Aloha mai kakou and welcome to our new school year!
I hope everyone has enjoyed a summer full of fun, rest, learning, and memorable time with family.
In hopes of promoting strong communication with all of our school community members, I have decided to regularly write a blog this year. I hope you find it both enjoyable and informative.
Students will return to campus on Tuesday, August 19th but the faculty and staff have been preparing for their return for many weeks. For my first blog post, I want to share some of what we have been up to this summer.
Developmental Designs Training
From August 4-8, twenty faculty members reported to campus a week early to participate in a Developmental Designs (DD) workshop. Developmental Designs is an educational approach that is intended to both identify and meet the academic and social needs of adolescents. We were honored to have our workshop led by the Executive Director of The Origins Program, Dr. Terrance Kwame-Ross. Dr. Ross taught us several everyday, classroom strategies to assist with relationship building, social skills, cultural responsiveness, intrinsic motivation, and creating a safe learning community.
Last year, Assets took part in a pilot DD project to assess its impact on student learning and behavior. The results were so positive that we invited Dr. Ross to visit us this summer and train the entire middle school faculty, counseling department, and several resource specialists (i.e. Physical Education and Performing Arts).
Mahalo to Dr. Ross for a fun and engaging week of work together! We will be talking more about Developmental Designs in this space throughout the year.
On Monday, August 11, all faculty and staff returned to campus where we started our day with a welcome message from Head of School, Paul Singer. Paul shared what an exciting year this will be for Assets. Our high school will spend its last year at our current campus before moving to its new Alewa Heights location where the former Academy of the Pacific was located. This year is also the kickoff of a very important event – the celebration of Assets School’s 60th anniversary! Congratulations to the Assets community on this incredible achievement.
When teachers haven’t been in meetings, they have been busy preparing their classrooms, reviewing student profiles, writing welcome letters to parents, and decorating their doors to reflect their class theme for the year. They are such a wonderful, committed group of educators to work with!
We did find time for some off-campus fun too. On Wednesday, all K-8 faculty and staff went on a service learning retreat to Waikalua Loko Fishpond in Kaneohe. Similar to our DD training, we spent our day participating as both adult learners and as educators thinking about how to apply our newly formed knowledge to our own students. While at Waikalua Loko, we were lucky enough to experience multiple learning stations. We pulled limu from the pond, cut mangrove, worked in teams to build our own ahupua’a system, learned about the marine life in the pond, and went fishing for crabs around the rock walls. Our time at the pond was a good reminder of what has been essential to Assets’ educational program for many years – experiential, hands-on, multisensory learning. Mahalo to Herb Lee and Uncle Willis for hosting us and giving us such a special day!
Work Day at Assets and Ice Cream!
Mahalo to all the families and faculty members who showed up at school on Saturday to help spread new Fibar on our back playground structure. This annual event is a wonderful chance to connect before the year starts and to welcome new families to our community. Because of the incredible turnout, I think we finished our work in record time, which meant we were able to play and eat our ice cream even earlier than expected!
First Day of School
We are looking forward to seeing all the parents and students on Tuesday morning! Also, don’t forget to join us on Friday, August 22 from 6:15-8:00am for a pancake breakfast, sponsored by our Assets Parent ‘Ohana.