Off reservation boarding schools taking applications for 2017-2018 school year

May 5, 2017


Thomas R. Throssell

Gila River Indian News


Looking for a change of scenery and a bit of adventure as you receive your education? If you are, you might be interested in an off reservation boarding school, which are now accepting applications through Gila River Indian Community’s Tribal Education Department for the 2017-2018 school year. The deadline for applications is July 14, 2017.


According to Danielle Allen, TED Boarding School Advisor, enrolled members of federally recognized tribes are eligible to apply for one of several off reservation boarding schools through their office.


However, she explained, while their office does assist with the application process, they are not involved in whether a student is accepted or denied from a school.


“When parents need help with the application process or information on how to fill out the application, that is what I do,” Allen said. “My office doesn’t hear anything from the school to know if they have been accepted or denied. It goes directly to the parent or guardian.”


Every year around 100 Community students utilize TED to help put together their application and apply to off reservation boarding schools. Out of those 100 students, around 60 are accepted and able to enroll in their chosen school.


All the off reservation boarding schools have limited enrollment, with Native students from all across the United States vying for an open slot, which is why, Allen said, it is important for Community students to start putting together their applications as soon as possible.


“I would start getting everything put together now and then after May 1, start setting up the physical,” Allen said. “What we can do is send [in] everything and if we are just waiting on the physical, we can send that after.”


She said that once you have the main part of your application sent in, then the off reservation boarding schools have your information earlier and you are more likely to be higher up on their list than if you turn in everything at the deadline.


Allen said that out of all the schools TED sends applications to, there are three that tend to be more popular among Community members, making enrollment even more competitive.


“There are three popular high schools that we have. The first one is Chemawa in Salem, Ore. The second is Sherman Indian School in Riverside, Calif., [and] the next one is Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, OK.”


Boarding schools accepting applications through TED are: Chemawa Indian High school, Circle of Nations – grades 4 through 8, Flandreau Indian School – grades 9 through 12, Jones Academy – grades 1 through 12, Riverside Indian School – grades 4 through 12, Sequoyah High School, Sherman Indian High School, Theodore Roosevelt School – grades 6 through 8, and Wingate High School.


To apply, you must have the following 10 items, an application, birth certificate, Social Security Card, transcript, immunization record, physical, Certificate of Degree of Indian blood, proof of health insurance, proof of guardianship, and a social summary.


If you are interested in attending a boarding school and would like to learn more, a boarding school fair will be held in District 2 on June 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at the District 7 Service Center on June 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Representatives from several off reservation boarding schools will be at the fair and happy to answer any questions prospective students may have.


For more information call the Tribal Education Department’s Boarding School Advisor, Danielle Allen, at (520) 562-3662. Applications can be picked up at the department or downloaded from their website at