Opinion

Thank you Tulalip Tribes | GUEST OPINION

November is Native American Heritage month and a fitting time to say “Thank you” to the Tulalip Tribes for the many ways in which they partner with the Marysville Schools.

The Tulalip Tribes has 4,100 members — about 2,500 live on the Tulalip reservation.  Seven hundred and fifty Native students attend Marysville schools. Over the past decade or more, Tulalip has made many dreams of tribal elders a reality: Quil Ceda Village, Cabela’s, the Resort Hotel, the Casino, the Seattle Premium Outlet Mall and the HiBulb Museum all add to the local economy and state-wide recognition.

Tulalip Tribes partner with the Marysville School District in many ways:

Culture and History: Tulalip works with the Marysville School District in developing local curriculum units that let all students know about the wealth of our local history and culture including third grade visits to the longhouse, fourth grade history and culture units, and fifth grade story-telling units.

School Resource Officer: Tulalip Tribes provides, at no cost to the district, a School Resource Officer for Marysville schools located on the Tulalip Reservation including Quil Ceda, Tulalip, Heritage, Arts and Technology and 10th Street.

Pre-School Grant: Tulalip provides pre-school services to many Tulalip students. By partnering with the school district, Tulalip recently won a federal Head Start grant that expanded services to even more students.

Heritage High School preserves the history and culture of Tulalip as one of eight high school options for our students. Tulalip Tribes supports the operation of Heritage High School by covering the salaries of several staff members and half of the principal’s salary. By working together with the Tulalip Foundation and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, we received a grant from the Gates Foundation to support our work.

The Tulalip Education Department provides many supplemental services to Tulalip students. They provide youth advocates that work in each of the schools to support Native students and make home visits. They provide after-school programs as well as summer youth employment and training.

Student Success: Tulalip Tribes see our Native students as a critical part of the Tulalip future. Our students will be future Tribal leaders. Tribal Council board members visit students at school and attend community events constantly encouraging Tulalip students to get the education they need to become leaders for the future. Tulalip Tribes also provides generously to recognize graduates and provide scholarships for college and post-secondary training.

District-wide Gifts: Two years ago Tulalip recognized how deeply the state funding cuts were impacting the Marysville School District and came to the district with a gift of over $1 million. This gift helped sustain school improvement work during our darkest budget times in 30 years. That gift supported middle school science, professional training for math and science teachers and improved use of assessment data for learning. This year, once again, Tulalip Tribes has stepped to the fore with another gift in excess of $1 million.  Although the Tulalip gifts don’t begin to make up the nearly $25 million in recent district budget cuts they do a great deal of good to keep the focus on student learning and to support and nurture hope in trying times.

College Ready: Most recently, Tulalip Tribes, along with Rotary, helped sponsor Opportunity EXPO. One hundred and fifty community partners showcased college and career opportunities across our community and our state. Thanks to Tulalip’s gift of space in the Hotel ballroom and transportation, every 11th grade student in Marysville saw dozens of career opportunities that they had never dreamed of.

District Mission: The Mission of Marysville School District is … every student … 100% … proficient in Reading and Math … graduating on time … and prepared for college and career. Tulalip is a strong  partner in making that mission a reality for Tulalip students as well as for all students throughout the Marysville School District. Thank you Tulalip Tribes.

Wendy Fryberg is the District Director No. 4 on the Marysville School Board and can be contacted at 360-653-0800 or by email at wendy_fryberg@msvl.k12.wa.us.

 

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