The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree in our front office is to show our appreciation for all the hard work and time our facilitators at Alaka’i O Kaua’i invest with our keiki. In the main office, you will find a Giving Tree with paper ornaments that include teacher’s name and what they may be needing or hoping for in their classrooms. Pick up your ornament today, and please be sure to return it attached to your wrapped gift, to the large wrapped box located by the Giving Tree in main office by no later than Dec. 20th. Please join us in saying thank you to our awesome facilitators!

School Photos

Our Photo Retake Day has been rescheduled to Thursday, January 17th. If your child was absent on the previous photo day, or you would like a picture retake, please put this date on your calendar. Order forms will be available at the front desk once we return from Winter Break.

Volunteer Requirements

At Alaka’i O Kaua’i, we love and appreciate all of our volunteers!  If you haven’t already done so, please get a volunteer application and fingerprinting/background check packet if you intend to continue (or begin) volunteering with us in the school. We ask that everyone please complete these packets as soon as possible! We will also be holding a training for all volunteers in the beginning of January, when we get back from winter break. Anyone who has not completed a volunteer application/packet by January 11th will need to wait until it’s complete to continue volunteering. Thank you for your support and cooperation!

Reminders Regarding Arrival and Dismissal

Please note that school begins at 8:15 a.m. Please drop your child off by 8:10 a.m. so they make it to class on time. This is very important for the flow of our classroom schedules and their morning meetings.

Similarly, we want to remind you also that dismissal is at 2:25 p.m. Please do not sign your child out early unless absolutely necessary. We also discourage parents arriving early to pick their children and lingering in the corridor outside the classrooms before 2:20 p.m. — this is disruptive to the classes and distracting for our students.

In the interest of safety, please notify your child’s teacher or the office If your child is going home with someone other than the regular parent or carpool driver.  

Please make sure that the valet sign with your child’s name and teacher is located in the upper right-hand corner of your vehicle so that we can easily read it to help facilitate the valet line. If your sign is missing or damaged and you would like a more durable laminated sign, just let us know. We will be happy to give you a new one!

Lastly, please DO NOT park in the front circle, especially during drop-off or pick-up — it creates blockages for the flow of traffic. Parking is to the side of the school building, up by the gym (the less muddy option), or down the hill in the lower parking lot.

Seeking a Few Winter Break Volunteers

Hanging out on Kauai for winter break? Looking for a way to support your school? We are looking for just a few volunteers to help paint and reorganize a certain space in our school (what will become the new teachers lounge!) If you happen to have paint brushes, paint pans or rollers we can borrow, or just some willing helping hands, we would greatly appreciate your support! This project will take place the first week of January. Contact Claire if you can offer a few hours of help January 2-4th.

We are also looking for several donated items for our new teachers’ lounge:

  • One comfy chair
  • One coffee table or a couple of small end tables
  • Shelving

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Friday, Dec. 14, 12:30-1:40 p.m.: PBL Presentation of Learning (POL) – All Grades

Dec. 24-Jan. 8: Winter Break (no school)

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

Jan. 21: No School – Martin Luther King Day

Jan. 31: End of First Semester

Feb. 11: Reports cards sent home

Lights on Rice Parade

Alaka’i O Kaua’i participated in the Lights on Rice Parade on Friday, Dec. 7. We had a great turnout of families and staff draped in lights and wearing holiday apparel, with decorated scooters, strollers, and wagons, and the peace bus made an appearance, too, adorned with lights! It was great to see our school represented in this special annual event! Thank you to all who joined us. A great night was had by all!

 

School Garden

Our K-5th learners have been hard at work in the school garden this week in preparation for the Presentation of Learning on Dec. 14. Mr. Jon, our wonderful facilities manager, rototilled the soil, added amendments, and created rows so the ground was ready for our learners to plant seeds and plants. In the months to come, we will be harvesting various types of peppers, onions, lettuce, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and herbs.

Linda Krystek, the Interim Director, took Miss Katie’s and Miss Amy’s classes on  walking field trips of our beautiful grounds, where learners discovered tangerines, oranges, bananas, guavas, grapefruit, ginger root, taro, and macadamia nuts growing at Mount Kahili Park. Each learner left with at least one sample of the produce growing here on the property!

Library Book Drive

We are actively working to expand our school and classroom libraries. We welcome new or gently used children’s books, ranging in level from kindergarten to middle school, of varying topics and genres. We are especially in need of chapter books. Just drop them in the designated box in the library!

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree in our front office is to show our appreciation for all the hard work and time our facilitators at Alaka’i O Kaua’i invest with our keiki. In the main office, you will find a Giving Tree with paper ornaments that include teacher’s name and what they may be needing or hoping for in their classrooms. Pick up your ornament today, and please be sure to return it attached to your wrapped gift, to the large wrapped box located by the Giving Tree in main office by no later than Dec. 20th. Please join us in saying thank you to our awesome facilitators!

School Photos

School photos went home yesterday with our learners. If you ordered photos and did not receive your child’s packet, please let us know.

Our Photo Retake Day has been rescheduled to January 17th (It is no longer on 12/12). If your child was absent on the previous photo day, or you would like a picture retake, please put this date on your calendar. Order forms will be available at the front desk once we return from Winter Break.

Writers’ Workshop

Writer’s Workshop is the framework for writing instruction and practice that is used in our Alaka’i O Kaua’i K-5th classrooms. The curriculum that will be utilized is the Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, where learners write frequently, for extended periods of time, and on topics of their own choosing. Using a workshop model format, which tailors and adapts instruction to specific learners and classrooms, writing instruction at Alaka’i O Kaua’i will include the following components:

  • Direct instruction/mini-lesson
  • Independent writing
  • Individual facilitator/learner conferences (during independent writing)
  • Shared writing experiences, particularly in the primary grades
  • Partner and small group work
  • Sharing

Trade books and mentor texts are often used during the Writers’ Workshop to model effective writing techniques, encourage learners to read as writers, and provide background knowledge. Facilitators will access prior knowledge through a connection, articulate and model the teaching point, engage the learners in the opportunity to practice, provide an opportunity for writers to share their work with each other, confer individually or in small groups, and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners including subgroups.

Volunteer Requirements

At Alaka’i O Kaua’i, we love and appreciate all of our volunteers!  If you haven’t already done so, please get a volunteer application and fingerprinting/background check packet if you intend to continue (or begin) volunteering with us in the school. We ask that everyone please complete these packets as soon as possible! We will also be holding a training for all volunteers in the beginning of January, when we get back from winter break. Anyone who has not completed a volunteer application/packet by January 11th will need to wait until it’s complete to continue volunteering. Thank you for your support and cooperation!

Seeking a Few Winter Break Volunteers

Hanging out on Kauai for winter break? Looking for a way to support your school? We are looking for just a few volunteers to help paint and reorganize a certain space in our school (what will become the new teachers lounge!) If you happen to have paint brushes, paint pans or rollers we can borrow, or just some willing helping hands, we would greatly appreciate your support! This project will take place the first week of January. Contact Claire if you can offer a few hours of help January 2-4th.

We are also looking for several donated items for our new teachers’ lounge:

  • One comfy chair
  • One coffee table or a couple of small end tables
  • Shelving

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Dec. 4: Coffee and Conversation, 8:15 a.m. in the library

Dec. 5:  Alaka’i Ohana Network, 2:45 p.m. in the library

Dec. 7: Lights on Rice Parade5:30 p.m. at Kukui Grove

Friday, Dec. 14, 12:30-1:40 p.m.: PBL Presentation of Learning (POL) – All Grades

Dec. 24-Jan. 8: Winter Break (no school)

Jan. 21: No School – Martin Luther King Day

Jan. 31: End of First Semester

Lights Lights LIGHTS! — Info on the Lights on Rice Parade

We hope that all our ohana can participate with us in the Lights on Rice Parade this Friday! This week we are collecting donations of Christmas lights, glow sticks, Santa hats and candy canes. Please bring donations to the main office.

At the parade, please wear your purple school shirts and lots of LIGHTS! School shirts for adults and children are still available for purchase in the school office.

On Friday, we will meet at 5:45 p.m. at Vindihna Stadium. The parade will line up at 6:15 p.m., and the parade begins at 6:30 p.m. If you have trouble finding us, there will be an info booth on the ballpark side of the stadium and they can help direct you.

Carpooling is recommended to either Vindinhna Stadium, or you can take the shuttle from Kukui Grove and “hoof it” to the stadium to line up.

This year we will not have a float, which is all the more reason to make sure we have a large group of walkers, wearing their school logo shirts, representing our awesome school!

Please RSVP to Claire or Gabby if your family will be participating in this event so we have a rough headcount of how many will be with us.

If you have any further questions about the Lights on Rice Parade please contact Gabby Sasil at sasil@live.com or Claire at claire.woolger@alakaiokauai.org.

For more information, click here.

Reminders Regarding Arrival and Dismissal

Please note that school begins at 8:15 a.m. Please drop your child off by 8:10 a.m. so they make it to class on time. This is very important for the flow of our classroom schedules and their morning meetings.

Similarly, we want to remind you also that dismissal is at 2:25 p.m. Please do not sign your child out early unless absolutely necessary. We also discourage parents arriving early to pick their children and lingering in the corridor outside the classrooms before 2:20 p.m. — this is disruptive to the classes and distracting for our students.

In the interest of safety, please notify your child’s teacher or the office If your child is going home with someone other than the regular parent or carpool driver.  

Please make sure that the valet sign with your child’s name and teacher is located in the upper right-hand corner of your vehicle so that we can easily read it to help facilitate the valet line. If your sign is missing or damaged and you would like a more durable laminated sign, just let us know. We will be happy to give you a new one!

Lastly, please DO NOT park in the front circle, especially during drop-off or pick-up — it creates blockages for the flow of traffic. Parking is to the side of the school building, up by the gym (the less muddy option), or down the hill in the lower parking lot.

Take a Seat at the Buddy Bench

Our learners love hanging out together at our school’s buddy bench. A buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Alaka’i O Kaua’i wants to spread the message of inclusion and kindness! Girl Scout Troop 823 helped make this possible, and we thank them for this generous gift!

Click here to read The Garden Island’s article!

Walmart Foundation Grant

Alaka’i recently got a shipment of new iPads and Chromebooks for our keiki, thanks to a Walmart Foundation Grant of $32,500. We are so thankful for this generous gift, which has allowed us to purchase some much-needed technology for our school.

Seeking a Few Winter Break Volunteers

Hanging out on Kauai for winter break? Looking for a way to support your school? We are looking for just a few volunteers to help paint and reorganize a certain space in our school (what will become the new teachers lounge!) If you happen to have paint brushes, paint pans or rollers we can borrow, or just some willing helping hands, we would greatly appreciate your support! This project will take place the first week of January. Contact Claire if you can offer a few hours of help January 2-4th.

We are also looking for several donated items for our new teachers’ lounge:

  • One comfy chair
  • One coffee table or a couple of small end tables
  • Shelving

iLEAD Students Prepare for Launch to Space Station

A team of iLEAD students is preparing to send a science experiment aboard the SpaceX-16 Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) scheduled to launch on December 4.

The project is part of a partnership between iLEAD and DreamUp, the leading provider of space-based educational opportunities. The students’ experiment, which will be on the ISS for approximately four weeks, tests whether black coffee kills a type of bacteria found in everyday plaque on teeth in microgravity in the same way it does on Earth. This launch opportunity is made possible via DreamUp’s partnership with NanoRacks and its Space Act Agreement with NASA.

Click here to read more!

And click here to watch the livestream of the rocket launch on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m. EST!

Upcoming Events

(Please see the school calendar for more information)

Nov 26, 2:45 p.m.: Alaka’i Ohana Network (Parent support organization)

Friday, Dec. 14, 12:30-1:40 p.m.: PBL Presentation of Learning (POL) – All Grades

Dec. 24-Jan. 8: Winter Break (no school)

Jan. 21: No School – Martin Luther King Day

Jan. 31: End of First Semester

Lights on Rice Parade

Alaka’i O Kaua’i will be participating in the Lights on Rice Parade on Friday, December 7th! Please join us for this fun event! We would love to have as many of our families possible walking with us to help spread the word about our school to our island community. We are looking for some donations to make our “float,” as well as decorate all our participants. If you are able to donate any of the following items, we will be so grateful:

  • Christmas lights of all kinds! Lots of lights are needed, including battery-powered Christmas light necklaces
  • Santa hats, elf hats, reindeer antlers, etc.
  • Santa suit
  • Cuties or Halos (mandarins) to hand out
  • Christmas tinsel garlands and garlands of all kinds

Alaka’i Ohana Network

We are very excited that our Ohana Network (our own version of a PTA) is up and running! We’ve had two productive meetings so far, and will hold our third on Monday, Nov. 26th, at 2:45 p.m., just after dismissal, in the library. We would love to have you join us!

Driving Reminder

Please remember to DRIVE WITH ALOHA! As a community, we all share our school road. Please be mindful of your speed, passing with care (only if necessary), and practice patience in one-lane areas.

Welcoming Our New Director

We are pleased to announce that our new director, Frederick Birkett, will be joining us this week. Mr. Birkett comes to us with many years of experience as a charter school leader.

Mr. Birkett spent 15 years as a charter school principal in Massachusetts, New York City, and Hawaii. In addition, he has a Master’s Degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Fred spent eight years as a Captain in the United States Air Force and is author of two books, The Military Parent’s Guide to Public, Private, and Charter Schools; and Charter Schools: A Parent’s Complete Guide to Public, Private, and Charter Schools.

I am excited about the opportunity to bring my educational background, as well as my experience as a charter school leader, to help support teachers, students, and families at Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School,” he said.

We are so fortunate to have him join the Alaka’i O Kaua’i Ohana!

Lessons from the Character Lab

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” At Alaka’i O Kaua’i, our goal is to make this vision a reality. Overwhelming scientific evidence now shows that character strengths like self-control, curiosity, and gratitude are critically important to social and emotional well-being, physical health, and achievement.

We incorporate the strengths, skills, and mindsets from Character Lab, an organization founded by Angela Duckworth, the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. These traits, which include optimism, curiosity, purpose, grit, growth mindset, self control, gratitude, and social intelligence, are broken down into strengths of mind, strengths of heart, and strengths of will:

In the same month that we celebrate Thanksgiving, our school has chosen to focus on Gratitude.

Why does gratitude matter?

When you feel gratitude, you feel a sense of abundance. When you express gratitude — especially when it’s heartfelt — you strengthen your relationships with others. Grateful people are happier and more fulfilled. And gratitude leads you to be nicer to other people — more cooperative, patient, and trusting.

How do I encourage gratitude at home?

Model it. Talk about the good things that happen to you: “I love this gorgeous spring day!” Reframe difficulties by highlighting positive aspects: “Work has been stressful lately, but I’m grateful that my boss trusts me with important responsibilities.”

Celebrate it. Acknowledge when someone demonstrates gratitude: “It makes me feel really great when you thank me for what I am doing.” Display thank-you notes you’ve received where others can see them. Post Three Good Things on social media.

Enable it. Keep stationary handy for writing thank-you notes. At dinner, make it a habit to begin by sharing one good thing that happened that day. Establish a birthday ritual to write notes of appreciation.