My name is Kathleen, I am the Principal at St. Joseph’s Indian School here in Chamberlain, South Dakota. Our school is composed of Native American children in grades one through eight. The students’ day runs from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM.
During the course of the week their studies include, reading, writing, grammar, spelling, mathematics, science, social studies, computer, art/music, religion and Native American studies. The class sizes run from nine to fourteen students. We have additional staff for the classroom teachers to further individualized student learning. They range from teachers aides, reading and math specialists, occupational, speech, and physical therapists.
Every day we live our motto: to teach and serve, receive and learn.
Our goal is to help each individual Lakota child reach their potential and to address any difficulties they may have academically. Each student has an academic file which tracks progress and identifies what strategies are being used to help the student achieve. Students that are noted as ‘intensive’ receive multiple services. ‘Strategic’ students receive help in specific areas and ‘benchmarked’ students are challenged to exceed their goals.
This week, five of our students in grades 3-8 competed in the Regional Spelling Bee and our eighth student came in third place. Later this month, we will have our eighth grade girls attend a day-long workshop dealing with math, science and engineering projects.