We Need Instruments!

Alaka’i is looking for instruments! If you have any percussion instruments (drums, rattles, shakers) you would like to donate, our Kinder Music program is looking for more rhythm-makers. We are also seeking a guitar, and eventually more! Please help us find instruments for Alaka’i.

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Monday, Feb. 11: Reports of Progress sent home

Wednesday, Feb. 13: NO SCHOOL (HTSA Institute Day) & Open House at 4 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day

Friday, Feb. 15: Reports of Progress will go home

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

Thursday, Feb. 21: Mark Jeffers Eco Marine Tour/Presentation

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

National and State Testing

In approximately two weeks, we will begin the process of testing our learners to see how they measure up with other learners in the state of Hawaii, as well as nationally.

While Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School does not believe that standardized tests are the only way to measure the academic progress our learners are making, we understand that these state and national assessments are one of many indicators of their progress. Alaka’i O Kaua’i uses multiple measures of assessment to determine the growth our learners are making both academically and social-emotionally including MAP (Measures of Academic Progress), the Comprehensive Growth Card, to measure social-emotional development, and other site-based assessments.  

Our first assessment will be the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), administered to our 4th grade learners only. It will be a one-day assessment. The test date is Thursday, Feb. 21. We have already sent letters to parents explaining the focus of this assessment. The next series of assessments will be our Hawaii State Assessments. They are called the Smarter Balanced Assessments, which will begin in May. These assessments will be given to learners in grades 3-5. We will be sending information home to all parents/guardians, with the exact dates of these assessments, as well as their purpose.

You play an important part in helping students give their best performance on these important tests. As you know, we have been busy preparing and reinforcing the skills necessary for students to demonstrate their learning. Even though the assessments are a snapshot—one single perspective – it is important that our students have every advantage to do their very best.

We don’t want to cause test anxiety, rather we want our students to be as prepared as possible.

The night before the test:

  1. Make sure your child goes to bed on time so he or she is well-rested.
  2. Keep your routine as normal as possible. Upsetting natural routines may make children feel insecure.
  3. Be positive and confident in the fact that you know your child will do his/her best.
  4. Plan ahead to avoid conflicts on the morning of the test.

The morning of the test:

  1. Get up a few minutes early to avoid rushing and make sure your child arrives at school on time.
  2. Have your child eat a nutritious breakfast. There is a strong correlation between eating breakfast and memory and cognitive functioning.
  3. Have your child dress comfortably.  
  4. Be positive and communicate that this is your child’s chance to show what he/she knows. The most important thing you can do right before the test is to build confidence about doing his/her very best.

Mark Jeffers Comes to Alaka’i for Marine Eco-Tour Presentation

We are very excited to have Kaua’i’s own Mark Jeffers come share his Marine Eco-Tour Presentation with us on Thursday, February 21st. All classes will have the chance to participate in his educational program about marine life, including the chance to step inside the belly of a whale! Mark brings his two inflatable marine creatures for our learners to enjoy and experience. Parents are welcome to join their keiki in this wonderful enriching opportunity to learn about marine biology and conservation through story and sensory experience.

PARENTS/’OHANA: Please send a $2 donation per learner, to their facilitator, before Tuesday, Feb. 19. All questions and concerns can be directed to leia.makaneole@alakaiokauai.org.

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Thursday, Feb. 7th: Ohana Network Meeting at 2:45 p.m. & Open House at 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 11: Reports of Progress sent home

Wednesday, Feb. 13: NO SCHOOL (HTSA Institute Day) & Open House at 4 p.m.

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

Thursday, Feb. 21: Mark Jeffers Eco Marine Tour/Presentation

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

Learning More About Project-Based Learning

Alakai’i O Kaua’i and iLEAD Schools are pleased to have Dr. Thom Markham, founder of PBL Global, visit our school this week to work with our staff on developing rigorous project-based learning (PBL) in every grade level.  

Also, there are two opportunities to hear Dr. Markham’s presentation on Project-Based Learning this Tuesday, February 5th (see times below).

He will hold a “PBL Parent University” for families interested to learn more about project-based learning at our school in the morning, and provide an evening-time option for families and community at Chiefess Middle School.

We hope you can join us during one of these opportunities to learn about the “why” behind Project-Based Learning from one of the key leaders responsible for growing effectiveness of PBL as the pathway to deeper authentic learning. For more information, please contact Linda Krystek at linda.krystek@ileadschools.org.

Topics to be discussed will include:

  • Preparing young people to be ready for the world of 2020 and beyond
  • Developing skills as collaborators, problem solvers, design thinkers, and self-starters
  • Fostering curiosity, empathy, and resilience as core attitudes helping young people to flourish in learning and life

Presentations on PBL Tuesday, Feb. 5th:

  • 8:30-10 a.m. at the Alaka’i O Kaua’i Library
  • 5:30-7 p.m. at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School multi-purpose room 

Lemonade For Sale!

Learners from Miss Ashley’s third and fourth grade class have recently partnered up with Bizgenics, a nonprofit foundation whose goal is to empower kids to discover personal skills and learn positive social values to catalyze a bright future. 

From their partnership, they have begun implementing Project Lemon Tree. Project Lemon Tree is a living, outdoor classroom program where learners take part in design thinking, agriculture, farm-to-table, culinary, ecology, water conservation, Ahupa’a eco-ag systems (native Hawaiian plants), trellis building (architecture, engineering and construction), and innovation. 

In April, Bizgenics will be donating over 20 lemon trees to Alaka’i O Kaua’i. Wondering what we will we do with all those lemons? Besides being one of the top reducers of CO2 in the environment, they also provide some pretty amazing benefits for kids. Lemons are loaded with  natural juices that contain abundance of vitamins and minerals. 

Miss Ashley’s learners decided to partake in an entrepreneurship challenge where they began to invent unique lemonade recipes, design and build a lemonade stand, and sell lemonade for profit to support their classroom and school. Learners learn entrepreneurial skills, eco-stewardship, and charitable giving. 

Their goal for both Project Lemon Tree and Project Lemonade Stand is to create an inviting space for kids to come together, make new friends and get to know each other a little better. 

Rotary Club of Poipu Visits Alaka’i

Last week, the Rotary Club of Poipu visited our school. Members were given a tour of classrooms and campus and met with Director Fred Birkett about joining forces with their organization. We are so thankful to Peter Baldwin (2nd grader Raegan Baldwin’s grandfather) for visiting our school and considering us for future programs that connect the Rotary Club with Alaka’i. Mahalo!

Alaka’i Enrollment is Open!

We have opened enrollment for school year 2019-2020! Please spread the word that anyone interested in enrolling can obtain enrollment forms by visiting our website or stopping by the school’s main office.

Our enrollment process has changed slightly as we will no longer be using the SchoolMint system, so if you or someone you know would like to enroll they can fill out one of our new enrollment forms and send it to us by mail, in person, or by scanning and emailing to Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org.

We give priority seats to re-enrolling families and siblings, as well as staff members’ children. All remaining seats will be filled by new learners based on class size limits. A lottery will be held on Monday, 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 welcome to attend one of our Open Houses or call (808) 635-5110 to schedule a tour.

Open Houses will be held on:

Thursday, February 7th at 4 p.m.

Wednesday, February 13th at 4 p.m.

Thursday, February 21st at 4 p.m.

Thursday, February 28th at 4 p.m.

Alaka’i Kinder Music & Movement

We are very happy to share that our first music program has begun at Alaka’i O Kaua’i! Our very own Office Manager, Miss Claire, has started doing a weekly Kinder Music & Movement class with our Kindergarten classes. With a background in music, dance, and theater, Miss Claire is thrilled to share her love of the arts with our learners, starting with Kindergarten. This spring, she hopes to expand this new program to include more grade levels. Claire will also be working with the 5th-grade class on a new arrangement of our school song “The Best Day of My Life” and assist in teaching it to the whole school. If you have any instruments, shakers, rattles, drums, or music makers you’d like to donate to our music program, please bring them to the main office. Thank you!

We Are Expanding

There are lots of exciting changes underway at Alaka’i O Kaua’i, including expansion into new parts of our campus, adding: a new health room, staff lunch room, learner  work room, and meeting room. We are also in the process of renovating our enormous gym, which will hopefully be ready for use by the end of February. Having access to our gym will provide lots of new opportunities for our school community, including an indoor recess space, all-school assemblies, and after-school programs.

Intent To Re-Enroll & Registration for 2019-2020

Please keep your eyes open for Intent to Re-Enroll forms coming home with all learners this week. We ask that you please complete this form by Monday, February 4th to secure your child’s seat for next school year.

Registration for all grades will also open up this Monday, January 28th. We will be adding two new kindergarten classes next year, as well as opening up a 6th grade class. Forms will be available online and at the main office for new learners.

NOTE: First priority is given to returning learners, their siblings and staff children. After that we will fill available seats with new, incoming learners. Our enrollment period will go through March 23rd. For any classes that go over capacity, we will hold a lottery on March 25th. After that we will begin to waitlist applicants and offer seats based on a first come first serve basis.

Please help spread the word about our school so that we can grow our Alaka’i Ohana next school year!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Monday, Jan. 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observed (No School)

Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 8:15 a.m.: Coffee & Conversation with Director Fred Birkett

Thursday, Jan. 31: End of First Semester

Friday,Feb. 1: NO SCHOOL

Thursday, Feb. 7 at 2:45 p.m.: Ohana Network Meeting

Monday, Feb. 11: Reports cards sent home

Preventing and Treating Ukus

Last week, we sent home an informational article: Preventing and Treating Ukus. This article was sent out due to a few incidents we’ve had at school regarding ukus (head lice). We contacted the Department of Education District Office (Kaua’i), and found out that this problem is prevalent in all schools, especially elementary schools, since children at this age level tend to be a lot more hands-on with each other.

Our teachers are taking precautions in any and every way they can in their classrooms. We have also performed some in-school uku checks with the assistance of a registered nurse. We encourage all Alaka`i O Kaua’i Charter School families to be considerate in checking your children for any signs of ukus. If you do find them in child’s hair, we trust that you will provide the needed treatment to their hair, and not send them back to school until the treatment has taken full effect to fix the uku problem.

Ohana Network has NEW Committee Leaders!

During our last Ohana Network meeting we met in our three committees — Fundraising, Outreach, and School Enrichment. Everyone had the chance to connect, get to know each other, and communicate some of their ideas. We were able to choose leaders for each committee, so that committees can begin meeting independently and go into action. It’s an exciting time for the Ohana Network! If you’re interested in getting involved and being added to the email list for any of the committees, please contact Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org.

Note: We will continue to hold Ohana Network Meetings monthly, for the whole team to connect and report on their activity, the first Thursday of every month at 2:45 p.m.

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!  

Friends of Alaka’i O Kaua’i Library

A HUGE THANK YOU to our group of parent volunteers helping organize our library! We are very thankful for all your hard work and dedication: Chad Long, Summer Dillberg, Amber Martinez, Taitai Ka’uhini, Leia Makanole, and Bonita Garma.

NOTE: We are not accepting more library book donations at this time. Please hold tight if you have books to donate; we will let you know when we are open to receiving donations again. Mahalo!

Enrollment for School Year 2019-2020

This Friday, January 25th, all of our families will receive Intent to Re-Enroll forms as well as copies of our new school application. Please return these forms to us no later than Monday, February 4th, if you want to secure your child(ren’s) seat(s) for the coming school year. 
**All of our current students and their siblings have first priority for available spots in each class for the 2019-2020 school year. However, please be sure to submit an application per child, both current and prospective, by February 4th, if you want to guarantee your child’s space!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Tuesday, Jan. 15: Love and Logic Parenting Workshop, 2:45-4 p.m.

Jan. 21: No School – Martin Luther King Day observed

Friday, Feb. 1: No School –Professional Learning Day for Facilitators

Friday, Feb. 15: No School – HTSA Institute Day

Love & Logic Parenting Workshop

Linda Krystek (former interim school director) will be offering a workshop called, “Parenting with Love and Logic,” Part 1, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 2:45-4 p.m. in the Alaka’i Library. Please join us to learn how to show love and empathy while setting limits and holding children accountable with logical consequences. We will be diving deep into the “Five Core Principles of Love and Logic” and learn practical tools and skills to help develop well-behaved, happy, and responsible children. Please RSVP to linda.krystek@ileadschools.org.

Searching for a Kumu & Educational Assistants

We want to let our ohana know that the search for a Hawaiian Kumu has begun! This particular Kumu is to help us plan and carry out Alaka’i’s very first May Day celebration this spring. This is a contracted position and we will be accepting bids. If anyone in our community has connections to a Kumu, please have them contact our office manager, Joann Sales, at joann.sales@alakaiokauai.org for more information. Mahalo!

We are also looking to hire several part-time Educational Assistants as substitutes for our current EA team. If you or anyone you know have experience and are interested in working with special needs learners, please consider applying for this part-time position.


We recently sent letters to every family regarding learner attendance. Please do not be alarmed if you received a letter concerning your child’s attendance. The purpose of the attendance letter is to bring awareness to the issue and remind parents/guardians that learners need to be at school every day, on time! Feel free to stop by the office to discuss your child’s attendance if you have any questions or concerns.

School Quality Survey

On Friday, the “School Quality Survey” form from the Department of Education was sent home with each child. The purpose of this survey is to provide the State Charter School Commission with one indicator of parent satisfaction with Alaka`i O Kaua’i Charter School. Please do your best to complete and return these surveys with your child by the end of the week. Thank you!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Jan. 7: No School

Jan. 8: Classes resume

Jan. 10, 2:45 p.m.: Ohana Network Meeting in the Library

Jan. 17: Photo Retake Day

Jan. 21: No School – Martin Luther King Day

Jan. 31: End of First Semester

Feb. 11: Reports cards sent home

A Few Reminders

When driving on our school road, PLEASE DRIVE 15 MPH! Although we are aware that everyone wants to make it to school on time, it is very important that we SLOW DOWN. We share our road with the Mount Kahili community as well as the animals, keiki, and staff who live there. It is understood that 15 mph is the speed limit for everyone. Please be considerate of our neighbors, wildlife, and children.
Other Reminders
  • Please do your best to be on time to school! Students need to be dropped off no later than 8:10 a.m. every day. (The earliest drop-off time is 7:30 a.m.) Late arrivals are disruptive to the start of the school day, so please do your best to make it on time (without speeding on our road!).
  • Dismissal is at 2:25 p.m., Mon-Thurs, and 1:40 p.m. on Fridays. Please do not arrive early to sign out your child before 2:25 p.m. unless absolutely necessary.


We greatly appreciate our volunteers! A HUGE MAHALO to all of you who have been helping our little school thrive. Your presence makes a big impact for our teachers, staff, and keiki! In this new year, we ask that all volunteers submit a volunteer application, along with background check and fingerprinting documentation to Claire or Joann in the front office.

Ohana Network

We are gearing up for some exciting new projects this new year, and would love your participation! Ohana Network participation forms will be sent home this week. If you are interested in getting involved in creating enrichment programs for our school, helping with fundraising or community outreach, we are forming committees in each area. If you are interested in carrying the torch as an Alaka’i (Leader) we are also seeking folks interested in leading each committee. Visit Claire in the front office for more information or contact her at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org.

Presentation of Learning

Thank you to all of the families who came out to celebrate our first Presentation of Learning on Friday, Dec. 14. Our facilitators and learners were so excited to show off all the hard work that has gone into our school-wide unit of study focused on the garden and sustainability here on Kaua’i. The learning from this project will continue on throughout the year as the garden continues to grow and evolve.

We will also be participating in Project Lemon Tree. “Project Lemon Tree is a living, outdoor classroom program where Bizgenics provides free lemon trees and design-thinking sessions to Hawai’i schools. Public and private schools on all islands, as well as businesses and community locations, are also invited to participate. The program anchors a curriculum system for grades K-12 in the subjects of agriculture, farm-to-table, culinary, ecology, water conservation, Ahupa’a eco-ag systems (native Hawaiian plants), trellis building (architecture, engineering and construction), crafts, innovation, and entrepreneurship.”

Miss Ashley and her learners have been spearheading a partnership with this organization and designed and built a model of the trellis they hope to build with school volunteers in the next few months. All learners at the school from K-5 will be able to participate in this project and curriculum, and a lemon tree will be donated to each classroom to plant and nurture as part of the program.

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.




Love and Logic Parenting Workshop on Jan. 15

Linda Krystek will be offering “Parenting with Love and Logic, Part 1” at Alaka’i O Kaua’i on Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 2:45-4 p.m. in the Library. Join us to learn how to show love and empathy while setting limits and holding children accountable with logical consequences. We will be diving deep into the Five Core Principles of Love and Logic and learn practical tools and skills to help develop well-behaved, happy, and responsible kids. Please RSVP to linda.krystek@ileadschools.org.

Ohana Network Membership

We sent home Ohana Network Membership forms on Friday. If you would like to join our school’s first parent/family organization, please return this form to the front office. Meetings will be held regularly to support efforts in the areas of outreach, fundraising, and creating enrichment programs for our students. Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, January 10th, at 2:45 p.m.

Extra Change of Clothing for Your Keiki

Now that we are in the heart of mud season here at Mount Kahili, please be sure to put an extra change of clothes in your child’s backpack so they are able to change if they get muddy or wet.

We are also happily receiving clothing donations of all sizes/genders for children who do not have extra clothes! Extra shoes/slippers are also welcomed and kept as loaners in the shoe rack right outside the main office.

Lost and Found

Please check the Lost and Found right outside the office for any items that may belong to your child. Any items not recovered by Winter Break will be donated to charity or discarded.