Posted on December 11, 2011
By the time this letter is posted, I would venture parents of elementary students have already reviewed their child's digital or electronic portfolio, the first of many expected in successive grade levels. Instead of finding available shelf space to store the 3-inch binders after each conference, you'll just need to remember how to access your child's portfolio! While the notion of an e-portfolio is quite novel for us at MPI elementary, the underlying concept of the portfolio as a tool for documenting student growth in learning over time is nearly 20 years in the making spanning MPI elementary and even earlier while operating as Epiphany School. One of our kindergarten teachers writes in her recent blog about the eagerness and excitement her students demonstrated when they sat at computers to see their own portfolios. We can only imagine the next iteration of portfolios and what the technology will enable our students to capture in their learning. For now, we are pleased with the learning process using the technology for both student and teacher. I think it's commendable that the e-portfolio process has been implemented in the elementary school with every classroom teacher and every specialist, the result of many hours of collaborative planning and problem solving.
As a reminder to our parents, the specialists will also be available for any conferences.
Parents should email the specialists directly for a meeting time or contact the school office.
While the elementary students and faculty were busily preparing portfolios for student-parent-teacher conferences, the preschoolers and their parents and teachers celebrated holiday cheer at the annual Christmas Tea party with President Rice and his wife at Atherton House this past Wednesday. One of the highlights of the gathering is President Rice's animated reading of Robert L. May's original story (1948), Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The children and parents also sang along to a recording of Gene Autry's famous song of the same name. With the help of Mrs. Rice, the children made reindeer toast. (You'll have to ask a preschooler about how to make this edible treat!)
Fa la la la la! I joined the MPI elementary choir for a few minutes as they made their way through Manoa Marketplace singing Christmas carols this past Friday evening. I've always appreciated Christmas carolers because they readily bring smiles and holiday cheer to by-passers, which is exactly what happened!
In another demonstration of Christmas magic, all of the students in our Character Education classes wrote letters to Santa to help raise money on behalf of Reece Goo, a young student attending another school who was diagnosed in 2010 with a form of brain cancer. After six months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, his cancer is in remission. He was able to benefit from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and traveled to Disneyworld with his family. As a gesture of his appreciation for his wishes coming true -- the remission of his cancer and a trip to Disneyworld, he decided to collect 5,000 letters to Santa for Macy's National Believe Day. Every Santa letter submitted to Macy's project earned $2, multiplied by at least 200 letters, is a sincere contribution from our MPI elementary students. Our students wrote a Christmas wish for others and one for themselves. Reece's wish was to personally deliver the letters to the Make-A-Wish Foundation last week. We're hoping that Reece was successful in his efforts to make a wish possible for another child.
The last week of school before Christmas break heralds many holiday celebrations in nearly every classroom. Parents, I ask that you're mindful of the parking situation and avoid double-parking. Please park down by the gym.
We are having a special Christmas chapel on Friday, 9:00am, in the dining room. Although space is very limited, you may join us for some traditional Christmas carols and reading of the Christmas story.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey