National Indian Head Start Directors Association
Standing Strong for AIAN Children
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Native Head Start
Leadership Quarterly

Fall 2016
Email Us
Email Us
2016 - 2017 NIHSDA Board of Directors
Cook Inlet Yup'ik Immersion Classroom
Native American Children's Literature Recommended Reading List
HSPPS Showcase
Leech Lake Language Cohort
CLASS Observation/ Reliability Training
Greetings Fellow Directors;

I first would like to extend a very Merry, Happy and safe Holiday Season to you, your staff and all the children and parents you serve. This is a very stressful time in a lot of families’ homes but is really intended to be a time of reflection and a time to be thankful for the many blessings the Creator has given us in this life. I hope we all can take a little time to do that.

I hope to see a lot of you at the Head Start Performance Standards “Orientation” in Phoenix in December, this is a great opportunity to conference and get to know each other a little more and also share our challenges and successes. This is also an awesome opportunity to share dialogue with the Office of Head Start, Region XI AIAN and the T&TA Providers, I hope you all take the time to speak with them on issues and concerns that you’re experiencing.

The NIHSDA Conference is just around the corner (June) and soon we’ll be getting together in Denver, Colorado. We are currently soliciting ideas on topics that we could possibly present on at the conference, if you have some thoughts or ideas please send them to Kristi & Teri. I’m excited that for the first time we’ll be having a track that’s geared towards front line teaching staff and therefore an opportunity to send some of them to the conference also.  The chance to advance their view and understanding of our organization as well as Head Start/Early Head Start at another level is an exciting thought, who knows they may be the leader of your program in the future.

I’d also like to congratulate Ms. Tina Routh from the Upper Band of Mississippi Choctaw with her election as our new President-Elect. Tina has a great spirit and will serve us all very well.
In closing I want to thank you and your staff for all that you do each day for our children and families out here in Indian Country. Keep up the much needed effort and good things will come from it.
Giigawabomin Minawaa

Lee Turney

2016-2017 NIHSDA Board of Directors
In August general elections for Zone Representatives were held (zones 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10), and several new board members were elected. New to the board this year are:
     Melissa Harris (ISWA), Zone 1
     Patricia Valenzuela (Gila River), Zone 6
     Ethan Petticrew (Cook Inlet), Zone 10
In October Char Schank was reelected as the Treasurer. Laura Waukechon Factor, President Elect, resigned her position on the board, and a special election was held. Tina Routh (Mississippi Choctaw) from Zone 1 was elected as the new President Elect and Melissa Harris moved from the Alternate to Representative position.
Congratulations to all our new board members! Below is a full list of the 2016-2017 NIHSDA Board members.
Lee Turney, President
Tina Routh, President -Elect
Ann Belleau, Secretary
Char Schank, Treasurer
Zone 1: Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New York,  North Carolina, South Carolina
Melissa Harris, Representative
Vacant, Alternate
Zone 2: Minnesota, Wisconsin
Joan Christnot, Representative
Nicole Boyd, Alternate
Zone 3: Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
Anne Reddy, Representative
Janice Richards, Alternate
Zone 4: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas
Robert Pickens, Representative
Colette Berg, Alternate
Zone 5: Colorado, New Mexico
Jo Williams, Representative
Roberta Adeky-Yazzie, Alternate

Zone 6: Arizona, Navajo
Bill Rosenberg, Representative
Patricia Valenzuela, Alternate
Zone 7: California, Nevada
Christi Jacobus, Representative
Monica Sayad, Alternate
Zone 8: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming
Jenny Oatman, Representative
Joseph Henry, Alternate
Zone 9: Washington
Jacki Haight, Representative
Vacant, Alternate
Zone 10: Alaska
Racquel Martinez, Representative
Ethan Petticrew, Alternate
Representatives to NHSA
Lee Turney
Jenny Oatman
Teri Stringer 
Cook Inlet Native Head Start Introduces New Yup’ik Immersion Classroom

As Cook Inlet Native Head Start (CINHS) continues to offer culturally relevant education with guest artists, Alaska Native language speakers, and culture bearers, they have recently created a Yup’ik language immersion classroom.  In partnership with CITC, a grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) has created the opportunity for CINHS to offer a Yup’ik immersion classroom.

CINHS believes that Native cultural values and traditions are vital to our success and growth as a people and community.  When our children can connect to their heritage, they do better in school.  From their book, Alaska Native Education:  Views from Within, Ray Barnhardt and Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley say, “Studies show that Native children respond much more positively to schooling experiences which include cultural knowledge.”  To ground our children in our culture, CINHS’s curriculum is infused with Alaska Native culture which teachers utilize daily, guest culture bearers teach in classrooms every month, and NYO is taught in the gym every Friday.  Ap’a William Gumlickpuk is the Traditional Cultural Bearer and goes into all classrooms to teach Yup’ik language and knowledge Tuesday through Thursdays.

CINHS’s new Yup’ik Class in the Bear AM and PM classroom partakes in the overall cultural curriculum and will be taught solely in Yup’ik.  The Yup’ik educators are Alice Hess, Rose Schneider, and Elena John, who together, will deliver quality Head Start education for 3 to 5 year olds with culturally appropriate materials and tools/aids in Yup’ik.
First Nations Development Institute Celebrates Native American Heritage Month 2016 with the Native American Children's Literature Recommended Reading List

It's time to celebrate Native American Heritage Month 2016, and First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has a great new educational resource this year!

"We feel it is important to provide an opportunity for people to learn more about Native experiences from a culturally and historically accurate perspective,” said First Nations President & CEO Michael E. Roberts (Tlingit). "We have a responsibility to educate others by sharing authentic resources about Native histories, cultures and peoples.  To that end, we are offering a list that we refer to as  #NativeReads.  All of the books are written by Native authors and have been vetted by a Native expert."

First Nations partnered with Debbie Reese, Ph.D. (Nambé Pueblo), to hand pick the Native American Children's Literature Recommended Reading List. The idea is to encourage a “national read” and discussion about these important Native narratives. Dr. Reese, known for her expertise in the field of Native children’s literature, is an educator and has served on many national literacy boards. She is the editor and publisher of the American Indian in Children's Literature website. 

The books are essential reading for young ones in Head Start and preschool, to elementary and middle schoolers. For high school students there are even Native comic books. The reading list is full of wonderful, culturally authentic stories and cover art. There is also a list of "Ten Ways to Make A Difference" with these books during Native American Heritage Month.
The Office of Head Start (OHS) is pleased to present the new Head Start Program Performance Standards Showcase. This first release of the Showcase features a series of videos that examine highlights and major changes to the regulations and standards. Hear from OHS leadership about how the new HSPPS apply to major Head Start program areas. In the showcase, you can explore regulation highlights by topic. We will be adding more videos over the next few months.  
OHS has also provided the resources below to support programs in implementing the new Standards.
The information about monitoring for fiscal year (FY) 2017 that was provided in June by Dr. Enriquez, director of OHS, is posted on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) at
The full HSPPS are available in English and Spanish:
The HSPPS have also been updated on the Head Start Resources mobile app for the App Store and the Play Store.
Leech Lake Head Start and Early Head Start Early Childhood has a commitment to incorporate Ojibwe language and culture throughout the year, every day.  We recognize that family and culture are at the heart of our children's social and emotional development.  Developing teacher language proficiency is vital in meeting this commitment in a meaningful way.  This year we created an exciting opportunity to help teachers expand their language abilities.  We've initiated a language cohort where teachers and staff meet twice a month to develop their language proficiency.  Among our many goals are expanded use of language throughout the organization and creating confident speakers of Ojibwemowin.  To meet this goal, we've built a Facebook page to expand our community of learners.  We've also been developing language supports of songs, classroom labels, flash cards and posters.  To help with pronunciation, each resource is accompanied by an audio file available for our staff on Facebook, cds and youtube.  Not only do our cohort members benefit from our efforts, all HS and EHS teachers have access to these materials.  We've also been sharing our phrases with parents.  Additionally, each morning Ojibwemowin phrases are used over our bus radio which is heard not only here, but by Leech Lake Tribal Police as well.  Our hope is that, over time, excitement will build and we will hear little voices speaking Ojibwemowin all over our community.  As of now, our children can be heard singing boozhoo, boozhoo, aaniin as they run around the playground.

Boozhoo, Boozhoo, Aaniin

CLASS Observation/Reliability Training:  Scottsdale, Arizona
Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort
5001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Wednesday, January 11th (8:30-5:00) and Thursday, January 12th (8:00-4:00)
Dear Directors:
The Region XI AIAN T/TA Network is excited to announce an upcoming training opportunity for your staff to become reliable observers with the CLASS® tool. The trainer will be Michelle Brown, ICF Region XI AIAN TA ECE Manager.
This RELIABILITY training is specifically suggested for Education Managers and/or Coordinators with the goal of taking the reliability test online after the training is completed.  Please note the following Teachstone exceptions on RELIABILITY training eligibility:
·       Anyone who has failed all three reliability tests following an Observation Training must wait six months from the date of their last test attempt before they are eligible to attend the training again. 
·       Staff eligible for recertification (meaning that they gained reliability within the past year and are ready to recertify) will not be approved for the training.  Teachstone recommends that candidates eligible for recertification use the online supports included in their recertification purchase rather than attend the observation training.  Recertification may be purchased from their myCLASS account at; this recertification testing now includes access to an online coding refresher video designed to prepare recertification candidates for testing.  These staff members can check their certification status on their myCLASS page or contact Teachstone.
Space is limited to 17 participants and will be filled on a first come first serve basis.   ***Teachstone has a $175.00 account fee/per person associated with this training, plus s/h and sales tax.***   This fee covers all required materials and services, including:
•       CLASS Observation Participant Package:
o   CLASS Observation Training Participant Guide
o   CLASS Manual
o   Score Sheet
o   CLASS Master Code Justifications
·       MyCLASS Account:
o   Subscription to the CLASS Video Library for 2 months
o   Pre-training video
o   Reliability test (8 weeks of access following the training)
o   Reliability performance report
·       Year-long CLASS Observation Certification (contingent on passing the reliability test)
·       Reliability Certificate (contingent on passing the reliability test)
·       CLASS Observer certification card (contingent on passing the reliability test)
·       Teachstone support
Grantees/Registrants are responsible for payment.  To register staff from your program in this training, please send the following to Michelle Brown at in order to ensure there is space available, by Monday, December 12th, 2016.
·       Grantee organization name
·       Contact for billing and address
·       Name, title, and email address of each participant to be registered.  Please note that the email address for each person being registered must be their unique email address as Teachstone uses email addresses as each person’s personal identifier.  If a person has already been registered in a previous training, they must use the email address they last used.
Once approved by Teachstone, an email will be automatically generated from Teachstone with an online payment link to pay for the exact number of participants originally registered; this link will be sent to the grantee billing contact provided, and ONLY that person will have access to the link for payment from that email account provided for them.  This may come into Junk Mail, so please inform this person to watch for it and respond IMMEDIATELY!  Payment of $175 per person registered (plus shipping and handling) must be received at Teachstone by Tuesday, January 3 , 2016 (2 weeks prior to the training) through the online link sent via email from Teachstone. The online link is the ONLY way Teachstone accepts payments!  Payments made between December 27th and January 3rd will increase to include express shipping of the materials ordered.   Any payment made following January 3rd will not be accepted and the registered participants will be removed from the training roster.  Payments are non-refundable, although a credit with Teachstone is possible depending on circumstances.  Sales tax-exempt grantees may indicate the tax status and enter their organization’s identification number on the online form, and then fax a copy of the organization’s sales tax exemption letter to Teachstone at 434-293-4338.  Please note that the trainer for this training is provided free of charge from the ICF Region XI T/TA Network.
Participants must complete the full 14 hours in both training days to receive access to the reliability testing.  If a registered participant cannot attend the training, their grantee may substitute another participant.  Please notify Michelle Brown with the name and email address of the replacement person as soon as this is known so that this person can be entered into the Teachstone system and gain access to the test. 
Though the training itself is two full days, it is strongly suggested that participants be free from their job responsibilities one day the following week, to take the Reliability Test.  Research has shown that a participant’s success rate is higher immediately following the training and lessens greatly within two weeks of the training.  The test consists of watching five 20-minute videos and scoring each, during which no feedback is given until the completion of the last test.  The full testing process takes 6-8 hours to complete.
Training Location and Lodging Details:
Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort
5001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Phone: 480-949-1414 FAX: 480-947-2675
Training Dates: January 11-12, 2017
Group Name: ICF Incorporated LLC::: Rate: $199.00 plus 13.92% taxes

Arrival Date: 09-Jan-2017

Departure Date: 13-Jan-2017

Booking Link

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or clarification needed.   I look forward to working with your staff!
My best to you,
Michelle L. Brown, M.Ed., LSW
ICF Region XI AIAN TA Network Early Childhood Education Manager
Head Start Region XI TTA ICF
O: 202-427-4768 | C: 202-427-4768 |


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National Indian Head Start Directors Association · P.O. Box 6058 · Norman, OK 73070 · USA

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