Desperado Orchestra Music Ensemble

Earlier this month, the Desperado Orchestra Music Ensemble held its Spring Music Recital. Three of our learners, Andrew James (AJ), Makayla Timko, and Raegan Baldwin, received an award for practicing for at least 1,000 minutes or over. Congratulations to our talented and hard-working learner musicians!

Last week, we invited the director of the Desperado Orchestra Music Ensemble, Megan Lawson, to our school and she was able to do a demo class with our learners. We are hoping she will be able to join us next year to begin a music program with our school!

To acquire the instruments and facilitator we will need to begin this music program we will be doing lots of fundraising in the months to come. We will keep you posted and look forward to more performing arts opportunities for our school. One great way to begin is by signing up to participate in the Charity Walk on May 11th. To pledge and/or walk please click here. Proceeds go to music and the arts at Alaka’i O Kaua’i! MAHALO!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

April 22 and 23: No school for learners (facilitator planning days)

Tuesday, April 23rd: Kindergarten RoundUp for 2019-20 school year

Friday, May 3rd: Alaka’I O Kaua’i’s Inaugural Lei Day

Saturday, May 11th: Kaua’i Charity Walk

Penny Wars

Our learners had a wonderful time last week collecting pennies for this year’s Penny War! The goal of this FUNdraiser is to buy our school a full class set of ukuleles to kick off our new music program. Classes had a great time competing with each other to see who could gather the most coins and “sabotaging” each other by contributing even more!

Mahalo to all for your participation and support!

 

Kindergarten RoundUp for School Year 2019-2020

We want to welcome all our incoming Kindergarteners and their families by inviting them to attend our Kindergarten RoundUp for School Year 2019-2020 on Tuesday, April 23rd.

The Kindergarten Round-Up will be a chance for families to visit our kindergarten classrooms, learn about our program, and engage in some hands-on activities with your keiki (children). We are inviting everyone who has already applied as well as anyone interested in finding out more about our program, so please do help us spread the word about this fun event! All are welcome!

There are two different sessions to choose from to accommodate different family schedules, one from 9:30-11am, the other from 4:30-6pm.

Please RSVP Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org, and let us know which session you will be attending so that we are prepared for your family and child.

May 3: Alaka’i O Kaua’i’s Inaugural Lei Day Celebration

On Friday, May 3rd, we welcome everyone to join us for our inaugural Lei Day Celebration! At 11 a.m., we will have a schoolwide picnic during which parents are invited to join their learners for lunch outside on our beautiful playground. Following lunch, we will have a hula performance in our school gym at 12 p.m. Some of our learners will be performing for our assembly, as well as local Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina`ala.

We are offering the option to order plate lunches in two different sizes from local catering company Amaize Catering. Attached you will find an order form for this lunch option. Please return your form with payment no later than Friday, April 26th.

After the performance, keiki and their ohana will be making leis with us in the gym. We ask that families bring plenty of flowers and lei-making supplies on May 3rd, so that everyone can make their own beautiful lei to bring home.

We are very thankful to Kumu Taitai as well as Kumu Leina`ala for coming to support our school’s first Lei Day Celebration. Mahalo!

Mahalo for all your support in making this a wonderful new tradition for our school!

Lei Day order form

Join us for the Charity Walk!

Please come support our school for our second year participating in the Kauai Charity Walk, Saturday, May 11th, at the Vidinha Soccer Field. This wonderful event is a FUN way to help raise funds for our school as well as our community.

Click here to DONATE, PLEDGE or WALK with us! We can’t wait to see you there! 

About the Charity Walk

The Charity Walk, founded in 1974 and expanded statewide in 1978, is now Hawai‘i’s largest single-day fundraising event by a nonprofit organization. Since its inception, more than $32 million has been raised to support hundreds of local charities throughout the state. Spearheaded by the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association and it’s nonprofit arm Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation, the Charity Walk is traditionally held every May on Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Lana‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, and O‘ahu. Money raised on an island or county stays there. The public is invited to participate in this event featuring a morning of great food, fun, fabulous entertainment, and a little exercise to help island charities. 

Hands-On Science Learning

Our 5th grade class is fortunate enough to be located in the school’s science lab, and last week we took full advantage of this by having a full lab day. We studied physical and chemical changes, and in the spirit of Project-Based Learning we got our hands — and our room — dirty while experimenting with these concepts.

Learners performed experiments in which they observed chemical reactions, and cited the evidence of such a reaction. They created and observed gas bubbles, color change, change of state, heat creation, and more. We love learning in an environment which allows us to experience concepts, rather than just reading about them. This gives context to our learning, and it’s just plain fun!

Kindergarten RoundUp for School Year 2019-2020

We want to welcome all our incoming Kindergarteners and their families by inviting them to attend our Kindergarten RoundUp for School Year 2019-2020 on Tuesday, April 23rd.

There are two different sessions to choose from to accommodate different family schedules: 9:30-11 a.m., and 4:30-6 p.m.

The Kindergarten RoundUp is a chance for families to visit our kindergarten classrooms, learn about our program, and engage in some hands-on activities with your keiki (children). We are inviting everyone who has already applied as well as anyone interested in finding out more about our program, so please do help us spread the word about this fun event! All are welcome!

Please RSVP to Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org, and let us know which session you will be attending so we are prepared for you.

iLEAD/DreamUp Projects Headed to International Space Station

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared here on the iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects website. The 2019 DreamUp to Space challenge is just one example of the exciting types of project-based learning opportunities provided by iLEAD Schools, Alaka’i O Kaua’i’s partner.

We are thrilled to announce the teams selected for flight in the 2019 DreamUp to Space challenge, representing learners from iLEAD Agua Dulce, iLEAD Lancaster, and SCVi. These are the experiments that will head to the International Space Station (ISS) this fall. Proposals and videos from the top 9 finalists were reviewed by an independent panel of science and space experts.

The three teams selected for flight aboard the ISS are:

“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Mycelium?” (SCVi, 11th grade)

  • Team Members: Brayden Hall, Connor Raskin, Mario Robles, Adam Simpson (Click here to see the team’s video pitch)

“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Ulva Lactuca?” (SCVi, 4th/5th grade) 

  • Charlie Halvorsen, Gabriel Olmos, Maliah Sanmarti, Skye Van Verseveld (Click here to see the team’s video pitch.)

“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Aloe Vera?” (Agua Dulce 5th/6th grade, Lancaster 6th grade)

  • iLEAD Agua Dulce learners Cody Anderson, Leo Cuellar, Samantha Diem, and Kaylee Pippin
  • iLEAD Lancaster learners Brianna Angel, Ana Lopez Barahona, Mariana Lopez, Estrella Perez, Uriah Mack, and Lizette Monze Trujillo
  • Click to see the video pitches from Agua Dulce and Lancaster.

The assessor team concluded that, given the similarities, both Aloe Vera teams have been selected and should merge and work together to optimize their experiment. This is common practice within the science community, collaborating to produce best results.

“We are so impressed with the innovation and creativity across all of the applicants, so this final decision was extremely difficult,” said Carie Lemack, CEO of DreamUp (click for bio). “The assessor team is excited that the three selected teams have the opportunity to see their research take place in microgravity!”

Consideration for the selection included the teams’ written proposals, their video submissions, and their responses to questions regarding how they will use this opportunity to share with the community.

“All the proposed experiments tackle questions that can be applied to long term human space exploration and colonization,” said Dr. Jacob Cohen, Chief Scientist, NASA Ames (click for bio). “As is common with all flight experiments, prior to launch, ground optimization of the experimental protocol is critical for execution and interpretation of the data derived from the flight experiment.”

The specific launch vehicle is still to be determined, but anticipated arrival on the ISS is this fall.

Kathleen Fredette, iLEAD’s Director of STEAM Initiatives said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work and dedication that all of our semi-finalists and finalists displayed, and the leadership demonstrated by our amazing facilitators! Throughout history, only a select few have the opportunity to be included in science happening on the International Space Station, and our learners are actually part of this inspiring work! This is exactly why STEAM education is so vital and why iLEAD Schools is committed to projects of this nature. We honor all of you today and encourage you to continue to follow your dreams and goals, knowing this was a stepping stone to the next awesome thing you will do!”

Dawn Evenson, Co-Founder and CEO stated: “iLEAD is incredibly proud to contribute to research on the International Space Station! These three projects represent the best examples of how learner passion and authentic purpose drive achievement through project-based learning!”

Penny Wars Fundraiser

On the week of April 8th-12th, Alaka’i will hold its first Penny War! This simple fundraiser is a fun way to involve the whole community in raising money for our school. This particular fundraiser will be to raise funds to buy a full class set of ukuleles!

How Penny Wars Work:

The basic premise of a penny war fundraiser is that learners bring spare change to school for a set period of time, usually a week or two, and deposit it into containers. At the end of the collection period, the change is donated toward a cause, for a purchase within the school, or to an outside charity. The class that nets the most is rewarded.

Each penny is worth one point and counts “positively” toward a group’s point total. Each silver coin or dollar bill gets points based on its value (a nickel is worth five points, a dime is worth 10, etc.), but counts “negatively” toward other groups’ totals. So in a competition between classrooms, learners who want their class to win will place pennies into their own buckets and place nickels, dimes, quarters, or dollar bills into other classrooms’ buckets. In some penny wars, dollar bills are counted positively along with pennies.

Countdown to iLEAD Student Aerospace Project Winners Announcement

All of us familiar with aerospace projects know that sometimes things do not go exactly as planned and launches get rescheduled. We have a parallel “slip” situation in an anticipated four-day delay in the announcement of our final three winners among the nine finalists. While we wait on tenterhooks for our assessors to do the difficult job of choosing which projects will best benefit the science community, let’s meet the finalists one more time by viewing their pitches over the coming days. Then in next week’s Monday Message, we will reveal which three of them are going to the International Space Station later this year. Stay tuned! Click here to read more about the finalists.

Learner-Led Conferences

Last week, we held Learner-Led Conferences in all grades. Learners were given the chance to showcase their growth and share what they’ve learned thus far. These conferences help ensure that learners are given the opportunity to reflect and grow while engaging their parents and facilitators. The experience creates a powerful incentive for learners to develop their skills through communicating work that is meaningful to them, and engaging in the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Presentations of Learning in Miss Casey’s Kindergarten

Miss Casey’s Kindergarten class held their Animal Habitats Presentation of Learning before Spring Break. Their driving question was, “How can we help animals in their habitats?” The keiki researched and investigated different types of habitats, including animals, weather, physical characteristics, and threats to wildlife. They created a model of one of the habitats, along with a book and notecards to share with their families and fellow learners at the school. It was a wonderful opportunity for growth for all!

Penny Wars Fundraiser

On the week of April 8th-12th, Alaka’i will hold its first Penny War! This simple fundraiser is a fun way to involve the whole community in raising money for our school. This particular fundraiser will be to raise funds to buy a full class set of ukuleles!

How Penny Wars Work:

The basic premise of a penny war fundraiser is that learners bring spare change to school for a set period of time, usually a week or two, and deposit it into containers. At the end of the collection period, the change is donated toward a cause, for a purchase within the school, or to an outside charity. The class that nets the most is rewarded.

Each penny is worth one point and counts “positively” toward a group’s point total. Each silver coin or dollar bill gets points based on its value (a nickel is worth five points, a dime is worth 10, etc.), but counts “negatively” toward other groups’ totals. So in a competition between classrooms, learners who want their class to win will place pennies into their own buckets and place nickels, dimes, quarters, or dollar bills into other classrooms’ buckets. In some penny wars, dollar bills are counted positively along with pennies.

We Need Your Box Tops

It’s official, Alaka’i O Kaua’i is a “Box Tops for Education” school! Many of you have probably heard of this program, but for those of you who haven’t, here you go.

In 1996 in California, General Mills wanted to start a program to help raise money for education. They came up with the box top idea, where people could clip box tops on select products (initially only on several big name cereals such as Total, Cheerios, and Lucky Charms) and send them in to receive money for their school. The program was such a huge success that it has since expanded to include hundreds of different food and non-food products, including Pillsbury, Green Giant, Ziploc, Hefty, and many, many more.  

How you can help: Clip box tops! Ask your friends and family to clip and give you their box tops! They can be found on so many different products, and it is not only food anymore. Garbage bags, toilet paper — you name it! We can almost guarantee you have an unclipped box top in your house right now.  

Please be aware of the expiration dates on the box tops and turn them in to your child’s facilitator or the office. Katie Horgan is our school’s coordinator for this program. You can use the attached form or just turn them in in an envelope or baggie.

The money raised from Box Tops for Education will be used for school supplies, field trips, technology, and more. Thank you all for your help on this. Every little bit helps!

BoxTops

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Monday, March 25th: End of Enrollment Period

Tuesday, March 26th: Prince Kuhio Day – NO SCHOOL

Wednesday, March 27th: OHANA NETWORK Meeting, 2:45 p.m.

Thursday, March 28th: Enrollment lottery held (if needed)

March 28 & 29: LEARNER-LED CONFERENCES – Early dismissal at 1:40pm BOTH days!

Our First School Spirit Week at Alaka’i!

The week prior to Spring Break was School Spirit Week at Alaka’i. Everyone had a blast throughout the week, kicking off our festivities with an all-school assembly involving cheers and activities in the gym, and closing the week with field games and a pot luck. All week keiki came to school bedecked in full school spirit – from super hero day on Monday, to school colors day on Friday!

 

The Importance of Athletics

“…Physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance. These include enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior.”
– Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

As a small, first-year K-5 elementary school, we don’t have a physical education program and/or sports teams … yet. However, it is something I envision for our school in the future.

Several learners at Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School are involved in after-school and weekend sports programs. I realized this after speaking to one of our 5th-grade learners, Sean Agoo. I had an opportunity to attend his soccer game last Saturday morning. Although I was not able to watch the entire game, I did get to speak to him about his game, and he told me that he scored one goal this week, but he scored three goals last week. I told him I was simply happy to see him having fun and being a part of a team.

Next time, my goal is to watch him play an entire game, and hopefully see him score several goals for his team.

I really enjoy watching children play sports! And I would like an opportunity to watch your children play any sport they are involved in. Please email me to let me know what sport your son or daughter plays, and where and what time I can watch them play. My email is fred.birkett@alakaiokauai.org. Also, please send me a picture, so that I can highlight your child in one of my Monday Messages. Thank you. 

Getting the Word Out About Alaka’i!

We have NEW flyers! Please come to the office and take some with you to distribute in the community! Enrollment is open and we are looking to put the word out about our school. We’d love your help in getting flyers to all local businesses and families. MAHALO for your support!!

Please follow us on FACEBOOK and write us a review! This helps our visibility and our expanding network.

Invite family and friends to join our mailing list! Anyone on our mailing list receives our Monday Message each week, which is a wonderful way to stay connected with the school. If you want to add grandparents, aunties, uncles, or friends to the list, please send us their email address.  

A Huge Mahalo

  • MAHALO to the Berginz family for our school’s new guitar!
  • MAHALO to the Salamey family for our school’s first ukulele!
  • MAHALO to Christine Ferguson, Leia Makaneole and the Tapia family for coordinating our first Spirit Week!
  • MAHALO to all our amazing volunteers who show up EVERY week to support our school!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Monday-Friday, March 11-15th: Alaka’i O Kaua’i SCHOOL SPIRIT WEEK!

March 16-24th: SPRING BREAK

Monday, March 25th: End of Enrollment Period

Tuesday, March 26th: Prince Kuhio Day – NO SCHOOL

Thursday, March 28th: OHANA NETWORK Meeting, 2:45 p.m.

Thursday, March 28th: Enrollment lottery held (if needed)

Our Inaugural SCHOOL SPIRIT WEEK at Alaka’i O Kaua’i

Alaka’i O Kaua’i is celebrating its inaugural SPIRIT WEEK, starting tomorrow, Monday, March 11.

Families are encouraged to send learners to school dressed up throughout the week in order to participate.

  • MONDAY is Super Hero Day
  • TUESDAY is Pajama Day
  • WEDNESDAY is Wacky Wardrobe Day
  • THURSDAY is Aloha Day
  • FRIDAY is School Colors Day (Purple & Green)

Two assemblies will held during the week — one on Monday morning at 9 a.m., and one on  Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. Parents are welcome join in on the fun!

To close our fun festivities, we are excited to host a schoolwide potluck on Friday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. We are asking families to help by bringing something delicious to share, as assigned by class:

  • Kindergarten: Fruit
  • 1st grade: Drinks
  • 2nd grade: Desserts
  • 3rd grade: Appetizers
  • 4th grade: Side dish
  • 5th grade: Main dish

Mahalo for participating and helping us make Alaka’i O Kauai’s first Spirit Week great!

Ohana Network Meetings

Our Ohana Network meets every third Thursday of the month at 2:45 p.m.

The next meeting is Thursday, March 28th, at 2:45 p.m., to begin some exciting new projects in school enrichment, fundraising and outreach. Please join us to get involved! New projects include school spring celebrations, new fundraising campaigns and a full calendar of outreach opportunities in the community. Hope you can join us!

Seeking Office Helpers

We are looking for several individuals interested in helping in the main office on a weekly basis. Tasks for office volunteers include assisting students, answering phones, cleaning and organizing, and generally supporting our office staff. Right now, we have a small crew of wonderful volunteers which we’d love to expand! Please email Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org or Giselle at giselle.gregorius@alakaiokauai.org if you are interested in joining our Office Helper Team. Thank you!  

Alaka’i Enrollment is Open for Next School Year!

Enrollment for school year 2019-2020 is open! Please spread the word that anyone interested in enrolling can obtain an application by clicking here or stopping by the school’s main office. They can also get in touch directly with us by calling (808) 635-5110 or emailing Registrar Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org.

We give priority seats to re-enrolling families and siblings, as well as staff member children. All remaining seats will be filled by new learners based on class size-limits. A lottery will be held on March 25th for any classes that fill up by the end of the enrollment period.

Anyone interested to learn more about our school program is also welcome to come take a tour any Thursday at 10:30 a.m., or call Claire at (808) 635-5110 to schedule one.

Captain Mark Jeffers Visits Alaka’i

Last week, our school community was fortunate enough to receive a visit from Captain Mark Jeffers and his giant inflatable sea creatures. Our learners were thrilled to experience his presentation on marine ecology. Captain Mark educates audiences through storytelling around Hawaii about the importance of protecting our seas and coral reefs. Mahalo, Captain Mark, for coming to our school!

Multicultural Education with Kinder Music

In Kindergarten, our Kinder Music program with Auntie Claire is exploring new songs in both Hawaiian and African languages. Keiki are learning to create and hold rhythms while singing “Obwisana” and “Tue Tue,” both folk songs from Ghana. Kindergarteners are learning quickly and are happily engaged in singing and moving with the music. We are excited to keep learning and practicing new rhythmic pieces and songs from around the world!

Project-based Learning in First & Second Grade

Miss Kim and Miss Megan have begun their second unit in Project-Based Learning. First and second graders are learning about the world through their explorations with “Flat Stanley,” our literacy guide, a character from a series about a boy who was flattened and travels the world. Each child has the opportunity to send their own Flat Stanley to someone they know in another state or country, with a letter of their own composition. Learners get to choose where they send their Flat Stanley and which countries they want to learn about. Flat Stanley will then be sent back to the learner with a letter about the place he visited.

This project is a fun way for our learners to explore the world and discover different places through inquiry and interaction. We encourage first and second grade families talk to their kids at home about the country of their choosing and explore with them the locations that they are learning about.

Our learners will also be doing independent, hands-on projects that help them reflect on the places they are studying. Miss Kim and Miss Megan’s classes are looking for materials for the learners to build with as they explore their different locations. They will have the chance to build pyramids, buildings, monuments, and other structures with the following materials. If you have any of these items to donate, please bring to the school:

  • Shoe boxes
  • Pringle cans or paper towel/toilet paper rolls
  • Cardboard
  • Foil
  • Bottle caps
  • Juice Cartons

MAHALO!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Monday, Feb. 18: NO SCHOOL (Presidents’ Day)

Wednesday, Feb. 20: Reports of Progress will be sent home

Thursday, Feb. 21: Mark Jeffers Eco Marine Tour/Presentation (Parent volunteers welcome!)

Thursday, Feb, 21: NAEP Testing will be held for 4th grade learners

Thursday, Feb. 28: Open House at 4 p.m.