Posted on March 15, 2015
Fifth graders witnessed history in the making. They were invited to take a special role in the closing of Gulick Hall, which will be transformed into the state-of-the-art Middle School Innovation Center. Mid-Pacificʻs kumu hula Lanakila Casupang asked the fifth graders to sing the chant they have learned when entering a new space, a fitting request since these students will the very first users of the Innovation Center! The renovation is scheduled to be completed in October 2015. Middle school students, faculty, trustees, and alumni also attended this closing when Kahu Davis blessed the building and heralded the beginning of a new chapter in Mid-Pacific.
Your children may have come home last Thursday with some news about our physical education teacher Bruce Black. He will be on the Hōkuleʻa crew from Aoteoroa (New Zealand) to Australia. He leaves Mid-Pacific April 20 and will return May 31(barring schedule changes due to weather, condition of the Hōkuleʻa and the crew). He shared an overview of the worldwide voyage, which will take 3-4 years. We plan to take advantage of his participation via technology since he will be our direct link to the Hōkuleʻa. Iʻll write more in future blogs about how we will engage in the voyage as Mr. Black takes us along with him to New Zealand. Congratulations to Mr. Black!
Ms. Bailieʻs first and second graders have been 'busy bees' quite literally. They shared their inquiry on bees at the recent assembly and impressed us with their research on amazing bees and their importance to the health of our environment and global food production through pollination. How little we take bees for granted! The children determined the best ways to share their learning. I saw a keynote presentation, posters, diagrams, and heard a story about pollination, which these students (right) presented in a visual narrative.
In our multi-leveled goal to support PS-12 faculty professional learning, with an emphasis on pedagogy (the art of teaching), language arts and social studies K-12 faculty met for another day of assessment practice. We have been looking at writing products to analyze the quality of writing and thinking as evidence of learning across the grade levels, a moderation process that provokes our thinking about our studentsʻ developmental levels. Collegial conversation has been meaningful and insightful about the continuum of our learnersʻ abilities. Our discussions have led to thinking about what teachers need to provide instructionally in order to help students improve their thinking and writing. We have committed our resources to intensive professional development through an assessment process in all disciplines. Math and science faculty have also been undergoing similar learning about their pedagogy and curriculum. You will continue to hear more about Mid-Pacificʻs faculty and how our students benefit from their teachersʻ professional learning. As an educator, I know that the high quality of our program is contingent upon the high quality of our faculty.
Hereʻs how early learning educators spend their weekends. Mid-Pacific hosted the last in a series of five workshops on the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach. Pedagogista Leslie Gleim and Head Teacher Robynne Migita shared our unique assessment practices in the preschool. Participants have come from our neighboring independent schools (Punahou, Kamehameha), Seagull Schools, PATCH, Head Start, and Schofield. Clearly there is a need in Hawaiʻi for more professional learning in early childhood, which we know are the critical years of child development.
This will be my last blog before we head into Spring break, beginning March 23 through April 3. We look forward to see our children return April 6. Regular office hours through the two-week interim are 7:00am - 3:30pm. Parents, please make sure to read Ms. Kelliʻs email posted 3.15.15. Our teachers will be taking a well-deserved break to renew their energy for the remaining weeks of the school year. When we return, inquiries will be well on their way, and students will begin selecting pieces representative of their learning for their portfolios.
Iʻve been curious about how many parents read my weekly blogs. Should you get to the end of this blog and have another 30 seconds, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject heading: read it! Thank you for also reading your childʻs teacher blog and keeping well informed about the life of our school.
Happy Easter from the faculty and staff! Enjoy the gift of your children.
E Kūlia Kākou! Let's strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.