Posted on October 12, 2006
The news of school violence in recent incidents has certainly prompted us to take a careful look at our own campus safety. Administrators have discussed proactive measures to safeguard all of our students and MPI employees in the event of an emergency. Foremost on our minds is a review of lockdown procedures. At yesterday’s preschool and elementary faculty meeting, we discussed procedures that we’ll be practicing with the children. The same review is currently being implemented on the middle and high school campus. We are consulting with other schools and safety experts to analyze all aspects of campus security. Thank you for your cooperation in the sign-in and sign-out procedures for all campus visitors.
An important reminder about campus traffic. Let’s review: From 7:00am to 7:40am daily, K-2 parents drop off their children at the turnaround and grades 3-5 students are dropped off at the lower autoline. Between 7:40 and 8:15am, parents of preschoolers enter the campus and must find parking because they are required to walk their children directly to the classroom. In the afternoon, parents of preschoolers must park their cars at the turnaround and walk in to sign out their children between 2:00 and 2:15pm. Kindergartners are picked up between 2:20 and 2:30pm at the turnaround, then students in grades 1-5 who aren’t in the afterschool program are picked up at designated areas between 2:30 and 3:00pm. As you can see, the flow of traffic depends on everyone’s cooperation on our scripted drop-off and pick-up procedures.
But the recurring problem is upon us! We end up with traffic problems when parents or individuals authorized to do the pick-ups and drop-offs arrive too early in the morning or in the afternoon and take up the spaces that should be used by other parents. Over the past few days, every car parked along the turnaround was not for the grade level scheduled to come out at that time. Parents, double-parking is a a traffic hazard because entering or exiting drivers’ vision is obstructed, and it’s risky to maneuver around cars that are double-parked. In addition, drivers of the cars which are trapped by the double-parked cars are unable to meet their after-school obligations.
You can help alleviate the traffic hazard by entering campus at the appropriate time and not parking to wait for your child. You’ll need to exit through Maile Way and re-enter on Kaala. Please convey these reminders to all persons you’ve authorized to pick up your children. If campus security or a faculty member or I ask you to move, please understand why.
Please look for the special flyer on the elementary website for details about Spooktivity. It’s an annual event celebrating Halloween, sponsored by the `Ohana, with support from our Multiage 1-2 parent volunteers, MPI’s Student Government Association and Holomua, a high school service organization. Chairpersons Tracy McConnell and Wendy D’Innocenti are organizing a fun event for our children. Although Halloween is more than two weeks away, several students have been telling me what character they’re planning to dress up as on October 31st. Some reminders about costumes:
• Masks can only be worn during our annual costume parade and afternoon activities. Facial makeup might be a better idea, but safe masks are fine.
• Children should be able to walk freely in their costumes; check length of costume.
• This is a preschool and elementary school, so something child-appropriate (not blood and gore!) is acceptable.
• No weapons of any kind.
The elementary school participates in collecting money for UNICEF – the United Nations Children’s Fund — a worldwide organization focused on improving the health, education, and safety of all children, especially those in developing countries. Ms. Rivera and Ms. Yukihiro will be distributing collection boxes to student volunteers. We will be collecting monies in the morning and afternoon autolines on October 26 and 27. “Trick or treat for UNICEF!”
Heads up: The faculty and I have begun discussing the drafting of a homework policy statement. We will be meeting in grade levels next week to discuss the merits and disadvantages of homework, as well as to compare the types and quantity of assignments given at each grade level. We are looking into current educational research for guidance as we discuss the notion of homework.
Glad to be back in school.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Principal