Published on November 23, 2012 by Amy
Sequoyah High School (also known as Sequoyah-Tahlequah) is a Native American boarding school serving students in grades 9–12, who are members of a federally recognized Native American tribe. The school is located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and is a Bureau of Indian Education grant school operated by the Cherokee Nation. Sequoyah Schools also has an elementary school grades pre-school through 8. Students in pre-school through grade 6 are taught through Cherokee language immersion and begin to transition to instruction in English in grade 5.
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The school was founded in 1871 by the Cherokee National Council as the Cherokee Orphan Asylum to care for the numerous orphans who came out of the Civil War. The first building on the current site of the school was erected in 1875
The Cherokee National Council gave permission for acting Chief William Charles Rogers to sell the property (which included 40 acres (160,000 m2) plus the buildings) to the United States Department of the Interior for a sum of $5,000 in 1914. In 1925, the name of the school was changed to Sequoyah Orphan Training School to memorialize Sequoyah, a noted Cherokee who invented the Cherokee syllabary.
For a short time, the school was also known as Sequoyah Vocational School. During much of its early years, the school boasted an active dairy and various other farming and agricultural facilities. It was operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a boarding school until 1985.
In November 1985 the Cherokee Nation resumed operations at Sequoyah High School from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and now operates under a grant. The school now maintains 90 acres (360,000 m2) of land and more than a dozen major buildings five miles (8 km) southwest of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
School enrollment is approximately 430 students, with 47% male and 53% female students. The teacher-student ratio is 1:15. 100% of the student population is American Indian, compared to Oklahoma’s state average of 18% American Indian students.