By Angel Ellis/Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– The Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Education Development and Administration program has rolled out a distance learning platform for students who may need extra resources to help keep skills sharp during their prolonged absence from school.
According to the Federal Programs Administrator of the Department of Education and Training Sarah Price, the new platform can be used to help keep students sharp and ready to transition back to the classroom when the time comes.
“One of the biggest barriers to students right now are necessities like food and finances for their families,” Price said. “We are being sensitive to the fact that some families are focusing on trying to feed their students through this.”
Price said there is evidence that shows students can lose mastery of many of the skills learned during a typical summer. That is why the extra enrichment resources were made a priority.
“There is a big concern right now that there could be a downfall in learning from now until the time the students go back to school.” Price said. “Students lose ground in the summertime.”
Resources can be found online at www.mcnstep.com , where students will discover age-appropriate lessons and educational videos. The Native EDGE-Distance Learning Platform went live on April 6.
This evolving platform provides distance learning access and resources, indigenous learning videos, parent and teacher resources, and more.
For students, the materials are organized in elementary, middle school, and high school grade levels.
The shortened school year and closing of public resources such as libraries brought about the urgent need to give students access to learning resources.
“We have been working through a Native studies curriculum that we are creating for high school,” Price said. “We are compiling some Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, and Five Civilized tribes’ curriculum with a consultant, but we had to halt that so that we could provide this supplemental distance learning resource.”
She said that these developing resources could someday be used as a class on their own.
“We could have something that could be a curriculum in a high school class,” Price said. “It builds in structure for learning activities for individuals and for small groups.”
She said she hopes these lessons bring students an intrinsic motivation to participate and see themselves as tribal citizens.
“As we go through this, we are focused on building partnerships that help acculturate these students back to us.”
Parents, students and teachers can access the learning materials on www.mcnstep.com