After morning chapel, I noticed all the bicycles had returned to the racks – out of storage after the long winter. That’s a sign of optimism that spring is officially here. Temperatures were chilly in the morning, but in the 60’s and wonderful by the afternoon. Besides the bikes, I also noticed the sidewalk chalk has been brought out; the result of which was a series of colorful drawings and writing in front of the Benedictine Homes.
On the way back to the house, I spied one of the older school cars plowed into the fence at the edge of the football field, and knew there was some juicy story behind that sight. Last night one of our high school students drove over to see her sisters play softball. She didn’t get the car fully into parking gear, and after she got out it rolled down the hill, scattering everyone on the diamond! Thankfully no one was hurt and hopefully a valuable lesson was learned.
Today, we finished two days of strategic planning meetings. Our facilitator met with focus groups of houseparents, teachers, staff, representatives from the area’s business, school and law enforcement community. He also listened to our high school students and made a trip to the Lower Brule Indian Reservation to hear from parents and alumni. We’re also doing an online survey with some of our donors to look at key issues we will try to work on over the next 3-5 years. It will take us many more meetings over the next 6 months or so to flesh out the plan. What was noticeable, was so many people really caring and trying to make the programs and policies better here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.