Posted on November 10, 2005
By the time you open up this letter on our website, about 75 third and fourth graders, their teachers, and about 20 parents or family members will have returned from an overnight and two-day stay at Camp Erdman. The students participated in environmental awareness and team-building activities. The annual camp experience and the Big Island trip are part of the two-year Hawaiian studies program, which integrates science and social studies. We look forward to their safe return and to their camp stories.
Trick or treat! Thanks to your children and their enthusiastic response to the many needs of the world�s poorest children, they raised $1,511 by taking their little UNICEF boxes through the neighborhood on Halloween night. A portion of the proceeds will go the children and their families in the Gulf coast who have survived Hurricane Katrina.
Lower drop-off information for grades 3-5: Between Nov. 14 and Nov. 16 next week, we will be allowing parents to drop off their children in grades 3-5 at the Wilcox turnaround between 7:00am and 7:15am only. This trial period is in response to a few parents whose children have heavy backpacks and have difficulty getting up the stairs. You may continue to drop off your children at the lower drop-off. This trial period is ONLY November 14 �16 and ONLY BETWEEN 7:00am � 7:15am because of the increased traffic. We will assess the situation and let you know if we�ll continue this drop-off period for students in grades 3-5.
In a week or so, please check this website for information on the Winter Interim session, December 19 � 30. The sessions are for MPI students only. Please note that some of the instructors will not be our MPI preschool and elementary faculty. (It�s winter break for our faculty and staff, and some are flying home for the holidays.)
The WASC (Western Association of Schools & Colleges) accreditation process is a well-respected and honored self-study process which enables schools to take a careful look at how they are fulfilling their schoolwide goals and expectations, particularly their focus on learning. This year, MPI submits a mid-point report in its 6-year accreditation cycle. However, with the new addition of the preschool and elementary school and substantive changes in the overall organizational structure of the school, WASC will send a two-person team to review our written report about the transition from Epiphany to MPI and visit the campus sometime in March 2006. The elementary school, when we were Epiphany, had been accredited by WASC and HAIS (Hawaii Association of Independent Schools). Accreditation is truly an ongoing process and does not begin or end when a team of education professionals from other schools reads the school�s report or visits the school. Our responsibility is to consistently hold to our School Improvement Plan, which can be thought of as an action plan based on our analyses of MPI�s areas of strength and need of improvement.
Christmas Parade update: The Parade co-chairs, Donna Wong, Stacy Hirano, and Karen Kawamura, downloaded an information flyer about the Manoa Christmas Parade on December 10. We are limiting participation to one school bus (90 passengers total), and we already have 69 signed up (includes children). The cost is $5 per person. Please email Stacy Hirano, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Donna Wong, email@example.com, if you�d like to reserve a seat on the bus.
When we opened our elementary website last year, it was always our intention to eventually wean our parents off the Thursday packets and on to virtual communication and information. Everything � including classroom newsletters, school flyers, In one of our last hard copy Thursday packets, I had asked parents to let me know if anyone did not have access to the Internet. The website is our principal means of communicating with our families (and when necessary, phone calls or meetings).
I hope everyone enjoys the three-day weekend ahead. We are mindful of all those who have served our country � our veterans � and their many, many personal sacrifices to protect and preserve the freedoms we enjoy.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey