Niu Valley Middle School

An International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School

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Posts from December 2012

December 28, 2012 | 7:37 am

Welcome New Teacher(s)

Welcome wishes to Niu Valley Lancer Country: Ms. Cheryl Yoshida, who will assume the duties of retired teacher, Mrs. Furukawa. Ms. Yoshida earned a second degree: Master's of Education--Mathematics, after leaving the private sector as a licensed civil engineer. The next "new" teacher is Ms. Angela Atkins, who has been at our school teaching Physical Education for Mr. Saiki. Now that Mr. Saiki has retired, Ms. Atkins will continue to teach in the current schedule of courses. Did you realize that Ms. Atkins lettered in Women's Softball at Springfield College, Massachusetts? Centerfielder! Ms. Yoshida and Ms. Atkins are licensed and "highly qualified" under state and NCLB requirements.

December 28, 2012 | 7:22 am

Another Teacher Retires: Aloha and Mahalo Mr. Lyle Saiki

Niu Valley Middle School Health/Physical Education Teacher Mr. Lyle Saiki will also be retiring at the end of this calendar year. He served the Department of Education for 22 years. Dual licensed in Physical Education and Science, Mr. Saiki developed IB unit plans from those two program areas. He kept his lean physique by cycling daily to work, and took trips all over Oahu. Mr. Saiki is contemplating a bicycle ride across the continental United States. My son Micah looked forward to Mr. Saiki's Physical Education classes and was motivated to keep fit. In the Star Trek Vulcan tradition, "Live Long and Prosper," Mr. Saiki. Thank you for helping us attain IB world school status by your work in Physical Education, and athletics--by coordinating our Nike Fun Run teams. Many NVMS students earned letters because of your coordination. I hope that in your retirement, you will reach your goal of the cross-country trek. Good Luck and May the Force be with You!

December 28, 2012 | 7:06 am

Aloha and Mahalo for your Service, Mrs. Irene Furukawa!

Niu Valley Middle School Grade 6 Mathematics teacher Mrs. Irene Furukawa is retiring from the Department of Education after over 25 years of service. Collectively since she taught Mathematics at Aina Haina Elementary, her students scored in the rarified top tier of all Hawaii Grade 6 students. Instrumental in having the Grade 6 students move from a K-6 setting to a 6-8 middle school setting, while her joy was mathematics education, it was very important for her students to develop learning skills, and supported the middle school policy. Mrs. Furukawa and her Team B developed the IB Learner Profile in students. My son Micah enjoyed learning math in the environment she created. To Mrs. Furukawa, on your retirement, may I trade my Jedi Robe and don my Star Trek uniform to wish you in the Vulcan tradition: "Live Long and Prosper!"

December 21, 2012 | 3:14 pm

Aloha and Mahalo Nui, Hawaii Senior Senator Dan Inouye

Head of School Mr. Mew met with Hawaii Senator Dan Inouye in his Washington, D.C. office a week after Mr. Mew was honored as the 2010 Hawaii Middle School Principal of the Year. Senator Inouye spent over 30 minutes with Mr. Mew and his family, talking about his education, most memorable wartime experience, sharing wisdom in standing up for what is right, in spite of popular opinion that is contrary to his belief. He was proud of Niu Valley Middle's risk-taking move to require all students to learn a World Language as a component of the International Baccalaureate Programme. That we decided upon Chinese Mandarin and Nihongo was in the best interests of our keiki's future and the future of Hawaii. He had a personal story as well: as a youngster growing up in a depressed area, with many Chinese immigrants as neighbors, Senator Inouye's mother had him go to Chinese School after school. Yes, Senator Inouye was conversant in English, Japanese and Chinese! Aloha, Senator Inouye! Mahalo for your distinguished role in putting our state on firm standing with the rest of our country. We must now find ways to build upon your legacy.

December 19, 2012 | 10:34 am

A Message to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Eagles

Our special needs students are here during the Winter Recess and on a daily basis, lower our flags to half-staff in honor of your children, heroes, and heroines. The American Flag and State of Hawaii flags have a connection to you and your grief. May you, the Sandy Hook Elementary Eagles, soar!

December 15, 2012 | 1:45 pm

Foods and Exercise

After nine hours of workshop, mostly stimulating the cerebral cortex and sitting, we decided to take a stroll to eat different foods. We walked through the Warehouse District and found a restaurant described by one of the participants. The name, Cochon, means, "baked pulled-pork." Yesterday, we sampled, Crawfish Etouffee, Seafood Jambalaya, Red Beans/Rice, Shrimp Creole, Blackened Catfish, and Gumbo. Dessert: Bread pudding. Tonight at Cochon was adventuresome: Alligator and pork cheeks. Both Southern New Orleans-style.Since there was a brick oven in this red brick restaurant, we ordered oven-baked gulf fish (snapper?), and had collard greens for veggies. All foods were delicious! A Santa Claus-Run was on the street around us. After dinner, we walked through several streets in the Warehouse District, then to streets in the French Quarter, before heading to the Mississippi Riverwalk back to the hotel. Would you believe, we got stopped at a railroad crossing for several minutes while a freight train (CHX) passed by! Ok, a holistic day of academics, culinary arts, and athletics--exercise. Oyasuminasai, Wan an, Aloha, Good night!

December 15, 2012 | 1:28 pm

ManageBac Loved by Indianapolis, IN MYP School

Principal Andrea was in my activity group, which was tasked to delve into the emerging revision to "Approaches to Learning," which is currently one of the five Areas of Interaction. Our group chose the Organizer, "Self-Management," with the Skill Cluster, "Organization and Affective Skills." As we were developing the Individual Skills for Levels 1, 3 and 5, a group member asked, "How do we keep track of all of this?" Principal Andrea exclaimed, Who is using ManageBac?" She was Principal of an elementary school and took them through the PYP authorization process. Now, she is Head of School for the Center for Inquiry at School 2, Indianapolis Public Schools. ManageBac is in full use there, and the parents "love ManageBac." Last year, their school completed the second IB Evaluation process and was reauthorized. The name means, "Manage Baccalaureate!"

December 15, 2012 | 1:12 pm

The First IB MYP Authorized School in North America in My Session

Now THAT is a Jedi Academy to Learn the Ways of the Force! Assistant Principal Russ Peters was at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colorado when they became the first authorized MYP school in North America, some 15 years ago! That fact was made known to us, not by him, but our workshop leaders. When I sat down with him, Russ humbly, noted that they have the honor of being a part of the first North American K-12 IB continuum: Primary Years Programme to Middle Years Programme to Diploma Programme. He proudly said to me that a teacher at his school is the parent of a child who has been in an IB school for all of his K-12 schooling, scheduled to complete the Diploma Programme THIS ACADEMIC YEAR! Imagine what the Kaiser Complex can show to the world in 12-15 years when Hahaione El alumni graduate, followed by the other KC schools!

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