For Native American Heritage Month, the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) recognizes the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Division of Performance & Accountability and BIE-funded special education staff across the country.
Dr. Eugene Thompson, a member of the Navajo Tribe and Supervisory Education Specialist for the BIE IDEA programs, and his staff; who represent various Tribal communities, who embody the diversity within these Indigenous cultures and perspectives across the country; appreciate the collaboration from OSEP and OSEP-funded TA centers, including NCSI, IDEA Data Center (IDC), and Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR).
Director Valerie Williams has been hands-on and very supportive of the work states do to implement IDEA, especially the states and entities who face unique challenges to implement their programs. Informed of this and BIE’s ongoing collaboration with OSEP, the BIE invited Director Williams and OSEP staff to attend one of BIE’s quarterly IDEA and Title programs staff meetings. In response, Director Williams recorded a video message that was shown to all staff during the staff meeting and subsequently presented at a BIE Advisory Board for Exceptional Children meeting in Washington, DC.
In the recorded message, Director Williams recognizes BIE’s specific efforts to improve its program, acknowledges the progress BIE has achieved recently, and highlights specific challenges that remain unique to BIE and Indian Country.
Director Williams has consistently reiterated OSEP’s support to assist BIE in continuing their journey towards meeting requirements of IDEA and improving outcomes for students with disabilities in the 174 BIE-funded schools with academic programs across 23 states. The BIE-funded schools cover the four corners of the contiguous United States. The BIE leadership and staff were grateful and enthusiastic about receiving this message from Director Williams.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video below.