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The Story of Act 31: How Native History Came to Wisconsin Classrooms - Study Circles Online Conversation

About the Study Circles Online Conversation

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The Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network, or “The Network,” is offering a unique opportunity for all participating school staff, equity teams, and partners to continue our personal and professional racial equity work, with a focus on the American Indian student experience... Join us in a Study Circles Online Conversation and the exploration the book, The Story of Act 31: How Native History Came to Wisconsin Classrooms by JP Leary. Each session will use Leary's book as a foundation for the conversation while exploring the impact of the opportunity gap on our American Indian students in the state of Wisconsin.

The Study Circles Online Conversation helps to address racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement by engaging diverse staff, parents, and partners in dialogue and problem-solving.

About the Book

Since its passage in 1989, a state law known as Act 31 requires that all students in Wisconsin learn about the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of Wisconsin’s federally recognized tribes. 

The Story of Act 31 tells the story of the law’s inception—tracing its origins to a court decision in 1983 that affirmed American Indian hunting and fishing treaty rights in Wisconsin, and to the violent public outcry that followed the court’s decision. Author JP Leary paints a picture of controversy stemming from past policy decisions that denied generations of Wisconsin students the opportunity to learn about tribal history. 

Training Format

Each Study Circles Online Conversation will consist of one 60-minute orientation session followed by three 1.5 hour discussion sessions.


  • Orientation (required) | Monday, October 8, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm via Zoom
  • Session #1 | Monday, October 29, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom
  • Session #2 | Monday, November 12, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom
  • Session #3 | Monday, December 3, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom


Study Circles Online Conversations will be facilitated by:

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Project Coordinator, Network Training and Supports
Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or "The Network"

Project Coordinator, Network for Native American Student Achievement (NNASA), Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or "The Network"

Project Coordinator, Culturally Responsive Early Childhood Project
Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or "The Network"

American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Program Lead - Network for Native American Student Achievement, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or
"The Network"

Participant Outcomes

As a result of this Study Circles Online Conversation, participants will:

  • have an opportunity to read and discuss the selected book with other participants from across Wisconsin
  • engage in conversations with colleagues and explore multiple perspectives about American Indian studies and education of Native American students
  • address misconceptions and stereotypes of American Indian peoples, communities, and nations

Standards Being Addressed

These networking meetings specially address WI State Performance Plan (SPP), Indicators 4B, 9 & 10

  • Charlotte Danielson’s Framework: 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a. 3e, 4c, 4e, 4f
  • Stronge Performance Standards and Indicators: 1.3, 1.7, 1.9, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.7
  • InTasc Teaching Standards: #2, 4, 5, 9 & 10

Registration, Fees, and Prerequisites

There are no registration fees to participate in this training, 
but pre-registration is required.


  • Registration is limited to the first 30 individuals. 
  • Priority enrollment will be given to:
    • LEAs that were identified in April/May 2018 as disproportionate in their special education programming.
    • Invited groups and LEAs:
      • LEAs receiving Title VI Indian Education and/or Johnson O'Malley (JOM) funding
      • Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) Staff
      • Wisconsin RtI Center Staff and Wisconsin PBIS Network Staff
      • Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network (DTAN)/
        The Network Staff


  • Participants are initially provided with a copy of the book at no charge. 
  • Participation in the orientation session is a prerequisite to receiving the complimentary book. NOTEBooks will not be sent until the orientation meeting has been held.
  • Those who participate in less than 2 of the 3 Study Circles sessions will be invoiced according to the following fee schedule:

LEA, Organization, or Agency                                                               Fees

  • LEA Identified as Disproportionate in April/May 2018                    $0.00
  • LEA Not Identified as Disproportionate                                         $30.00
  • Invited Group or LEA                                                                       $0.00
  • Non-Profit Organization or Agency                                               $30.00
  • Private Organization                                                                      $50.00
  • Out-of-State Organization or Agency                                            $75.00


For questions related to registration or LEA status, contact:


Angie Balfe
Manager, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network
Phone: (920) 236-0885 or

For content and program-related questions, contact:

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Melissa Moe
Training and Supports Project Coordinator
Diproportionality Technical Assistance Network
Phone: (715) 986-2020, ext. 2127 or

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David O'Connor
American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Program Lead - Network for Native American Student Achievement, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network  
Phone: (608) 267-2283 or david.o'