Hello from Oglala Lakota County Superintendent, Connie Kaltenbach

January 2023

Happy New Year, 2023!

Welcome back to the Oglala Lakota County School District Schools. I'm Connie Kaltenbach, Superintendent. As we look ahead to the next 365 days, may we have a year of success, victories, and blessings. May we remember to be good relatives to each other with warm hearts and strong spirits.

Connie Kaltenbach, Superintendent

The new year brings excitement to all that we can accomplish. We are excited for all of our schools to grow academically, to grow in Lakota Language usage, and to grow in support for mental and emotional needs.

Our Mission Statement:

"To strengthen the Lakota identity and values of students and to assure their overall well-being and academic success" is as accurate at the beginning of the year as it is now. We continue to strive to support students in their learning. To make that happen, attendance is so important.

Students will be taking the NWEA MAP assessment in January. We will use the new scores to compare to the student scores in the fall to assess for growth. Our goal is to help students reach grade-level instruction; collecting data to help us with that is very important.

While not fully staffed, we have employed many new people and are excited for them to join our team. We continue to advertise for teachers, paras, custodians, and other positions that we need within the school district. Pass on the word if you know of anyone looking for employment. Please encourage them to check out our website at www.olcsd.com.

Our Lakota Studies Department is nearly fully staffed. This is a very exciting notice as we have wanted to expand the student Lakota Language and a nearly complete staff is important to make that happen.

This year we opened a daycare at the Batesland School site to help staff who needed daycare for their young children. We are pleased to announce the opening of the Rockyford Daycare this week. The daycares are currently for staff needs, but we hope the daycare center coming soon to Lakota Tech will become a training center for Early Childhood Development for our High School students while also serving our students at LTHS and staff.

Coming up this spring, we are looking for our School Okȟólakičhiye parent/guardian and staff groups to begin meeting and planning great activities in each of our schools.

  • Íŋyaŋ Šála Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Batesland)

  • Ógle Lúta Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Red Shirt)

  • Makȟóšiča Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Rockyford)

  • Šuŋgmánitu Tȟáŋka Wakpála Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Wolf Creek)

  • Lakota Wówaši Waúŋspe Waŋkátuya Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Lakota Tech)

  • Wóuŋspe omnáye ogná waúŋspepi Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Virtual High)

Take a drive by the Lakota Tech and Wolf Creek campuses, and you will see the walls of the new construction starting to take shape. We also have over 15 new tenants in our staff housing units. Each component gets our district one step closer to meeting the growth we have experienced in the last couple of years. Construction is exciting but dangerous, so please be cautious of the construction workers.

Athletics are getting in full steam as we start the new year. At Lakota Tech, the wrestlers, basketball teams, and cheerleaders are in competition and doing well. Supporting the district team is a long-term tradition, but we need all kinds of support with a new school. Please join the cheering section and support the home teams. In the middle schools, basketball and cheerleading are up and running, too, with many games within the district.

Activities are equally busy, with many clubs and tutoring going on in the schools. Some schools received musical instruments and are working on some plans for exposing students to learning a musical instrument.

The best advice I can give to staff, students, and families for a successful school year is to:

  • Be here

  • Behave

  • Work Hard

Tókša aȟké until you hear my voice on Sunday night.

That's me. You can call me Connie.

January 2023

November 2022

Hello!

My name is Connie Kaltenbach and I am honored and humbled to be serving as the Oglala Lakota County School District Superintendent.

Connie Kaltenbach, OLCSD Superintendent

Happy fall to all,

As we enter fall, we see the end of the first quarter in our schools. Oglala Lakota County has 1729 students in our six schools.

Some excitement in all our schools is the creation of the Oglala Lakota County School District Okȟólakičhiye parent/guardian and staff groups.

  • Íŋyaŋ Šála Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Batesland)

  • Ógle Lúta Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Red Shirt)

  • Makȟóšiča Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Rockyford)

  • Šuŋgmánitu Tȟáŋka Wakpála Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Wolf Creek)

  • Lakota Wówaši Waúŋspe Waŋkátuya Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Lakota Tech)

  • Wóuŋspe omnáye ogná waúŋspepi Owáyawa Okȟólakičhiye (Virtual High)

Parents, guardians, and staff are encouraged to participate in the meetings that will be advertised this month and to get involved in helping the school with academics, attendance, and activities. School support is so needed and we encourage all to consider joining the Okȟólakičhiye in their school.

On the construction front, you may see some big changes on the Wolf Creek campus and the Lakota Tech campus as the building projects begin to take shape. At Wolf Creek, the expansion includes a full-service kitchen and cafeteria. The cafeteria space will also double as a secondary gym and game area in the future. At Lakota Tech you will notice two expansions, one is the addition to a current wing that will include the daycare center. We hope to grow the early childhood component of CTE while also providing a needed service for students and staff. The second expansion is a full, new wing to accommodate the growing needs of Lakota Tech. In the interim, we also have three modular nearly ready for classes to help with space at Lakota Tech this year. It is exciting as we expand to meet the needs of the student population.

On the horizon for next summer will be elementary playground equipment and outdoor classroom spaces. The opportunity to host classes outside will be a great asset to the classes for student engagement and fresh air.

COVID-19 sure set us back, we have had great losses, but we have a strong generation of children who need us to steady the course and support their education. Help us to help students remember what it is like to go to school each day, participate, learn, and experience all that school can offer.

The best advice I can give to staff, students, and families for a successful school year is to:

  • Be here

  • Behave

  • Work Hard

Staff and student attendance are vital for the success of a student. Behave in the school setting and beyond. WóLakota uŋyúhapi kta héčha, we must have peace. We all need to work hard. We must put time, effort, and pride into our day so we can reach our goals. To do this, we must set high expectations for ourselves and strive to achieve them.

Tókša aȟké until you hear my voice on Sunday night.

That's me. You can call me Connie.

November 2022

August 2022

Hello!

My name is Connie Kaltenbach and I am honored and humbled to be serving as the Oglala Lakota County School District Superintendent.

Connie Kaltenbach, OLCSD Superintendent

I am a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. My dad, myself, and two of my children all took our first breath at the Pine Ridge Hospital on the hill. My granddaughter is the fifth generation in my family to attend school in Lacreek District at Martin Grade School.

I graduated from Oglala Lakota College with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. During my early career, I was a teacher at the Wolf Creek School. I returned to school, completed my Master's Degree in Educational Administration, and was selected to be the Batesland Principal. I served in that role for 10 years and moved to the District office as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for the next 5 years. I went on to get my Specialist in Education Administration--Superintendent from the University of South Dakota. GO Yotes!!

This is my first position as a Superintendent. I want to participate in district events and be a great communicator for the schools to operate to the best that they can. I want students to be safe and successful.

You will hear my voice on Sunday nights when I do the Sunday night call. Additionally, this website will continue to grow and expand for easy access to school information and upcoming events.

That's me. You can call me Connie.

August 2022

LEADERSHIP: We have a great school board helping lead our district towards success. Bryan Brewer, Robert Two Crow, Debbie Blue Bird, Chuck Conroy, and Angie Eagle Bull are serving this year and bringing a wealth of experience in education to their roles. The years in education that the Oglala Lakota COunty School Board has between the five board members has to be over 100 years collectively. It is an exciting and learning experience to work with such great people.

Six Schools: Oglala Lakota County includes six schools across the large county we serve. Batesland School in the southeast corner serves about 170 students each year from Preschool through 8th grade. It is home to our Online Academy this year which includes students in Kindergarten through 8th grade who are working online this year. We have a full team of teachers working specifically with our online students each day. Batesland is also home to our first daycare center. Through great cooperation with OST Childcare, we are able to provide daycare for staff within the facility. Little Eagle's Nest Daycare has been a great employee benefit for the employees at Batesland. We are hoping to grow the daycare option to the other schools very soon.

Batesland is also home to the main site of the Virtual High School. The Virtual High School has been running for 14 years and serves students in 9th-12th grade who work virtually to get their high school diploma. We have additional sites with VHS support at Red Shirt, Rockyford, Wolf Creek and Lakota Tech High School.

Red Shirt school in the northwest corner of the county serves K-8 students and enrollment runs from 40-75 students each year. Red Shirt is a full-service school busing from Oglala each day.

Rockyford School in the northeast corner serves students from Preschool through 8th grade and is our Lakota Immersion School. Each grade level includes one teacher who focuses on conversational Lakota throughout the day in the instruction. We are excited to provide this opportunity for language usage for students. It is encouraging for students and for staff to increase their speaking abilities.

Wolf Creek in the southwest corner is the largest school in our county, serving 600 plus students each year. An amazing feat each day is the transportation team at Wolf Creek as they roll out for student drop-offs each afternoon. The coordination of classes, teachers, bus drivers, food service, custodial, maintenance, and all others activities that happen at Wolf Creek is amazing.

Lakota Tech High School which shares the Wolf Creek campus serves 9th-12th grade students. Enrollment at Lakota Tech is 350 plus each year. This is Lakota Tech's 3rd year. We graduated over 30 seniors in May 2022. Lakota Tech continues to grow and expand the Career Technical Educational opportunities each year. We are offering health, business, law, and media, and continue to work towards construction and auto as we grow and expand.

CONSTRUCTION: We have many projects going on in our district and I am happy to be learning, guiding, and celebrating the changes. Lakota Tech High School has construction going on as we work to expand another wing to accommodate students. A big piece of the addition will be a daycare to help students interested in Early Childhood get a head start while in school.

Construction is also underway at Wolf Creek School as we seek to expand and create a kitchen cafeteria to feed the largest K-8 elementary school in the state. The new section will include the kitchen and a multi-purpose room that will serve as a secondary gym when needed.

Across the road from the Wolf Creek/Lakota Tech facilities, is our housing complex. We plan to add more than 50 homes for teachers and staff in the next few years. We are happy to open up the first of the apartments for the 2022-23 school year.

Other projects include improvements at Batesland, Red Shirt, and Rockyford. We are also excited to announce we will be adding outdoor classroom spaces at all elementary schools in the next year. These spaces will have student activities, but will also allow classes to be held outside when the weather permits. We are excited to bring these to our elementary schools.

EDUCATION: The past few years have impacted education across the world. As we resume instruction, our teachers, instructional coaches, paras, principals, and all others will be working with students to help them meet grade-level tasks and advance as we make plans for the best course of growth for each student. We have some assessments scheduled throughout the year to help us focus on areas students really need. Our early-out Fridays are built into the calendar to allow teachers time to look at the data and make great plans for students.

MISSION STATEMENT: To Strengthen the Lakota identity and values of students and to assure their overall well-being and academic success. As we seek to reach the specific pieces of the mission statement, we are going to work very hard on establishing a time each more to focus on the Lakota identity, safety, and security. We are making our schools as safe as we can. This year we installed metal detectors to keep everyone inside safe. We have a great team of Security Resource Officers to further assist with student and staff safety. We are also working on support through counseling both in person and via telehealth to help the emotional and mental aspects of student safety. We are striving to realize the whole child and Lakota identity of the student. It is my belief that if we can help students feel safe and secure at school, we can open their brains to learning.

MOTTO: Our motto this year which began as the school motto for Rockyford is:

Every Child, Every Day, Whatever it Takes - Waya'wapi Iyu'ha Anpe'tu Iyo'hila Ta'ku ke'eyas.

This year we will strive to reach our motto and when we fall short, we will strive to reach it again. It is through our determination in getting through our failures that we will find success and strength.

I'm happy to be here,

Connie Kaltenbach

This year we will strive to reach our motto and when we fall short, we will strive to reach it again. It is through our determination in getting through our failures that we will find success and strength.

Connie Kaltenbach