The Hawaii Department of Education requires every public school to hold regular meetings of its School Community Council. These councils — composed of teachers, parents, students and community members — typically meet monthly to advise the school on matters of planning (both academic and financial) and budgeting.
The Molokai Middle School SCC met this afternoon in its regular meeting at the Molokai High School library to elect officers, approve its bylaws and discuss the school’s successes and concerns.
Lyn Bonk, a longtime Molokai substitute teacher, was unanimously re-elected as chair of the SCC. Parent member Nathaniel Oswald was elected vice-chairperson while teacher Iolani Ku’oha will serve as secretary.
A discussion of the ethical use of electronics in the middle school headed the list of unfinished business topics.
At this time, “the most egregious thing that kids do is play games (on computers),” said MMS Principal Gary Davidson. So far, MMS has not had to deal with any of the more serious issues seen at other schools such as false threats, cyberbullying or hacking. The SCC agreed that education on the ethical and safe uses of technology must be an ongoing conversation with students.
Another central topic of discussion was Act 167, passed by the state legislature in 2011, which mandates an increase to the amount of instructional time each student must receive. “There’s no way around this,” said Davidson, “kids will need to be in school longer.”
Once implemented statewide next year in all middle and high schools, students can expect to spend an extra 45 minutes to an hour in school each day. Two proposed bell schedules from the DOE show the school day ending at 2:50 or 2:55 p.m. Davidson said the release time will most likely be 2:45 p.m. on Molokai.
Kumu Ku’oha also reported that the Hawaiian Immersion students performed well in last Thursday’s Na Mele O Maui competition but did not finish among the top two teams. The group did not have as many members as some of the larger Maui schools but still had the third highest score in the competition.
In its bylaws, the middle school SCC agreed to meet on the third Monday of every month at 3:30 p.m. in the library. All meetings are open to the public. The next meeting of the SCC takes place on the fourth Monday, Jan. 27, with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday falling the week before.