Elementary School Principal's Blog

From Small Steps to Leaps of Learning

Posted on May 14, 2022

by Dr. Edna Hussey on May 14, 2022

Approaching the end of a school year at the preschool and elementary is a mixed bag of emotions for students, families, and faculty -- elation about the promises of carefree summer adventures just days away, deep satisfaction in goals achieved, a bit of trepidation and excitment about transitions from one grade level to the next or from one job to another. ___________________ You can fill in this space with your own thoughts as parents. The end of the school year for us is largely about taking stock of where we started in the school year and where we have arrived in May. This phase of reflection is exactly where the students have been for the past few weeks and for the faculty, the time for preparing to sit beside you and your child to see just how far theyʻve come!

By Tuesday, you will be receiving the pdfs of your childʻs performance continua in different content areas. Students will have completed their portfolios and prepared their explanations so that they can sit beside their parents at home to walk through each selection. Each student is front and center in the virtual conference, taking the lead with input from parents and teacher. While I miss seeing this circle of support in action on campus, I know that students and faculty have prepared well and that conferences are always celebrations. Specialists are also available for conferences and should be contacted in advance to schedule an appointment. Specialists bring a really wonderful holistic perspective of your chiildʻs learning.

Lori Abe, Character Education, labe@midpac.edu

Abbey Day, Art, aday@midpac.edu

Elizabeth Maddock, emaddock@midpac.edu

Preston Pires, ppires@midpac.edu

Maria Corpuz-George, mcorpuz-george@midpac.edu

Kathleen Hassler, khassler@midpac.edu

The end of a school year is also a time for celebration, and these are experienced as presentations of learning in different forms. Two examples unfolded on campus this past week. Kindergarten parents attended the outdoor installation of a year-long inquiry of the relationship between the students and the outdoor environment. On their many walks through the campus, the children discovered the hill next the Weinberg building and there began a series of interactions with the hill and benches. This led to collaborations with a high school art class and dance class. High schoolers helped students create life-size sculptures of movements and the dance class transformed the rolling, skipping, and jumping into graceful dance forms. Kindergarten parents attended the outdoor installation. I even saw a few parents who were tempted to roll down the hill :-) Technology was built into the project with QR codes, taking the parents to a video of the inquiry and collaborations.

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Students walking to recess at the playstructure and ballfield will see a geodesic dome sculpted by artist Leland Miyano and the preschoolers. It is an incredible sculpture made of long, slender strawberry guava branches harvested at the foot of the Koʻolau. During Engineers Week on campus, the preschoolers visted a dome-like structure, a prototype for affordable housing, and were completely taken by its shape and function. Over the weeks, the children were challenged to engineer a dome using staws, then sticks, and even drew plans on how they thought the sticks should be placed to hold together. Ms. Leslie and Ms. Robynne told me that some of the childrenʻs engineering plans seemed to hold true when co-constructing the dome sculpture! What an amazing experience for the children to work beside the artist.

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Celebrate your childʻs small steps and leaps of learning at the conference!

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.

Principal