Continuity from preschool through high school - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Continuity from preschool through high school

Posted on February 7, 2009

by Dr. Edna Hussey on February 7, 2009

Although 40 elementary students constitute less than half the number of sixth graders when they matriculate from fifth grade into middle school (we admit 60 new students in the sixth grade), it is gratifying to see our elementary students continue to grow and develop into fine young persons in high school. They find their niche and deepen their strengths in many areas, from theatre and athletics to technology and academics. We are enjoying the fact that the preschool and elementary school have the benefit of many resources on this campus, particularly the middle school and high school. This past Tuesday, students were treated to a performance showcasing the musical talents of MPI's wind and string orchestra, band, and jazz band. We enjoyed the likes of classical Vivaldi and Sibelius as well as big band Sinatra and the overture to Phantom of the Opera.  We hope that our elementary students were inspired by the performance and will ask you in the near future to take up an instrument or enroll in the music classes offered in the School of the Arts when they get to middle school and high school. (By the way, the transformation of Bakken Auditorium is amazing! At the time we held our Christmas program, the acoustic panels or "clouds" had not yet been installed, and what a difference in sound quality these panels make!)

The high school Spirit Club visited on Tuesday during lunch recess to encourage attendance to two homecoming varsity basketball games this past Wednesday and Saturday. Perhaps your child came home with owl tattoos and directions about what they should be wearing during Spirit Week. The cheerleaders explained the tradition of "homecoming" and taught the students a few cheers.  The girls' varsity team played Kamehameha and won, 51-44! The boys' game is Saturday night (2/7) at 6:30pm in our gym.  Our Christian Schools Athletic League (CSAL) boys' volleyball teams (for students in grades 4-6) have been doing well. Sorry, no scores to report, but I understand have been winning most of their games.

In the meantime, our 3- and 4-year-olds have struck up a collaboration with Paul Maley's dance class and will be heading up to Kawaiaha`o to explore the concept of lines in ballet movement. Our preschoolers are having different experiences with lines (yesterday they visited the Academy of Arts and discovered oodles of lines everywhere), and we're excited about what they'll learn as they observe the dancers in the dance studio. We imagine the children taking great delight as they step onto the dance floor with the high schoolers and move, bend, and twirl as lines in motion. The 4- and 5-year-olds continue to explore the narrative framework in stories read to them, performed in dramatic play and on stage. Note that all of these experiences are precursors to the literacy experiences (lines as the foundation for the symbolic language of reading, writing, and mathematics and storytelling for writing, organizing thought, and problem-solving, etc.).

I strongly encourage you to visit the specialists' weblogs, which are updated periodically. Art, music, character education, and physical education are as important as the content areas.  Ms. Rivera's most recent entry is about how to help children who are experiencing grief over divorce or a loss -- very insightful. Ms. Abe writes about an international peace poem project. Ms. Jenkins and Ms. Koshi address the teaching of hip-hop (I'm sure you'd like to know the rationale), and Ms. Guillory posted a critical literacy piece on the examination of artifacts representing African-Americans. 

Parents, you're invited to join us for the annual Jump-Rope-for-Heart program on Thursday. The preschoolers' activity is 9:30-10:30am on the playcourt and Kindergarten through Grade 5, 12:30-2:00pm, in the gym. Please make sure you've signed the permission form for your child to participate in the jump rope activity. Ms. Jenkins sent home the information home a couple of weeks ago in the Friday packet.  Your children learn that their participation in rope jumping raises funds for the American Heart Association as well as is a healthy aerobic exercise that does the body wonders. Donations for the children's snacks should be dropped off at the elementary office.   

A reminder about attending the next parent `Ohana meeting on Wednesday, 2/11, at 5:00pm: It will be a short meeting followed by guest speakers Marcia Kemble and Gail Weisz about online resources available to MPI students and families. Prior to the `Ohana meeting, 5th grade parents will be meeting at 4:15pm in Ms. Hoddick's classroom for information about the fifth grade trip to Kaua`i. Fifth graders may attend the meeting with their parents.

We do not have school this Friday, 2/13, because teachers will be having professional development meetings all day. The preschool team will be in a webcam session with Reggio Emilia expert Dr. George Forman, and the elementary faculty will be working on the performance continua for inquiry, reading, and writing. The preschool, elementary, and middle school faculties will also meet to discuss program continuity. No school on Monday, 2/16, in honor of Presidents' Day.

A busy school week ahead! As it should be!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey