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.

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Programs

Culture, Diversity, and Kindness

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 selfassessment and cultural assessment district-wide
  • Be conscious of the “dynamics” inherent when cultures interact
  • Institutionalize cultural knowledge
  • 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

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.

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.

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: (click the tabs)

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.

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