Director's Message
McKinney-Vento Homeless/Migrant Program Overview
McKinney-Vento Services for students in temporary housing situations
What is McKinney-Vento?
  • Stewart B McKinney Homeless Assistance Act was signed by President Reagan and became law on July 22, 1987
  • the Act required states to ensure that all children experiencing temporary housing have the same right to a free and appropriate public education as children not experiencing housing issues.
  • In 1990 Congress expanded the state’s responsibility to eliminate all barriers to education
  • In 1990 funding was made available through the McKinney grant to help provide an array of educational and support services responsive to the needs of students experiencing housing issues.
  • All school districts are required to have someone on staff responsible for ensuring that students in temporary housing are able to attend school and eliminate barriers to their education
  • It is currently named the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act
Which students qualify for services?
  • Students who do not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence qualify for services
  • Examples but not limited to:
  • Shelters
  • Motels/hotels
  • Living with friends or relatives due to economic difficulty
  • Living in a campground or campsite
  • Unaccompanied Youth (young persons not in the care of an adult)
What should you do if you think your student might qualify?
  • All schools in the Rapid City School District have the McKinney-Vento Verification of Eligibility form
  • Ask the school office staff for the form and complete it
  • Return the form to the school
  • One of the McKinney-Vento staff will contact you to discuss your situation and decide if you qualify
  • If you qualify support for your student will begin
  • If it is determined that you do not qualify but you disagree contact the McKinney Vento Coordinator or the office of Federal Programs
–McKinney-Vento Coordinator 605-431-8414
–Federal Programs and Grants 605-394-6892

For more information please check out our webpage or view the latest Rapid City Journal article on our program.

E- Learning Friday Cultural Events
E - Learning Friday Cultural Events
Every E-Learning Friday starting in October, we have had a different virtual online cultural event on the Rapid City Title VI Indian Education's FB page. We will be starting back in mid-January.

  • Jan. 15th- Kansas Middletent Part 1 Teachings on Long Hair

  • Jan. 22nd- Tyler Read
Graffiti Art with Lakota Language & Lakota Values
  • Jan. 29th - Linda Black Elk Traditional Tea & Medicine Workshop
*If you would like to sign up to receive a Tea Making kit, please message us here or email by Jan.22nd, 2020 at Noon. Supplies are limited, so sign up today!

If you don't have Facebook, don't worry! Check out these videos and past videos on our Youtube Channel.
School & Student Shout Outs!
Valley View Elementary -
This summer over 150 teachers and administrators throughout the district became trainers in Conscious Discipline, strategies for trauma-informed and restorative practices. Two common strategies can be found at Valley View Elementary with the Kindness Tree and Wish You Well. Nice work, Valley View Vikings!

Stevens High School -
Lakota artist, Marty Two Bulls Jr., worked with Alicia Coyne's art classes throughout the day on various projects and learning opportunities. Students learned virtually from Mr. Two Bulls Jr. and were able to work on a variety of pieces ranging from mixed media, drawing, to clay design. Mr. Two Bulls Jr. is the Department Head of Visual Arts at Oglala Lakota College and we appreciated his expansive expertise he brought to students.
Our friends at Rapid Valley Elementary understand the importance of understanding triggers for both students and staff. They provide clear concrete ways for students to navigate their emotions and communicate their feelings appropriately and safely. Great work with our district’s Whole CHILD initiative!
99 students at South Middle School in Mr. Ley's classes learned about Lakota lodges and designed their own lodge covering. Students also learned about the kinship roles for each part of the lodge and the correct order each of the items should be placed from teachings from Corey Yellow Boy, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. 

At North Middle School, students in the Eagle's Nest participated in the school-wide door decorating festivities. They worked with Title VI paraprofessional, Gene Swallow, to create their door decor which featured not only sewn llamas, but local animals such as the buffalo, prairie dog, skunk, and more!
Western Dakota Juvenile Services Center & Wellfully Program Updates
Our Program
Students at Western Dakota Juvenile Services Center and Wellfully are successfully completing and working for earned credits in both Fine Arts and Reading Electives through classes enriched in the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings.

In addition to learning about a variety of art concepts; students are reading supplemental primary texts from Oceti Sakowin writers to further their understanding of design, 2D art, and 3D art.

On January 20 at Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center
•10 students will earn a half-credit of Fine Arts and 6 students will earn a half-credit of a Reading Elective.

On February 15 at Wellfully
•8 students will earn a half-credit of fine arts. 

At both facilities, more students will earn their art credits as they are in the courses long enough to do the learning and complete more projects.  

Check out some of the work they have accomplished!
Student Feature - Allison Wood, 10th Grader at Central High School writes about feeling different and what the world can do in working with people who think differently, like herself. Great work, Allison!
The Girl With The Squirrels
On the 9th of November, a girl was born, looking through the room. A shiny bright light across the room grabbed the little darling’s attention, that was the start of it all.
Two years later on the 9th of November, the girl was turning two, she stood in the curtains playing around when a photographer snapped a pic, the little girl hid in the curtains behind as she giggled and grinned away.
Two more years have passed now and the girl turned 4, in her little maroon dress. Whilst her friends played in the arcade she loved, she stared at the fuzzy dinosaur and could not look away, even when it was time for the cake she could not stop studying the purple and green fur, it took her mind away.
Kindergarten came and other things took the little girl away, the colors, the clocks tick, and the weird click in the halls. The little girl struggled to think of the answer to a question as simple as 20+4. Nobody cared and the teacher only paid attention to her husband whom she'd bring in and hang out with instead of teaching anyone.
First grade comes and the girl struggled to read in every way. Put in a program for students who struggle, the girl caught up to others. She could read, she could write, she could do most things everyone could do, but she still struggled to learn math because she would sniff her scented markers in the back of the room. The ticking of the clock and the mess in her desk made every word her teacher said drift through her head as if she hadn’t heard a thing.
Second and third grades came and left, she was now in her fourth-grade year and yet she still struggled to learn. All she remembers is reading a math problem and asking what multiplication was, despite them learning all about it at the beginning of that year.
Fifth grade year and the girl’s life changed, someone finally noticed. Her struggles were heard and her opportunity to learn like everyone else had come. To the doctors, she went, and she was asked a few questions and she finally got her answer. Why she stared at the clock, why she couldn’t read, why she couldn’t learn math, why she didn’t hear people talking when thinking of a monkey riding a horse with balloons.
Why didn’t she notice it sooner, why didn’t anyone see, she struggled to learn because of her ADHD. It's common for people to not think of it yet it's so obvious, she could not focus because she mentally couldn’t because she could only think of the balloon she lost when she was 4. She was put on a medication and the girl slowly learned the things she struggled with before.
5 years passed and the girl could keep up, she finally felt almost normal. She could focus, she could write, she reads, she does math like everyone else, occasionally her mind slips. She does sports which helps her stress levels drop since that little mind slip could make her not finish her work in class. She still takes breaks to be her true self on the weekends, no homework, nothing important to do, no chores, why take ADHD meds if she’s not doing important stuff.
Now sitting in her Spanish class thinking of the past, wondering why God chose her, why she was unfocused, why she thought of random things that happened when she was 4. Why it's like she has little squirrels in her head running around in her thoughts. it's not a bad thing and it could be worse, if nobody noticed she still could be struggling, she would still be sitting here, staring at a clock-watching every second go by, but instead, she is happy that she is who she is, with her little squirrels, her skills, and the way she swims as if she had gills. She holds her head up high as she accepts the fact that she learns differently because there isn’t a soul that she knows who is exactly like her. I should know because I am Allison Wood, the girl with squirrels, struggling for most of my life, I finally feel normal, like a person who belongs, took me 16 years to figure it out, so here I am sitting in my Spanish class telling my story to all.
ADHD is a struggle and more people need to watch for it in children. For them to go through the struggles and being called dumb or stupid by your substitute teacher and classmates, you start to believe it, you feel bad about being you, no kid should go through that as I did. I want to prevent kids from going through years of struggle without anyone noticing the signs of ADHD. So please watch for the signs and struggles, the squirrels, and the troubles that ADHD can cause.
Staff Spotlights
"I LOVE my job! I am so very passionate about suicide prevention and have been so encouraged by the progress our district has made in this area. I also get the privilege to work closely with our social work team, providing guidance and program development. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful team of social workers in our district working diligently to meet student and family needs! I am also fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with our Behavior Management Systems partners as well as our Connecting With our Youth partners. The Rapid City area has wonderful collaboration between service providers, and we are fortunate to have community partners in our buildings providing support services to our students."

Sarah Zimmerman is the Social Emotional Education Coordinator district-wide. She coordinates suicide prevention, social work services, and several of our community partnerships focusing on mental health support and resources.
" I love using the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings with K-12 students because students do great work with these standards that elders wrote for our state!"

Gabrielle Seeley is an Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings Educator with our Title VI Indian Education program. Gabrielle works with students throughout our district including at our alternative education places such as Wellfully and Western Dakota Juvenile Services Center to provide culturally rooted, engaged learning opportunities. She also creates lessons and works one-on-one with teachers in our district to implement the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings standards.
Department Highlights
Winter Coat Donation - American Indian Services Prep program donated over 30 coats for our Family/Student Coordinator, Kerri Stephen, to provide to high school aged students throughout our district in need. We are thankful for our continued partnerships and support within our community.
Title VI Virtual Coloring & Prize Drawings-
Over the break, the Office of Title VI Indian Education provided currently enrolled Kindergarten students in our program Lakota Language Consortium Lakota Alphabet Coloring Books.

RCAS Title VI Kindergarten Students are virtually coloring to showcase their awesome artwork using their Lakota Alphabet Coloring Books.

To participate, have your Kindergarten student color, decorate, paint or artify in any way a coloring page from the Lakota Alphabet Coloring Book.

Once your student has completed their artwork, you can submit a photo in any of the ways listed below to showcase their work! Email to or tag the photo on Facebook to RCAS
Title VI. Weekly prizes will be drawn for students who participate!

Cookie Decorating!

Students at General Beadle, Knollwood Elementary, and North Middle were surprised on the last day of school before Winter Break with cookies to decorate from Jerry's Cakes & Donuts. Students in Lakota Language classes and the Eagle's Nest were allowed time to decorate their cookies and enjoy their delicious treats before the break officially started!
Suicide Prevention Workshop -
In Case You Missed It

On November 19th RCAS offered a virtual suicide prevention parent education event.  During this presentation RCAS Social Emotional Education Coordinator Sarah Zimmerman and Central High School Social Worker Ashley Evans presented information for parents to learn more about:

  • Suicide prevention in RCAS
  • Warning signs for depression and suicide
  • Tips for families about what they can do at home to promote communication and safety
  • How to access services through our community partners- Behavior Management Systems and Connecting With Our Youth.

If you missed the presentation and would like to view the video please reach out to Sarah Zimmerman
at 605-593-2556 or
Parent Advisory Committee- The Title VI PAC's next meeting is Tuesday, January 12th at 5:30 PM. The PAC Board will be meeting in person, with public attendance through Zoom only to maintain safety precautions during COVID-19. The following Zoom link can be used for public:

The remainder of the PAC Meetings for this year will be:

Tuesday, January 12th 2021
Tuesday, February 9th 2021
Tuesday, March 9th 2021
Tuesday, April 13th 2021
Tuesday, May 11th 2021

For more information on the PAC please visit:
Parent Resources
COVID-19 Community Resources- Here's a list of COVID-19 Resources in the Rapid City and the Black Hills area. These resources were created by the RCAS Social Work Team, is continually updated, and is a living document. It holds information for utilities, food, COVID-19 relief, mental health resources, online school tutorials, and more. Please check it out and share!
Important Information from Our RCAS Nurses -
Please notify our nurses at 605.877.4021 or at if your student has tested positive for Covid-19 or your family/student has been in close contact with a positive person!
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