Christmas is here at MPI! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Christmas is here at MPI!

Posted on December 13, 2009

by Dr. Edna Hussey on December 13, 2009

Intermittent holiday celebrations brighten our last two weeks of school before Christmas break. The preschool children and their parents were invited to President and Mrs. Rice's home this past Wednesday to partake in a morning "tea" of apple juice and "reindeer" toast -- pretzels, raisins, and cheerios for antlers, eyes, and red nose held in place with peanut butter or cream cheese. The highlight of the annual tea is always President Rice's enthusiastic read-aloud of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You can tell he's a pro with young children as he entertained their questions about Santa's house visits (What does Santa do in Hawaii in most homes without chimneys? Several children knew the answer: he has a key!) And throughout the week, music teacher Diane Koshi has been taking various classes to sing Christmas carols in the nearby community -- senior citizens care homes, preschools, and right here on our MPI campus.

This past Sunday, the preschoolers and their parents stole the show in the Manoa Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Lions. The children rode brightly-decorated tricycles and wagons and others walked many, many small steps on the 1.5-mile trek from Noelani School to the Manoa District Park. If you've never walked in a parade, there is something exciting about hearing the steady upbeat rhythms of a marching band and the applause and cheers from parade-watchers. Our keiki and their parents made us so proud as they happily waved to our friends and neighbors in Manoa. Consider joining us next year. Many thanks to our preschool parent organizer Marla Kelly and Trevor Orr, who donned the MPI Owl costume and spread MPI cheer along the parade route.

Amidst holiday school traditions, end-of-semester conferences begin this coming Monday and Tuesday. Parents have received electronic information about what to expect this semester -- electronic performance continua for reading, writing, mathematics, and inquiry. In fact, all parents will have received these electronic continua prior to conferences this weekend. We like the expediency of this system and the energy-saving benefits by reducing paper use.  We are asking all Kindergarten through Fifth Grade parents to review the e-continua and be prepared for the conference with their child. Some classes have sent home students' progress portfolios so parents can review their child's work prior to the conference. During the second semester, the faculty and I will begin to take a more careful look at developing student electronic portfolios with the same goal of documenting students' learning growth over time.

We are looking forward to the December assembly on Thursday, which is also a Choice Day (free dress).  On Friday morning, we celebrate the meaning of Christmas at our chapel during which time students read biblical passages from the New Testament about the Nativity Story and sing carols. Several students have a special role in the chapel dressed in costume depicting characters in the gospel story.  Parents are invited, though space in the dining room is limited.  The faculty and I always look forward to the Christmas chapel, a fitting end to the calendar year and first semester.  

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey