Letter to Parents 8/6/2018

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.

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. This is through the implementation of the latest brain-based educational research in our various school settings with the overall purpose of fostering the learning and the well-being of each and every one of our students. In accordance with this vision and direction, our staff is in a continual process of building and developing inviting and nurturing classrooms and overall school environments. Our staff has recently received training from Dr. Linda Jordan from ICLE (International Center for Leadership in Education) in order to empower and support us in reaching this goal.

As one of the very few elementary schools here in the State of Hawaii to be an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), 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. In addition, within our IB Programme, our entire staff collectively teaches and reinforces with our students the ten character traits of the IB Learner Profile. Our IB Programme helps to build in our students learning and character skills which will serve to benefit them throughout their entire educational experience; it prepares them for the workforce of the future.

In accordance with our school vision, providing a well-rounded education for our students continues to be a priority for our school as well. This is why we provide opportunities for our students to grow and learn in the areas of arts, athletics, and foreign language as well as in the core academic areas. The latest brain research shows that this holistic approach to teaching our students greatly enhances their learning. In addition, we continue to offer a great variety of afterschool programs on campus that offer opportunities for our students to grow and learn. 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. Welcome to our new Kindergarten teacher, Douglas Spencer, and to our new second grade teacher, Kylie Hisatake. Yoko Hamane will serve as our new part-time teacher for our ELL (English Language Learner) program; she will also continue her work as a part-time teacher for kindergarten in our Nihongo program. Jane Kim is our new part-time teachers for our NHA (Na Hoku ‘Ala) reading and math intervention program. We extend a warm welcome to all of them in joining our Aina Haina ‘ohana.

We are looking forward to an empowering and eventful 2018-2019 school year!

Your Partner in Education,
Brendan Burns, Principal