The NACA-Inspired Schools Network (NISN) will recruit Leadership Fellows and provide them with an intensive yearlong residency at the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This gives participants access to high performing charters as a means of learning from various school designs, locally and nationally. Fellows will learn the day-to-day operations of a charter school and participate in high quality professional development and training for launching a model charter school in a Native American community. Fellows will receive real-time experience as a school leader who is specifically prepared to work in Native American communities, whether on the reservation, in rural areas, or with tribes in BIE and public education systems.

Leadership Fellows will build relationships with communities to learn and analyze local needs and successfully complete the charter school or grant application processes needed to open schools. NISN will provide ongoing professional development to measure effectiveness of our common principles and targeted outcomes, based on the desired mindset, skills, and knowledge gained from the Fellowship learning and experience.

NISN receives support and partnership from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Daniels Fund, McCune Charitable Foundation, the Tides and NoVo Foundations, and various other organizations.

Fellowship Description

The fellowship includes:

  • Professional development and optional coursework in Indigenous studies.
  • Real-time experience in the role of school administration and leadership. These duties will draw upon the applicant’s strengths and interest areas, while establishing new skills and knowledge.
  • The opportunity to work alongside NACA’s experienced educators in the classroom and through administrative duties; for example, participating in planning and strategy sessions, facilitating staff meetings, participating in instructional teams, and attending budget workshops.
  • Participation and long-term access to the NACA’s Inspired Schools Network, which includes leaders in Native American education who share learning and provide and receive mentoring and coaching, as well as access to early stage supports to help launch a successful school.

  • The opportunity to learn about relevant national and New Mexico Public Education Department reform efforts and current work to move New Mexico forward in educational attainment.

  • Visits to schools in New Mexico and other areas of the country that offer best practices in Native American education.

  • Participation in meetings of the NACA Governing Council (the governing board for the school), and other school boards, commissions, and entities that impact policy in Native American communities and develop innovative governance structures.

  • The opportunity to support and engage in new and established community partnerships with a vast array of highly effective organizations throughout the nation and Native American communities.

  • Training in developing written documentation, including strategic planning, charter and grant application materials, and proposals. This includes 1:1 guidance in completing the New Mexico charter school application process or BIE Grant School process.

  • Access to early stage planning and start-up funding for the new school and key supports such as accessing a facility, finance, and professional development.

Fellows will establish a charter or grant school in the year following their fellowship that is based on the NACA model and community-leddesign measures. Charter schools should be located in areas with high Native American populations and interested communities.