Interstate 90 was closed in South Dakota from Chamberlain–west 150 miles– to Wall, and many of our students who went home for the weekend couldn’t get back. Our facilities crew did a great job of plowing our parking lots and roads, and we were able to open school on time. I stopped in the classrooms this morning, and found them to be missing a few students – 44 absent in all, about a fourth of our elementary school. By day’s end, the roads were clearning up and I saw many families dropping their children off at their homes away from home.
One of our 4th grade girls was in the Dean of Students’ office, which meant she was having some problems and was acting up in her classroom. We have cubicles in there for students to study at while calming down. This student preferred to sit on the floor, behind a door, almost hidden from view. She was supposed to be working on the South Dakota state map, identifying Native American reservations, towns, and natural formations but she didn’t have much focus. I didn’t try to deal with the behaviors that landed her there, or scold her in any way. I just tried to be as kind as I could, knowing that she has worries and struggles in her family. We talked about a safer subject – the geography she was working on, and she again found the interest to continue her project. The teachers, counselors and houseparents will talk over how to work through the things that are bothering her.