Posted on March 1, 2015
'Twas a fine day to celebrate Mid-Pacific kupuna at the annual Grandparents' Day. They began arriving as early as 7:00am, even though the classroom visits would begin at 8:30am. The excitement in the dining room where refreshments were served was palpable. Old friends re-connected, anticipating the activities their grandchildren had prepared for them. The children wrote poems, sang songs, played math games, read narratives projecting their lives when they become one hundred years old, shared samples of classwork, or took grandparents to areas of interest in their classrooms. As is our tradition, we honored the oldest grandparent or great grandparent. This year we acknowledged an 89-year-old great grandfather AND 95-year-old great grandmother! One grandmother traveled nearly 8,000 miles from Serbia to attend Grandparents' Day, as well as grandparents from Boston, Denver, Korea, and Japan! Oh, the love our kupuna have for their grandchildren, traveling great lengths to be with their families! (photo by Scot Allen)
Faculty specialists for art, music, physical education, character education, and the preschool coordinated an impressive demonstration of student learning in these content areas. This year's program highlighted some of the best moments -- third and fourth graders playing recorders, fifth graders' heart-pumping rope jumping, and first and second graders explaining their painting techniques. The preschool atelierista explained the preschoolers' inquiry project into memories and memory-making in the context of Ho'omaluhia (Kaneʻohe). It was impressive to hear students from kindergarten to fifth grade speak about the different ways in which they participate in service learning through the character education program. Hawaiian Lullaby, sung by the entire elementary, brought Grandparentsʻ Day to a close. As we say to our kupuna, a hui hou until next year.
In case you missed the big news, Dr. Paul Turnbull took his oath of U.S. citizenship this past week. It was a Mid-Pacific event! Our fifth graders developed a digital video to help him study for the 100-question exam; they also joined him on the day of his U.S. naturalization ceremony at the Federal Court in Judge Leslie Kobayashi's courtroom. (Judge Kobayashi is also a proud Mid-Pacific parent of two sons, who came through the elementary and are now in middle school.) photo by Scot Allen
Eight members of the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) completed their visit to Mid-Pacific, an intensive four-day period of meetings, analysis of school documents, and classroom observations. The visit is to verify that the self-study report submitted to HAIS/WASC is valid and that Mid-Pacific is meeting high standards in areas of governance, school leadership, faculty, educational program, finances, development, facilities, and safety. Their visit concluded this past Wednesday when their final report was read to the school community in Bakken auditorium. They identified many school strengths (for example, a progressive educational program; plans for an innovative learning center; dedicated school personnel; a technology program that supports student learning) and opportunities for continued growth (such as in development and support for studentsʻ emotional and social needs). The HAIS/WASC Accreditation Commission will review the Visiting Committeeʻs recommendation for our accreditation term. In the meantime, school leadership will develop a strategic plan to address the growth opportunities recommended by the Visiting Committee. Overall, the Visiting Committee was very impressed with Mid-Pacific.
We are grateful to the many who participated in the development of the self-study -- meetings, meetings, and more meetings, drafting, drafting, and more drafting of the report. The effort was well rewarded in terms of the learning all experienced as a result of the self-study process. We have so much of which to be proud and so many for whom to be grateful. The school motto -- E Kūlia Kākou, to strive and aspire together -- rings true.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey. Ed.D.