Here's to a bright, promising New Year for our MPI families! From the first school day of 2009, it has been a joy to see the children and hear their voices fill the quiet spaces of the campus. During the morning autoline this past Tuesday, every student who passed me on the way to the main gate flashed a smile or waved excitedly. Really! And several ran from the autoline drop-off point to the courtyard, eager to see their friends. From what I could gather eavesdropping on conversations, the big topic of conversation has been an analysis of toys, from Wii games to Transformers and everything else in between. The teachers have done a quick review this past week of ideas, topics, and skills last discussed in December and are moving forward on curriculum plans.
On Monday, January 5th, the entire faculty gathered for a full day of
meetings and in-service. Every year, the faculty revisits the goals
and actions planned at the beginning of each school year and determines
mid-year the quality of our efforts, extent of how well we have been
working towards achieving our goals, and identifying our next steps.
In the most recent issue of the Owl Line, MPI's quarterly school
publication, you may have read about the school's new vision
statement. Our focus schoolwide is to provide an educational program
so that students develop the skills to work collaboratively, think
creatively, make decisions based on moral and ethical values, and be
globally aware. We believe at the preschool and elementary levels that
our inquiry-based approaches and curriculum provides all students with
a range of experiences to develop the skills and attitudes necessary to
achieve MPI's new vision.
In order to improve our inquiry approaches, we will embark this
semester on collecting data about how we go about implementing a
classroom inquiry. We're interested in the range of inquiry processes
from preschool through fifth grade, so the faculty will be observing
each other and the students while some aspect of inquiry is taking
place. We'll also take a careful look at some of the "products" of
inquiry, e.g., students' questions, observational notes, research
drafts, and presentations.
Our second goal is to revise the performance continua for reading and
writing, and also to develop an inquiry continuum since it is the basis
of our program. The faculty has assembled into three teams and will be
meeting throughout the month to complete a draft for each continuum,
which will then be "tested" and revised over several months by looking
at actual student work. This continua revision process actually began
this past summer with a core team of teachers, and now we're ready to
further develop the continua by expanding the team to include all
teachers. Our collective experience, expertise, and wisdom will help
us to develop the continua.
I hope you've checked your child's backpack and retrieved the items
from the manila envelope. Please consider allowing your child to
attend Tuesday night's girls' varsity basketball game, MPI vs. Iolani,
6:30pm, at the gym. The form must be returned tomorrow. The next game
is January 27 at 7:00pm, boys' varsity, MPI vs. Punahou. Details about both games are in the packet.
We begin this Saturday the assessment sessions for children applying to
Mid-Pacific, from preschool through fourth grade. These sessions will
be held nearly every weekend through the first week of April. And now
that the Christmas decorations have been stored away, it feels good to
return to some "normalcy" both here in school and at home! The second
semester always seems to go more quickly, so hang on to your wits and
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey