OSELC understands that while we may be taking a different approach to education, our model is not unique; many independent schools with alternative models of education were founded during the pandemic. However, in many cases, only families with privilege have been able access those schools. OSELC’s families fall on the lower end of socio-economic status. To alleviate financial burden, we do not charge tuition so that our learners can have access to a culturally grounding, affirming, and sustaining learning environment.
*Racial and ethnic demographics as defined by the model provider via self-report
**Economic need defined locally.
https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/district_detail.asp? Search=1&InstName=rapid+city&State=46&DistrictType=1&DistrictType=2&DistrictType=3&DistrictType=4&DistrictType=5&DistrictType=6&D istrictType=7&DistrictType=8&NumOfStudentsRange=more&NumOfSchoolsRange=more&ID2=4659820&details=4
CULTURALLY AFFIRMING CURRICULUM CENTERS HANDS-ON LEARNING.
OSELC creates their own curriculum to ensure learning experiences and content center the Lakota culture. They align project-based learning to state standards so students can explore challenges and opportunities their community faces.
EDUCATORS DEEPLY VALUE THEIR LAKOTA HERITAGE
Teachers at OSELC take seriously their role creating a school that sustains the Lakota culture. Staff tap into local expertise and invite community leaders to facilitate guest lessons.
INSTRUCTION STARTS WHEN STUDENTS ARE RESTED, FED, AND READY
OSELC’s doors open at 7:30 a.m. when students are invited to sleep or be in the space under adult supervision. Instruction begins at 10 a.m., when children are ready to fully engage in learning.
OSELC INVITES COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO SHARE THEIR EXPERTISE WITH STUDENTS
One way OSELC grounds themselves in the Lakota culture and community is by encouraging family and community members to host lectures, field trips, lessons, and share their historical and cultural knowledge.