Pre/K Elementary School Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] - Mid-Pacific Institute

Preschool & Elementary School Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of child would be successful in the Mid-Pacific environment?

    We are looking for a child who can work cooperatively with peers, is curious about the world, takes initiative, is eager to learn, and is willing to persevere in these efforts.

  • What is your admission process?

    Parents complete the application form online and a student assessment is scheduled with the Office of Admissions.

    Student assessment sessions for applicants to kindergarten through grade five is conducted on selected Saturdays in January, February, March, and April. Specific dates for particular entry grades can be found at http://www.midpac.edu/admissions/admissions_calendar.php

    We do not assess for the purpose of exclusion. We try to obtain information to help us in our thinking about what is best for each child. Applicants for preschool attend a play session with one parent in a small group. Children are free to choose areas of play in the classroom.

    Applicants for kindergarten through fifth grade are asked to read, write, problem-solve, play, and interact with peers and teachers.

    The assessment team is composed of faculty members, the principal, and members of the Office of Admissions. The committee reviews each set of recorded observations, reference reports from former teachers or adult mentors, and any other reports such as report cards and standardized test scores. The Office of Admissions sends decision letters to preschool applicant-families in February and in April for applicants to the elementary grades.

  • What is the age cut-off date for a child entering kindergarten?

    When entering Preschool and kindergarten, boys must be age 3, 4 or 5 by June 30, and girls must be age 3, 4 or 5 by September 30.

  • What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

    Mid-Pacific is proud to boast ofits low student-to-teacher ratio. In preschool, we accept up to 32 children who work with a faculty team of 7. Kindergarten has 18 students to two teachers, a lead teacher and assistant teacher. Grades 1-5 enrollment is generally 1:20. Teachers know each student well and can understand students’ individual needs by assessing students’ cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.

  • Describe your curriculum.

    The curriculum weaves together the best educational theories and practices related to literacy development-language learning, mathematical reasoning, social concept-building, and science explorations.

    Through inquiry strategies and in collaboration with their peers and teachers, students are taught how to ask questions, find answers, consult and evaluate resources, and reflect on their learning. The curriculum program, based on nationally-developed standards, enriches a child's growth while expanding intellectual curiosities and abilities.

    In a "spiraling" curriculum, basic skills such as phonemic awareness in reading, mathematical algorithms, or organizing information are revisited in more complex ways each year. Content areas provide the ideas and topics in which literacy and problem-solving skills are practiced.

    Computer technology is used to support and enhance the curricular program. Students in kindergarten through grade five are each equipped with an iPad (i.e., one-to-one program). Only students in grades 3-5 are permitted to take their iPads home for class assignments. The school provides a suite of apps used by the faculty and students. Each classroom is also equipped with a scanner, a laser printer, and high-speed internet access. A 3-D printer and 3-D laser scanner are also housed at the elementary. All faculty receive technical support through the school’s technology team.

  • What are other special support programs?

    Art, Music, Character Education and Physical Education are essential components of the school program. These special areas contribute to each child's intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical development. Other programs include counseling services, peer mediation, HUGSS (Helping Us Grow with Service and Smiles), and the fifth grade Peace Team.

  • Do you offer after-school care?

    Yes. The Extended Day Program, offered at an additional fee, runs from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily. Children do their homework, read, and participate in a variety of supervised games and meaningful arts & crafts activities. A snack is served.

  • What about special after-school classes?

    Mid-Pacific offers the Extended Learning Program, which consists of specialized classes such as musical theater, vocal ensemble, ballet, hula, tennis, Minecraft, coding, art, Japanese language, and other classes. These classes are taught by Mid-Pacific faculty and specialists who are not Mid-Pacific faculty. Fees vary.

  • How do the elementary students begin their school day?

    After the first bell rings, the children enter their classrooms and engage in a variety of "getting-ready-to-learn" activities such as reading, puzzles, and drawing, as well as board and computer learning games. After the second bell rings, classroom instruction begins. Students are marked "tardy to school" if they enter the classroom after after this time.

  • What is your policy about visiting classrooms?

    We welcome parents and visitors to observe students and teachers. In addition to speaking with teachers, this is the best way to understand how students learn at Mid-Pacific Institute.

    Parents should send a note to the teacher asking about possible observation days because of schedule changes or excursions.

    Outside visitors should call the Office of Admissions to schedule a visit, tour of the school, or meeting.

  • What is Character Education?

    Mid-Pacific Institute's Character Education Program focuses on the theme "Circle the World with Love" and its three aspects: love of self, love of others, and love of the global family. Students also learn ways to communicate more effectively, to express their feelings, and to resolve peer conflicts. They are taught Christian values as well as respect for different religious beliefs. All grade levels participate in community service projects: raising funds for disaster victims, collecting food and clothing for the homeless and writing letters to hospital patients and shut-ins. All children participate in chapel services once each week for about 20 minutes. The chaplain speaks to the children, and selected students serve as chapel leaders.

  • How are children evaluated?

    Teachers and students develop criteria to evaluate their learning during the school year. These criteria are usually developed for particular projects or specific assignments. Students self-assess their progress as well as the quality of their performance against these criteria. Teachers also document student learning through their careful observations, analysis of student work, and interviews with students. Based on an overall assessment of learning performance, teachers place students along a performance continuum with descriptions of the performance observed and assessed.

    Based on Mid-Pacific Institute's schoolwide learning expectations (expectations our students should be able to meet by the time they move on to middle school), students select products of learning that best illustrate their achievements of these learning expectations. These products are organized in an electronic portfolio of learning. Students also write statements of reflection explaining what they learned, how they learned, and why they selected each item. Students are prepared to talk about their learning during the conference, adding yet another element of articulation to their education.

    At the end of each semester, parents with their child(ren) meet with classroom teachers and specialists to discuss the student’s learning progress using the performance continua and electronic portfolio. Teachers highlight each child's strengths and areas needing improvement. Depending on the classroom teacher and semester, students may be required to lead the conference discussion. Preschool families also meet with the preschool faculty in scheduled conferences at the end of each semester to discuss their child’s learning documented in an electronic portfolio.

    After the conference, a written summary of the conference is e-mailed home. Parents are encouraged to review their child's portfolio and discuss its content at length with their child.

    The elementary school has used portfolio assessment student learning since 1991. It has proven to be an extremely effective method of learning and evaluation.

  • What standardized tests are given?

    Students in the fourth grade and fifth grade take the Otis-Lennon Stanford Achievement Test, which focuses on thinking skills in areas of language arts and mathematics. Teachers of students at each of these grade levels teach different strategies for test taking.

  • What is a multi-age /multi-grade class?

    A multi-age class at Mid-Pacific is composed of children of a three-year age span or two grade levels. This classroom structure gives each child opportunities to associate and work with others on the basis of skills, abilities, interests, personality, and age. When the age range among a group of children is increased, so is the range of development. Children see themselves more realistically as they come to appreciate the diversity of talents, skills, and abilities of their classmates.

    Teachers of multi-age classes see the differences and diversity among students' strengths and learning styles as complementary. Teachers have a two-year period to work with each child and help individuals through developmental stages of learning, often much more effectively than a child moving from one teacher to another each year. Older students who have been in the classroom an additional year understand the class procedures better and can help the younger learners adjust more easily.

    Class placement is determined after discussions with teachers and parents.

  • Do you have a financial aid program?

    Yes. After a child has been accepted for admission to Mid-Pacific, requests for assistance are available through the School and Student Service for Financial Aid, an organization affiliated with the National Association of Independent Schools. Contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

  • What type of lunch program do you offer?

    For an additional fee, parents can purchase catered lunches on a monthly basis through our lunch provider, Sodexo. Lunches meet state nutritional standards, are tasty, and served hot in the elementary dining room. Children may also bring home-made lunch. Preschoolers and Kindergartners eat the school-prepared lunch or home lunch in their respective classrooms.

  • What type of extracurricular sports activities are offered?

    We offer participation in inter-school basketball and volleyball. This is through the Christian Schools Athletic League of Hawai’i. Practice for the students is scheduled after school. Competition games are scheduled during the school day. Both girls and boys in grades 4 and 5 are eligible to play.

  • What are the qualifications of the teachers?

    All teaching faculty have received professional certification and academic degrees in teaching or in specialized areas such as music, art, or physical education. More than half of the faculty have Master's degrees.

  • What happens after fifth grade?

    Students meeting all learning expectations for the elementary school matriculate to the middle school and high school. There is no application or admissions process for elementary students moving into the middle school. A well-established transition program for fifth graders enables them to experience middle school, make friends with the sixth graders, and get to know the middle school faculty.