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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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!

Lei Day at Alaka’i

A big MAHALO to everyone who contributed to and attended Alaka’i O Kaua’i’s first ever Lei Day Celebration. We look forward to growing this wonderful tradition with our school community in the years to come!

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

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!

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

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!

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!

 

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

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.

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.

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

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!

 

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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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. 

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.