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Native American Education


Puget Sound ESD’s Native American Education Program  (NAEP)

For over 25 years the Peninsula School District has partnered with the Puget Sound Educational Service District to provide a unique level of educational and cultural support to students with Native American heritage. The PSESD has operated a Native American Education Program in the region for over 30 years in numerous local school districts.

The PSESD NAEP provides school districts with uniquely qualified educators who understand Native education and culture. The Peninsula School District program serves approximately. 125 students with Native heritage out of a total of 600 students in our entire program – which also serves the, Franklin Pierce, Sumner, and University Place school districts.


Funded by the Office of Indian Education (under the Department of Education), the Native American Education Program is fully funded by one grant called a Title VI Indian Education Formula Grant. Funds are used to support the cultural and educational needs of Native American students primarily in grades 7-12.

I also assists high school students and families through the entire college application process: finding the right school that meets their interests, prepping and taking the SAT test, filling out applications and writing entrance essays, applying for financial aid, and knowing what to expect the first year of college.

Jason Lafontaine
Native American Education Program Manager
(253) 778-7963  

PSESD Native American Education Program

Hello Peninsula parents and students,

The Native American Education Coordinator for the Peninsula School District is Jason LaFontaine. Our program—run in partnership through the Puget Sound Educational Service District— provides academic and cultural support to students with Native American heritage and their families.

The focus of the program is to

  • Support students with Native American heritage in connecting with their culture and their educational needs. 
  • Work in small groups so students get to meet and learn with each other and see they are not the only person with Native heritage in the school. 
  • Being the only Native educator in the district students may ever work with, I want students to know I see and value their culture and its importance in being kept alive. 
  • College and career planning, scholarship hunting, letters of recommendation. 
  • Help pay for school-related costs (ASB, sports, credits), up to $100 per year per student. 

School financial support: The program has secured funding from the Puyallup Tribe and Muckleshoot Tribe to help support students and families with school-related costs that come up during the year. If a student/family is in need the program has allotted approximately $100 per year for credit retrieval, yearbooks, ASB fees, sports costs. Contingent on fund availability.

Family Nights: The program holds monthly or bi-monthly family night events for families and students to all come together as a Native community for a free dinner, arts and craft projects, and guest presenters.

Since Time Immemorial curriculum trainings: The program works with districts to train teachers on the OSPI required Native American STI curriculum at all grade levels

If you have any questions, concerns or needs please call me at (253) 778-7963 or email me at

For more program information and links to other Native resources please click here:
PSESD Native American Education Program

My goal is to be an advocate for every Native student in the district, no matter their blood quantum, so they are thriving academically, learning about their heritage, and engaged in their school community.

Thank you,

Jason LaFontaine
Native American Education Program,
PSESD Program Manager, Peninsula Schools