New charter school in Fort Hall

New Charter School in Fort Hall

FORT HALL, Idaho - School is a place to learn, to inspire, to achieve. But for one new school in Fort Hall, school means more than that. It's all about bringing culture into the classrooms.

"When the language comes out it's a truth," said Velda Racehorse, one of board members the Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy.

Language, it's a part of culture, and Racehorse can tell you how much language means in the Shoshone-Bannock tribe.

"The stories that are told, when the elders talk to you, you can listen to him and you can go back in time," said Racehorse.

But the problem is, some members have lost their voices.

"Our parents were taught not to speak the languages," said Racehorse.

A whole generation in the Shoshone-Bannock tribe has forgotten how to speak the Shoshoni language.

But that will all change come August 2013.

Over 90 kindergarten through sixth-grade will be attending the new charter school, the Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy in Fort Hall. Today was the groundbreaking ceremony, where board members, future students, and parents celebrated.

The new school will teach both English and the Shoshoni language in the classroom.

"When they reach the 6th grade level from Fort Hall Elementary, a lot of the students started to drop out," said Racehorse.

But with the influence of teachers who have background of the Shoshoni language and culture, the hope is to make students comfortable learning and to exceed the state of Idaho's expectations.

"The main ones that will carry that on are the young ones and it should grow up with them, and learning the culture at the same time," said Racehorse.

The Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy in Fort Hall is open to the public.
The school is also known as School District No. 483.  

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