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Hawaiian Elementary Celebrates Successful Students



By Tammye McDuff

Myra Lozano, the Principal of Hawaiian Elementary School, gave students her word that as long as they were reading and learning she would be up for any challenge the student body presented to her.

The Accelerated Reading Challenge is a reading program aiming for grade level or higher reading and comprehension and is open to first through sixth graders. “Today we are celebrating the accelerated reader challenge for the year and the challenge was if students met their AR goals and comprehension levels to at least 80% all year, then they would be able to silly string the principal,” laughed Lozano, “we had 114 students achieve this goal.”  The AR program.

This was the first year that Hawaiian ES put forth a reading challenge, “We posed the question, what prank they would like to pull, and silly string won.  If it makes them read, it is worth getting it all over me. I have accepted many challenges in the past: the principal dunk, a pie in the face, and this year silly string was the winner. Next year the kids will get to vote on the prank!”

Level three readers [at 90%] received two cans of silly string and a twelve second ‘fly by’ and level two students [at 980%] received one can of silly string and an eight second ‘fly by’ covering Lozano from head to foot.

But that is not all the school was celebrating Friday afternoon. The school has a Science STEM Olympics Team, and the school scored the most points, in four separate events. The school was the first recipients of the Paul Killian Science Innovation Award and the winners of the first ice cream social.

Sixth grade teacher and STEM Olympics advisor Julie Parks believes in a closely supervised hands-off type of instruction, “The secret to our success is practice. You can’t just teach something in school and expect a student to flourish; we make sure that the students stay after school. This is a selective group of students that can do 20, 30 or more experiments throughout the year. We, the teachers, let the students explore, because that is what STEM is all about. This particular group chose sand to research insulating homes and solar technology and as it turns out, it was the winning formula.”

The students were from Hawaiian ES fifth and sixth grades, each one has goals to pursue in the STEM category from being an engineer to law enforcement.

“This school has one of the lowest absentee rates in the district, meaning that students really like coming to school. This is due in part to the constant building of rapport between the school staff and parents,” said ABCUSD Board Member Chris Apodaca, “this relationship also holds the parent to task. You can see the improvement not only in the STEM Olympics, but in their reading goals and achievements, the kids love coming to school now.”

“Servicing a community like ours means that you are ready for a challenge,” notes Lozano, “we have to give more. Parents are willing to work with their children, but they need to know that we, the staff, are willing to meet them half way. Letting them know that we are a resource of help. We are proud of all our students!”