Open House Success! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Open House Success!

Posted on September 7, 2006

by Scott Yoshinaga on September 7, 2006

Another successful Open House for grades 3-5! Thank you, parents, for attending the annual event (I’d say 80-90%!) to learn more about your child’s classroom curriculum, teacher’s expectations, daily routines, and special grade-level events. As you can see, our faculty not only thinks carefully about the best ways in which to engage your child’s energies and interests in learning, but also truly enjoys working with children. Special thanks to the `Ohana for providing snacks on both Open House evenings. (Parents, if you’re wondering why it was warm in the classroom, the a/c shuts off automatically at 7:00pm, and I was too late turning it back on manually. The children are enjoying cool classrooms during the day!)

We are anticipating a good turnout for the Welcome Barbeque this Saturday, 4:00-6:00pm. As I listened to the weather forecast for this weekend, it looks like we’ll be having sunny weather. However, if the weather turns, we’ll send home a notice this Friday via your child.) We’re still taking donations for the barbeque until Friday. Parking will be available in the parking lot just left of the guard gate as you enter the campus, by the gym, and by the maintenance facility. Bring a beach chair or mat for the lawn. Dress comfortably, and think blue skies.

For the safety and security of our children, the faculty and staff, all visitors — including our parents and grandparents — to the elementary campus from 8:15am to 2:30pm, MUST enter through the main office, sign in, and get a visitor’s lanyard. Please return the lanyard when you exit back through the main office.

As we enter the fourth week of school, the children seem fairly accustomed to the ebb and flow of each school day. Here’s what generally happens: After being dropped off, the students either walk to their classrooms alone or kindergartners are escorted by one of our friendly high school students. When the first bell rings at 7:30am, the children enter the classrooms, put away their backpacks, check in homework (depending on the teacher), and engage in any number of activities available in the classroom (e.g., visiting the science corner, block building, working on the computer, listening to tapes, etc.). At 7:40am, the second bell rings, and any child arriving to school after this time is considered tardy to school. Usually I direct these students to the office to get a “pass” from Ms. Jacobson, and then they continue on their way to the classroom. The preschoolers and their parents begin arriving between 7:45am and 8:15am, and parents are required to walk their children to the classroom and sign in.

Between 8:00 and 9:30am, the elementary students are immersed in any number of learning experiences — reading, writing, discussing, singing, exercising, problem solving, listening. All students have a mid-morning recess to eat a snack and play. Then it’s back into the classroom for more inquiry, research, discussion, sketching, painting, building, or playing an instrument. Lunch in the dining room is either at 11:30am or 12:00pm, depending on the grade level, and the children have at least 25 minutes of play and exercise on the playcourt, playstructure, or ball field. The preschoolers usually have lunch between 11:00 and 11:30am, in their classrooms, clean up, and then settle into an afternoon nap until about 1:00pm. Before eating lunch and before entering the classroom after recess or lunch, the children wash their hands and get a drink of water. The faculty supervises the children during the morning and lunch recesses.

Many classes schedule silent sustained reading in the afternoon, and the learning continues. At 2:15pm, the children check homework assignments, pack bags, do a few classroom chores (e.g., placing chairs on tables), then gather on the rug for an end-of-day reflection or read-aloud. By this time, preschool parents have picked up their children, while the kindergartners are on their way to the autoline to be picked up at 2:20pm. At 2:30pm, grades one through five exit their classrooms and head off to the autoline or afterschool program. Afterschool supervisors are ready and waiting for the K-5 students they’ll supervise until 6:00pm (5:30pm for preschool) when the afterschool program ends.

Although I’ve just described the daily school schedule, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what goes on in each classroom. Throughout the year, I’ll take you into various classrooms and explain some of the learning your children look forward to as they step onto the campus. Be sure to check the classroom weblogs and photo galleries for a better understanding of your child’s rich learning experiences.

The M Club (Mid-Pacific Institute’s sports organization) will be sponsoring free Coke floats for MPI students and parents on Tuesday, September 12, between 4:30 and 6:00pm, the times for the girls’ and boys’ volleyball games. I encourage our families to attend these games and show your school spirit and pride. Students should bring their photo ID cards.

Enclosed in today’s packet is your child’s ID card. It should be kept in a safe place. We don’t require use of the ID cards at school, but we’ll let you know if they’ll need the ID card for any off-campus event. We will be scheduling a photo make-up day as soon as we’ve received the photo orders packet back from you.

If you’ve been on campus, you may have noticed the “All About Me” boards in the classroom windows. If you haven’t sent in your information and photos to Margery Jacobson, there’s still time. Everything should be in by September 15. We have had a wonderful crew of preschool parents who’ve cut and assembled the boards. Many thanks to Lynne and John Rosevear, Evelyn and Gene Rooney, Karen Kawamura, Tracy McConnell, Nikki Robinson, and Sabrina Ako.

It’s great to see the energy and excitement about Moon Over Manoa. The elementary school steering committee members Paul Czubryt and Lisa Fife and our classroom leaders are doing an excellent job securing donations. We’ll have some exceptional “baskets” for the silent auction. I hope you’ll consider sending in your r.s.v.p. by September 22.

See you on Saturday!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey