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Students have access to learning programs on Furlough Fridays

By Staff | Nov 12, 2009


LAHAINA — The holiday season is coming up soon. It seems to be coming up quicker than normal due to the shortened school week caused by Furlough Fridays.

Lahaina Intermediate School staff did have a discussion regarding our remaining (two) Waiver Days on the last day of school before Winter Break in December and the last student day in May before summer. Overwhelmingly, our staff agreed to keep these days as scheduled. We use these days, which are strategically placed at the end of the semesters, to meet in our departments to reflect on our past practices, change what didn’t work well or elaborate on what was successful, and plan for the next semester to continue our journey to improve student achievement. Our four Planning and Collaboration Days had already been used prior to Furlough Fridays.

LIS has a number of web-based programs your children are able to access during Furlough Fridays. ELL, SPED, and selected sixth-graders have 24/7 access to Math Whizz. This program builds basic math skills. TeenBiz is available 24/7 for students in the sixth and eighth grades. This program helps to build reading comprehension skills. MyAccess is a writing program, also available 24/7. All students have access to this program through their English classes. Cognitive Tutoring is accessible to Mr. Wu’s seventh grade math classes. All students have a number of lessons they must complete each week. Books are available in our school library for students to borrow. Read, read, and read! In fact, students should be accessing these programs at least once every weekend regardless of the state budget situation. These tools are provided to ensure that education doesn’t stop at the school door. It should continue within your homes. For those who don’t have computers in your homes, the West Maui Boys and Girls Club has computers for student use. We have community resources. We need to use them!

Two years ago, LIS and Lahainaluna High School participated in the first public school drug sniffing dog program. We were able to “sniff” only common areas and the campus grounds at that time. The pilot program was a great success. Both of our schools felt that this program deterred students from bringing illicit drugs and alcohol on campus. Evidence reflected in our discipline data that there was a decline of incidents involving drug use and/or possession of on campus during this pilot period. We were anxious to have the program continue the following year, but it was delayed by the Board of Education. Recently, we received notification that the drug sniffing dog program was cleared, and we are now able to reinstate this practice on our campuses. Please look for a letter to families that will describe this program in more detail later on this month. We look forward to keeping our campuses drug- and alcohol-free.

Parent Week and our annual Scholastic Book Fair are taking place as you read this message. I hope you were able to visit your child’s classes and were able to visit our Book Fair. There are many wonderful new books and fun educational items available for purchase. It is always an exciting time for our students. We enjoy sharing our school with our families. Have a marvelous Thanksgiving weekend with your families. IMUA!