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RCAS makes accommodations for indigenous students

Expect more cultural learning sessions online and new social worker faces in the school hallways.
Expect more cultural learning sessions online and new social worker faces in the RCAS school hallways.
Expect more cultural learning sessions online and new social worker faces in the RCAS school hallways.(KOTA)
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 4:25 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -The last day for school registration is fast approaching for Rapid City with the deadline set for Aug. 19.

But this year, more indigenous parents may be removing their children from school or opting for Rapid City Area Schools’ distance learning plan.

Whitnee Pearce, the school district’s director of diversity, said if parents plan to keep their students enrolled at RCAS, there are some new accommodations.

Since all students will be given a laptop, there will be virtual cultural teachings to comply with the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings (OSEU) state standards.

A new change Pearce looks forward to because more students could potentially participate in the activities as it will not be focused on one classroom or one school.

She said the district is also working with the state on addressing connectivity issues to help ensure equal education for all students.

In addition, the school district is doubling its social worker count this year. One social worker will be assigned to each of the eight buildings available.

However, RCAS is still looking to add the ninth social worker who will oversee the whole district.

“They will be providing different group virtual learning as well for social and emotional skills to really supplement perhaps what students aren’t necessarily getting if they are not on campus,” Pearce said. “But at the same time, being able to be that person that our families can reach out to.”

For suicide prevention and mental health, they are partnering with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board to join the Navigator program.

While school counselors will remain on hand, Telehealth opportunities will also be available by partnering with Behavioral Management Systems.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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