Elementary School Principal's Blog

Definitely at Open House

Posted on August 20, 2022

by Dr. Edna Hussey on August 20, 2022

Open House is a tradition in schools everywhere around the globe, and parents are excited to meet the teachers their children have mentioned at the dinner table. Since itʻs virtual this year, the classroom teachers have prepared slide presentations to share images of the classroom setting and campus, studentsʻ movements through a daily schedule, and information about the curriculum, learning routines, and assessment. Itʻs also the best time to meet the parents in your childʻs class. Iʻve found that parents naturally form friendships when their children are invited to play dates and birthday celebrations. Often these family friendships continue through the middle and high school years!

The faculty and I are looking forward to seeing you at the 2022 Virtual Open House this coming Wednesday, August 24, for kindergarten and multiage grades 1-2 and Thursday, August 25, for multiage grades 3-4 and grade 5. Both Open Houses begin at 5:00pm and should end 6:30pm. From 5:00 to 5:15pm, weʻll begin in my Zoom meeting where youʻll learn about the parent organization, Nā ʻOhana Pueo, and the specialists for art, music, character education, physical education, counseling, and learning differences. Every elementary student in grades 1-5 has five teachers--the classroom teacher and four specialists. Kindergartners have six teachers, which includes the assistant teacher. Around 5:20pm, youʻll log off and log into the Zoom meeting with your childʻs classroom teacher.

Hereʻs some Parent Homework so youʻre prepared: Know where to find the Zoom links before the Open House is scheduled to begin. The Principalʻs Zoom link is on the preschool/elementary myPueo page under Announcements. Look for "Virtual Open House." However, you can also find the Principalʻs Zoom link on on the myPueo class page for your childʻs teacher. If you have not yet gone to your childʻs class page on myPueo, please contact esoffice@midpac.edu if you need assistance prior to Wednesday, August 24.

One of the most frequently asked questions at Open House is about homework. What kind of homework? How long? How often? Class work done at home is not an expectation, but if assigned, is for a very good reason rather than something just to do. This is because the faculty and I feel that our students already work hard at school and that the precious little time they have when get home (about one-third of our students are in afterschool care, an XLP class, or in sports) should be family time around the dinner table or a family activity. Most often we ask students to read. Our emerging readers might read with their parents, engage with a parent on a home activity, draw, sing, dance, play a game. Perhaps thereʻs a bit of writing. A math page or two. Before you know it, itʻs bedtime with all of its routines. Thank you for setting an appropriate bedtime for your children.

Another frequent question is about their childʻs engagement with peers. The school day provides opportunities for independent work, working with a peer or several peers in small groups. Certainly outdoor play is with a few peers in their own class or other classes. Learning is at its best when students interact with others in the exchange of ideas. We refer to this as the co-construction of knowledge. Learning is a social experience.

Teachers are big on organization because this executive function really helps students manage their time, materials, and responsibilities. Youʻll hear teachers mention folders, journals, cubbies, and a daily schedule, which are tools to create habits of mind to self-regulate and work towards independence. All children aspire towards independence, which is one of the most important goals of learning.

We hope that scheduling a virtual Open House is convenient for you and your family. At least one parent is required to participate in Open House. Though we love our students, this is a parent meeting. Itʻs perfectly fine if your child is curious and wants to eavesdrop nearby, but if possible, the children should be engaged in something other than their parentsʻ meeting.

The faculty and I will see you soon, perhaps in morning autoline and definitely at Open House.

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.