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