Houseparents work for a six day shift and then get three days off, which gives them personal time to recharge their batteries and keeps them fresh over the long haul. Every three days, a third of our houseparents start a break and a fresh group takes over. Each home has one set of six day houseparents, and two homes share a set of three-day houseparents. Changeover days like today, are one occasion when all of the houseparents are here at the same time, and have a chance to exchange information about the students in the homes. It’s also a day when we can do staff training once in a while.
As the school year winds down, today’s changeover featured a fun gathering – a healthy recipe exchange. About a dozen staff created platters of healthy snacks they’ve found the students in their homes enjoy. Everyone could sample them for themselves, and pick up recipes and new ideas. I enjoyed the time to wander and chat, as people start to make their end of the school year summer plans. When the votes were tabulated, Wanda from the Stevens Home (6th – 8th grade girls) was awarded Best Tasting, Daniel from the Matthias Home (6th – 8th grade girls) was proclaimed Most Creative and Theresa from Cyr Home (4th-5th grade boys) had the Most Student Involvement.
While stopping by the Akta Lakota Museum, I ran into Sally and Matt from Wisconsin. Their parish priest, Fr. Pat used to be our chaplain and recommended they visit. I had some time to show them around. Sally is the parish Director of Religious Education, so I made sure she got to hear from our Religious Education teacher. When we stopped in the Art room we got to see some beautiful creations. Bob Miller is our Artist in Residence for the week and he is working with our students to make art that glows fluorescently under black lights. Our students generally like art, but have gone at this work with a real passion. Some are using highlighters or paint, and the work definitely jumps out and make a favorable impression. After school, we stopped by the Afra Home (1st-3rd grade girls) where the students proudly showed our guests around the home before they hit the road with many memories.