Mililani Waena Elementary
2018-2019 Quarter 3
January 15, 2019
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Happy New Year to you and your family! I hope the transition back to school has been smooth for your keiki at Mililani Waena this week! And, I hope you were able to spend some quality time with your family during break. We had a great first semester and are looking forward to the second semester. In preparation for our second semester, I begin to think of all that is coming up. We will start our afterschool tutoring and homework club for our grade 3 to 5 students. In April, these students will take the statewide Smarter Balanced Assessment to measure their reading and math proficiency. During this time, we encourage you to schedule all appointments after your child’s test so they won’t have to make up the test.
Our teachers pay close attention to the social/emotional aspect of our students in addition to their academic focus. Although we challenge our young students to excel academically, some of them are not ready emotionally; they struggle even though they have the mental capacity for the academics. So, I ask parents to pay attention to what your keiki shares with you at home. I also ask that they get adequate amount of sleep and start the day with a nutritious breakfast. In May we will be saying good luck to our 5th graders as they move on to the middle school.
Thank you for showing courtesy while driving and patience during morning drop-off and after school pick up. Please do not allow your child to exit the car while in the drive through lane. Safety is a major part of having our school be a great place to learn. Please also remember to sign in at the office before entering campus during school operational times. Thank you for your cooperation on these matters.
Thank you for being a contributing member of the Mililani Waena Ohana.
Troy Tamura, Principal
Our cross country team, consisting of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders finished second at the Mililani Complex Cross County Meet on October 24th. Take a look at highlights from the event.
Tag along with our fourth graders as they explore Na Mea Kupono Lo'i Kalo (taro farm) in Waialua.
Science Education in Hawaii is going through a transformation as schools integrate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into student learning experiences. These K-12 standards, which are being adopted throughout the nation, were created by the National Research Council. They call for a three-dimensional approach to science where students explore cross cutting concepts across four major domains of science, engage in the engineering and design process, and apply disciplinary core ideas based on multiple science and engineering disciplines. Here is a table that captures the shift in science education along with a video walkthrough of 5th grade students presenting their science fair projects.
What's happening in Science?
Fun Fair was a great success despite the intermittent rain. The parent and family support was outstanding, enabling grade levels to fundraise enough money to pay for their grade level activities.
School is working on developing a new vision, mission, and belief statement. Drafts have been created with staff input. Parents will have an opportunity to review the statements in quarter 4.
The Literacy Center has expanded to all grade levels this year. Students receive intensive instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, and decoding strategies.
FIfth-grade students will begin taking the new state science test based on the Next Generation Science Standards next school year.
Student council and JPO officers reported families donated two truck loads of clothes for the IHS collection in November.
School will have a discussion on whether to replace Songfest with May Day for next school year.
School braining strategies to engage parents in school improvement activities such as campus beautification.
On Wednesday, October 31st, we had our annual costume parade. Students were able to dress up and march around campus showing off their fun and creative costumes. Some classes also met up with their buddy classes to do a fun Halloween activity.
Waena teachers showing off their Halloween Spirit!
Our 11th Annual Fun Fair took place on Friday, November 16th. This year's theme was "To Mililani Waena and Beyond" which tied into our school theme of "Enthusiastic Explorers". All grade levels and resource created a booth filled with 'ono food and awesome games for everyone to participate in. Mahalo for your continued support in
our school's biggest fundraiser!
Above: Our wonderful chorus, Na Leo 'O Menehune performed two songs for us at Fun Fair. They exemplified this year's theme of superheros and villains by singing "Thriller" by Michael Jackson and "We Are the Champions" by Queen.
Right: This year we had our first STEM challenge project for Fun Fair! Students were tasked to create a transport vehicle that can transport our "Enthusiastic Explorers" using recyclable materials. We had three categories that the students competed in: Most Stemtastic, Most Creative and Best Use of Recyclable Materials. Congratulations to all of our participants!
The fall soccer intramural season featured 60 fourth and fifth graders in friendly competition. On December 14, the fourth grade championship was was a 2-0 victory by the Fantastic Fury over the White Caps. In fifth grade, the Golden Strikers was the top team with a 1-0 victory over the Ballistic Royal in the championship .
Na Leo got into the holiday spirit by caroling amongst our students on December 14.
The First Lego League competition was on Saturday, November 10th. Students were able to showcase their projects for this year's theme "Into Orbit". Menehune Bots researched about homesickness in space,and focused on growing live plants for aromatherapy. Waena Bots researched about muscle loss, and developed a machine that will help astronauts exercise to decrease muscle loss in space. The students had many opportunities to communicate with professionals in the field such as Astronaut Mike Finke, Master Gardener Jennifer Rich, Garden Teacher Valerie Manoa, and Physical Therapists Dr. Brad Kaya and Corri Kojima. We also would like to send a huge mahalo out to our volunteer judges Laurie Uyeno, Cayenne Tote, Marjorie Banks and Lea Nakayama.
Our classes got into the holiday spirit by entering our door decorating contest. This year, Mrs. Takara and Mrs. Lee were our overall winners! Take a look at the winners an a sampling of our other doors.
This year's school theme impacted our doors. Classes translated what it means to be an enthusiastic explorer when creating their design. They sought the use of non-commercial materials and creatively arranged them in a holiday manner.
December 21, 2018 - To kick off the assembly, our student council "astronauts" sought the help of Santa to bring astronauts Lana and Ka'eo back from their North Pole expedition. Astronauts Lana and Ka'eo had been enthusiastically exploring the upper atmosphere sharing kindness to the nations. But, after getting lost, Santa came to their rescue after our school caught his attention by sining "Santa Clause is Coming to Town." We're also thankful that Snow Woman, Gingerbread Man, and our elf friends also showed up in support of our lost friends. The assembly continued with students being honored with Academic Progress and Citizenship certificates. Congratulations to our awardees. Their hard work, character, and perseverance has enabled them to be TRRFCC students. The assembly also featured first grade singing about fairness and a performance by grade 4 on the character trait respect.
In October it was all about pumpkins for first graders. First off they went to Aloun Farms. They learned how to properly pick a pumpkin and experienced a hayride. On Halloween day they also made predictions on which pumpkins had the most and least seeds. Parent volunteers came in to help with counting the seeds in groups of ten and carving the pumpkins. For some it was their first experience seeing and touching the seeds and pulp. They were then able to see whether their predictions were correct. For our first graders learning with pumpkins was the perfect pick.
Mahalo for your generous donation to the Hawaii Food Bank in December!
In December, our kindergarten families all gathered in the cafeteria for our annual Gingerbread House making activity. The students had so much fun using cereal, pretzels, and other goodies to decorate their houses with one of their family members. We think more went into their mouths than on the actual houses. Santa and the Gingerbread Man made a surprise visit. The families could take pictures with them as well. Thank you to everyone who came and helped make our event a success!
The second graders researched and write about different cultures as part of writing informational reports. They each did individual oral presentations about their culture or a culture they were interested in. The students viewed fascinating slide shows, sampled tasty ethnic food, and saw interesting artifacts. Through this experience, they broadened their knowledge about traditions, practices, and events of other cultures. They learned to respect and appreciate the diverse cultures in our classrooms and in our world.
Third grade has been working hard this quarter! In reading, we had our first round of SBA testing. In science, students designed and created a bird beak that could pick up various kinds of food. We also enjoyed decorating doors for a holiday door decorating contest across the school. Finally, our art project for the quarter was a blast!
Fifth grade's second quarter was filled with excitement and learning. We journeyed to Camp Erdman and enjoyed time together as a grade level while learning some interesting new games, swimming, practicing archery, and persevering through a STEM challenge. Every fifth grader also worked hard to complete either an Engineering Design Project or a Science Inquiry Project. With the help of our resource teachers and support staff as judges, two projects were chosen from each class to represent our school at the district Science Fair which will take place in March. We're so proud of all that we accomplished, and we're ready to take on the next quarter of fifth grade!
In quarter two, the fourth grade students went on their second field trip to the Na Mea Kupono Lo’i Kalo. They learned about the importance of preparing the soil for planting for the next taro planting. The students were human tillers as they walked along the patch to loosen the soil. Students also studied and wrote informational papers about plants endemic to Hawaii.