Now that all our staff is back full time, we’ve begun another round of our strategic planning. We have a plan in place that we’re already working on. We started holding small group meetings to discuss how the goals and strategies are coming along. We also answered questions about different areas of St. Joseph’s Indian School and how the plan is progressing, so staff members can be aware of progress across the board.
From our first rounds, staff seem most excited about our efforts to expand collaboration with other area schools and communities on Indian Reservations. They offered many suggestions as to how that might happen. Questions came about the challenges all schools face about better parental support and involvement. That’s especially tricky here because families may live far away without reliable transportation. Also, a good number of our students are here because their families are already struggling with a variety of issues like poverty and safe housing.
One of our hopes is to increase the presence of alumni on campus. A fascinating exchange came from one of our alumni who has worked here for the past four years. When he worked back home on his reservation, his job security was so tenuous.
Every two years, there is a tribal election. When one administration ends, so do most of the tribal jobs. Everyone has to reapply and, in his experience, who you know or who you are related to was valued more than experience and ability, which hampers progress and development. That led to insights and lots more discussion about that reality among the group.