Posted on December 7, 2014
No doubt in my mind about the highlight of the previous week -- the studentsʻ holiday performance, Christmas in Hawaiʻi! I had heard the singing practices from the music room, the childrenʻs voices dancing down the hallway and lingering in my office. But nothing beats the actual performance with the children dressed in their holiday finery. The children sang and danced with confidence, including our preschoolers whose charm and unabashed stage presence always seems to steal the show. Fifth graders Lexie Stoebenau and Lauren Hayashi did a splendid job as emcees for the evening, with kudos to Extended Learning Coordinator Kimee Balmilero for the script writing. Musical director Sarahlea Kekuna prepared the children well -- ever so patient, creative, and inspiring in her work with them. I know my faculty fairly well, but they never cease to surprise and impress me. What they did with the 12 Days of Christmas, Hawaiian style, was pure impromptu. We practiced the day before for less than 30 minutes, then left the rest to ingenuity and as the spirit so moves. Just give us a stage and let the talent unfold.
. . . while an audience of 600 families patiently await 6:00pm, the start of the holiday performance.
"Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright, the sun to shine by day and all the stars at night . . . "
Every year Mid-Pacific Jazz Band Director Allen Niʻi brings his students to the dining room to share their music. The elementary students swayed in their seats and kept time with the likes of Santana, Pipeline, and other golden oldies while they dined on a spaghetti lunch.
On behalf of the faculty and staff, thank you, thank you for breakfast and lunch on the facultyʻs conference preparation day. The workroom table was laden with fruit, pastries, yogurt and granola in the early hours, followed by hearty sub sandwiches and salads. The piece de resistance was the 10-minute massage -- shoulders, back, neck, head, legs, arms -- by professional masseuse. All of these stress relievers worked because I now have drafts of their assessments to review! Your recognition of their intensive, quality work with your children is very much appreciated.
Should you ask your children about what theyʻre doing this week, it should be "Portfolios! Reflections!" Every teacher has been prompting students to select samples of work during the semester that best represent their growth over time and to respond to a series of questions to uncover their thinking about their learning. Youʻll have an opportunity to sit with your child Friday evening or through the weekend to have a conversation about the portfolio content. More information about the link and how to access will be provided through the parent intranet Iʻll be posting this Thursday. For returning parents, the process is the same as in previous years. I always appreciate this time during the semester when our students look back and see how much they have grown intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
WIll I see you at the Mānoa Christmas Parade next Saturday, December 13, at 5:00pm?
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.