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Noem, Oglala Lakota County School District to Build First Public High School on Pine Ridge Reservation





For Immediate Release

August 29, 2019

Contact: Kristin Wileman

 

Noem, Oglala Lakota County School District to Build First Public High School on Pine Ridge Reservation

 

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem and Oglala Lakota County school officials today announced their partnership to build the first physical, local public high school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the first CTE high school on a reservation in South Dakota. 

 

“Building a physical CTE high school in Oglala Lakota County will bolster the area’s workforce and empower students with real-life skills and career opportunities to help them succeed after graduation,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “This will have a profound impact on the economic growth of Oglala Lakota County and South Dakota.

 

“This project has been in the works for a long time, and we’re grateful for Governor Noem’s support. I am also very grateful for all the help and support from our school board members, staff, students, and community members. All of us are working together as a team, one family, doing whatever it takes to support our students,” said Anthony Fairbanks, Superintendent of Oglala Lakota County School District. “Building a physical high school will undoubtedly boost education in our district and create a launchpad for our students’ career development."

 

The Oglala Lakota County School District serves 22 communities within 2,000 square miles. Currently, the district does not have a physical, public high school and operates from virtual locations that can serve between 50 and 250 students at a time. The other high schools in the county are federal Bureau of Indian Education or private schools.

 

“This school is a win for everyone. Students will have the opportunity to be active and engaged in their education, and the community will reap the greater benefits provided by such an education,” said Ben Jones, Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Education.

 

The high school will be constructed in part through funds from the State Aid Intercept Program, a program designed to reduce interest costs for school districts through credit enhancement. Between refinancing and a new tax credit, this will save the school approximately $6 million.

 

The school is scheduled to open in August of 2020. It will enroll approximately 400 students.

 

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