Happy New Year! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 6, 2006

by Dr. Edna Hussey on January 6, 2006

Happy New Year! Welcome back to school and to a bright 2006!

The faculty began the new year in meetings to reflect on our work with the children and to plan curriculum, materials, and activities across the grade levels. Our focus this year has been on supporting the sense of “community” in the entire school and on improving how all members of this community communicate with one another. Every faculty member is genuinely excited about upcoming events and the learning adventures ahead for themselves and their students.

Next Saturday, we begin the first of about 25 admission assessment sessions for preschool through fifth grade admission. Yes, there are many, many applicants for few spaces. Our faculty members will form assessment teams for these Saturday sessions, so it will be a busy time from January through April. Sometime in February or early March, we will be sending letters to all families asking for enrollment commitments for the following year, and of course, we hope that you will continue to choose Mid-Pacific Institute!

Today, we made history with a new tradition — we celebrated Epiphany Day, January 6, the Feast of the Three Kings, in a very special way. Three fifth graders donned jeweled crowns and visited each classroom (and the main office!) and presented each person with a green and white bookmark. Each of the classrooms has adopted a different `olelo noeau (Hawaiian saying) which the children will be learning, understanding, and practicing its meaning. The `olelo noeau is integrated in the class curriculum. For example, the preschool saying — E hana mua a pa`a ke kahua mamua o ke a`o ana aku ia ha`i — Build yourself a firm foundation before teaching others — is symbolized by kalo, or taro. The teachers will help the children understand the `olelo noeau by referring to kalo as a metaphor for the saying. Even the specials (art, music, physical education, and character/Christian education) and Wilcox Building have a Hawaiian saying. We will display these sayings in a few days.

The first two days back in school have been wonderful! Preschoolers took their first “long” excursion, to see Jim Gamble’s puppets at the Kennedy Theatre on the UH Manoa campus. Children were eager to share news about their two-week vacation at home or traveling. We welcomed a new teacher, Donna Revard, to one of the multiage 1-2 classrooms. We also have a new supervisor, Kathleen Mathews, in the afterschool program. Students were ready to work and cooperative. There was a sense of calm and joy throughout the day.

We’re off to an excellent start!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey