Parent meeting details plans for prom and graduation, addresses workload concerns

Kenna Kaneshiro, Staff Writer

Middle and high school parents have focused their concerns on their students’ academic workload amid Mid-Pacific’s digital learning.

On Thursday evening, middle and high school parents attended a virtual meeting evolving around the concept of Mid-Pacific’s digital program. Among the key topics covered were school work,event alterations, summer school, and scheduling. 

There were 141 people who attended the meeting with the main speaker Vice President of Academic Affairs, Leigh Fitzgerald, who led the Zoom conference along with the principals, deans, and other school administrators.

High School Principal Paul Passamonte began his remarks with a series of announcements regarding the high school: 

  •  There will be no prom this school year
  • The Aloha Program (send off for the seniors from the juniors) will be done virtually
  • Seniors will graduate virtually
  • There will be a grab-bag pick up for seniors containing their graduation essentials happening in May
  • Final exams this semester will be cancelled, however teachers may assign summative assessments to replace them

Additionally, some parents had questions about asynchronous days.

“Are instructors expected to be available at their designated period time on asynchronous days?” said parent Lester Salazar in the virtual meeting chat. 

The best part of Spring on any campus is always the amazing class events, and whole school events, and students moving to a next grade level, and we’re doing our best to recreate some of those.”

— Leigh Fitzgerald, Vice President of Academic Affairs

Other parents chimed in about their student’s school work, academic schedule, and the cooperation of teachers.

The parent comments seemed to reflect recent survey data released from the school.

About 46 percent of students believe that they are receiving too much work while 32 percent  of parents say that their child is not getting enough work. Meanwhile, 88 percent of students feel they have a balance in synchronous and asynchronous class time, but 39 percent of parents feel there is not enough synchronous class time.

“The best part of spring on any campus is always the amazing class events, and whole school events, and students moving to a next grade level, and we’re doing our best to recreate some of those,” said Fitzgerald.

The survey results also said 83 percent of parents identify that their student is working hard, 88 percent believe that they know where to find help for themselves, 54 percent are satisfied with the amount of time their student is spending with teachers in virtual learning and 87 percent reported being satisfied with the level of communication throughout this pandemic.

“I agree with less is more. For your information there was mention that some parents said that there was not enough homework in high school — then all the teachers assigned more work all due on the same day. That created a lot of stress. I believe that each student is dealing with this whole pandemic situation differently. I hope that teachers will take that into consideration,” said parent Debbie Lui Anderson in the Zoom chat.

Other users expressed gratitude toward the faculty in terms of going through a pandemic as well.

“Our approach from our teachers is really from a place of empathy: empathy for students, for families, for all of us being thrown into a situation that we are learning,” said McGuigan.