Beginning 2008 - jumping in with zest! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Beginning 2008 - jumping in with zest!

Posted on January 10, 2008

by Dr. Edna Hussey on January 10, 2008

Happy New 2008 to our MPI families and friends!

Even though our students were on holiday vacation, they don’t seem to have skipped a beat and have eagerly jumped into their learning from head-to-toe. After just two weeks, many children seem to have grown taller! And they returned brimming with stories of their adventures — off-island trips, family gatherings, sports activities (including travel to the Sugar Bowl), movies, sleepovers, etc.  We’re glad to have everyone back, safe and healthy.

During the interim, the maintenance crew did an excellent job waxing classroom floors, shampooing carpets, and making classroom repairs. The faculty met to reflect on our curriculum and assessment work, to plan semester activities including the grand opera production Kahalaopuna celebrating our 100th year in Manoa, and to prep classrooms. (This is a reminder that the opera production on May 9-10 will replace for this year only Grandparents’ Day and May Day performances.)  I will be reporting throughout the semester about the opera production and the other 100th-year project, Kite Day, to be scheduled in April.  Both the opera planning and Kite Day festivities are being integrated into the curriculum.

Shirley Rivera, the character education teacher for grades 3-5 and preschool-through-fifth-grade counselor, is on sabbatical this Spring semester. She is completing her coursework in transpersonal psychology and will graduate with a master’s degree this May.  Best wishes to Ms. Rivera for successful completion of her coursework and thesis.

We welcome Susan Roth, who has been hired to assume Ms. Rivera’s teaching responsibilities. Ms. Roth taught the sixth grade at the former Epiphany School and an MPI elementary school summer session this past summer.  She has substitute-taught for many years at other independent schools in Hawaii and holds a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.  Ms. Roth brings to the character education program a wealth of experience and a compassionate spirit.  

This semester, we will be celebrating the many years of faithful service and dedication of two beloved staff members — Mrs. Gail Fukumoto and Mr. Louis Rivera (“Mr. Louie”) — who will be retiring at the end of the school year.  Mrs. Fukumoto will be completing her 41st year of teaching (mostly in third grade) and Mr. Louie his 23rd year on the maintenance staff.  No time for tears yet!  I will keep you informed about how we will be honoring them in May.

Now that we’re all back to routines, please remember that you should drop off your children on campus no earlier than 7:00am. It’s still dark at that time, and we are not licensed to provide child supervision before 7:00am.  

Preschool parents, you are welcome to wait with your child in the dining room instead of outside your child’s classroom, especially when it rains. If you need to arrive earlier than 7:30am, why not pack breakfast? You and your child may eat in the dining room! The teachers often meet early in the day to set up the classroom, make final instructional plans, prep materials, etc., so I’d prefer that they not open the classroom doors until 7:45am daily. Thanks for your understanding.

Heads up:  MPI will celebrate its Homecoming (basketball) game on January 22, 5:00pm, in the MPI gym. We hope to repeat last year’s tremendous show of support and school spirit at the Homecoming game. Look for information in next week’s Thursday packet about attending the game.

Just some clarification about information on the January school calendar that you received in December: The preschool meetings on January 22, 24, 29, and 31 are for prospective preschool families, NOT current preschool families.  If you are a preschool parent, you may recall that you were required to attend an informational meeting about the preschool program last January when you were applying your child to preschool. All of these meetings are related to school admission.

We have scheduled several Saturday sessions from January 19 through April 2 to assess children applying to MPI preschool and elementary school. Ella Browning, Associate Director of Admissions, and I provide an in-depth presentation about the school program, educational principles, activities, and assessment of learning. We have a busy admission season just around the corner!

Coach Mu has extended the deadline for signing up for his Junior Owls Basehball Camp for boys and girls in grades 2-5 through next Friday, January 18.

Here’s to a brighter, healthier, safer, more peaceful year ahead of us, one day at a time.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey