The Conference: A Celebration of Student Learning - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

The Conference: A Celebration of Student Learning

Posted on December 9, 2016

by Dr. Edna Hussey on December 9, 2016

In previous weeks, the school has been sharing information on the website about Mid-Pacific's approach to assessing the quality of learning. The shift schoolwide is from relying solely on tests, quizzes, and homework as evidence of learning to recognizing a student's daily performance in hands-on activities, group discussions, verbal or written (drawing included) explanations of the student's learning processes in different disciplines, the quality of questions, the level of risk-taking, etc. as valid indicators of learning over time. This is called triangulation -- collecting data in different ways on learning to assure that the value placed on the quality of learning is valid and reliable. So here's one more view of assessment at the elementary-- Student, Parents, and Teacher together in conversation with the child as the key protagonist. The student shares what he believes are his strengths as a learner, and in the next breath, what he believes are areas for growth. The portfolio, viewed by parents and child prior to the conference, provides documentation that can be referenced during the conference. Parent, Student, and Teacher decide on the child's learning goals and specific actions to support the child's development as a learner. This assessment practice via the conference, well established in the elementary for at least twenty years, reinforces our view of the child as capable, intelligent, and able to direct her own learning with appropriate support. We celebrate their growth.

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Students in grades 3-5 were treated to the premiere middle school production of Gilbert and Sullivanʻs Pirates of Penzance, Jr. Heartwarming to see our former elementary students on stage - Olivia Collins-Siegfried, Cami Matsumoto, and Gabi Turnbull. Here we are just minutes before the opening scene.

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City and County Lifeguard Peter Shin shared some helpful water safety tips to students during one of the Fun Days. (Childcare is provided to students whose parents are unable to take off from work on conference days.) If your child was at Fun Day, ask about sharks.

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A small group of parents delivered to Family Promise of Hawaiʻi the children's gifts and household items that many of you donated for homeless families and children. What an amazing outpouring of your compassion and generosity! Laura Adams, Kindergarten assistant teacher who initiated the efforts, inventoried the items -- nearly 200 Christmas-wrapped gifts for infants to teens and about 1500 household items (cleaning materials, toiletries, kitchen and bath goods). The items filled one of the Family Promises' office rooms and spilled over to another office. You and your family will bring Christmas magic to many homeless children and their families. The children will have gifts to open on Christmas morning. Many thanks also to Holly Iwasaki, Nā ʻOhana Pueo parent coordinator, GLRs, room parents, and the reindeer who delivered the items in six car loads.

Itʻs in the Owl Updates, but as a reminder:

• December Assembly, Monday, Dec. 12, 8:15am. Choice Day (free dress)

• Christmas Chapel, Thursday, Dec. 15, 8:30am. Dining Room. All students must wear the Mid-Pacific uniform polo shirt and appropriate length shorts, pants, or skirts. Youʻre welcome to join us though space is limited.

• Christmas Performance, Friday, Dec. 16, 10:00am. Bakken Auditorium. All students will be excused from their respective classrooms. Dismissal is 11:30am.

Itʻs beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.

Principal