By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

Thursday’s meeting at St. Stephen’s Indian School revealed the plan to transition the school to a Bureau of Indian Education School. That means it will become a school with Federal oversight and not governed by a local school board. 

The change comes after the previous administrative staff including the school principals, the superintendent and numerous other staff members were terminated for various reasons including mishandling of money, harassment, and various code of conduct infractions. 

The Bureau of Indian Education sent an interim Superintendent to help with the end of school year process, but the school will be searching for a number of replacement staff members to fill vacancies created by the massive changes in staffing. 

The entire remaining staff was not terminated, but notified that because of the changes, each staff member who wishes to remain employed at the school, and the school has 93 employees, will need to go on to fill out a federal application, said Jordan Shakespeare, who spoke on behalf of the Superintendent while he is temporarily out of town. Shakespeare is the school’s Executive Financial Administrator who had a 260 day contract that ends on June 30th. She too will have to re-apply for her job. “We are getting information minute by minute,” she said. The job openings are expected to be published either this week or next week, according to Shakespeare. 

As the summer progresses, the hope is to resolve the issues and rebuild with new leadership and guidance from the BIE.

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