Guest Blogger: Dianne

Hi, my name is Dianne—I am Administrative Assistant in the school— and I just thought I would catch you up on what is going on at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

We are in the fourth week of the second quarter of school—just a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving Break, and midterm is a week away.  This year has gone by so fast, but time flies when you’re having fun!

And fun we have had … Halloween was so much fun for all the students and staff. A good portion of the school was dressed up in their costumes for the day and after school everyone went trick or treating here on campus.  I, myself, came as a rock star!  Many of the offices and all of the homes have had Halloween treats to share.  At the end of trick or treating, the Rec Center has a grand march and costume judging contest.  There are so many innovative costumes to see!  It really is fun to watch!

We are very busy here at school with our regular schedule of classes and many extracurricular activities also.  Today, we have two girls basketball games—one here at St. Joseph’s and one away.

Service Plan Meetings are being held, which are much like Teacher/Parent Conferences and are held twice per year. These include the teacher, the parent/guardian, the family service counselor, the houseparent and the student themselves.

This week we will have our Honor Roll Assemblies for first quarter.  Our prizes have arrived and they will be given out to those on the A and B Honor Roll and those with Perfect/Outstanding Attendance for first quarter.  I think the students will love what we ordered for them—notebooks and bookmarks with Native American designs. They are quite beautiful!  I also have made their certificates on award paper with Native American designs.

We have a lot to accomplish before Thanksgiving Break, which seems to be just around the corner.  It will be a good time for staff and students alike to take a little break from all the daily schoolwork and teaching to regroup and be ready to begin refreshed when we return.

Thanks for all your support to aid us in what we do for our Native American students!

Halloween festivities

This morning our high school staff hosted a farewell breakfast in the Hogebach Home for Shana, who has directed the High School Program for the past five years. Her husband got a promotion that moved the family to a different part of the state. In her time as director here, she and her staff found ways to increase our student GPA and retention rates, and see more go on to college. We plan to build on those successes and continue developing the programs and ideas she implemented. All the best to you in your new endeavors Shana!

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of the most exciting days to be a kid, especially when you get to dress up in costume all day. I toured the school and previewed the attire our Lakota students picked out for this whimsical holiday. Several of the teachers and staff also got into the spirit of the day and wore colorful and creative outfits, including Kathleen our principal, whose face was painted to make her look like a cat. After the initial giggles died down, everyone got down to work, and the quizzes, experiments and reading went on as normal.

There was no study hall as teachers went easy on tonight’s homework, so classes could dismiss a half hour early. Students put the finishing touches on their costumes and grabbed a bag for trick or treating. My office was one of several stops around campus. Those of us who work in central offices coordinate treats with our dining hall so we have some variety, and so the treats are fun but have some nutritional value. I passed out fruit roll ups. I wore a Fred Flintstone outfit, and with reruns of the classics, about half the kids knew who I was. The other half were fascinated by the big feet that came along with the costume.

We have two medical students from the University of South Dakota spending a few days on St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus for a cross cultural experience. We put them to work right away lining up children for the costume contest. We gathered in the Rec Center where the students were split into categories of funniest, scariest and most creative according to each age group of homes. I wasn’t one of the judges this year, but one of my favorites was Bryante, a first grader dressed like Tinkerbelle. The judges agreed too, and she won first place. My favorite staff ensemble was a Little Mermaid trio, with two of our staff as Ursula and King Triton, and their daughter as Ariel.

Several families took part in the festivities, then checked their child out to take them trick or treating in town. A few of the homes, especially with younger kids, also made some rounds in town, since that’s part of the fun and allure of Halloween. At the end of the day, houseparents collect all the candy and treats so our students will snack a little at a time over the next couple of weeks.