Welcome, Fall Equinox - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Welcome, Fall Equinox

Posted on September 24, 2005

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 24, 2005

Yesterday morning will count among one of the most significant highlights and memories of my professional career as an educator. The entire school, from preschool through fifth grade, and all the faculty and staff, gathered for our first outdoor assembly under brilliant skies on our new campus.
If I could capture the moment � it was watching the children quietly leave their classrooms and take their places around the courtyard while Ms. Koshi played one of the elementary school�s favorite melodies (�As the Deer�). Seeing the whole school together in this beautiful setting made all the merging, planning, and building challenges over the past few years worth every moment. I think the faculty and staff tried just as hard as I did to contain our emotions.

Mr. Black�s Fifth Graders led the assembly by singing �America the Beautiful� and �Hawaii Pono`i.� I introduced every faculty and staff member to the children, then reminded the children about three important school rules: be respectful and responsible, be safe, and make mindful choices. We recognized the Fifth Grade Peace Team and MPI Boys� Volleyball Team (grades 4-6) for their service to the school. One of our elementary school traditions is acknowledging all faculty and staff who are celebrating birthdays. I read the names of those who have birthdays in August and September and the whole school gave each person a silent cheer (ask your children what this looks like). The assembly ended with singing the MPI Alma Mater. We are looking forward to the next assembly on October 19.

Even though the elementary school has a 68-year history and nearly every student and staff member moved from Kaimuki to Manoa, we are truly a new school from physical and social perspectives. With the addition of nearly 100 students and over 10 staff members, it�s understandable that new as well as returning students have many adjustments to make. Being able to fit in, make new friends, and adapt to different space poses quite a learning curve for any person, but imagine what it�s like for young children.

We know that before children can succeed intellectually, their social and emotional well-being should be intact. The teachers are focused on helping every child feel confident about their social development and peer relationships so that positive, successful learning can take place. But we need to give them time in developing healthy relationships and give them credit for their efforts in learning how to be members of a new community. Yes, it�s challenging, but our children need to know how to succeed in this arena using their own instincts, wits, and the people resources available to them in school.

Parents of students in grades 1-5: look for a sheet of green coupons in your packet. For varsity regular season football games at Aloha Stadium when Pac Five is a participant, students may enter free with their 2005-2006 MPI ID card and the designated Pac-Five coupon for each game. All ILH varsity regular season games for volleyball, baskeball, and baseball where admission is charged and MPI is a participating team, students may enter free by showing their MPI I.D. card. Your child�s I.D. card will be in next Thursday�s packet.

Also to be distributed next week will be the K-5 school photos taken in August. Instructions about retakes will be included. Photo Day for preschoolers, retakes, and the all-school photo will be OCTOBER 12.

I wish to thank the Fifth Grade students and their parents for a superb job done on the Welcome Barbecue Picnic last weekend. This grade level provided the person-power for the event. Special kudos to Terri Young (Preston, gr. 5 & Palmer, Kindergarten) for chairing the activity. She began planning the picnic this summer, made all the necessary phone calls, designed the flyers, and met with the parents to coordinate their efforts. And we had fantastic weather to top off the day!

I am also enclosing a summary of the class-sponsored projects to raise funds for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf area. Keep this sheet on your home bulletin board to remind your child and family about these charitable fundraising efforts by MPI.

Welcome, Fall Equinox.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey