The 12 Days of Christmas MPI Style! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

The 12 Days of Christmas MPI Style!

Posted on December 6, 2009

by Dr. Edna Hussey on December 6, 2009

Wonder of wonders! The annual Christmas program by the entire preschool and elementary student body in Bakken Auditorium sent families and friends into the torrential downpour brimming with holiday cheer. Under the direction of Diane Koshi, musical arts teacher, the children performed carols through the ages, the theme of the evening. Every grade level took their turn center stage, including the entire faculty in a disco version of Deck the Halls with plastic "boomwhackers."  But everyone at the performance will agree that the highlight was full audience participation in the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was masterfully executed! Every section of Bakken was assigned a line from the English carol with accompanying gestures.  On cue, five to six rows of energized parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles jumped to their feet to sing and dance their line.  I think whenever I hear the carol, images of enthusiastic families, led by their children, will dance in my head. Special thanks to the Middle School `Ohana for organizing the post-performance refreshments so that the preschool and elementary parents could remain in the auditorium for the entire performance.  

The school is in "reflection" mode as students in kindergarten through fifth grade prepare for end-of-semester conferences. Most students have already selected their portfolio pieces and are writing their statements of reflection about their learning process, their assessments of their strengths and things they need to continue to work on next semester, which becomes a plan of action.  Parents have scheduled for a conference with their child's classroom teacher on either December 14 or 15.  Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are required to participate in their conferences.  The specialists in art, music, character education, and physical education are also available for conferences. I strongly encourage you to contact any of the specialists to schedule a conference. Please call the school office at 441-3800, if you need the specialist's direct line.

Last week I sent an intranet message to parents explaining the electronic continua -- how it developed, the rationale for new continua in inquiry, reading, writing, and what the continua will look like. (If you have not yet reviewed my PowerPoint presentation, please refer to an email I posted November 25.) We are in the process of revising the art, physical education, and music continua, which we hope to also be available electronically next year.

Parents of students in kindergarten through fifth grade will receive pdf's for inquiry, reading, writing, and math continua only by next weekend, December 12-13. Please print your own copy of the pdf for your files. During the conference, the teacher will pull up your child's continua on a classroom computer, which you can discuss together.

After December 18, we will be mailing home copies of the art, music, and physical education student assessments, curriculum summaries for these classes, and a conference summary of your meeting with the classroom teacher.

We are grateful to Scott Yoshinaga, our IT coordinator housed at the elementary school, who custom-designed the program for the performance continua. While we might discover some glitches along the way, the faculty has already begun to use the electronic format. It will provide you and the teachers a better way of seeing each student's progress over a three-year period. Moreover, it certainly streamlines the work of the faculty and reduces the use of paper. It is the way of the 21st century, yes?

The annual Manoa Christmas Parade is this Saturday, 5:00pm. The route is along East Manoa Road, fronting the Manoa shopping complex. This will be the fifth year the preschool families will have participated in the parade in their wagon brigade. All MPI families are welcome to join the short walk to the Manoa District Park. Don a festive green or red shirt, shiny garland, and holiday cheer.

The `Ohana meeting scheduled this Wednesday, December 9, is cancelled -- too many holiday preparations!

There are two more Choice Days (free dress) for students:  December 11 and 17.  Due to not having school this past Friday, the regular first Friday option will be this Friday, December 11.  Students may wear free dress on monthly assembly days, which will be the following Thursday, December 17.  

On the last day before Christmas break, we will be having our annual Christmas Chapel. Please make sure your child wears the MPI green-collared polo shirt.

It will be a busy two weeks ahead in terms of assessment. In addition, several classes will be on excursions related to a class inquiry or holiday celebration.  The entire MPI faculty and staff will be attending a Holiday Open House at the President's home this Tuesday afternoon after school, and the preschoolers are sipping apple juice and munching on "reindeer" toast with President and Mrs. Rice this Wednesday. And so much more!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey