Assets School K-8 Principal Blog

Starting the Year with Hopes and Dreams

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Our first two full weeks of school have been exciting ones. We’ve even had two rainy day dismissals, which matches our total for all of last year! It was marked extra special though by Week 2 being the kickoff of enrichment classes.

In the days leading up, we fielded a barrage of student questions like, “when do enrichments start?” and “what enrichment did I get?” One the great things about enrichments is that everyone gets excited about it. Veteran students are eager to revisit this special part of curriculum, while newer students who came for summer and have been exposed, want more. Then, there are the new students who never came for summer and are excited based on the buzz from classmates.  

For our first enrichment cycle of the year, we are pleased to have students engaged in the following inquiries and activities: Minecraft, 3D printing, Cooking, Rocketry, Games & Sports, Legos, Drawing & Painting, Paracord, Mudworks, Glass etching, Improv, Computer Games &  Challenges, Hands-on Science, Fitness Assessment System Training (FAST), Block ‘n’ Roll, Jewelry Making and Duct Tape Creation.

Remember, enrichments cycle every couple weeks so students will continue to experience new and challenging activities. One change from previous years is that all students now have enrichment class at 2:05 pm. This change allows us more flexibility in scheduling students appropriately. It also allows all students to leave school carrying the excitement and joy of enrichments with them. One of the purposes of enrichment is help students find their “islands of competence.” We often ask students to spend several hours working in academic areas that are difficult for them and that don’t come naturally. It’s equally important that we help them nourish their strengths and provide them time to be strong, capable learners.

Welcome Breakfast & Honoring Parents

Mahalo to everyone who was able to join us for the back-to-school breakfast. Like our students, it was great for faculty and families to reconnect with each other and meet new members of the community.

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IMG_7586At Assets, we like to recognize the extraordinary efforts of our parents. One of the highlights for me last year was photographing all the students with their wonderful notes for Mother’s Day.  Thatʻs why the main agenda for our first ever Friday assembly was to thank our wonderful Assets Parents ʻOhana (APO) for sponsoring the delicious back-to-school breakfast. We specifically recognized the APO leadership for their service to Assets, but before calling their names, we also asked students to think of their own parents and grandparents, and keep them in mind when applauding because our families provide us with such unrelenting support.

As I mentioned earlier, we are now hosting weekly, K-8 assemblies each Friday at 8:00 am. Assemblies usually last 15 minutes and are open to all parents. This is a new tradition at Assets, and we are very excited about it. This past Friday, we were honored to welcome Assets parent, Commander Richard Hagar, USA, Retired, as our featured guest. Accompanied on stage by Assets students who are Scouts, Mr. Hager demonstrated the proper way to fold and handle the U.S. flag. Learning this flag etiquette is very important because a different classroom is responsible each week for raising and lower our flags on campus. Mahalo Mr. Hager sharing your valuable expertise.

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Hopes and Dreams

IMG_1792In my last blog post, I wrote about the K-6 faculty receiving Responsive Classroom (RC) training over the summer. One of its program aspects is having students list their most pressing hopes and dreams for the year. These hopes and dreams are not only important for individual students; but rather, they are also used as the basis for developing classroom rules. As a class, students review their goals and then start developing rules that eliminate barriers to their dreams, and that provide a safe place for learning and hope to flourish.  Our middle school uses a similar process with goals and declarations. With Open House right around the corner, please be sure to check out your child’s goals and the classroom’s published rules (called “social contract” in middle school).  

I was lucky enough that Class 42 shared their hopes and dreams with me via decorated notes (they also shared very nice birthday wishes). As I was reviewing these goals, I noticed students who wanted to improve reading by themselves, spelling, writing, subtraction, math, speaking in front of others, typing, reading chapter books, reading harder words, making new friends, and helping others when they are hurt. What a thoughtful collection of interests and focus for the year! I wish all students patience, resilience, and joy as they embark on their personal goals for the year. And remember, we should always celebrate small successes along the journey.

These notes now sit proudly on my office door so they can inspire others who pass by, and so that I can be reminded of our students’ courage and dedication each time I enter.

With aloha,

Ryan

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