The Swinomish Education Department works respectfully and collaboratively in partnerships with local public schools, the Tribal Senate, other departments, parents/guardians, and students. These partnerships ensure our Native families and their students receive and maximize every educational opportunity offered to them. This mission and our support for lifelong student education can only be accomplished with active participation from the student and their family for academic success.

The comprehensive Swinomish Education Department serves the educational needs of our members in many different areas including the following:

Toddler and Preschool
Toddler and Preschool (1-5 years old) is a comprehensive and seamless child development program that is intended to increase the social and educational competence of children while also inviting families to become part of the learning experience too. The programs provide a safe and nurturing environment with learning incorporated into play. Services include early childhood development, literacy based curriculum, referral information and support for families, transportation and nutritious meals.

Para-pros Support and Advocacy
Nine highly qualified and educated tribal Para-pros support and advocate for our native students at the LaConner School District. Each Para-pro is assigned to support students within their grade band. Every Para-pro is responsible for tracking each tribal student's attendance, grades in the core classes of Language Arts, History, Math, and Science, and behavior if it inhibits the student's academic success. Grades from the Middle and High school are sent every two weeks and every parent can access their student's grades online through the LCSD website. Every Para-pro is available after school to help with tutoring if a student needs additional homework support either at the school or study hall.

Swinomish Tribe in Collaboration with Northwest Indian College
In collaboration with Northwest Indian College, Swinomish employs a GED/HS+ instructor. This instructor is available at the NWIC Swinomish site to help students over age 16 who are currently not enrolled in high school prepare for their GED, and those who are 18 years and older with their HS+ requirements.

Swinomish Scholarships
Swinomish Scholarships are provided to its tribal members to help them attain higher level education degrees and certifications. Application forms may be picked up at the Social Services building or sent to you by contacting Swinomish Scholaship Manager Lisa James.

Attendance Officer
We have an attendance officer who supports students and families with better attendance at school. She works diligently with the LaConner School District by knocking on doors of students who have missed school, offers rides to school when students miss the bus, delivers messages to and from school in regard to attendance issues, helps the principals, parents, and students with attendance review meetings, and creates daily attendance reports for departments that work with our youth.

General Education Diploma (GED)
General Education Diploma (GED) review and preparation for testing for students 16 and older not enrolled in high school. Contact Virginia Bill for more information.
Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Thursday 8:30-6:00 NWIC Swinomish Site



Michael Vendiola
Education Director
Phone: (360) 707.1482

Loran James
La Conner School District Student Coordination

Phone: (360) 333.0309

Lisa James
Swinomish Scholarship Program, GED/HS, NWIC Support

Phone: (360) 333.9947