Lapwai Indian Education ®

Lapwai Schools

Lapwai Middle High school is located on the Nez Perce reservation. Our goal is to work directly with students, teachers, parents, administration, elders, and community in establishing a Culture of Hope. It required many to rethink how we view teaching and learning. Together we created a school atmosphere focused on optimism, respect, safety, and success. We achieve this through: Behavior Intervention and Support, Protocol, PBIS/ Intentional classroom management training, Restorative Justice Practices teacher mindset shift, Social Emotional Support System, Universal Design of Intervention Strategies and Consequences, MTSS-Multi-tiered System of Supports, Culturally Responsive Practices and Policies, Community, Empowerment Assemblies, School Elder, Community Mentors for teachers, Alternative Learning/, Alternative Learning Environment, and Student Leadership.

Cultural Standards

The policy of the Lapwai School District Board of Trustees is to implement Cultural Standards for students, educators, curriculum, schools and community. There are five essential elements that will ensure that the Lapwai School District is culturally sensitive and responsive.

  • value diversity,
  • have the capacity for cultural self-assessment and cultural assessment district-wide,
  • be conscious of the “dynamics” inherent when cultures interact,
  • institutionalize cultural knowledge, and
  • develop adaptations to service delivery reflecting an understanding of diversity between and within cultures.

Our Approach

Our cultural approach ensures partnership for student support. Lapwai Middle High School offers Native American Studies, school guidance, Nez Perce Language courses, Native American Studies, Google Classroom with Cultural Coursework, Independent Studies, Native Artisan Instruction, Middle School Nez Perce Language, and After-School Programs. Indian Education works to help our schools

  • Assist the Lapwai School District 341 strategic planning to meet the social and emotional needs of Native American students.
  • Advocate K-12 Differentiated Teacher Instruction and computer-assisted online learning that focuses on College and Career Readiness, Advance course work, Dual Credit, Highly Qualified Teaching, and Advance Readiness and Opportunities
  • Advocate for teacher and paraprofessional training to help understand “American Indian Intergenerational Historical Trauma” and its effect on Native American student’s educational success, and advocate school district implementation of culturally responsive teaching techniques.
  • Advocate Lapwai Schools’ recognition of Native American Students’ Gifts & Talents and Multiple Intelligence through school sponsored learning activities.
  • Advocate for regular school day (not after school) Nez Perce Language Recovery Curriculum school wide; advanced study and the Nez Perce Language taught at a college level (dual-credits).
  • Implement a whole school restorative approach to discipline that builds healthy school climates by creating space for people to understand one another and develop relationships. The foundation and the process of the restorative justice movement comes from the Indigenous experience. Restorative approaches create space to address needs, repair relationships, and heal. To be effective in restorative justice, teachers need to adopt a restorative mindset.
  • To advise the Lapwai Board of Trustees, school administration, and school staff of Cultural Standards.

Community Connection

Students from Lapwai Middle High school have always had a collective support system of family and community. With this comes a sense of satisfaction and belonging that defines happiness. Our belief systems and cultural traditions have been passed down through generations and serve as models that improve our own well-being.

We began by transforming our policies to reflect a more Cultural approach partnership. We aligned each of our teachers with a mentor from our community. Every teacher is also partnered with an Elder within our community. These volunteers serve as mentors, resource, and a direct connection to our community. The majority of our teachers travel from outside the reservation and are non-Native. We also implemented a school Elder. This Elder would serve as a mentor, resource, and support system for our staff and students during the school day. We also meet with our community Circle of Elders monthly to be sure we are meeting the needs of our students and our community. We created monthly school-wide assemblies to promote a positive shift in student attitudes, motivation, and academic success. EMPOWERMENT assemblies for grades 6th through 12th grades are sponsored AND LED by community programs.

Restorative Justice

There is no singular universally agreed upon definition for whole school restorative approaches. In simplest terms, whole school restorative approaches build healthy school climates by creating space for people to understand one another and develop relationships; when things go wrong, restorative approaches create space to address needs, repair relationships, and heal. To be effective in restorative justice, teachers needed to adopt a restorative mindset. A way of looking at wrong doing and punishment through a different lens. In Native American and Trying to make some sense of how the traditional, the stuff that we had way back, the concepts, the way of thinking, can be revived and incorporated into today’s world.” Yazzie believes that most of the knowledge, the foundation and the process of the restorative justice movement comes from the indigenous experience. The basic concepts of Indian justice are relationships, reciprocity, solidarity and process, as opposed to hierarchy,

First Nation justice philosophy and practice, healing, along with reintegrating individuals into their community, is more important than punishment. The Western law way is to punish you, so that you don’t repeat the behavior. But the Navajo way is to focus on the individual. You separate the action from the person. What I have been doing now is trying to find ways to decolonize a style of doing things the Western way. Student Code of Conduct: Lapwai Middle High School staff will abide by the Lapwai Student Code of Conduct to promote positive behavior strategies to improve academic preparation for each student at Lapwai Middle High School. The PBIS Plan will include: teaching school rules, reinforcing appropriate student behavior, using effective classroom management and positive behavior support strategies by providing early intervention for

The PBIS Plan will include: teaching school rules, reinforcing appropriate student behavior, using effective classroom management and positive behavior support strategies by providing early intervention for misconduct and appropriate use of consequences. In an effort to fully implement school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and reduce the loss of instructional time the Lapwai Middle High School expects that each teacher will utilize a wide variety of corrective strategies. School policies and procedures describe and emphasize proactive, instructive, and/or restorative approaches to student behavior that are implemented consistently. Teachers must utilize and document a minimum of two research based interventions prior to writing and submitting a discipline referral on a minor offense. Using the SWIS data and teacher’s written documentation of research based interventions the PBIS PLC will use the data to teach, coach all relevant staff in all aspects of intervention delivery, use the data as a progress report for monitoring student progress with the goal of no > 5% of students receiving Tier 2 supports as stated in the 2.10 Tiered Fidelity PBIS Inventory.

A universal consequence system will be a clear and observable system of behavior checks. By having a physical, step-by-step consequence system student will be held accountable for their actions and teachers will be accountable to give consistent and fair consequences. This universal consequence system will provide adequate documentation necessary for discussion with parents and problem-solving on a school level.

Empowerment Room/Alternative Learning Environment

I am Making Them Strong

We created an Alternative Learning/Alternative Learning Environment Empowerment Room that focuses on College and Career Readiness, Advance course work, Dual Credit, Highly Qualified Teaching, and Advance Readiness and Opportunities. One reason for the success of so many alternative schools designed for “historically underserved” students is that these students move from an atmosphere where they have encountered low expectations or feelings of low success to a place where they were surrounded by high expectations. We use a MTSS-Multi-Tiered System of Supports including Culturally Responsive Practices. The empowerment room has a welcoming environment, an atmosphere of respect and safety, emphasis on success, celebrations, emphasis on positives, high expectations, and also follows the Student Code of Conduct. We strategically increased levels of targeted support for those who are struggling. We integrate plans that address student’s academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs. We designed a school-wide approach to student support, provide teacher professional staff development, and increased our family involvement so parents can provide support at home.

  • Advance course work
  • Dual Credit
  • Highly Qualified Teaching
  • Advance Readiness and Opportunities
  • Increased Leadership Training
  • Increased Conferences
  • Increased College Fairs
  • Better parent communication about what is available
  • Increase Native American Parent/Student Enthusiasm and motivation to take Dual Credit
  • IXL in Middle School

Nimipuutímt, Revitalizing the Nez Perce Language

Native American Languages Act - States that it is U.S. policy to:

  • (1) promote the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop Native American languages
  • (2) allow exceptions to teacher certification requirements for Federal or federally funded programs for instruction in such languages when such requirements hinder employment qualified Native American language teachers and to encourage State and territorial governments to make similar exceptions
  • (3) encourage and support the use of such languages as a medium of educational instruction
  • (4) encourage State and local education programs to work with Native American parents, educators and governing bodies to implement programs to put this policy into effect
  • (5) recognize the right of such bodies to use such languages as a medium of instruction in all schools funded by the Secretary of the Interior
  • (6) recognize the right of such bodies, States, and U.S. territories and possessions to take action on, and give official status to, their Native American languages for purposes of conducting their own business
  • (7) encourage all appropriate institutions of elementary, secondary, and higher education to include such languages in their curricula and to grant the same full academic credit for competency in such languages as for foreign languages to fulfill foreign language entrance or degree requirements. Declares that the right of Native Americans to express themselves through their languages shall not be restricted in any public proceeding, including publicly supported education programs.

Our Nez Perce Language classes are built into the curriculum 6-12th grades. All Nez Perce Language teachers are state certified. All NPL courses meet all dual credit requirements for college. All courses meet Humanities and Foreign Language requirements for NCAA. All teachers at Lapwai Middle High School receive Nez Perce Language professional development. Native American languages should be constantly revitalized by tribes because languages are a vital component of tribal culture and are an essential aspect of Native identity. Language retention and revitalization programs have been recognized as providing key benefits to Native American communities by boosting educational achievement and student retention rates.