New Student Resources

New Student Resources

New student resources offered by St. Joseph’s Indian School include the Parent Advisory Committee’s Top Ten Tips, the Copilot Program, Counseling Services and home and school orientation for students who arrive after the start of the school year.

Top Ten Tips for New Families

  1. Get to know the staff – houseparents, teachers, family services counselors and others – who care for your child.
  2. Know the staff are here for your child and trust them when a situation arises that needs your attention.
  3. When you need help, ask for it. You’ll find support in many forms: listening, good advice, problem-solving and material assistance.
  4. Trust that safety is a priority and that your child is in good hands.
  5. Call, call, call and visit, visit, visit. Sometimes coming to campus isn’t an option, but even your presence on the phone means the world to your child.
  6. Take time acclimating your child to their new surroundings when you take them to school. Help them unpack and walk around campus before you leave.
  7. Encourage your child to connect with others through various programs. They can build friendships that will last a lifetime.
  8. Question, concern or just finding your way? Rely on the wisdom of other parents or members of the Parent Advisory Committee.
  9. Encourage often and positively. Say, “You can do it!” and celebrate successes.
  10. Make yourself at home. You are a welcome guest in your child’s residence, and knowing their routine, houseparents and housemates eases their adjustment.

Copilot Program

The Copilot Program matches every new student with a returning student to help them adjust to life at St. Joseph’s Indian School. The new student is the pilot, taking off on a new adventure, and the returning student is their copilot, helping them navigate their new flight path. In addition to fun, educational activities, the group covers issues such as homesickness, bullying and the importance of families and friends. The groups meet weekly over the lunch hour for six to eight weeks.

Counseling Services

Counseling services at St. Joseph’s Indian School means that every student has someone they can talk to as they make the adjustment here. Family Service Counselors are matched with students at no more than a one-to-twenty-four ratio to ensure each student receives the care they need. Family Service Counselors stay in close touch with parents and guardians to discuss progress and issues as they arise. Some students participate in group counseling, as well, which helps to support relationship building.


Orientation to the home is conducted by houseparents for new students who arrive after the start of the school year within 36 hours. It includes introduction to housemates, Rec Center, Residential Coordinator, Health Center, Family Service Counselors, Dining Hall, playground and football field. They review the weekday and weekend schedule, the phase system, home meeting process and the roles of various staff. A fellow student in the home serves as “student helper during the first day of school to help the new student find teachers, classrooms and other facilities.

In-school orientation is completed by the homeroom teachers within the first two full days of school. It includes assigning a veteran student to help the new student for the first week of school, introducing the student to homeroom class members, core teachers, specialists, the principal, student coordinator and administrative assistants. They review the student’s daily class schedule and explain general rules for the classroom, playground and Dining Hall. The teacher includes an explanation of after-school passes, the after-school program, eligibility guidelines, the Gold Card Program and extra-curricular activities. The student learns about age-appropriate privileges.