Posted on August 30, 2014
If youʻve been keeping up with my blogs, youʻll recognize the context for this photo. Imagine a warm, somewhat muggy morning. 271 students and 30+ faculty and staff students in organized chaos on the outdoor lanai. Adults trying to get students in their places in chairs or standing. The photographers waiting for "the" moment to capture the best all-school photo possible. Tracy holds up an eye-catching hand puppet to spark smiles and laughter. Every year the ritual of the new school photo taken at the beginning of each school year, a school tradition, always makes me smile. Just as everyone is settling into a pose, I take a few steps forward to take in the scene -- children and staff, an entire community assembled together, the promise of a new school year, the 2014-2015 chapter in the history of Mid-Pacific with all the characters finding their roles in the unfolding plot of learning. This moment in time.
Just moments before the photo is taken . . . itʻs amazing how the children are called to attention with the simple strategy of hand-clapping: Ms. Kekuna steps forward, claps a short rhythmic beat, and all students respond by clapping the same rhythm. Focus forward on the photographers perched on the 20-foot ladder!
In less than two minutes, an orderly exit. The children carry chairs back to the classroom, and parent volunteers roll up mats where the preschoolers and kindergartners have sat. Learning resumes.
Another highlight of the week was Open House for parents of kindergarten through second grade. We gathered first in the dining room where teachers wereintroduced. Specialists (teachers of art, music, character education, and physical education) took a few moments to explain the curriculum of their content area. ʻOhana leaders extended a warm welcome to all parents.
Teachers provided a very clear explanation of the areas they teach (reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science), how they approach teaching and learning, and how student learning is assessed. Parents sampled some of the learning by reading, writing, solving a math problem, or creating questions for a possible inquiry project. Open House is one of the most important events that all parents should attend in order to understand the culture and environment in their childʻs classroom community.
The faculty and I are looking forward to Open House for grades three through five next Wednesday, September 3, 6:00-7:30pm.
Wishing all of you a safe and family-centered Labor Day weekend.
E Kūlia Kākou • Letʻs strive and aspire together.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.