District Administration July 2018 - 48

Community/Family Partnerships
Race2Reduce Water Resource Education Initiative
White Bear Lake Area Schools
White Bear Lake, Minnesota

CHALLENGE: The water level of White Bear Lake was
at a record low in 2013, affecting recreational use and
sapping the underlying aquifer that supplies water to the
community.
INITIATIVE: The Race2Reduce water initiative is a multifaceted approach to conservation that includes partnerships with community stakeholders and development of a
fully embedded, standards-aligned K8 curriculum. Units
and lessons focus on local water resources and conservation, and empower students to engage in actions that lead
to behavior changes. An annual spring water symposium
provides an opportunity for students to showcase their
learning and teach others about conservation.

IMPACT: "Students at all age levels have gained a greater
awareness of local water issues, and have learned how
to advocate for change," says Judy Onufer, education
project manager. The water level of White Bear Lake has
improved over the last few years as Race2Reduce has
inspired communitywide conservation activities.
ADVICE: "When students are given a voice, they can be
the most powerful agents of change," says Onufer. Partnerships with local nonprofits and watershed management organizations have played a vital role in the initiative's success, and has helped students to connect with
community as well.

Salt River Schools 5-Year Strategic Plan
Salt River Schools
Scottsdale, Arizona

CHALLENGE: Salt River
Schools-a small system
operating on a rural Native
American reservation of
11,000 people-faced high
turnover, including churning through four superintendents in four years and
more than 10 principals in a
decade. The instability created uncertainty and led to a
decline in enrollment.
INITIATIVE: Upon becoming superintendent in 2016,
Louis Laffitte Jr. developed
a five-year strategic plan
focused on engagement,
transparency and accountability. After reaching out to
stakeholders for feedback,
the plan emphasizes holistic
cradle-to-career educa48 July 2018

tion for all members of the
Salt River Pima-Maricopa
Indian Community. Culture-focused and language
electives have been added to
the curriculum. Head Start
students, for example, learn
traditional storytelling and
social-emotional dialogue,
such as how to introduce
themselves in the O'odham
language (which is also now
offered at the high school).
IMPACT: More than 250
students at the Early Childhood Education Center
receive weekly O'odham and
Piipaash culture instruction, while nearly two dozen
high school students study
O'odham to earn foreign
language credits.

ADVICE: "While academic
achievement is a worthy
goal, building and embracing culture-both organizational culture and commu-

nity culture-is integral to
strategic success," says Taté
Walker, communications
director.

COMMUNITY CONNECTION-As part of a five-year strategic
plan, Salt River Schools has connected with the Native
American reservation to develop cultural curricula and
build Native American language skills.

District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration July 2018

District Administration July 2018 - 1
District Administration July 2018 - Cover1
District Administration July 2018 - Cover2
District Administration July 2018 - 1
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