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Letter from our Board President

Founded in 1966, we are into 53 years of being an educational institution; the creators of Rough Rock Demonstration School, saw the challenges faced and overcame. Dine Culture/Language and contemporary Education has been the foundation of our grandparents’ vision, and this is where we want Rough Rock Community School to be reputable. We take pride in preparing our students to take education by the horn-with knowledge, courage and an understanding of Diné values, traditions and teachings.


Most know that we have gone through a decline in recent years. Some reports even have us closed after 53 years. We are pleased to report that we remain quite active filling gaps, tackling challenges, and fixing anything that appears unbalanced. We remain the Rough Rock Community School, home of the “Sundevils!” Although some course corrections take time, we have made significant progress.

  • Rough Rock Community School is back on track. Our Mission remains as compelling as it was in 1966.

  • One major opportunity for quick improvement lies in Rough Rock Community Schools’ oversight and management. Together, we are working solid step-by-step, strategic groundwork for Rough Rock Community School not only to survive, but to thrive.

  • We invite you to share any personal story you wish, perhaps about; “What RRDS/RRCS did for me and/or can do for you,” or similar theme.


Many of you already have blessed us with time and advice to make this recovery possible. Please contact us with any questions, suggestion, or item you think can make us stronger. With that in mind, please know that we are honored to represent Rough Rock Community School.

On behalf of School Board, thank you for your prayers and your support.

Perry C. Begay,
RRCS Board President

Our Philosophy

Our students are at the core of everything we do, therefore we value:

  • Respect for self and others;

  • Resiliency and reliability;

  • Dine history, culture and language;

  • Continuous improvement;

  • Service to stakeholders

The school believes that each student will obtain the SI’AHNAAGEI BIK’EH HOZHOON WAY of life as they graduate from Rough Rock Community School, Inc. By nurturing the unique talents of each student and promoting social responsibility of following the Navajo KE” of life, students will be able to utilize the knowledge, skills, and social conscious to be successful in the Navajo and global society.

Our History

During the early 1960s, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) discussed the idea of a school that would help the Navajo people maintain and preserve their culture and heritage, and obtain a quality education at the same time. As a result of this discussion, the Rough Rock Demonstration School (RRDS) was founded in 1965. The BIA funded the RRDS. The school, however, was controlled locally. The involvement of Navajo parents and the all-Navajo leadership of the school was the most significant area in which the RRDS was pioneering, according to Robert A. Roessel, Jr., Rough Rock Demonstration School’s first director. Families from the local and surrounding areas began sending their children to the RRDS in 1966 when the school opened its doors.


Several public laws, passed in the 1970s, changed the status of the RRDS.  The first change was due to Public Law 93-638, called the Indian Self Determination Act. It provided Indian Tribes with the ability to contract for services formerly carried out by a federal agency. Under the provisions of this law, the RRDS became a Contract School in 1978.  


The second change occurred when the RRDS applied for and received Grant status under Public Law 100-297. Since the RRDS was no longer a demonstration project, the name of the school was changed from Rough Rock Demonstration School to Rough Rock Community School, Inc. having gone through the incorporation process in 1994.

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