Indigenous Week Celebration
College Trip @ SIPI and Job Corps
Six Directions Primer
Seniors' Graduation Video
Seniors Pocket a $1K Fundraiser
by: George Piestewa
What would you do if you needed funds for your graduation?
The seniors’ answer? Navajo Taco.
The school’s first graduating batch of 2022 pulled off a successful fundraiser on November 10, 2021. The Navajo Taco sale was sponsored by Ms. Tyla Kanteena which aimed to raise money to pay for the hosting of the school’s first ever High School Graduation ceremony as well as to pay for supplies or activities that cannot be paid for by our school’s operational budget or grants.
The said activity was able to generate $1,000. This means the seniors achieved their initial target.
Despite having only three graduating seniors to cover such a target amount, George Piestewa, Dorothy Nez, and Jessica Decorah still were able to run a successful fundraiser with the help of their family and friends, as well as some SDIS staff.
Another challenge for this year’s senior fundraiser is the Covid health protocol that they had to adhere to.
“Luckily, we have been able to execute the taco sale this school year in a way that there was minimal contact between volunteers and customers,” said Ms. Kanteena.
Other than arriving at a desired amount of money, Ms. Tyla Kanteena, the senior sponsor also noted another importance of the said activity:
¨Regarding fundraising, I think the overall goal is to foster a supportive community that includes staff, students, and families. I think it is beneficial for us all to work together so that we can experience more opportunities outside of the classroom and so that families become more familiar with their students' learning environment,” remarked Ms. Kanteena.
“ I believe that with a stronger community, we can better support our students and their goals,” she added.
Historically, it is not only the Navajo Taco that became a hit among fundraisers done in the school. Ms. Kanteena recalled another successful fundraiser hosted in the past.
“I would like to see the Bingo Nights hosted by SDIS again in the future; however, the pandemic has made large gatherings like this harder to organize due to health concerns within the community,” she stated.
When asked what would be the chances of these kinds of activities done in the future, here is what she had to say:
¨ I would like these events to be recreated because they allow students and families to gather in a collected effort to support SDIS and its students.¨
The senior fundraiser proved once again that no problem is too big when we all come together.
‘Champions’ Open Biking Program with Outride
by: Zachary Lamy
Have you ever wanted to live a better, healthier lifestyle? Well, Ms. Tanisha Bitsoi and the so-called ‘Champions’ of Six Directions Indigenous School can help!
Ms. Bitsoi has been approved to provide a biking program to better the lives for the middle school students, that is, become healthier mentally, physically, and spiritually. This is made possible with the partnership of ‘Outride’. Outride is a public non-profit organization committed to using cycling to support the cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being of youth, while also breaking down barriers so that all kids have access to bicycles and safe places to ride.
Along with Ms. Bitsoi, the other ‘Champions’ Mr. Myko Vincent Cagalitan, the ELA teacher, Ms. April Reeves, the Educational Assistant and Mr. Cris Anthony Rabino, the Math Teacher, are going to be providing assistance with the program. The program is held during the first, second, and third period for the students attending the program in each grade.
We can all agree that having a program being announced so late into the year is a bit weird, but Ms. Bitsoi and the school have a reason for that. As it goes, the program was supposed to be implemented around 2020, but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the world in a panic and no real way to implement a biking program with the school starting virtual learning for those years, the school had to postpone the program until the administrator decided when the school was safe enough to reopen. While the school did reopen, the other challenge was getting the program approved and getting funding for the equipment, such as bike helmets as well as the bikes themselves.
But in early 2022, the funding grant was approved, and the bikes were purchased and set to be delivered. And while the funding was granted and the bikes are yet to be delivered, another challenge for this whole thing is teaching the students to be responsible and respectful to the bikes.
The program hopes to help kids become happier and healthier at Six Directions Indigenous School.
SDIS Gets a High-Five!
by: Dorothy Nez
Five more years!
The New Mexico Public Education Department has granted another five-year recharter for the Six Directions Indigenous School.
Every five years the school goes under the long and difficult process of renewal. This process starts off with the preparation for the New Mexico Public Education Department visit.
Every year, all charter schools have an audit. The school’s scheduled audit was on the first Tuesday of May. This is when a team comes to look at everything and to gauge the growth of the school– the NWEA scores are used instead of the PARCC testing scores.
Back in September and October of 2021, the school got a short notice for the Charter Division visit. The school administration and staff led by Dr. Tamara Allison worked hard to meet months’ worth of work within just a month of preparation even if it meant working 12 hours a day just so to meet the Charter School Division’s requirements for the school renewal.
During the visit, the Charter Schools Division makes sure the school follows the fiscal and district policies as well as policies in gauging the growth of students.
After the PARCC testing was eliminated in 2016 as a means to gauge student growth, NWEA scores were looked at. They also make sure the school is following the school’s mission which is incorporating culturally relevant education. To help implement culturally relevant education, teachers play a role in helping the school live out its mission, as well as helping students grow.
The decision of the school’s renewal is made by the New Mexico Public Education Department. They have a division within four charter schools. These charter schools are also renewed every five years. SDIS is not part of the Gallup-McKinley County School (GMCS) district so it has its own independent district in the state of New Mexico.
The rechartering shows that when we work together we can achieve bigger things. We should not just look at this as a feat but also as a shared privilege and responsibility to grow this school by taking part in living out its mission, vision and core values for the next five years.