Gradual Release of Responsibility - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Gradual Release of Responsibility

Posted on September 14, 2014

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 14, 2014

IMG_3638.jpgThe other day Mid-Pacificʻs Director of Technology sent me an article from the NY Times on how technology leaders, including the late Steve Jobs, raised their own children with regard to tech usage at home. What do you think he did?

Apparently tech usage at home was limited not only in Steve Jobsʻ home but also in the homes of other technology executives from different corporations. According to author Walter Isaacson who wrote Steve Jobsʻ biography, "Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things," he said. "No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer. The kids did not seem addicted at all to devices." Reading the article made me think about our schoolʻs recommendations about tech usage at home, which classroom teachers shared at Open House and parent sessions about two weeks ago. This idea of a "gradual release of responsibility" to students, which we have explained in the classroom, applies to the home. In the classroom, through the lens of digital citizenship, the faculty constantly provides multiple ways for students to examine and interrogate online information. We strongly encourage all parents to monitor and limit tech usage, just as we do in school. As faculty, we discuss the parameters while encouraging our students to conduct their research. We hope that parents have similar discussions so there is consistency in the childʻs environment at home and in school. Our children need this level of consistency so that they can learn to independently manage their actions, this notion of gradual release of responsibility.

Hereʻs the link to the NY Times article:

At the recent ʻOhana meeting on Friday morning, several key understandings were confirmed.

We have a diverse parent community (as it should be) who are connected because their children are students at Mid-Pacific. We offer a philosophy and program each parent has committed to and want for their children to fully experience and benefit from preschool through high scbool. The enthusiasm I see at these parent meetings is always refreshing and energizing. I also know that because we have a diverse parent community whose professions careers, and responsibilities limit attendance at the meetings (we can only offer the meeting time at 8:30am on a Friday each month), there are multiple ways of demonstrating support and strengthening a culture of giving --

• With regard to your child, providing the basics is essential: reading to or with your child every evening, building in time for conversation around the dinner table, making sure your child comes to school with healthy snacks (please follow through on healthy) and a healthy lunch, scheduling family time on weekends, creating space for homework, and for our early learners, time to observe their extraordinary learning in ordinary moments.

Keep informed! Check MyPueo dally. Read the principalʻs and teachersʻ blogs every weekend after 5:00pm Sundays when blogs are posted.

• As your schedule permits, attend ʻOhana meetings or any parent education sessions.

• Volunteer to help on the school activity assigned to your childʻs grade level. The ʻOhana or room parent will be the primary contact.

Contribute to the Annual Fund, our most important funding source that helps to bridge the gap between tuition and operating expenses. The goal is 100% participation from all constituents.

Having raised three children of my own while maintaining a full-time profession, I totally understand what it means to be a "working" parent (which means every parent!). I am very grateful for all that our parents do as partners with Mid-Pacific. I marvel at the thought that if a child enters Mid-Pacific at age 3, I will have known the student and parents for 8 years before the student continues into middle school and high school! By then, itʻll be 15 years! That is just an amazing long-term partnership with the child/student as the strongest link.

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.


Preschool & Elementary