Sawyer Public School
Mid-Dakota Education Cooperative (MDEC) creates bold, breakthrough solutions with 15 rural northwest North Dakota school districts that have limited financial resources and access to training and support services. MDEC's wide-ranging success is rooted in a perspective that no problem is too small to be considered or too large to be solved collectively.
MDEC champions a whole child approach that links physical and behavioral health with educational outcomes. Its transformative work includes a visionary training for educators and school personnel who work with children who have experienced trauma. Comprehensive, ongoing support included in the training transforms practices at schools within and beyond the district's boundaries. MDEC's behavioral health tools and guidelines for social emotional learning inspire changes in policies and student-teacher interactions. To address the scarcity of health resources, MDEC launched the North Dakota e-Care School Health Program, which connects geographically remote students with nursing services via a tele-health platform.
MDEC's model begins with and depends upon listening to the community. The organization prioritizes partnerships in order to operate beyond its borders, providing assistance for other districts and leadership on multiple statewide initiatives.