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American Indian Education

A high school student dances during a powwow.
The mission of the American Indian Education program is to meet the unique cultural and academic needs of our American Indian learners. Our program explores the rich indigenous heritage, history and narratives of the many American Indian tribes, and strives to restore and promote the innovation and importance of the culture. Students across the district and at all grade levels participate in programming honoring American Indians. 
 
Funding for the program comes from a grant under the Federal Government’s Title VI authorization and from the Minnesota Department of Education’s World’s Best Workforce initiative.
 

The following FREE services are offered to District 196 students enrolled in the American Indian Education Program:

  • Cultural enrichment classes for students and their families
  • Reading enrichment for elementary students
  • Seasonal cultural events for the entire family
  • Field trips and other experiential learning opportunities
  • Academic advocacy
  • Middle School Leadership Groups
  • Tutoring for High School students (see below for more details)
  • ACT Prep Courses (see below for more details)
  • College visits
  • Information for post-secondary planning (financial aid/scholarships)

Enrolling in the program


Who is eligible to participate?

Any student who self identifies as American Indian and is coded North American Indian on Infinite Campus is eligible to participate in District 196’s American Indian Education Program. There is no cost to participate and all services are free of charge. The services provided by the Indian Education Program are optional.

Title VI Indian Education Program

In order to apply for a formula grant under the Office of Indian Education/Title VI, our program asks for each student to have a 506 form on file with our program. The 506 form must be filled out by the legal guardian. All information is confidential. These forms generate program funding for your child and all the Native American students attending District 196. Title VI funding provides academic support and cultural enrichment opportunities for all District 196’s American Indian students.

Any student who fits one of the following qualifications is eligible to fill out a 506 form:

  • Student is an enrolled member of a recognized tribe
    • OR parent is an enrolled member of a recognized tribe
    • OR grandparent is an enrolled member of a recognized tribe

Forms can be sent to any Indian Education staff.

 

Contact us

14301 Diamond Path
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Phone: 651-423-7890

Native American Parent Advisory Committee

Join the Native American Parent Advisory Committee (NAPAC)! The purpose of this group is to serve in an advisory capacity for planning and implementing programs and events that will support District 196 American Indian students and their families. NAPAC membership consists of parents and/or guardians of identified American Indian students attending District 196 schools, secondary student representatives and teacher representatives. Learn more about NAPAC. 

Educational supports

Teacher Resources

Ojibwe and Dakota Culture Trunk Check Out: https://forms.gle/rze174Js1yjmtStk9

Native American Authored – Lending Library Check Out: https://forms.gle/eZiGB7xoiMJtxd9t7

Questions? Call 651-423-7890 or email Lisa Turgeon at Lisa.Turgeon@district196.org.

Our Team

Lifetouch headshot of Francisca El-Zeenny, cultural family advocate

Francisca El-Zeenny

Cultural Family Advocate
Francisca.ElZeenny@district196.org
Office: 651-423-7935
Cell: 612-244-0974

Assigned schools:

  • School of Environmental Studies
  • Falcon Ridge Middle School
  • Scott Highlands Middle School
  • Cedar Park Elementary School
  • East Lake Elementary School
  • Highland Elementary School
  • Parkview Elementary
  • Thomas Lake Elementary School
  • Westview Elementary School
Portrait of Fonda Smith.

Fonda Smith

Cultural Family Advocate
Fonda.Smith@district196.org
Office: 651-423-7882
Cell: 612-244-7197

Assigned schools:

  • Rosemount High School
  • Rosemount Middle School
  • Diamond Path Elementary School
  • Rosemount Elementary School
  • Shannon Park Elementary School
Lifetouch headshot of Lisa Turgeon, cultural family advocate

Lisa Turgeon

Cultural Family Advocate
Lisa.Turgeon@district196.org
Office: 651-423-7890
Cell: 612-991-2741

Assigned schools:

  • Eagan High School
  • Black Hawk Middle School
  • Dakota Hills Middle School
  • Deerwood Elementary School
  • Glacier Hills Elementary School
  • Northview Elementary School
  • Pinewood Elementary School
  • Red Pine Elementary School
  • Woodland Elementary School
JorjaValandra

Jorja Valandra

Jorja.Valandra@district196.org
Office: 651-423-7912
Cell: 651-200-8327 

Assigned schools:

  • Apple Valley High School
  • Area Learning Center
  • Eastview High School
  • Dakota Ridge
  • Valley Middle School of STEM
  • Echo Park Elementary School
  • Greeleaf Elementary School
  • Oak Ridge Elementary School
  • Southview Elementary School
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Megan Bard-Pankow  

Megan.Bard-Pankow@district196.org

  • Academic Coach
  • Supervises Indian Education Tutoring Program
  • ACT Preparation Course instructor