Letter to Parents August 2019

Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,

Welcome back to everyone, and welcome to all who may be new to our school. We hope your summer vacation was both meaningful, refreshing, and rejuvenating for both you and your family.

Here at Aina Haina School, our goal is that this will be a year of building meaningful connections with everyone through our school’s continued focus on creating nurturing, supportive, and empowering research based learning environments. Equity and empathy continue to be the lenses through which we endeavor to view each student, as we learn their stories and find ways to connect with each of them. We continually work to maximize our students’ academic success by promoting positive behaviours through early interventions and empowering students through the building of coping and resiliency strategies. Our staff has continued to receive training from Dr. Linda Jordan from ICLE (International Center for Leadership in Education) in order to empower and support us in reaching this goal. In addition, this school year, we are implementing the Mind Up Social and Emotional Learning curriculum to continue our school’s focus on addressing our students’ very important social and emotional learning needs.

As one of the very few public elementary schools here in the State of Hawaii to be an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), our mind-set is to follow the IB educational philosophy of inquiry-based learning and international-mindedness. Each grade level continues the implementation and teaching of six thematic transdisciplinary units, which incorporate deep inquiry-based learning strategies that challenge our students to develop higher order thinking skills. Each grade level does a tremendous job in facilitating our students’ learning within these units. These units help to build and to develop skills in our students that will ultimately lead to their participation in the culminating activity of the IB PYP, which is the Grade 5 IB Exhibition Project. An evaluation team from IB will be visiting our school in spring semester, 2020, in order to provide us with helpful feedback for our school to consider as we continually work to improve the implementation of the programme at our school.

In accordance with our school vision, providing a well-rounded education for our students continues to be a priority for our school as well. Students engage in learning at our school by expressing themselves through co-curricular programs, such as, physical education, art, computer science/technology, and drama. The latest brain research shows that this holistic approach to teaching our students greatly enhances their learning. We thank our wonderful PTA Board and all the members of School Community Council for their collaborative partnership through their support of our school vison and mission. Their collective efforts continue to make a huge difference in the learning of our students.

Finally, we welcome some new staff members this school year. A special welcome to:
Gabby Ortega--new part-time Art teacher and Student Council coordinator.
Doris Dowdy--new part-time Computer Education teacher and yearbook coordinator.
Hiroko Toma--new Kindergarten Nihongo part-time teacher & para-professional tutor.
Tisha Narimatsu—new Na Hoku ‘Ala reading and math intervention program part-time teacher.
Kerry Garner—new Behaviorial Health Specialist.
Mr. Miles, Ms. Pat, Ms. Erina, and Ms. Leslie—all new adult supervisors.

Best wishes to all on an empowering and eventful 2019-2020 school year!

Your Partner in Education,
Brendan Burns, Principal

August 2019
May 2019
March 2019
December 2018
October 2018
August 2018