Distance Learning Enrichment Survey

Aloha, Alaka’i O Kaua’i families,

We are requesting your participation in a brief survey so we can gain insight into your perception of our school’s effectiveness during distance learning enrichment. We need your feedback in order to continually improve in our mission to provide high-quality learning enrichment experiences that inspire our lifelong learners. Please click here to complete the survey (one time per child).

Your responses will remain confidential. The survey will be open through May 6 and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your valuable responses.

Mahalo!

Fred Birkett
School Director

Director’s Message

Aloha, Alaka`i O Kaua`i Families,

Our facilitators continue providing your children wonderful online enrichment and support.

This week I want to take a moment to recognize our Special Education Coordinator, Ms. Myra VanOrnun-Deyden. Myra has been working with all of our learners during this past school year, with a special emphasis on learners who need support based on their Individual Education Plans (IEP). I asked Myra to provide me with a narrative on how she continues to support her learners online. Please read her comments below:

“This has been an exciting and challenging time in my 35+ year career as an educator. I am excited that I am finally allowed some creativity in planning for special education enrichment. I am able and encouraged to ensure happiness and participation in fun, academically oriented activities that are not metered out in timed increments to measure ‘progress’ but instead are aimed at enrichment. I am excited that my families can be more involved in their child’s learning, and that learning can take place in a much more relaxed home environment. Finally, I am excited that I’m now allowed time to focus on the child and not the paperwork and able to focus on the positive effects my teaching has on each child.”

At Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School, we believe in providing a “Free and Appropriate Education” for all learners who attend our school. Through the dedicated work of Myra and our facilitators and whole team, we are grateful to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our learners.

With gratitude,

Frederick A. Birkett, Ed.M
School Director

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alaka’i O Kaua’i!

Did you know you can help Alaka’i O Kaua’i grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alaka’i Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alaka’i O Kaua’i.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alaka’i O Kaua’i.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Kindergarteners Focus on Manners

Our kindergarteners spent the past week focusing on manners! During their Zoom meeting on Monday, Mrs. Raines read a book on manners called “Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green.” She asked the learners to choose one habit they would like to focus on using at home that week. Examples included saying “please” and “thank you,” chewing with their mouths shut, using an inside voice, and sharing with their siblings.

On Friday, Mrs. Raines asked the learners how well they did, and most were excited to announce they’d practiced their manners over the week. The learners also shared show-and-tell items.

Our kindergarteners have enjoyed seeing each other in our times of sharing some normalcy, such as listening to Mrs. Raines reading and sharing during show-and-tell. Each week, Mrs. Raines focuses on a different topic that allows the learners to use their imaginations to develop key skills that are important to them.

4th Graders Create Projects on Women in History!

Each of Ms. Kate’s 4th graders has been researching a woman in history and creating a video in which they conduct the STEM project that goes with it. We have seen stomp rockets for Sally Ride, paper airplanes for Amelia Earhart, and push cars for Princess Diana!

Communication is key right now, and Ms. Kate’s learners are making the best out of this situation!

 

5th and 6th Graders Make Progress in Science and Writing!

Ms. Donna Daum’s 5th and 6th graders are continuing their Edmentum online enrichment and making real progress! Many learners are taking an interest as Ms. Daum posts the top three learners’ progress each week.

The learners are also in PowerSchool and beginning science enrichment opportunities.

Our 5th graders have lessons in ecology, photosynthesis, ecosystems, and biomes.

Our 6th graders have lessons on energy, including light and sound.

In addition, learners are writing positive stories using the phrase “What if…” to spin any situation into a positive one!

Learners are adjusting well to Zoom and are becoming more comfortable with working online.

Keeping Our Learning Community Connected from Home

Our learners are having a wonderful time of online learning enrichment and connecting with one another online.

Ms. Jamilee Jimenez’s class is so grateful to continue to connect with one another and learn!

Educational Assistant Erika Bates met with her third grade small reading group class on Zoom. Before the meeting, Miss Bates challenged learners to write creative stories. She read her story to the group and then the learners shared their stories. Giving creative challenges like this one is what learners need to stay motivated and to keep their brains sharp during this time at home.

Mrs. JoeAnne Mick challenged first grade learners to make something out of three paper tubes. She sent them a package with school supplies plus the paper tubes and an encouraging note. Learners made towers, games, binoculars and cell phones, which they shared on Zoom. Her class also had a spelling bee on Zoom. Learners were happy to see one another and connect!

Director’s Message

Aloha, Alaka’i O Kaua’i Families,

Tuesday, April 7, 2020, is the official Hawaii statewide start date for all schools to provide online educational enrichment. Unlike many of the public charter and traditional schools in our state, we come to online enrichment with the advantage of a relationship with iLEAD Schools, who provide support services to Alaka’i O Kaua’i.

iLEAD has online programs currently supporting ten schools across the United States. Our facilitators have spent the last two weeks receiving training, resources, and daily support from iLEAD to prepare to provide your children with a top-notch online education.

Since all facilitators have different educational styles, you should not try to compare one to another, especially if you have two children in your household at different grade levels. Most important will be the quality of the enrichment opportunities your child receives.

It is my hope that your children enjoy this experience. With approximately seven weeks left in the school year, our goal is to help your children finish strong academically. Let’s enjoy the rest of the school year with opportunities for growth for us all.

Mahalo!

Fred Birkett
School Director

Monday M

Welcome to PowerSchool, an Online Enrichment Opportunity for Alaka’i O Kaua’i

Welcome to your Online Learning Enrichment Experience: PowerSchool! We are excited to provide enrichment opportunities to our learners on this platform.

If you are experiencing difficulty, please see the instructions here. To submit a request for help, please submit a Learner Technology Support ticket here.

PowerSchool Parent Training

Click here for a template to organize your learning enrichment opportunities.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

5 Ways to Set Up for Online Learning Enrichment Success!

Originally published by iLEAD Online

Online learning enrichment has many benefits. Flexibility in where and when you learn and the ability to design your own learning space are two of them. But successful online learning enrichment requires some thought. Unlike a traditional classroom, online learning enrichment requires learners to take more ownership of what and how they learn. For many, this is a big shift and takes some adjustment. Read below for some tips on how to make the transition easier and have a successful experience.

Set Up a Designated Enrichment Space

Where will you learn? Even if this answer may change from time to time, it’s important to set up a designated space in your home or where you plan to spend the most time.

For younger learners, think about a space where parent and learner can be together comfortably. A nook in the kitchen or living room with a small storage bin will do. Keep it simple. Minimize distraction. Make it fun and comfortable for both child and adult.

For teens, think about a space where you are really comfortable and feel like your best self. However, distraction is a problem. Do not set up your enrichment space near your TV or where you play video games. Your brain is already programmed in that space. Think about flexible seating options so you can mix it up through the day. If you have them accessible, hang a bulletin board or wall calendar for you to keep track of important things. Have snacks and water handy. Make it a place you really want to be every day. Check HERE for some inspiration.

Supplies to have at your enrichment space:

  • Pencils, pens, highlighter
  • Notebook for notes (one for each course or one large one organized by tabs)
  • Planner or calendar
  • Computer
  • Printer (optional)
  • Sticky notes
  • Something to do that doesn’t distract you from enrichment. A fidget spinner, jar of play dough, stress ball, or doodle pad are all great ideas.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t have to buy anything. Think about what you already have, and make it work for you!

Set Your Schedule

Plan out your learning enrichment times. Work with your parent/guardian and facilitator to brainstorm what will work best for you. Make sure to check each enrichment opportunity in PowerSchool for live virtual workshops and other events that you may want to schedule in.

Eliminate Distractions

It is so easy to get distracted when learning online.

StayFocused is a free Chrome extension that allows you to block certain websites, set time limits on others, and track your time. Limiting the time you spend on YouTube, Facebook, and other fun sites to 10 minutes gives you a quick brain break and then reminds you to get back to learning enrichment. Make sure you have Google Chrome installed as your internet browser, and then click HERE to install. Then change your settings by clicking the icon in the upper right-hand toolbar and finding the settings link.

What other distractions do you want to eliminate? Make a list of possible distractions and and then brainstorm some specific ways to stay focused below.

  • List possible distractions:
  • List ways to stay focused:

Gather Your Technology

You don’t need much to learn online. A laptop or desktop will do. It can also be helpful to have a mouse (our wrists were not designed to use a touchpad all day every day). Using a mouse can eliminate wear and tear on your body. A printer may come in handy if you prefer to print out your assignments and write them by hand. You will also need steady WiFi. Contact your facilitator if you need support getting a laptop or WiFi for learning enrichment.

Set up your virtual learning enrichment space (AKA your computer)

Suggested Bookmarks

Suggested Chrome Extensions

  • Grammarly (helps you correct your spelling and grammar with one click of a button)
  • HERE are 10 more we love!

Google

We recommend learners have a Google Account. This allows them access to email, Google Drive, and more. Learners can use Google Docs for their enrichment. You can register for an account for free, or request one through the school.

Learn on the Go!

PowerSchool has an app for Apple devices. Click HERE to download to your iPhone or iPad. This is great if you want to check discussion boards, do some reading, or submit an assignment when you are not around your computer.

Use Accountability

Here are some things to think about to ensure you have lots of support:

  • Meeting with your parent/guardian: Set a regular (weekly or monthly) meeting time to go over your learning enrichment with your parent(s)/guardian. Talk about what you are doing really well and enjoying and where you want to grow. Brainstorm ways you and your parent can collaborate to meet your goals.
  • Meeting with your facilitator: Your facilitator is here to help you be successful in school and life. Make sure to reach out wherever you need support. They can help you brainstorm solutions and offer resources.
  • There are lots of online enrichment learners just like you! Reach out to your peers to find someone to connect with.
  • Reward yourself! Whether it is little rewards throughout the day (a gummy bear for every assignment completed) or big rewards, creating a system of external rewards helps keep you motivated.
  • Make checklists. Log in every morning to make a list of everything you want to do that day for learning enrichment. Here are some suggested daily to-dos for success:
    • Read your checklist from the previous day. Transfer over any tasks you did not complete to today’s checklist.
    • Check email and respond to each important one received.
    • Check announcements. Write down things you want to do.
    • Check for feedback and comments from your facilitators.
    • Check calendar.
    • Check agenda for that week.
    • Make a list of all learning enrichment, discussions, and projects you want to participate in today.
Remote Learning Alakai O Kauai

Organizing Your Remote Learning Schedule

After you have organized a space that works well for your child to access enrichment opportunities remotely, what’s next? Let’s talk about organizing your learner’s day! We’ve provided sample daily schedules here, including one that’s great for working families. Take a look, and you can start to work toward a routine that suits your family’s needs. Be kind to yourselves and have fun while you navigate this new approach to learning enrichment, and remember: we’re here to support you along the way!

Sample-Daily-Schedules

Online Enrichment Resources

Are you looking for some fun, enriching activities and learning opportunities for your kids? Take a look at the resources below!

Learning Enrichment Resources

Additional Free Online Resources for Extension Activities

Outdoor Learning and Challenges

  • iLEAD Through Play is the perfect place to learn about nature and join in on some fun challenges!

Digital Citizenships

Addressing Children’s Feelings about the Current Health Climate

Home Schooling Answers

Additional Free Enrichment Resources: Home Schooling Answers

For additional resources for learning enrichment at home at all grade levels, visit homeschoolinganswers.com. Home Schooling Answers is brought to you by veteran homeschool professional educators from nonprofit iLEAD Education and Maker Learning Network. This is provided as a public service to the community at large worldwide who find themselves suddenly homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources here are carefully curated for the parent who needs support fast, and they are compiled as a simplified way to design your homeschooling journey and begin today. We will be regularly adding to and updating the site with new resources during the pandemic.

Director’s Message

Aloha, Alaka’i O Kaua’i Families,

The health and well-being of our learners and staff is our number-one priority. As you’ve likely heard, the Governor has instituted a state-wide lockdown until April 30 to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 24, School Superintendent Kishimoto continued the closure of school facilities through April 30 but emphasized that traditional in-school instruction is on hold until schools reopen. Please click here to read Superintendent Kishimoto’s letter.

In the weeks ahead until school reopens, all public schools, including public charter schools, will be providing students with academic enrichment opportunities, including online resources and instructional packets, to assist your children in maintaining what they have learned thus far. These opportunities are being offered but not required of students at this time. We are developing a plan to continue enrichment opportunities for all learners, and facilitators will send you information Monday morning so that your children can continue to benefit from and stay connected to our learning community remotely. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education has also provided learning opportunities and online resources to sustain your learner’s continuity of education: You may click here to access those.

Alaka’i O Kaua’i school will ensure that learners with disabilities have equal access to the same enrichment opportunities as their peers. We are working toward providing the most appropriate modifications and accommodations under the circumstances. Related services that can be provided via telepractice will be considered on a case-by-case basis for learners who have qualified for these services.

During the entirety of the COVID-19 emergency, our facilitators will continue to work remotely with me to plan and provide learners with enrichment activities. We will check in with our learners and maintain our connections as well as we can during this disruption.

If you do not have internet access, the following companies are pitching in to help:

  • Spectrum Hawaii – 60-Day Free Access: Spectrum Hawaii offers free Wi-Fi access to homes with students! To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Be aware that if you don’t cancel before the 60 “free” days, you’ll be billed for continuation of services. It’s not an automatic cancellation! Put it on your calendar to cancel services before the 60th day!
  • Hawaiian Telcom – 2-Month Free Access: Hawaiian Telcom offers two months of free Internet service to households with K-12 and/or college students who currently do not subscribe to Hawaiian Telcom Internet service. To sign up, families can call 643-8888. Installation fees will also be waived for new student households.

While we deeply regret the inconvenience this disruption is causing you and your family, our priority is the safety of our families. These are unprecedented and unsettling times, and we are all navigating the uncharted waters together. We’re incredibly grateful for our facilitators and staff who have worked tirelessly to prepare for ongoing enrichment opportunities for our learners. We are honored and inspired by our entire community and thankful for all of your support.

Throughout this process, we will continue monitoring the updates issued by the Hawai‘i Department of Education and continue working closely with health officials.

We remind you to please check your e-mail and our website frequently for updates. We will keep you informed as we receive new information from officials. In addition, please feel free to call us at 808-635-5110 or email info@alakaiokauai.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you all very much for your understanding as this situation continues to unfold — and while we work as one community to keep our learners and families safe.

Sincerely,

Fred Birkett
School Director

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School

Third Grade PBL: Making a Podcast

Driving Question: How can we create a podcast for Alaka’i O Kaua’i that effectively shares the vibrancy of our learning with our community?

Learners found inspiration while listening to several other podcasts in class and learned concepts in each subject. Podcasts for children that brought us inspiration were as follows:

Throughout the project-based learning, experts in our community helped. Bandwagon Music Center owner Jeremy Hartshorn visited to show our class how to record vocals and music. Then we went on a field trip to KONG Radio, where hosts Ron Wiley, Lexi Jones, and Marc Valentin taught the third graders the importance of broadcasting, showed them how to edit vocals, and aired them singing a song on the radio.

Learners covered many Common Core standards while creating the podcast. One of the main ones was in “Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas 3.5: Students can create interesting and understandable audio recordings of stories or poems and add visual displays when appropriate for certain facts or details.”

Alaka’i O Kaua’i focuses on the development of the whole child, including the academic, social, and emotional aspect of learning. A core belief here is that learning is more relevant to children when it engages them in projects that help solve problems important to them and their community. It is our hope that this project-based learning opportunity to create a podcast will help learners understand the value of sharing ideas in the 21st century. Whether it be with our small community or other areas of the world, making connections is a wonderful part of the human experience.

Together, the third graders recorded facts and jokes that pertain to island life, stories and poems that they have written, interviews that they conducted, and multiplication jingles that I wrote earlier in my teaching career.

We hope you are enlightened, entertained, and informed as you listen to the Alaka’i O Kaua’i podcast.

Kindergarteners Have Fun in Their Mud Kitchen and Learn New Concepts

In Alaka’i’s outdoor play-based classroom, we’re starting with a mud kitchen and a loose-parts center.

Mud kitchens are an excellent source of learning for children. There are several great resources on the Being Makers website that explain the benefits of mud kitchens and outdoor classrooms. Mud kitchens foster children’s creativity, social-emotional skills, problem-solving skills, and more.

When playing with mud, their fine motor skills and sensory exploration are also being utilized through pouring, stirring, scooping, and interacting with the texture of the mud. Kids also learn to work together. It’s fun to see children creating a pretend restaurant or developing a new mud recipe.

When asked if she liked to make mud pies, a kindergartener said, “I like making grass salads and mud pizza.”

Outdoor classrooms also minimize behavior problems, because children are highly engaged exploring and learning through play. In addition, outdoor classrooms help to meet state standards in a child-centered way. For example, kids can practice a math problem such as 5 + 3 using sticks or shells.

Internet Safety

Raising Responsible Kids with Love and Logic: Making the Internet Safer for Your Kids

By Dr. Charles Fay of Love and Logic

Love and Logic is the school-wide discipline program embraced by Alaka’i O Kaua’i.

According to a survey from the Love and Logic Institute, one in five American parents is more concerned about the negative impact of the Internet than of television, friends, movies, or even popular music.

The World Wide Web contains some very real risks. But if parents follow several simple yet powerful steps, they can protect their children from inappropriate and potentially dangerous Internet content, while also allowing them to experience the benefits of a wired world.

The Internet is like any other powerful tool. It takes training and guidance to use it well and to use it without getting hurt.

As a teenager, I received my first lesson on the use of a very powerful and dangerous tool — a chainsaw. My father was careful to stand close by and guide me. Children need the same type of careful teaching and supervision while they learn to use the Internet. Here are some specific Love and Logic tips for keeping your kids safe and helping them make responsible choices about the Web:

Tip #1: Don’t rely on electronic safeguards. Will your child’s first car, his first girlfriend, or her first year of college be equipped with a device designed to limit harmful information or activity? Electronic safeguards are no substitute for good parental role modeling, supervision, and guidance. This approach also teaches children to learn how to make wise choices by giving them plenty of practice as they encounter tough choices on the Web and in the real world.

Tip #2: Keep the computer out of your child’s room. Despite children’s protests, parents have a right and a responsibility to have the computer someplace where they can stay in touch with how it’s used.

Tip #3: Have honest discussions and set positive expectations. One of the most powerful things a parent can say about the Internet is this: “There are a lot of not-so-great things on the Web. The good news is that you’re the kind of kid who can make smart choices about what he looks at and what he doesn’t.” Research shows children tend to live up to such positive expectations.

Tip #4: Set a reasonable time limit for daily use.

Tip #5: Expect your child to pay for excessive or inappropriate use of the computer. When your child exceeds the time limit you’ve set or views inappropriate material, he or she should be expected to pay for that time. Kids can pay with extra chores, money they’ve saved, or possessions.

The Love and Logic Institute has received many grateful phone calls and letters from parents who report this approach has changed their lives with their kids. One mother commented, “My boy sure is making better choices about the computer now that he knows I’ll hold him accountable for his poor ones.”

Give Love and Logic a try, and join thousands of parents who now have kids who are better prepared for the challenges of the real world.

Alakai O Kauai Presentation of Learning

1st Grade Presentation of Learning: Healthy Earth, Healthy Me

Before the break, Ms. Joeanne’s first grade class hosted their Presentation of Learning for Healthy Earth, Healthy Me. Their driving question was “How can we help keep our environment and ourselves healthy?”

Children began their investigation by going on a walking tour over the grounds of Alaka’i O Kaua’i with Mr. Jon. They investigated, observed, compared, and recorded things found in nature. Next, they went on a field study to Hokuala Organic Farm in Lihue. They identified what plants need for survival. They distinguished the different structures of plants. They investigated, compared, and discussed how the structures, parts of the plants, help them survive and grow. They noticed that plants have different-looking structures, and even some of the same plants have differences. They learned that getting fruits and vegetables harvested on a local farm could be healthier than going to a store.

These two field trips led learners to wonder about dirt. They collected and investigated soil samples from various locations around Kaua’i. Through experimentation, they noticed the similarities and differences of the various soils. The learners used simple tools, such as magnifying glasses, to sort and separate the particles of the soil. They observed the separation of the different layers in the soil, read books about soil, and learned what helps soil be healthy. Learners discovered the importance of worms and composting as opposed to throwing everything into a landfill. Composting helps grow healthy food for us and helps produce less methane gas in landfills, which contributes to global warming, and it causes less leachate, which contributes to ground water pollution.

As a cumulating activity, learners created posters encouraging others to compost their food scraps. The posters were distributed to local businesses for display. Additionally, the first grade learners gave a PowerPoint presentation to their families and other learners at Alaka’i O Kaua’i, encouraging them to compost food scraps at snack and lunchtime. An added bonus was when a volunteer from Kauai Worms came to Alaka’i O Kaua’i and provided information on how to establish and maintain a worm-composting bin. The children loved examining the worms and playing in the dirt. An awesome conclusion to our Project-Based Learning on Healthy Earth, Healthy Me!

Mrs. Joeanne Mick's first grade class recently held a Presentation of Learning for their Healthy Earth Healthy Me PBL…

Posted by Alaka'i O Kaua'i on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Project Based Learning at Alakai O Kauai

Alaka`i O Kaua`i Learners Present Their Project-Based Learning

We ended the month of February with our 5th and 6th graders displaying what they learned about Native Americans and how to make pop-up books through the use of mathematical concepts.

5th grade, Ms. Collette Oguin

Ms. Collette Oguin’s 5th graders studied the lives of indigenous Americans in the 1400s-1600s and how the geography of North America shaped the development of their societies. Through their Presentation of Learning, our 5th graders displayed the deep learning they’ve been doing in class. We are proud of our inquisitive, hardworking keiki!

6th grade, Ms. Donna Daum

Our 6th graders had a strong interest in creating flip-books, and we discovered how creative the learners could be! Research brought about engineering designs that they could use to build pop-up books. How fun! They followed step-by-step directions tirelessly, finding out what worked and what didn’t. They would design and redesign over and over again to get just the right angles and proportions for the pages to pop out correctly. They learned so much while having so much fun! They came up with the idea that these books should be marketed to a younger audience. Then they realized that because we also do so much math together, maybe we could share some of the math concepts with the other learners within the fun pop-up book! What an amazing project!

Classroom Alakai O Kauai

Exploring Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Culture: Habit 7 of the 7 Habits

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on the pillars of Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School’s educational philosophy and approach.

So here we are. We’ve explored six of the seven habits and why they’re important to us and our learners at Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School, and hopefully by this point you feel more equipped and empowered to approach your own life and work with clearer focus and vision.

But how do we maintain that energy?

That’s where Habit 7 comes in — Sharpen the Saw. Incorporating the 7 Habits into your life is all about achieving balance. But living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It’s all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation, or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything.

“Sharpen the Saw” means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have — you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples:

  • Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting.
  • Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others.
  • Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching.
  • Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service, etc.

The point is, if we don’t take the time to recharge and renew ourselves regularly, we will burn out and find our efforts stale.

As Dr. Steven Covey said, “Renewal is the principle — and the process — that empowers us to move on an upward spiral of growth and change, of continuous improvement.”

What that sharpening looks like will vary from person to person. For you, sharpening the saw might mean taking a 10-15-minute walk every day where you can decompress and not focus on day-to-day responsibilities. Or maybe it means better structuring your workweek so on weekends you can focus primarily on family time. Whatever your saw-sharpening looks like, find something that works for you.

As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To make the most of the 7 Habits in improving yourself, your life, and your work, it cannot be a piecemeal effort. Each enhances and strengthens the others. Step by step, find the balance of incorporating each habit — and don’t neglect yourself. Sharpen that saw so that you can truly be your best.

For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.

Spring Break Options for Your Learners!

Looking for fun activities for your children during Spring Break? We’ve included some options at Poipu Beach Athletic Club! (Note: Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School is not affiliated with this provider, but we are sharing the information as a courtesy to our families.)

Poipu Beach Athletic Club has two amazing programs happening during Spring Break.

Kid Camp

First is Kid Camp, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Kids ages 5-11 will enjoy a variety of activities, from crafts to sports, water play, pool play time, and a movie. Email Tiffany@poipuclub.com for questions or help with registration.

Swim Lessons

Second, Poipu Beach Athletic Club is offering swim lessons! Heather, an amazingly fun and talented swim instructor, will be offering two classes during Spring Break only (March 16-20).

Parent+Tot Class: ages six months to two years old; parent/guardian must participate.

Beginner 3-4-Year-Old Class: child only, and space for this class is very limited. If the 10:00 a.m. time slot fills up, then we will offer a second class at 11:00 a.m.

Please email Tiffany@poipuclub.com if you have any questions or need help registering!

HAPPY SPRING!

Classroom Alakai O Kauai

Exploring Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Culture: Habit 6 of the 7 Habits

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on the pillars of Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School’s educational philosophy and approach.

Whether in the classroom, the workplace, relationships, or life in general, learning to compromise can be an important and helpful tool. However, what if there were a way to even further enrich and strengthen our communication and interactions?

That’s what’s behind Habit #6: Synergize.

Synergy brings into focus the old adage that “two heads are better than one.” Instead of merely striking a compromise, synergy allows us to creatively collaborate with others and find new solutions to problems. The essence of synergy is to value and respect our differences, build on strengths, and compensate for weaknesses.

In Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School culture, when learners are incorporating this habit into their lives, they’re learning to work in groups and building and reinforcing a mind-set that says, “I get along well with others — even people who are different from me.” That lays the foundation to a long-lasting collaborative approach to life in a multicultural and interdependent world.

There are a couple of helpful steps to know if you’re in synergy:

  • You have a change of heart.
  • You feel new energy and excitement.
  • You see things in a new way.
  • You feel that the relationship has transformed.
  • You end up with an idea or a result that’s better than what either of you started with.

One of the most important keys to synergizing is learning to trust, and that trust is built through communication.

Take, for example, these three levels of communication and the associated levels of trust:

  • Defensive communication comes out of low-trust situations. It’s characterized by defensiveness, protectiveness, and legalistic language that prepares for the eventuality that things may go wrong, and that people may become resentful. Such communication isn’t effective and produces only win/lose or lose/lose outcomes.
  • Respectful communication is characterized by honesty, authenticity, and respect that produces a low form of win/win, a compromise where one plus one equals one-and-a-half.
  • Synergistic communication means that one plus one may equal 8, 16, or even 1,600. The situation produced is better than any originally proposed.

When we learn to see our individual differences as strengths instead of weaknesses, we are well on our way to learning to synergize.

Join us next week as we explore the seventh and final habit: Sharpen the Saw.

For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.

Learner Led Conferences Alakai O Kauai

Leaders of Their Own Learning: Learner-Led Conferences

Aloha, Alaka`i O Kaua`i Families,
Last week, Alaka`i O Kaua`i held Learner-Led Conferences (LLCs). Unlike traditional parent-teacher conferences, the learner is not only present but in charge of explaining their progress, reflecting on accomplishments, and reviewing progress on their Individual Learning Plan (ILP) goals, which were set at the beginning of the year. For learners to be truly invested in their own learning and develop a growth mind-set, they need to be involved in the conversations about their strengths, challenges, and goals. Learner-Led Conferences promote a school culture of engagement and growth and ask the learners to play an active role in the process. The structure builds the learner’s sense of responsibility and accountability to themselves for their own learning, and it helps to hone their understanding of what it means to meet their academic and social-emotional goals.
“The Learner-Led Conferences this past week were wonderful! Both Ms. Raines and Ms. Joeanne did a fantastic job of setting up their classrooms to help the learners lead their parents through their daily work. Getting to see both boys take the reins and articulate what they are learning was great! Combining this with the ability to set up one-on-one conferences with the facilitators when you or your keiki need it is a great feature of Alaka`i!”
Ms. Sally Lauren Nichols
Alaka`i O Kaua`i parent
Additionally, the experience creates a powerful incentive for learners to develop their skills, through the communication of high expectations, public display of meaningful work, and opportunities to showcase talents in modalities that best suit learners’ distinct learning styles. Learner-Led Conferences help to build better communication and stronger relationships among our learners, facilitators, families, and school community.
Ms. Linda Krystek
Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Classroom Alakai O Kauai

Exploring Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Culture: Habit 5 of the 7 Habits

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on the pillars of Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School’s educational philosophy and approach.

They say communication is key, but if we lack understanding in our relationships and interactions, how can we ever hope to truly, clearly communicate?

This week, we’re examining Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.

Many of us often seek first to be understood; we want to get our point across. But in doing so, it’s easy to ignore the other person completely, pretend that we’re listening, selectively hear certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. And so, what happens is that we filter everything through our life experiences and decide what someone means before they’ve even finished.

But is that the most effective communication?

Our listening tends to fall into four categories:

  1. Ignoring: We’re not listening at all.
  2. Pretending: We may say “uh-huh, right,” but we’re not really tuned in.
  3. Selective listening: We hear part of what the person says, but the rest of the time we’re distracted.
  4. Attentive listening: We’re actively listening, paying attention but not taking our listening to the ultimate level — empathetic listening.

Dr. Stephen Covey defined empathetic listening as listening with the intent to truly understand. To really understand, we need to get inside another person’s frame of reference, and see the world from their point of view. Our listening also needs to be driven by an authentic desire to understand the other person and to build trust with them.

As part of the Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School educational model, we encourage learners to incorporate the following practices into their communication:

  • I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings.
  • I try to see things from their viewpoints.
  • I listen to others without interrupting.
  • I am confident in voicing my ideas.
  • I look people in the eyes when talking.

When we listen with the intent to understand others, instead of simply with the intent to reply, we begin true communication and relationship-building. Seeking to understand takes kindness; seeking to be understood takes courage. Effectiveness in our communication thrives in a balance of the two.

Join us next week as we explore Habit #6: Synergize.

For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.

Camp Kahili

Summer Camp Now Enrolling!

Aloha!

We’re excited to share an incredible learning opportunity for summer break!

Learners who will be entering 7th-12th grade in the fall of 2020 are invited to Camp Kahili! There are four weeks available to campers (June 21-July 18), and you can opt to stay for one, two, three…or all four weeks!

Community. Culture. Adventure.

Campers will be immersed in learning, adventure, and service through a multitude of activities, such as the following:

  • Hike Kaua’i Mountain
  • Zipline
  • Learn to Hula
  • Beach Cleanup
  • Attend a Luau
  • And Many More!

Click here for more info on dates and the cost of tuition!

Uncle Willie K

Uncle Willie K Benefit Concert for Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School February 22!

Update Feb. 18, 2020:

Aloha, Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Family and Supporters,

It is with sadness and great respect for Uncle Willie K that we must inform you the Benefit Concert for Alaka’i O Kaua’i, which was scheduled for February 22, has been canceled. Uncle Willie K is facing some health issues, so we are allowing him time to rest and sending him our best from all of us at Alaka’i O Kaua’i.

If you purchased a ticket at a local vendor, please contact them for a full refund. If you purchased a ticket through Eventbrite, please stand by for more information. We are working with Eventbrite to make sure you are fully refunded.

Mahalo for your love for Willie!

The Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Team

 

The world-renowned and Hawaii’s BELOVED LIVING LEGEND Uncle Willie K & Band will perform a benefit concert for Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School. This one-night-only special event will be held at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center in Lihue, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai on Saturday, February 22, 2020. Doors will open at 7:45 p.m. General tickets are $55, but for Alaka`i O Kaua`i families, the price is $45. Preferred seats are $75.

The preferred seats are almost gone, and we don’t start sales until Monday at noon, but people have been buying preferred seats on EventBrite. The Performing Arts Center offers about 400 general seats and only 160 preferred seats. Former Mayor Bernard Carvalho will be the emcee. Our kids will be able to do a number or two before Kimberly Hope (the preshow) comes onstage!

Here is the committee that helped pulled this together so quickly:

  • Mark Perriello, Executive Director, Kauai Chamber of Commerce
  • Marynel Valenzuela: owner, InkSpot Printing
  • Cyndi Ayonon: Executive Assistant to past Mayor Carvalho and all-around go-to person
  • Ron Wiey: Kong Radio
  • Jeff Fishman: many hats and Go Kauai website
  • Kaleo Carvalho: Kauai Mayor’s Executive Protocol Officer
  • Nicola Sherrill and Rafael Tapia: Alaka`i O Kaua`i School Board Members
  • Jonelle Godfrey: iLEAD Schools Development (school’s nonprofit and advisor to Alaka`i O Kaua`i Board)
  • Cara Brosnius: Alaka`i O Kaua`i Parent Leader
Uncle Willie K

Uncle Willie K Benefit Concert for Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School February 22!

Update Feb. 18, 2020:

Aloha, Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Family and Supporters,

It is with sadness and great respect for Uncle Willie K that we must inform you the Benefit Concert for Alaka’i O Kaua’i, which was scheduled for February 22, has been canceled. Uncle Willie K is facing some health issues, so we are allowing him time to rest and sending him our best from all of us at Alaka’i O Kaua’i.

If you purchased a ticket at a local vendor, please contact them for a full refund. If you purchased a ticket through Eventbrite, please stand by for more information. We are working with Eventbrite to make sure you are fully refunded.

Mahalo for your love for Willie!

The Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Team

The world-renowned and Hawaii’s BELOVED LIVING LEGEND Uncle Willie K & Band will perform a benefit concert for Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School. This one-night-only special event will be held at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center in Lihue, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai on Saturday, February 22, 2020. Doors will open at 7:45 p.m. General tickets are $55, but for Alaka`i O Kaua`i families, the price is $45. Preferred seats are $75.

The preferred seats are almost gone, and we don’t start sales until Monday at noon, but people have been buying preferred seats on EventBrite. The Performing Arts Center offers about 400 general seats and only 160 preferred seats. Former Mayor Bernard Carvalho will be the emcee. Our kids will be able to do a number or two before Kimberly Hope (the preshow) comes onstage!

Here is the committee that helped pulled this together so quickly:

  • Mark Perriello, Executive Director, Kauai Chamber of Commerce
  • Marynel Valenzuela: owner, InkSpot Printing
  • Cyndi Ayonon: Executive Assistant to past Mayor Carvalho and all-around go-to person
  • Ron Wiey: Kong Radio
  • Jeff Fishman: many hats and Go Kauai website
  • Kaleo Carvalho: Kauai Mayor’s Executive Protocol Officer
  • Nicola Sherrill and Rafael Tapia: Alaka`i O Kaua`i School Board Members
  • Jonelle Godfrey: iLEAD Schools Development (school’s nonprofit and advisor to Alaka`i O Kaua`i Board)
  • Cara Brosnius: Alaka`i O Kaua`i Parent Leader

‘Paradise Park Amusement Park’ – 2nd Grade POL February 10

On Monday, February 10, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., our 2nd graders will have a Presentation of Learning called Paradise Park Amusement Park.

Miss Brown and the learners will present a slideshow about the driving question: “How can we create an amusement park with fun-filled rides using math, science, and engineering?”

Pictures and short video clips will showcase learner work.

The following stations will be set up in the classroom:

  • Math Station
  • Map Station
  • Candy Testing Station
  • Individual Amusement Park Rides

In addition, learners will sell refreshments.

We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Classroom Alakai O Kauai

Exploring Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Culture: Habit 4 of the 7 Habits

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on the pillars of Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School’s educational philosophy and approach.

“In the long run, if it isn’t a win for both of us, we both lose. That’s why win-win is the only real alternative in interdependent realities.”

— Dr. Stephen Covey

This week, we’re examining Habit #4: Think Win-Win. Someone with a win-win mind-set sees life as a cooperative arena, instead of a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions, and means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying.

Why is this habit so vital to us at Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School? Because none of us lives in a vacuum. Every day, we interact with other people who have their own sets of passions, motivations, and priorities. So how do we successfully navigate the world as an individual among many other individuals?

Dr. Stephen Covey held that a person or organization approaching conflicts with a win-win attitude possesses three vital character traits:

  • Integrity: sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments
  • Maturity: expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others
  • Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty for everyone

Developing a win-win approach is also beneficial to our growth and maturity. As we seek to have win-win interactions and relationships, we develop our humility, better recognize the humanity of those around us, develop long-term perspectives, and also learn to become more assertive.

There are four steps that can help the win-win process be truly beneficial for all involved:

  • See the problem from others’ perspectives to understand their needs and concerns
  • Identify the key issues and concerns involved
  • Determine what results could make for a fully acceptable situation
  • Identify options for how to achieve those results.

Developing a win-win mind-set is an important step toward being a more collaborative individual, which is at the heart of what the Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School learning model is all about. Win-win is certainly a balancing act, but when we strike that balance everyone benefits.

Join us next week as we explore Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.

For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.

Classroom Alakai O Kauai

Exploring Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Culture: Habit 3 of the 7 Habits

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on the pillars of Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School’s educational philosophy and approach. You can find more articles by clicking here.

This week, we look at Habit #3: Put First Things First. This habit, which all of us at Alaka`i O Kaua`i are working to put into practice, is about identifying and organizing one’s priorities. In essence, someone who puts first things first is saying, “I spend time on things that are most important. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow a plan. I’m disciplined and organized.”

Dr. Stephen Covey said that “first things” are basically all those things that you value most in your life. So, you should manage your schedule according to your priorities to get all essential things done on time.

Skills that can be learned by putting first things first include:

  • Time management
  • Cultivating a strong work ethic, flexibility, and adaptability
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Self-management
  • Being accountable and responsible for actions and results
  • Cultivating analytical skills

An effective way to implement Habit #3, according to Covey, is breaking down activities into four quadrants of urgency and importance:

  • Quadrant 1: Urgent and important
  • Quadrant 2: Not urgent and important
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent and not important
  • Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important

Covey suggests you become more aware of your internal drive, values, and goals. This makes it easier to say “yes” to the actions that are based on these factors. This way, values and goals are less often overruled by (non-important) urgent matters. Remember that whenever you say “yes” to one thing, you will no longer have time for something else. Time is the most valuable and least replaceable of all resources. Things that appear urgent will most likely trigger a “yes” if you are asked to help out. It’s useful to understand that saying “no” is also a legitimate option.

By identifying what’s most important to you, and where your passions lie, you can more easily learn to put first things first.

Join us next week as we explore Habit #4: Think Win-Win.

For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.

Kindness Club

Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Introduces Kindness Club!

Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School is special because of our curriculum focus. The two main pillars of our curriculum are Project-Based Learning and Social-Emotional Learning. Last week, a new school club was formed to support the social-emotional needs of our learners. Our 4th grade facilitator, Ms. Kate, and a 4th grade parent, Mrs. Sally Nichols, have helped our learners start a new club called Kindness Club.

The Kindness Club is described as “an opportunity for all learners who are interested to meet during lunch to talk about what kindness is and how they can bring it into our school community daily, as well as create projects to serve those around us.”

Ms. G and Mrs. Nichols gave a presentation to invite learners to become involved in the Kindness Club.

Good results from this new Kindness Club have already manifested throughout our school as our learners left notes for their facilitators and peers expressing their appreciation for them.

Alakai O Kauai Park

Alaka`i O Kaua`i Is Taking the Kids Heart Challenge!

Our school has officially kicked off Kids Heart Challenge with the American Heart Association. Be sure to check your learner’s backpack for all the details. We are learning how to keep our hearts happy and healthy! Get started now by downloading the FREE APP called Kids Heart Challenge for Apple or Android OR visit www.heart.org/kidsheartchallenge and search Alaka’i O Kauai Charter School to join our team, then click on the “connect to Facebook” button in your online headquarters to reach even more people with your message of heart health!

Earn a wristband and ALL the Heart Heroes, Perrie, Knox, Nico, Sofie, Crush, and Sunny, when you raise lifesaving donations.

Nico loves making others happy by showing kindness. Thank you for your kindness and helping our school and the American Heart Association save lives!

Classroom Alakai O Kauai

Exploring Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Culture: Habit 2 of the 7 Habits

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on the pillars of Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School’s educational philosophy and approach. You can find more articles by clicking here.

When was the last time you went on a trip to a new place without first looking up directions? Unless you have a superhuman sense of direction, you searched for how to get where you were going, whether on your phone or an old-school paper map. That’s what this week’s habit is all about.

Last week, we discussed the first of the 7 Habits: Be Proactive. A proactive person believes in taking responsibility for their lives and investing their time and energy on things within their control — and not losing sleep over the things they can’t control.

But how does one successfully lead a proactive life? Part of the answer lies in Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind. Starting a proactive journey is difficult if you don’t know where you are trying to go. Beginning with the end in mind is very much like consulting a road map.

In short, to begin with the end in mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of the desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing one’s proactive muscles to make things happen.

To reinforce a mind-set of beginning with the end in mind, Dr. Stephen Covey encouraged developing what he called a personal mission statement. It focuses on what you want to be and do. It is your plan for success. It reaffirms who you are, puts your goals in focus, and moves your ideas into the real world. Your mission statement makes you the leader of your own life.

So what does it look like for learners to embrace a Habit 2 mind-set and develop their personal mission statements? Helpful steps include reminding themselves of the following:

  • I plan ahead and set goals for myself.
  • I am prepared at all times.
  • I think about how the choices I make now will affect my future.
  • I think about the positive or negative consequences of my actions before I act.

Do you know why Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School’s focus on developing children who are free thinkers fits so well with the 7 Habits? Because, for instance, Habit 2 is based on imagination — the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. When children are empowered to imagine what can be, the results can be incredibly inspiring.

Join us next week as we explore Habit #3: Put First Things First.

For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.

Board Meeting at Alaka`i O Kaua`i January 27

As a reminder, due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this month’s board meeting will be held on Monday, January 27, instead of the third Monday of the month.

Anyone who would like to have a more informal conversation, ask questions, or share information with the board is invited to come to the meetings early (at 4:00 p.m.) to talk with one or two of our board members.

Classroom Alakai O Kauai

Exploring Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School Culture: Habit 1 of the 7 Habits

Last week, we introduced a vital element of Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School’s approach to education — The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Learning and practicing the 7 Habits has been instrumental to our learners’ success living out the Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School motto of “free to think, inspired to lead” — not to mention how it helps our staff thrive.

This week, we’re continuing to unpack the habits with Habit #1: Be Proactive. In short, being proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control.

In general, most of us fall into one of two categories: Either we’re reactive to situations in life, affected by factors outside of ourselves and believing we have no control over situations — or we are proactive, realizing that we are “response-able” and that we have freedom to choose our responses. A proactive individual peppers their language with “I can” and “I will,” while a reactive person falls back on “I can’t” or “if only.”

In short, proactive people focus their efforts on what Dr. Stephen Covey calls their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about, like health or problems at work. On the flip side, reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern — things over which they have little or no control.

It has been amazing to see how understanding these concepts empowers Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School learners to take charge and command over both their education and their lives. We’ve seen time and again how it trickles down to every aspect of their lives, and that is at the heart of the Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School model: developing the whole child so that they are equipped to live with purpose and intent.

As Dr. Covey said, “The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct, and learn from it.” When children learn to apply this in an academic setting, it can only spread to every other area of life.

Next week, we’ll continue exploring what makes the Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School approach to education so innovative, explaining Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind.

For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.