Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School

Aloha Everyone!

Aloha parents,

I am dual certified Special Education and Regular Education teacher with a B.A. in Psychology and while living in Montreal, had the opportunity to student teach in a school with 50 different nations represented. Since then I have taught deaf student and hearing students and have interpreted for middle school to high school age students who were deaf. I have been a Special Education teacher for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders in hearing schools as well. Growing up in Quebec, I had  first hand experience of being a second language learner as a U.S. citizen born abroad and appreciate the efforts that our school is taking to reach second language as well as low socioeconomic disadvantaged students in our culturally diverse community. What I love about Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School is that we all come to the table with a variety of experiences and backgrounds. I feel so fortunate to be working with such a fabulous group of teachers. 
There are lots of questions that parents may have regarding their child's educational needs and how we can best meet them as a team. That is especially true for parents new to Special Education. For some the initial experience of meetings and eligibility can be overwhelming, and the questions don't come until later. Don't be afraid to ask and/or share ideas that you yourself have for your child. The goal is to find the most effective tools and strategies to meet the learning needs of your child and per situation. Those methods may change as your child evolves.
While special education is not a cure, it is a service that helps provide students access learning similar to their general education peers. Common core standards are deconstructed by the teacher and special education teacher so that students are given opportunities to show their learning in different ways while advancing skills in targeted areas not limited to reading, writing and math. Regular Education/Special Education placement is meant to allow students both opportunities to participate in general education as well as access learning in a small group setting with fewer distractions and/or equipped with tools and educational and sensory materials that are distinctly different than what may be available in a general education setting.
While technology is advancing, I encourage parents to explore other opportunities outside the classroom so that children can physically explore and experience their world, question and problem socially as well. While technology gives us immediate feedback, children need opportunities to develop their thinking and communication skills through physical interactions with objects and social interactions with people in the social world. The more opportunities they have to exert their thinking skills outside the classroom on the beach, in a park, forest, in sports, art, music, scouts, robotics, Special Olympics or other organizations and clubs, the more confident they can become as they discover things about themselves beyond the school setting. Such opportunities may be small increments of time to large depending on the child. By the same token, as technology is advancing, we do welcome additional resources and ideas that you might have to share.

 Aloha and Mahalo Nuii!


Recent Posts

Happy New Year

January 8, 2019

Happy New Year!

Dear parents,

Please have your child log into RAZ kids at least three times per week. Your child should do the following:

  1. Read along with the text.
  2. Practice reading the text independently (Click on words to review what they sound like)
  3. Reread as many times as needed or desired for fluency.
  4. Answer questions (You may read the question prompts to them.)

Also - Pease practice math facts with your child at home. Please practice both addition and subtraction.

I will be tutoring after school for any students who are interested (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

I will be tutoring math one day and reading the next. Please contact me at 2:15 if you are interested in having your child have more targeted practice - 808-883-6808

Finally, please make sure your child gets a good night's rest and eats a good breakfast before school. Both impact on learning and social/emotional balance. A healthy snack mid morning is a welcome sight as the kiddos are always hungry by recess.


Pamela North

Parent Teacher Conferences Next Week

If you have forgotten your day and time, please contact your child's homeroom teacher after school today. I will sit with the classroom teacher, however if you wish to meet at a separate time I will do so. I sent some things home yesterday as your child's portfolio is full of first quarter tests and assignments. We will give those to you at parent teacher conferences, discuss any questions you have and will give you the contents after the conference. Portfolio contents are sent home at the end of the quarter. If you wish to peruse your child's portfolio, please contact the general education teacher.

Tip of the week

When practicing word lists with common patterns like ue, compare them to their homophones. or pattern words that have similar spelling.  
Rule of the week: The silent "e" makes the u say his name.
Watch this video:
Practice words with similar sounds using pictures first, then take away the scaffold.   
Connect them to the difference between ew and ow     or     ew and aw
 Draw/find pictures of words to show the difference. The internet is full of examples.
blue            blew                      blow
flue             flew                       flow
due             dew
                   new          now
                   knew                     know
                   stew                      stow

Student Progress and have a good break!

It has been a pleasure working with your students these past few weeks. I look forward to seeing them in the new quarter. Do contact me for a sit down and meet and/or opportunity to go over progress any time. You can reach me generally after school at 2:25. Mahalo nui and have a good break!

Tip of the Week - I Keep Telling Him/Her, but...

If your child has a hard time following directions, try writing it down. Make a checklist on your fridge. You can even use clothes pegs to clip or a white board marker for the child to check off things that have been completed. If you are doing this for the first time, don't make the list to long.
Also a little incentive never hurts. "What are you working for.." prompts -- You and your child can decide ahead of time what fun activity can be done with you or dad or by him/herself when the chores are done. It doesn't have to be anything out of the ordinary, just something that your child likes doing. Remind your child not to waste time as you want to have enough time in the end to do those fun things. (Modify the length or complexity of a task to make it more manageable as well).

Contact, Management and Grades


Grades are standards based. It's really hard for teachers to put WB - Well-Below on a report card when a child is working so hard in the classroom. However well below standards is simply well below. A year's gain for some students may be from a K level to a 1st grade level. We have to celebrate that gain and not the fact that the child is still "well below". No every child learns lock in step with the standards. However, praise and reward need to be given to students for their progress. That is something to celebrate.

Another way to look at it is that one of the things that qualify students for Special Education is that their work is well-below. We can all work with the child to help improve their reading, writing and math per the IEP. That way the child can try to bridge the gap, and perhaps get a Developing Proficiency (DP) or even Meeting or Exceeding Proficiency (MP) or (ME). When meeting or exceeding, then eligibility for SPED will likely have to be reconsidered.  

Progress reports may give better insight than the standards based report card, although together you get a better picture.


Sitting down and reading with your child, such as on KIDSA-Z and seeing how they independently answer questions the first time, and then helping them to answer the second time is powerful for both you and your child. Practice words they missed on flash cards or attend to questions that they missed and ask them in using another book you have at home. Levels can be adjusted. Ask and you shall receive.

Math facts should be practiced daily - 5 minutes. It's not too hard. Present 2 facts at a time and then a third. Mix them up. Add one more fact at a time. Stop when you have 2 errors. Review and end on a positive.

Get on MOBY at home too. 5 minutes  can help daily.

If your child is tapped out at the end of the day, then don't overstress - communicate that via email to me.

Also communicate anything to me - thoughts, concerns, needs...



Tip of the week

Having a hard time getting the pencil moving? Set a timer. "What are you working for?" Brainstorm a topic with ideas to select from, word banks and model sentence structure. Write for a short time, then take a short break and back to it. Use underscores for words to write, or boxes for letters, highlighters for words to trace, word banks with words out of order to form sentences, checklists and more. Sometimes it just takes the right writing tool.


Mondays will include a spelling packet that will be due by Thursday. This includes skills they need to practice per their IEP. Students have spelling cards, but should practice writing their words throughout the week.
A list of sight words will go home weekly on Tuesday, to practice and read.
KidsA-Z login is pnorth1 . Click on a rabbit or rocket to launch your child into reading high interest materials on the computer or iPad at home.
A few students have Wonders accessibility. Login information will be sent home on Wednesday. Hopefully by then the accounts will all be set up (I could only access four).
Thursdays is the final day to practice spelling words. We will have a test on Friday. Students can set their own goals for learning. Perhaps they can be masters of just a few words at first. They can challenge themselves to get more as time goes on.
Writing can create push back in some cases, but do encourage your child to write when the time comes. It can be fun and the topics we write about can be interesting too. There are different ways to write, for example on a tablet, phone, white board, paper, notebook, or even with a finger on a device. Writing improves reading dramatically and it helps students to think and reason as well. Focus on one skill improvement at a time. It isn't easy.  Just give it two thumbs up.

Aloha 2nd Grade Parents

I am looking forward to working with the second graders beginning Monday. Due to a tragedy affecting my family I have had to take time off to deal with some critical needs. I apologize deeply for my absence and am assured that the students have been left in very capable hands. I am looking forward to getting back to work for the remainder of the school year. If you would like to meet in person, I am available by phone or email. Sometimes the google mail works more readily that Lotus: Pamela_north@waikoloa.k12.hi.us. I will gladly make myself available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday after school at 2:15 if there are no other meetings already scheduled. Please email me with questions, concerns or to set up a meeting as needed. Mahalo for your patience.

Flooding was a huge problem due to Hurricane Lane. Students will be reading a bit about the hurricane tomorrow to learn what steps they and their families can take the next time this happens.

Changes Postponed Due To Hurricane

While you were notified of some upcoming changes, the storm has delayed those changes so that it will be business as usual come Monday.