New Year's Gifts - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

New Year's Gifts

Posted on January 12, 2006

by Dr. Edna Hussey on January 12, 2006

The return to school from a “long winter’s nap” has been going well. The students have slipped easily into routines and seem eager to learn with their classmates. As always, I look forward to seeing them each morning as I call them by name (I must admit faltering a bit with a couple of names, but I think I’ve got everyone again!). The mutual exchange of morning greetings sets the right tone for the day — upbeat and enthusiastic.

I am very, very happy to announce some wonderful gifts from very, very generous parent donors. A family enabled us to purchase 21 ukuleles, cases, and strings so that all students in a class or combined classes will be able to learn on an ukulele (we had fewer than half that number prior to the gift).

Another family provided funds to equip the technology lab (directly across from the music room). We now have two mobile laptop labs, several digital cameras, and a music board, and have ordered furniture for the lab. Over the years, we hope to fully equip the lab with more math and science hardware and software tools to extend the curriculum in these areas.

A family has provided funding to purchase and install smartboard technology (akin to the smartboards in the classrooms in the Hartley Technology Lab) in grades 1-5. This state-of-the art technology, which includes LCD projectors in each classroom, will improve how and what we teach to students. We hope that this technology will be installed this semester. We are deeply grateful to our parent donors whose generosity will improve the quality our instructional program and facilities. Amazing!

The former Epiphany School had been accredited by the Western Association of Independent Schools (WASC) and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) in 2003. If we continued to operate as Epiphany School, we would have been preparing last year for another full accreditation visit this school year. However, because of our merger with Mid-Pacific Institute, both WASC and HAIS have allowed the elementary school to submit a “substantive change report” explaining the significant changes we have undergone in governance, enrollment, program, facilities, and location over the past two years. We will be able to get on Mid-Pacific’s regular accreditation schedule (the school’s next full accreditation visit is in 2009). We’re looking forward to the February visit by two WASC/HAIS representatives.

We’re pleased to announce that we have another afterschool program supervisor. Kathleen Mathews will set up afternoon snacks daily and also supervise children until 5:00pm.

Beginning this Saturday and running through April are the admission assessment sessions primarily for Kindergarten. Preschool admission sessions are scheduled in February. We will determine other grade level admission assessments when we know how many openings are available. Expect a letter from President Rice asking for your re-enrollment decision in February or March. You will need to reserve a space for your child by submitting a tuition deposit. Details are forthcoming.

All of our students, from preschool through the fifth grade, will be participating in a very worthwhile project for the Aloha United Way. AUW is the umbrella organization which raises funds to support nearly 100 non-profit community service organizations in Hawaii (e.g., Big Brothers, The American Cancer Society, Sex Abuse Treament Center, Hawaii Literacy, etc.). I know many of you contribute to Aloha United Way through your workplace.

This is an excellent opportunity to teach our children about the importance of supporting their community through AUW. Ms. Rivera and Ms. Yukihiro will be explaining AUW and the school project in their character/Christian education classes. The “Pennies for Aloha” project will begin next week. Have your children collect or earn pennies and loose change for the project. The coins will be collected in the classrooms. I’m looking for 14 plastic gallon-size containers (same size) with lids to collect the coins. If you know where or how I can get these, please let me know. Needed asap! Thank you for encouraging your child’s participation in this community effort.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey

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