Beyond attendance: Participating in Open House - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Beyond attendance: Participating in Open House

Posted on August 22, 2009

by Dr. Edna Hussey on August 22, 2009

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One of the time-honored parent traditions of school is participation in your child's Open House. Parents of students in kindergarten through second grade will have this opportunity on August 26, and parents of third through fifth graders on September 2, 6:30-8:00pm. We distinguish participating in Open House from merely attending. Anticipate an evening in which you'll engage first-hand in some of the learning your child experiences and discuss the process with other parents. Take a look at a visual presentation of what happens from the time your child is dropped off at school through the end of the school day. Get to know the parents of your child's classmates. Ask questions about what your child will be learning throughout the year, how learning takes place, and how your child's performance is assessed.

From your child's seat at the table, experience what he sees and hears. Participate in Open House; don't just attend it. Since your full participation and undivided attention are important, the Open House is for parents only. This is the only school and classroom event when childcare will not be provided. We expect 100 percent parent attendance and participation in Open House. Please report to the Dining Room for check-in, nametags, and a parent meeting before going to the classrooms.

This was a week of "firsts" -- our first chapel and first monthly assembly. Chaplain James Koyama presides at our weekly services (Mondays for K-5 in the dining room and Wednesdays at the playstructure for the preschool) and described the first theme of the school year -- hospitality. Reverend Koyama explained the concept as a heightened awareness and being available to others, like bats equipped with built-in radar that can sense things around them. This theme is especially appropriate in regards to new students in the preschool and elementary -- over 60!

Several things happen at the monthly assembly, also held in the dining room. Every student and staff member celebrating a birthday that month is given a silent cheer (ask your children what a silent cheer 'sounds' like). One or two classes share something they've learned. A faculty member volunteers to explain a favorite hobby or favorite anything. Sometimes there's a surprise guest. Parents are invited to weekly chapel and monthly assemblies.

By the time you read this week's letter, you probably have already checked the contents of the blue packet in your child's backpack. Among the enclosures is the form regarding the vaccination for seasonal flu, which is offered free by the Department of Health. We are still in the process of determining whether the DOH will be ready with the H1N1 vaccination, which would only be administered a month after the seasonal flu vaccination. Consider making the Nike 5K Fun Run a family event on September 20. Pam Jenkins, our P.E. teacher, and Diane Koshi, music teacher, are coordinating these efforts since proceeds will go to purchasing equipment for the Drums Alive! Program. Our Annual Welcome Barbeque event promises to be lots of fun! Many, many thanks to co-chairs Dr. Lynne Yanagihara and Wendy D`Innocenti and the entire Fifth Grade, the class responsible for this schoolwide event. More details about the September 5th barbeque, 3:00-5:00pm, will be forthcoming.

Don't forget this Thursday: your child's school photo session. All children must wear their MPI uniform collared dark green polo shirt.

After you've read your child's classroom teacher's blog, be sure to also read the entries for Character Education, Physical Education, and Art. And if you have additional time, check out the other grade-level blogs. You'll come away with a deeper appreciation for our faculty and the amazing things they are inspiring your children to learn.

Heads up: The rest of the schools, including the University of Hawaii, begin this Monday, August 24. I'm setting my alarm at least 15 minutes or more earlier to beat the traffic!