Breaking Ground, Creating Hope: New Housing Comes to Red Cloud's Campus





Although summer is often a quiet time at Red Cloud, this month brought the sounds of new construction to campus. With the support of generous partners and supporters from across the country, Red Cloud has officially begun to build new housing on its main campus, designed specifically for faculty and staff.

According to Executive Vice President Robert Brave Heart Sr., breaking ground on this new project will ultimately make an enormous difference for Red Cloud students.

"Here on the Pine Ridge Reservation, there's a severe shortage of quality, affordable housing. It's something that many of our families struggle with, and it makes it extremely difficult for us to recruit new teachers to come and make their careers at Red Cloud," said Brave Heart. "This new housing will help us to attract the best possible teachers. And that will dramatically improve the kind of education we can provide for our students."

Research shows that one of the main contributing factors to poor outcomes for Native students is the extreme difficulty of recruiting and retaining qualified, effective teachers. Pine Ridge sits in a designated federal Teacher Shortage Area: the pool of qualified candidates is simply more limited. As a nonprofit, Red Cloud has struggled to keep up with the salaries offered in public schools across the region. And the lack of available and adequate housing prevents teachers from staying or moving into the area to serve local communities.

That's why, over the last year, Red Cloud has created a new initiative entirely focused on recruiting and retaining the most effective teachers. The goal is to keep outstanding teachers rooted at Red Cloud for years and even decades to come.

Creating new housing is a major component of the "recruit and retain" initiative. And these initial housing units are just the beginning. Red Cloud's administrators are hoping to build more housing on our Porcupine Campus at Our Lady of Lourdes, approximately 30 miles from main campus, so that every student in Red Cloud's school system can benefit from it.

"Supporting our students is our reason for doing everything we do," said Brave Heart. "And building this new housing is just one more way we can ensure they have every possible opportunity to learn and grow."

To get involved in this important initiative, please reach out to Michael Welch, special assistant to Red Cloud's president, at michaelwelch@redcloudschool.org.



Photos © Red Cloud Indian School



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