Work continues in constructing Oglala Lakota County high school
PINE RIDGE, S.D. – At the end of August, Governor Kristi Noem announced a partnership with the Oglala Lakota County School District to build the first public high school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
On top of the announcement, the school will be a CTE, or career and technical education, high school – the first on a South Dakota reservation.
Construction is underway right next to the newly renovated Wolf Creek School just east of Pine Ridge.
“The foundation is poured,” said Dr. Anthony Fairbanks, superintendent of Oglala Lakota County Schools.
The foundation for students to further their education in a classroom, a first for Oglala Lakota County high schoolers. The public school district offers virtual classes to students moving past 8th grade.
“For some time, speaking to current and past school board members, this has been a dream concept we’ve been dreaming of for many years to have our own high school,” said Fairbanks.
Dr. Fairbanks says they graduate about 200 8th graders every year. Less than a quarter of those students go on to graduate for high school.
I think this concept, the CTE model, will kind of gain their interest to stay in school,” said Fairbanks.
By offering this new concept, students can get real life work experience and certifications like in IT, business, finance, grant management, safety, security, nursing, and more, giving them skills to head to college or jump right into the workforce.
“We’re just doing whatever it takes to help support our students to have successful lives and living with a good job and provide that economic development for the communities in Oglala Lakota County.
The new school will begin enrolling in August 2020. The name and mascot are both still under consideration.