds into continuous school improvement. The curriculum clarifies what students will know and be able to do, starting with a Native foundation. Our students come to us with everything they need to be successful in our program – at their core, they are respectful and caring and have a desire to help others. Anyone walking through our campus or stopping in a classroom or at the dormitory will find that in our students and see it supported by our staff. It is this foundation upon which the SFIS curriculum builds and develops.
When given an opportunity to delve into the education standards set by the state, including the Common Core State Standards, tribal leaders consistently say those standards are important, but that they are the bare minimum of what Native students must learn. Therefore, the SFIS curricular work addresses the New Mexico and Common Core State Standards. However, we also: 1) Address ten elements (or universal themes) and core values common to most native communities; 2) Include aspects of community-based education; and 3) Have a unique Health and Wellness agenda. These, when coupled with the standards, more fully articulate what SFIS students must know and be able to do. The professional development, then, for the adults on campus, focuses on helping academic, student living, and support staff to know and be able to teach the standards, community-based education, and/or health and wellness – depending upon their role at SFIS.
From 2010 – 2012, SFIS administrators and mathematics and English language arts teachers immersed themselves in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics and English Language Arts. In 2012-13, the mathematics and English language arts (ELA) teachers drafted curricula – aligned to both the CCSS and SFIS’s Ideal Graduate Skills. ELA and Math departments have been implementing these curricula since Fall 2014. Other departments delved into the Common Core State Standards Literacy and Mathematical Practices, aligning state standards for each content area with CCSS and IGS. Starting in Fall 2015, Social Studies and Fine and Practical Arts teachers began implementing their curricula. Science teachers are weaving the new Next Generation Science Standards into their courses and student experiments/ research projects.
In the Health and Wellness arena: During 2010 – 2012, the strategic planning process clarified the System of Support for Lifelong Health and Wellness. The Health and Wellness (H&W) Leadership Team crafted an ambitious SMART Goal, which forms the foundation for weekly wellness activities for students that focus on physical, behavioral, mental, and tradition/culture. Using a Data Team approach, members of the H&W Leadership Team monitor the needs of the students and the effectiveness of H&W approaches.
By working together, teams of teachers, student living, and support staff are participating in “embedded” professional development, where everyone is sharing their expertise and all are learning from each other in order to provide the best education for students. See what the Research Educational Laboratory Southwest at SEDL is saying about SFIS as a high performing Native American School: http://relsouthwest.sedl.org/news/items/2015_07_23_SFIS.html
More information can be obtained by calling the Curriculum/ Professional Development Director, Dr. Anya Dozier Enos, at 505-989-6312 or sending an email to email@example.com.