Posted on April 19, 2007
Driving into school, I was listening to National Public Radio’s reports of the Virginia Tech tragedy, trying to make sense of the wanton disregard for human life. The more we learn about the assailant’s motivations won’t make the outcome more bearable, but I know that whatever we learn can only strengthen our resolve to ensure, to the best of our ability, the safety of our children in school. We’ll be reviewing our lockdown procedures schoolwide and the check-in procedures in the preschool and elementary school. We suggest that you monitor television viewing at home and radio reports about this tragedy and that you keep their exposure to a minimum. Some children easily absorb the anxiety around them and become anxious themselves. If your children ask questions, your response should be to acknowledge that something terrible did happen, and that you are present in your children’s life to keep them safe and secure.
In chapel today, Reverend Koyama approached the subject as having an “ow-y” (as in an “ouch,” a physical hurt, like a scratch, bump, illness. etc.), or an emotional hurt, such as when someone feels hurt by a put-down. He explained that whenever someone experiences pain or hurt, God is near them through the presence of others who respond with compassion and kindness for the person who is suffering. Certainly, he explained, there is tremendous pain and hurt in the Virginia Tech community. But through our prayers and good thoughts, we can let these families know that God is near them because we care — a simple message for our children and for all of us who also need the same reassurances.
Your child will be coming home this week with a memo from music teacher Diane Koshi regarding May Day preparations. We have a parent committee composed of class representatives and co-chairs Monique Todebush and Korina Hanohano-Jung (also Kindergarten parents) who will be helping to coordinate costumes, props, decorations and stage set-up. Your parent representative should be contacting you. There is a work session scheduled for this Saturday, 2:00-6:00pm, in the Dining Room, to help with costumes and props. If you don’t have the items required for your child’s costume, let the parent representative know. We recommend that you shop at second-hand stores for any clothing not already in your child’s wardrobe.
The program will be taped professionally, thanks to the efforts of two parents, Tim Savage and Ted Jung. Parking is limited on campus; we can allow 75-80 cars to park on campus. I’m making arrangements for off-campus parking and a shuttle service to pick up and drop off guests. Please call Margery Jacobson at 441-3801 to reserve a parking spot on campus, and we will get the parking pass to you via your child next week.
If anyone in your family has asthma, allergies, or pulmonary problems, please attend the free public meeting on May 12, Saturday, 8:00am – 12:00 noon, at the Hawaii Prince Hotel. You’ll need to register for the event, “Breathe with Ease.” There are registration brochures in the main office on the coffee table. Two of our MPI elementary parents will be presenting at this event, program chair Dr. Jeffrey Kam and Dr. Elaine Imoto, who’ll be talking about asthma medications.
Our fourth and fifth graders have been preparing for several weeks to take the Stanford Achievement Test on April 23-27. The multiple-choice and open-ended tests on writing, reading, and mathematics ability are given in the morning. To ensure that your child does his/her best on the standardized test, please make sure that your child gets a good night’s sleep every night next week and that your child eats a good breakfast. Research has shown that just these two factors can affect testing performance.
Please visit the Preschool and Kindergarten Atelier Work to be showcased at Honolulu Hale next week, April 23-27, 8:00am-5:00pm. In addition to their work, there will be displays explaining the learning processes the children experienced to create their unique pieces. We’re proud of them and atelierista Jordan Guillory who is organizing this exhibit.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey