It is the Mission of the Kha’p’o Community School to nurture our children through education that embodies Kha’p’o Owinge culture, language and values that is academically challenging and enjoyable. Working together as a community we enable them to be proficient Tewa and English speakers, support their physical and emotional well-being, encourage their critical thinking and imagination, and inspire their love of learning.
KCS Transition Timeline
Determining the vehicle to achieve the community vision for education
As a result of Santa Clara Pueblo Tribal Council Resolution No. 2014-71, the Department of Youth and Learning (DYL) was charged to explore education options within the Pueblo. The DYL was supported by an Advising Committee, named in the resolution, to provide insights and recommendations. The resolution was driven in part by the Bureau of Indian Education's new strategic planand its focus on increasing the number of tribally controlled grant or contract schools. The DYL partnered with the NACA Inspired Schools Network (NISN) to explore the education opportunities available and start a conversation in the community focused on education. Our initial goal was to understand the community vision and needs, as well as the opportunities available to the Pueblo.
Maintaining the same school opportunities and bolstering after school programs.
Beginning in October 2014, the work focused primarily on talking to community members, parents and guardians, students, and school staff to determine what has worked, what is working, and what some of the obstacles are in education on the Pueblo. We held over 50 one on one discussions, 2 community meetings, several focus groups, presented at Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meetings, and met with Santa Clara Day School staff.
In January 2015, while continuing to gain community input, the team's focus transitioned to synthesizing those community and individual conversations into a community vision for education and, in turn, determining which of the above options would be the best vehicle to achieve that vision. In April 2015, the team submitted a report to Tribal Council which outlined the community input process, analyzed the three educational options available to the community, and made the recommendation to transition the school to Tribally Controlled status.
Transitioning the Santa Clara Day School to Tribally-Controlled Status
On June 25, 2015, the Tribal Council voted to approve a recommendation and resolution submitted by the DYL to convert the Santa Clara Day School from BIE-operated to Tribally Controlled Grant status. In September 2015, the Tribe submitted the application to convert to the BIE. In November of the same year, the Tribe named four community members to the school board, who met for the first time in January 2016.
On January 26, 2016 the Tribe received official confirmation that the application was approved and the SCDS would convert on July 1, 2016. Since this official notification, the School Board has been meeting regularly and working with the DYL and NISN to confront all matters in opening the school, including Curriculum and Assessment, Special Education services, Finance and Budgeting, Facilities, and Tewa Language incorporation.
The approval was a historical event for the Kha'p'o Owinge. Starting in July, Kha'p'o Community School will provide students with culturally responsive educational opportunities that reflect who the children of Santa Clara are, their values, and their dreams.