What is a charter school?
A Charter school is a public school, but with more freedom and flexibility to implement a unique curriculum.
Like all New Mexico public schools, Dream Dine’s funding comes from the NM Public Education Department, and our students are expected to master the Common Core State Standards. But as a charter school Dream Diné is developing a unique curriculum guided by the four seasons, utilizing the teachings, stories, events, and themes of each. Our teachers are developing a dual-language, hands-on approach to provide each child opportunities to connect with and understand their unique world.
Will my child learn the same things as other children?
Our teachers do integrate the Common Core State Standards into the curriculum, and our expectation is to implement a world-class education here in Shiprock. But the process that is unfolding at Dream Diné is organic. As our staff continues to collaborate and consult with our families, community leaders, indigenous education experts, and others, our curriculum evolves and improves. We believe that Diné children growing up today must understand the wisdom of their ancestors, and learn how to apply that wisdom to the complex world around us.
Will my child become fluent in Navajo?
If your family has decided that dual-language fluency is a goal for your child, then Dream Diné is a powerful resource. To be clear, we aren’t making false promises—simply attending Dream Diné will not make a child fluent in Navajo. But there are countless resources across the community, including Navajo-speaking family members, Navajo radio stations, and places where the Navajo language is the language of power, including Chapter meetings and ceremonial life. Developing Navajo language fluency requires great effort on behalf of families, schools, and communities. We ask that each family consider their own dreams and aspirations for their child, and if dual-language fluency is part of that dream then let’s work together!
What grades does Dream Diné have?
During the 2014-2015 year, Dream Diné served Kindergarten and First grades, In the 2015-2016 year, Second grade was added. In the 2016-2017 year, 3rd grade was added and in 2017-2018, 4th grade was added. 5th-grade was added in the school year 2018-2019. As of today, we are currently a K-5 charter elementary school.
Is there tuition?
There is no tuition for Dream Diné. We are a free New Mexico public charter school.
Will there be buses?
Since our first year, in 2014-2015, we have not had transportation services for families. While we recognize that many families require transportation, we have not been able to contract out for bus services at this time. If we are unable to contract out for bussing, families would need to arrange for transportation to/from school. Several of our families do work together to ensure that their children have the opportunity to attend Dream Diné.
What about meals?
Dream Diné is fully committed to the holistic health and wellness of each child. We offer a healthy breakfast and lunch program. We contract with Central Consolidated School District to meet the nutritional needs of all of our children. Each family will be asked to fill out a Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Application during registration which determines eligibility for price reductions for meals.
How do I enroll my child?
New Mexico charter schools are required to hold an open lottery, offering all interested families an equal opportunity to enroll. Entering the lottery is simple—just fill out the one-paged Lottery Application Form and you’re entered!
Please see the lottery application for details on the lottery process.
How old does my child have to be?
Dream Diné must follow the same laws as all other public schools. Therefore children must be 5 years of age by September 1st of each year to enroll for the school year.
How do I learn more? Can I come to visit the school?
There are several ways to learn more about Dream Diné. You can call or come by the school to arrange a visit. We are located west of the Shiprock Chapter House, next to Shiprock Headstart. You can call us at 505-368-2500 or send an email to the office manager, email@example.com.