Extra Clothes for Rainy Days

Ah, rain! There’s been a lot of it lately, and sometimes that results in muddy clothes. Parents and guardians of learners in ALL grades, we encourage you to send an extra change of clothes and shoes for rainy days to keep your kids clean, dry, and comfortable so they can focus on another fun-filled day of learning at Alaka’i O Kaua’i!

Spelling Bee

Friday, January 10: Alaka`i O Kaua`i Spelling Bee

We are holding the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Spelling Bee for grades 4-6 on Friday, January 10, at 11:30 a.m. in our gymnasium.

The top speller from our school will receive a free one-year subscription to Britannica Kids!

The Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Spelling Bee will include only spelling, not vocabulary.

This spelling bee is open to all of our learners in grades 4-6 since they are the ones who can advance to the district bees with the potential of ultimately going to the state spelling bee and finally the national spelling bee! The top two learners from our school will advance to the Kauai District Bee on January 16 at Chiefess Middle School cafeteria at 6:00 p.m..

Final Local Spelling Bee: Kama’aina Kids Hawaii State Spelling Bee
Location: The New Hope Oahu auditorium at 290 Sand Island Access Road
Date & Time: March 13, 2020, 6:00 p.m.

All district bees will be completed by February 26, 2020.

Key Dates:

  • January 10, 2020 – School Bees Completed
  • February 15, 2020 – Big Island District Bee
  • February 26, 2020 – Maui County District Bee
  • January 16, 2020 – Kauai District Bee
  • February 1, 2020 – Honolulu District Bee
  • February 7, 2020 – Windward Oahu District Bee
  • February 13, 2020 – Central Oahu District Bee
  • February 7, 2020 – Leeward Oahu District Bee
  • March 13, 2020 – Kama’aina Kids Hawaii State Spelling Bee

Check out the Scripps National Spelling Bee website for more information.

Classroom Wish Lists

Classroom Holiday Wish Lists

Aloha, Alaka’i O Kaua’i Families!

Please consider donating to your child’s classroom for the holidays. Each wish list is below. Every little bit helps our facilitators and keeps our learners happy and excited to come in each and every day! We appreciate you for choosing Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School, and we wish you a wonderful and happy winter break.

Also, if you order something on Amazon or elsewhere and you are worried it may not arrive until after the break, please go ahead and order anyway. Our facilitators will continue to be thankful and appreciative throughout the New Year!

Mahalo!

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Office Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alakai O Kauai Winter Production

Alaka`i O Kaua`i’s First Annual Winter Production

Last Friday, December 13, 2019, was a very exciting day for everyone at Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School, because we had our very first annual Winter Production!

Our music teacher, Elizabeth Lawson, who joined us this year to direct our school-wide music program, drew the best out of our learners.

All learners in K-6 performed beautifully, each grade performing a unique musical number centered around the holidays.

If you were at the concert, we’re certain you’ll agree that you saw some very special performances!

Alakai O Kauai Student Healing Horses

Nearby Winter Break Activities

Looking for fun activities for your children during Winter Break? We’ve included some options nearby! See below to learn about Poipu Beach Athletic Club’s Winter Break Events as well as Healing Horses Kaua’i’s Winter Break Horsemanship and Riding Camps. (Note: Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School is not affiliated with these providers, but we are sharing this information as a courtesy to our families.)

Alakai O Kauai Gardening

Kindergarten Project-Based Learning in the Garden!

Our kindergarteners are in the midst of a project-based learning unit on gardening. They’re learning what’s needed to create a successful garden and what plants need to thrive.

Our driving question is “How can we make our garden into a beautiful reality?”

Through many hands-on activities, learners are mapping and constructing a bird’s-eye-view picture of our orchard. They have learned to identify plants in the garden and worked together to make garden signs. We introduced learners to the insects and other creatures they will find in the garden and their characteristics.

Through a reflection and presentation process, learners will work together to make group decisions in planning a classroom garden tour for our Presentation of Learning.

Learners will review characteristics of mature produce and discover how to harvest different types of fruits. They have learned about the parts of plants and their functions and will use the garden to teach a hands-on plant-based activity at our upcoming POL.

Alaka`i O Kaua`i School Alaka`i O Kaua`i School

Alaka`i O Kaua`i School Office Staff

Alaka`i O Kaua`i School is well into its second year of operation. Consequently, we are still putting policies, procedures, and systems in place to provide an outstanding learning environment for learners and staff. As with many new organizations, we have had many updates to our staffing, from facilitators to education assistants. In addition, we have new additions to our front office staff, who support our classroom facilitators and education assistants in many different ways.

I’d like to introduce three staff members who work in the office — two part-time and one full-time. Our primary office staff member is Ms. Jennifer Glass. The two support office staff members are Ms. Aimee Leonard and Ms. Giselle Gregorius. Giselle is also our part-time school counselor.

Their presence has made our school office a professional environment where school staff, parents, learners, and visitors feel comfortable and supported. These three staff members are outstanding representatives of Alaka`i O Kaua`i School.

With gratitude,

Frederick A. Birkett, Ed.M

School Director

Pictured above, left to right: Ms. Jennifer Glass, Ms. Aimee Leonard, Ms. Giselle Gregorius

Presentation of Learning

Kindergarten POLs

The week of Oct. 1 in kindergarten, we did our first community helpers Presentation of Learning (POL). We are so proud of our kindergarteners! They worked so hard the past month to learn all about the community helpers.

In this POL, the learners got to pick who they wanted to be when they grow up. The goal was that the learners be able to articulate who they were, what tools they would use, and how they help the community.

Project-based learning is a great way to showcase an individualized learning around what each learner finds interesting.

Love and Logic

Discipline with Love and Logic

At Alaka’i O Kaua’i, our school-wide discipline policy is based on the foundational skills of Love and Logic. Love and Logic is a philosophy founded in 1977 by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. It is the approach of choice among leading educators, parents, and other professionals worldwide, as it is dedicated to making parenting and teaching fun and rewarding, instead of stressful and chaotic. Alaka’i O Kaua’i believes:

Respect, appreciation, and love prevents potential problems

  • When learners feel respected, appreciated and even loved by their teachers, they are far more motivated and cause far fewer problems.

Freedom to problem-solve and make decisions fosters motivation

  • Learners are far calmer and more motivated when their faciltators allow them to make choices and solve their own problems within limits.

Focusing energy on problem prevention is rewarding

  • Successful educators focus most of their energy on simple tools for preventing misbehavior or keeping it small, rather than trying to provide consequences for every problem.

Showing empathy and compassion is effective

  • When consequences are necessary, effective educators provide them with sincere empathy or compassion.

 

 

 

The Importance of Learning Outside

We love to see learning “al fresco” at Alaka’i O Kaua’i.

Why is learning outside so important? An article entitled The Benefits of Learning Outside the Classroom states that direct experience outdoors is more motivating and has more impact and credibility.

The results from learning outside the classroom can be instantaneous as well as active and, therefore, impact behavior as well as tap into the learning styles of the more kinesthetic learner.

Through skilled teaching, interpretation or facilitation, learning outside the classroom can readily become a stimulating source of fascination, personal growth and can lead to breakthroughs in learning.

Active learning readily develops the learning skills of inquiry, experiment, feedback, reflection, review, communication, problem solving, an enterprising attitude and cooperative learning.

Quality learning experiences in “real” situations have the capacity to raise achievement across a range of subjects and to develop better personal and social skills. When these experiences are well planned, safely managed, and personalized to meet the needs of every child, they can:

  • Improve academic achievement
  • Provide a bridge to higher order learning
  • Develop skills and independence in a widening range of environments
  • Make learning more engaging and relevant to young people
  • Develop active citizens and stewards of the environment
  • Nurture creativity
  • Provide opportunities for informal learning through play
  • Reduce behavior problems and improve attendance
  • Stimulate, inspire and improve motivation
  • Develop the ability to deal with uncertainty
  • Provide challenge and the opportunity to take acceptable levels of risk
  • Improve young people’s attitudes

What is Morning Meeting?

Every morning, our learners gather together for Morning Meeting. It’s an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically. Each morning, learners and facilitators gather together in a circle for 20-30 minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components:

  1. Greeting:Learners and facilitators greet one another by name and practice offering hospitality.
  2. Sharing: Learners share information about important events in their lives. Listeners often offer empathetic comments or ask clarifying questions.
  3. Group Activity: Everyone participates in a brief, lively activity that fosters group cohesion and helps learners practice social and academic skills (for example, reciting a poem, dancing, singing, or playing a game that reinforces social or academic skills).
  4. Morning Message: Learners read and interact with a short message written by their facilitator. The message is crafted to help learners focus on the work they’ll do in school that day.

Ways to Get Involved

Interested in being a “Class Parent”? We would love to have you! Anyone interested in helping support a specific class, please contact the facilitator.

Class Parents are there to support by volunteering in the classroom, organizing special activities, helping coordinate field trips or class parties — whatever the facilitator and class needs! A huge MAHALO to those who have already jumped in to help. We really appreciate you!

ILPs

We are looking forward to your collaboration with your learners and their facilitator on the ILPs.

Alaka’i O Kaua’i embraces the whole child, focusing on both social-emotional and academic skills. In lieu of the traditional
parent/teacher conference, the learners, facilitators, and parents/guardians collaborate annually to create Individualized
Learning Plans (ILPs) to guide instruction.

Everyone works together to reflect on, monitor, and make adjustments to the ILP as needed. The primary goal of the ILP is to ensure that each child reflects on their own achievements and identifies areas in which they need to improve. Therefore, each learner will be working toward attainable goals aligned to their individual development.

ILPs

Alaka’i O Kaua’i embraces the whole child, focusing on both social-emotional and academic skills. In lieu of the traditional
parent/teacher conference, the learners, facilitators, and parents/guardians collaborate annually to create Individualized
Learning Plans (ILPs) to guide instruction. Everyone works together to reflect on, monitor, and make adjustments to the ILP as needed. The primary goal of the ILP is to ensure that each child reflects on their own achievements and identifies areas in which they need to improve. Therefore, each learner will be working toward attainable goals aligned to their individual development.

Bubble Bonanza

Bubble Bonanza PBL

Mrs. Ashley’s class just finished up their latest installment of Project-Based Learning, “Engineering Bubble Wands”. They presented their designs to the 1st and 2nd grade classes and then took them through the engineering design process, where they were given the opportunity to construct their very own wands.

They also experimented with different designs and created bubble formulas to help discover all the things bubbles can and cannot do. They wrapped up their presentation with their BUBBLE BONANZA showcase, where they took their classmates out to the field and blew them away with some of the biggest bubbles the learners have ever seen. Their Bubble Bonanza showcase was a great success for all!

End of Year Celebration

Field Day & End of Year Celebration at Alaka’i

All our keiki had a wonderful time at Field Day last week! We had a wonderful time playing field games, running in the sprinkler, going down the Slip N Slide, and playing more games in the gym with the Tapias! Mahalo to everyone who came out to celebrate the end of the school year with us. We look forward to making this fun event an Alaka’i O Kaua’i tradition in the many years to come.

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Tuesday, June 11th – King Kamehameha Day – NO SCHOOL
& Kindergarten RoundUp CANCELLED

Friday, June 14th: Schoolwide Field Day & End of Year Celebration

Friday, June 21st: Kindergarten Graduation, 12:30-1:40 p.m.

Tuesday, June 25th: LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

 

Alakai O Kauai Field Day Tug of War

YOU’RE INVITED: Field Day & End-of-Year Celebration this Friday

This Friday, June 14th, we will be holding a schoolwide Field Day and End of Year Celebration. Field Day activities will take place between 9-11 a.m. All parents are welcome to participate and join in the fun!

If you would like to help facilitate the field games, we are looking for helpers. Please contact Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org if you’d like to support your child’s class games!

After our field activities, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., there will be a whole school picnic, followed by an ice cream social and other treats! Families are all welcome! We will end our celebration with an assembly in the gym before dismissal. We hope everyone will be able to join us for our End of Year Celebration on Friday!

Alaka’i is Still Enrolling for School Year 2019-2020!

Please help us spread the word that we are still enrolling Grades K-6th. We have spaces still in all grades, including Kindergarten! We ask that you please share with your friends and continue to let people know about our school. Interested families are welcome to schedule a tour directly with Claire, or come to the school on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. to take a tour. Mahalo for your support.

ALSO…

We will be holding another Kindergarten RoundUp for new prospective families on Tuesday, June 11th, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. This event is an opportunity for new families to visit our campus and our kindergarten classrooms, learn about our program, and meet our outstanding facilitators. Keiki are welcome! Please help spread the word about this event. All are welcome!

Kinder round up flyerFINAL (2)
Camp Kahili

Amazing Summer Camp Opportunity

While the school year is coming to a close, we’re excited to share an amazing learning opportunity for summer break.

This camp is open to learners entering grades 7-12 (for the 2019/20 school year), who will travel to the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kaua’i this July for the inaugural year of Camp Kahili!

This exciting camp offers teens the opportunity to enjoy 1-3 weeks on the island. The project-based learning curriculum is focused on STEAM, multicultural studies, and international learning. There will also be a variety of awesome excursion opportunities allowing learners to explore the island.

Camp Themes

  • Week 1: Marine Biology (July 7-13)
  • Week 2: Earth & Space (July 14-20)
  • Week 3: Engineering & Coding (July 21-27)

Tuition includes ground transportation in Kaua’i, accommodations, daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, academic courses and excursions.

SPACE IS LIMITED for this camp, so please click here to learn all about Camp Kahili and register your learners today!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Monday, May 27th: NO SCHOOL (Memorial Day)

Tuesday, June 11th: Kindergarten RoundUp

Thursday, June 13th: Miss Casey’s Presentation of Learning

Friday, June 21st: End of School Year Celebration & Kindergarten Graduation

Tuesday, June 25th: Last Day of Classes

 

Alaka’i is Still Enrolling for School Year 2019-2020!

Please help us spread the word that we are still enrolling Grades K-6th. We have spaces still in all grades, including Kindergarten! We ask that you please share with your friends and continue to let people know about our school. Interested families are welcome to schedule a tour directly with Claire, or come to the school on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. to take a tour. Mahalo for your support.

ALSO…

We will be holding another Kindergarten RoundUp for new prospective families on Tuesday, June 11th, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. This event is an opportunity for new families to visit our campus and our kindergarten classrooms, learn about our program, and meet our outstanding facilitators. Keiki are welcome! Please help spread the word about this event. All are welcome!

Alakai O Kauai Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10

Our wonderful facilitators and staff play a pivotal role in our children’s lives, inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success.

Let’s show our thanks and gratitude to these stellar educators. Join us during Teacher Appreciation Week to #ThankATeacher for all that they do to help our children reach for the stars.

Please let me know if you have time to volunteer on Friday, May 10th, at 11 a.m. so we can let the staff have lunch together plus help me lead a schoolwide activity for our learners. Please email Cara Brosius (mom to Sofia and Spencer) at carabrosius@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance!

This year, we are doing the following activities to show our appreciation:

  • MONDAY: Breakfast on us! Please sign up to bring a breakfast item. SIGN UP HERE
  • TUESDAY: You make us BLOOM! Bring your facilitator/staff a flower (fresh, artificial, or hand-drawn)
  • WEDNESDAY: Facilitators are NOTEWORTHY. Write (or draw) your facilitator a note to explain how they have impacted your life this year.
  • THURSDAY: My Facilitator’s a TREAT! Treat your facilitator to their favorite snack or treat
  • FRIDAY: Staff Luncheon; Please sign up to bring a dish. SIGN UP HERE
Alakai O Kauai Charity Walk

Charity Walk is Coming This Saturday!

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 arts and music programs.Last year, we raised $5,000 that went toward our playground!

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

The pledge amounts are $35 for adults and $25 for children. A T-shirt and breakfast is included. There will also be a Alaka’i-sponsored bounce house for the keiki!

Know someone who may be interested in enrolling their child at Alaka’i? This is a great opportunity to ask questions about the school and 2019-2020 enrollment.

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.

Alakai O Kauai Lei Day Celebration

Lei Day at Alaka’i O Kaua’i — Friday, May 3rd

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.

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 seeking volunteers to help the keiki make leis this Friday. If you are able to help, please contact Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org.
ALSO: We will be holding a BAKE SALE in the gym after our Lei Day program, while everyone makes leis. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the school’s new music program. Please let Claire know if you will be bringing baked goods. Mahalo!
Alakai O Kauai Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10

Our wonderful facilitators and staff play a pivotal role in our children’s lives, inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success.

Let’s show our thanks and gratitude to these stellar educators. Join us during Teacher Appreciation Week to #ThankATeacher for all that they do to help our children reach for the stars.

Please let me know if you have time to volunteer on Friday, May 10th, at 11 a.m. so we can let the staff have lunch together plus help me lead a schoolwide activity for our learners. Please email Cara Brosius (mom to Sofia and Spencer) at carabrosius@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance!

This year, we are doing the following activities to show our appreciation:

  • MONDAY: Breakfast on us! Please sign up to bring a breakfast item. SIGN UP HERE
  • TUESDAY: You make us BLOOM! Bring your facilitator/staff a flower (fresh, artificial, or hand-drawn)
  • WEDNESDAY: Facilitators are NOTEWORTHY. Write (or draw) your facilitator a note to explain how they have impacted your life this year.
  • THURSDAY: My Facilitator’s a TREAT! Treat your facilitator to their favorite snack or treat
  • FRIDAY: Staff Luncheon; Please sign up to bring a dish. SIGN UP HERE
Alakai O Kauai Charity Walk

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.

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 Alakai O Kauai

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!

Alakai O Kauai Kindergarten Roundup

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.

Alakai O Kauai Lei Day Celebration

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
Alakai O Kauai Charity Walk

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

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.

iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects

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.