Bureau of Indian Education: Native Language Immersion Cooperative Agreement
The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is responsible for educating approximately 45,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students. These students attend school in one of the 183 BIE elementary, secondary, residential, and peripheral dormitories located on 64 reservations across 23 states. Of the 183 BIE funded schools, 53 are operated by the Bureau and the remaining 130 are tribally controlled. The tribally controlled schools operate under special legislation, predominantly as grant schools (P.L. 100-297, Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988) or as contract schools (P.L. 93-638, Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975). Federal policy supports tribal self-determination and self-governance, which is manifested in the realm of education by the tribal control of schools. The Bureau also operates two post-secondary schools: Haskell Indian Nations University and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.
The BIE will supports efforts to revitalize and maintain Native languages and expand the use of language immersion programs in its schools. The BIE is making awards to organizations to provide capacity-building support to BIE-funded schools to expand existing language immersion programs or create new programs that will lead to Native language oral proficiency. Building capacity involves providing opportunities to collaborate with other BIE-funded schools, local community stakeholders, tribes, colleges/universities, and parents to further enhance or create new Native Language Immersion Programs. Programmatic and instructional support are also needed to build capacity such as, but not limited to, developing, revising and refining standards, curriculum, scope, sequence, assessment and teaching strategies.
Cooperative agreements will be awarded to build capacity within BIE by working with an outside organization(s) or consultant(s) to build foundational elements of a BIE Native Language Immersion initiative. Foundation elements include assessing needs, assets and preferences; strategic planning for the initiative; and organizational learning and development. Multiple awards will allow the work to focus on a geographic region and potential commonalities within an area, reducing travel costs. Geographic regions:
- Navajo Region: Approximately 66 schools in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah
- West Region: approximately 50 schools in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada
- East and Central Region: Approximately 20 schools in Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Maine, Mississippi, and North Carolina
- North Region: Approximately 45 schools in Iowa, Idaho, Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
The vendor will work with BIE to build capacity for its Native Language Immersion initiative by providing professional services in the following major areas: training, research, assessment, planning, documentation, implementation, and evaluation. Specifically, the vendor will:
- Research and define a BIE model of Native language immersion programs
- Conduct a feasibility (gap) study of immersion programs within BIE
- Seek and document best practices and processes of Native language immersion program development within BIE
- Identify and document challenges and solutions to creating Native language immersion programs
- Research, compile, and publish information on BIE’s current Native language programs
- Research, compile, and publish resources related to immersion programs
- Provide professional development on a variety of topics (programmatic and instructional) related to building capacity for existing or new language immersion programs (face to face and webinar)
- Create a summary report on the BIE Native language initiative
- Develop program evaluation criteria for BIE’s Native language immersion program
Amount: A total of $2,000,000 is available to make 5-10 awards that range from $100,000-$500,000.
Eligibility: Public and state controlled institutions of higher education; private institutions of higher education; tribally controlled and operated colleges and universities; Native American tribal organizations; nonprofits with or without a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; for profit organizations; small businesses/private consulting firms; and individuals/consultants.
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