Celebrate National School Choice Week!

National School Choice Week shines a spotlight on effective education options for children and is the world’s largest celebration of opportunity in K-12 education. It’s a time when we showcase and celebrate our schools and the fact that families have exactly that: a choice of where their children can go to school and have the best learning experience that fits them! Mahalo for choosing Alaka’i O Kaua’i to be such an important part of your lives!

Want to share your appreciation for your Alaka’i O Kaua’i facilitator? Download the template below and share a selfie with your letter at makerlearningnetwork.org/stories!

National-School-Choice-Week-Facilitator-Thank-You-Template

School choice is the process of allowing every family to choose the K-12 educational options that best fit their children. These options include all forms of education, from traditional public schools, to public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling.

Every child deserves an effective, challenging, and motivating education. Because each student has their own unique set of talents, interests, and challenges, a variety of options in education is crucial. School choice ensures that each student can find a learning environment that allows them to be inspired, successful, and happy.

—National School Choice Week

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

Amazon Smile pageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alakai O Kauai campus and learners

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Grit

What does it take to really succeed? Some might call it drive or determination. At Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School, we like to call it grit, and it is a crucial component of social-emotional learning.

We define grit as “having courage and resolve, and strength of character.” Someone with grit works hard and passionately, sets goals, and follows through. Why is grit important? Because to truly accomplish goals and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. That is why we believe it is so valuable to instill an understanding of grit early on in kids.

But how does one assess “grittiness”? A simple way is to see if you identify with some of these statements:

  • I enjoy projects that take time to complete.
  • I am working toward a long-term goal.
  • What I do each day is connected to my deepest personal values.
  • There is at least one subject or activity I never get bored thinking about.
  • Setbacks don’t discourage me for long.
  • I am a hard worker.
  • I finish whatever I begin.
  • I never stop working to improve.

Our approach to SEL has been deeply influenced by Angela Lee Duckworth, who has done extensive research in the area of grit. She suggests that one way to think about grit is to consider what it isn’t.

Grit isn’t talent. Grit isn’t luck. Grit isn’t how intensely, for the moment, you want something.

Instead, grit is about having a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do. Further, grit means holding fast to that goal, no matter what.

There are many practical ways to foster grit in learners:

  • Help them see how their efforts can contribute to the well-being of others.
  • Nurture a growth mindset; a belief that the ability to learn is not fixed.
  • Ask them to set their own long-term goals.
  • Focus discussions on effort, tenacity, and learning from failures.

We believe as part of a curriculum that’s rich in project-based and social-emotional learning, when kids learn to model grit in their academic pursuits, their mindset will positively affect every area of their lives.

Watch This: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Alakai O Kauai learners decorating cookies

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

Amazon Smile pageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Social Emotional Learning

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Zest

“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life.” —Gordon Parks

Central to the Alaka’i O Kaua’i approach to project-based learning is a belief that education works best when it’s energetic. Rather than being stale and rote, it’s filled with excitement. That excitement, which we call zest, is a core element of social-emotional learning.

Individuals who approach life with zest tend to have the following characteristics:

  • They refuse to do things halfway or halfheartedly.
  • They are energetic.
  • They approach life as an adventure.

In the context of classroom learning, zest coupled with curiosity can help drive kids’ motivation to learn and press on even when things get difficult. Zest is enthusiasm in the face of challenges. It can help learners overcome challenges to find amazing rewards.

So what does developing zest look like in the learning process? Facilitators can leverage kids’ innate ability to learn by creating and maintaining environments that encourage their zest and curiosity and support their feelings of autonomy. We believe in framing mistakes as opportunities for learning and discussion, and we celebrate questions to drive learning. We also believe in kids taking ownership of the direction their learning takes.

Incorporating zest into learning means funneling energy into dynamic, project-based learning that brings concepts to life. Whether it’s conducting scientific experiments, engaging in historical research and reenactments, or enjoying play-based learning, our learners engage in vibrant methods of exploring, creating, and understanding.

For a facilitator — and families, too — it’s important to bear in mind that some children are not as naturally “zestful” as others. With these learners especially, keep in mind that enthusiasm isn’t taught as much as it is modeled and encouraged. Enthusiasm is infectious. If kids see your zest for learning, they can be inspired too. The goal is to help kids move along the spectrum of enthusiasm toward a more zestful attitude.

When the seeds of enthusiasm are planted early and take root in the soil of learners’ minds, they are empowered to approach challenges as opportunities to grow and succeed.

Embrace the Near-Win

Alakai O Kauai learners decorating cookies

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

Amazon Smile pageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alakai O Kauai learners decorating cookies

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

Amazon Smile pageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

Amazon Smile pageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

Amazon Smile pageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Social Emotional Learning Alakai O Kauai

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Curiosity

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” — Golda Meir

Within the Alaka’i O Kaua’i education model, we believe kids are more empowered to learn and retain knowledge when learning means asking questions. That’s why we reinforce curiosity as a component of social-emotional learning (SEL).

Simply put, curiosity is a strong desire to learn or know something — a search for information for its own sake.

Curiosity is frequently the engine that drives learning and achievement. Children are curious by nature, and so much of life is a source of wonder for them.

For curious learners, it’s less important to have the “right” answers and more important to create an environment where questioning and learning can occur.

So how do we nurture curiosity in learners? We do it, in part, by modeling an interest in the world around us and asking open-ended questions. Through dynamic project-based learning, facilitators at Alaka’i O Kaua’i foster and develop kids’ natural inclination to be curious. Families and facilitators alike nurture curiosity when they encourage learners to identify and seek answers to questions that pique their interests.

A component of curiosity is uncertainty. While uncertainty often creates hesitation for learners, it’s possible for it to fuel the learning process. There are several ways to respond to uncertainty, according to Jamie Holmes, author of Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing.

  • Address the emotional impact of uncertainty: “The emotions of learning are surprise, awe, interest, and confusion,” according to Holmes. However, facilitators can help learners respond to these emotions by encouraging them to see uncertainty as an opportunity for learning.
  • Adopt a nonauthoritarian facilitation style to encourage exploration, challenge and revision: By facilitating learning with a sense of curiosity and humanity, facilitators can help learners find ways to think and learn. Holmes writes, “The best teachers are in awe of their subjects.”
  • Show how the process of discovery is often messy and nonlinear: Instead of simply presenting breakthroughs as logical results of long treks toward understanding, facilitators can share with learners how discoveries are often made — through trial and error, missteps, “happy accidents” and chance.

How do we pique learners’ curiosity? Developmental psychologist Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell has suggested several ways:

  • Value and reward curiosity in learners.
  • Give learners practice asking quality questions.
  • Notice when kids feel puzzled or confused.
  • Encourage learners to tinker with materials, thoughts, or emotions.
  • Use current events as launchpads for conversation.
  • Give learners opportunities to show healthy skepticism.
  • Explore a variety of cultures and societies.
  • Encourage curiosity outside of the classroom.

We believe when kids know how to be curious, they know how to think differently. When they know how to think differently, they’re empowered to be problem solvers who can change the world around them.

Still Curious?

“Curiosity. It’s the most powerful thing you own.”

Alaka'i O Kaua'i

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Self-Control

By definition, social-emotional learning (SEL) helps kids tap into their emotions and how they affect what they do. So it should follow that an essential component of SEL is an understanding of self-control, or self-management.

As defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) — which has informed the Alaka’i O Kaua’i approach to SEL — self-management is “the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations.” In essence, it’s the ability to both set and work toward personal and academic goals without significant deviation from your charted course.

Associated with self-control are many skills that, when developed, equip learners for academic success and overall life success.

  • Impulse control: The ability to distract oneself from a desire, to not act on immediate impulses, and to delay actions for a period of time.
  • Stress management: Having a solid foundation of self-awareness allows learners to determine when they are stressed so they can implement practiced strategies with more success.
  • Self-discipline: Often simply called willpower, self-discipline allows one to ignore other stimuli in order to focus on the goal at hand and follow plans in spite of distractions.
  • Goal setting: Research has shown that learners tend to achieve more success when working with their own realistic goals.
  • Self-motivation: This is one that can be difficult to teach. Learners must develop their own internal push that will keep them moving toward goals.
  • Organizational skills – Particularly in light of current distance learning, keeping one’s work area uncluttered and organized allows for more productive work time. Filtering information to be relevant to the topic at hand with a clear big picture can help learners stay on track. Keeping track of time and commitments can help them reach goals.

Success in work and life is strongly influenced by self-management. When learners take ownership of their work and create norms for themselves, they are more likely to meet their goals.

An important function of education is to foster self-reliance and independence. This is why we refer to our teachers as facilitators. They are not simply talking at students; they are facilitating the process of learning. They are empowering learners to take ownership of and responsibility for their work and success. If kids learn these principles early on, there is no doubt they will stay with them the rest of their lives.

Additionally, self-management plans can be instrumental in positively addressing behavioral issues. The intent of self-management strategies is to build a learner’s independence and ability to engage in self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and self-reinforcement. The true power of self-management is its emphasis on building that feeling of control over one’s own behavior. Teachers’ attempts to simply control a student’s behavior often decreases the power of a reinforcer, which in turn makes a self-management plan less efficient and problem behavior more likely to occur.

Everything is connected. When kids learn, understand, and adopt the principles of social-emotional learning, they’re not simply becoming better students — they are becoming the well-rounded leaders our world needs.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

iLEAD Together Tuesdays

Save the Date for #GivingTuesday!

#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 1, 2020, and every day. This #GivingTuesday, people around the world will be making online, year-end donations to causes and organizations they care about. We ask that you spread the word to your friends and family to think about financially supporting Alaka’i O Kaua’i in that special and simple way on December 1.

If you’d like to contribute now, please click to donate below. Your gift will directly benefit Alaka’i O Kaua’i keiki by providing hands-on curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, field trips, art materials, professional development, and the school’s day-to-day operating expenses that are not funded by the state. Mahalo for your support!

learners at beach with a rainbow behind them

Join Alaka’i O Kaua’i’s Fall Family Fun Challenge!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i families,

We want to invite your kids and, better yet, your whole family to participate in our Fall Family Fun Challenge!

We’re challenging your family to create a fun video (60 seconds or less)! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Tell us what you love about Alaka’i O Kaua’i — examples might be your favorite subject, facilitator, or project.
  • In the spirit of our annual Multicultural Feast, share a tradition or recipe your family enjoys during this season.
  • Show us a dance you made up.
  • Perform a song you wrote or love.
  • Share your art project.

Put your own spin on it! Include the family or make it a solo routine.

Most importantly, have fun!

We can’t wait to see what you create!

With gratitude,

The Alaka’i O Kaua’i Team

We can accept files or links to your public social media posts. If you send us a video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners. For questions — or to email your submission instead of using the form (please include school name) — email stories@ileadschools.org.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

iLEAD Together Tuesdays

Save the Date for #GivingTuesday!

#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 1, 2020, and every day. This #GivingTuesday, people around the world will be making online, year-end donations to causes and organizations they care about. We ask that you spread the word to your friends and family to think about financially supporting Alaka’i O Kaua’i in that special and simple way on December 1.

If you’d like to contribute now, please click to donate below. Your gift will directly benefit Alaka’i O Kaua’i keiki by providing hands-on curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, field trips, art materials, professional development, and the school’s day-to-day operating expenses that are not funded by the state. Mahalo for your support!

learners at beach with a rainbow behind them

Join Alaka’i O Kaua’i’s Fall Family Fun Challenge!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i families,

We want to invite your kids and, better yet, your whole family to participate in our Fall Family Fun Challenge!

We’re challenging your family to create a fun video (60 seconds or less)! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Tell us what you love about Alaka’i O Kaua’i — examples might be your favorite subject, facilitator, or project.
  • In the spirit of our annual Multicultural Feast, share a tradition or recipe your family enjoys during this season.
  • Show us a dance you made up.
  • Perform a song you wrote or love.
  • Share your art project.

Put your own spin on it! Include the family or make it a solo routine.

Most importantly, have fun!

We can’t wait to see what you create!

With gratitude,

The Alaka’i O Kaua’i Team

We can accept files or links to your public social media posts. If you send us a video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners. For questions — or to email your submission instead of using the form (please include school name) — email stories@ileadschools.org.

Alakai O Kauai Presentation of Learning

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Kindergarten Presentations of Learning: Making Musical Instruments

Project-based learning is thriving in Miss Casey Zoppa’s kindergarten class. Their driving question was “How can we as sound engineers build instruments?” We asked Ms. Z for some highlights of this exciting project. Read her insights below, and then be sure to check out the video of the kindergarteners making some beautiful noise in their Presentations of Learning (POLs).

What inspired this project?

That’s easy! This year I have a class of sixteen boys and six girls. The only thing that most of them have in common is the fact that they all are very loud and love music. We very quickly decided making noise was one of the things that brought us together.

What was a surprising result of this project?

The surprising result was how much the kids loved learning about the science of noise. They weren’t just interested in making the instruments themselves. They loved learning about sound waves and how our brains receive them and code them into messages that we understand.

Also, it was amazing watching them collect recycled materials and turn them into a variety of beautiful instruments.

What were some of the most interesting observations learners made?

While studying and making instruments, the learners realized that the different ways instruments are made created their different noises. They also realized even though we can re-create the instruments, we couldn’t actually make them yet. They learned that professionals who make instruments take time and slowly work with tools to create the instruments.

Check out this video to see the kindergarteners making music in their Presentation of Learning:

Alakai O Kauai Social Emotional Learning

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Gratitude

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you know that consciously practicing gratitude can help improve your physical and psychological health?

Did you know gratitude can enhance empathy, reduce aggression, improve self-esteem, and increase mental health?

Practicing gratitude is another vital component of Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School’s approach to social-emotional learning (SEL), which is focused on whole-child development. Gratitude begins with increased awareness of our own experiences, and as we become more mindful we realize we have choices when it comes to our emotions.

And here’s the thing: Gratitude is not just about being thankful; it’s about showing appreciation and returning kindness to others. Another facet of gratitude is the expression of appreciation, when we become active by doing something to show we are thankful. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that gratitude is linked to happiness in children by age five. By instilling in learners early on the importance of gratitude, we are empowering them for a much fuller life.

There are four components to gratitude, as identified by UNC Chapel Hill’s Raising Grateful Children Project:

  • Noticing: Did someone do something nice for you? Did someone give you something or take you somewhere fun?
  • Thinking: What are all the reasons you’re thankful for this? Why do you think someone did something nice for you? Does this mean something to you?
  • Feeling: When you think about these special things or people, how do you feel?
  • Doing: What can you actively do to express your gratitude for this person, place, or thing?

Gratitude helps support social communication because it helps us understand others’ feelings, practice empathy, and learn the social power of kindness and appreciation. It also supports emotional development. Gratitude helps kids notice what makes them feel good and take time to focus on that.

True gratitude isn’t an action that needs to be taken as much as it’s an attitude to be cultivated so that gratefulness and kindness can become natural responses in our lives. Gratitude doesn’t simply happen; it must be practiced. And when it is, it has the power to change lives. Kids who know how to show appreciation, thankfulness, and kindness are kids who can — and will — change the world.

Watch: On Gratitude

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Growth Mindset

At Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School, we believe when kids learn how to face challenges, they grow into leaders. As part of our emphasis on social-emotional learning (SEL), we believe it’s important to develop what we call a growth mindset.

Let’s do a quick test. Do you tend to agree or disagree with the following statements?

  • My intelligence is something I can’t change very much.
  • I’m a certain kind of person, and there isn’t much I can do to change that.
  • I often get frustrated when I get feedback on my performance.
  • Trying new things is stressful, and I avoid it.

How we respond to these statements reveals whether we have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Many children are raised and exposed to situations that create a fixed mindset, which may seem harmless on the surface, but actually creates long-term challenges for them in school and in life, when they fear failure and tend to avoid challenges.

Conversely, children who have a growth mindset are more likely to learn from their mistakes, tackle challenges head-on, and be motivated to succeed.

Some contrasting statements may be helpful for bringing this into focus:

  • A fixed mindset says: “Failure is the limit of my abilities.”
  • A growth mindset says: “Failure is an opportunity to grow.”

 

  • A fixed mindset says: “I’m either good at it or I’m not.”
  • A growth mindset says: “I can learn to do anything I want.”

 

  • A fixed mindset says: “My abilities are unchanging.”
  • A growth mindset says: “Challenges help me grow.”

 

  • A fixed mindset says: “My potential is predetermined.”
  • A growth mindset says: “My effort and attitude determine my abilities.”

 

  • A fixed mindset says: “Feedback and criticism are personal.”
  • A growth mindset says: “Feedback is constructive.”

 

  • A fixed mindset: “I stick to what I know.”
  • A growth mindset says: “I like to try new things.”

 

The development of a healthy growth mindset is all about helping kids realize and embrace their potential and equipping them to be empowered and fueled by challenges, rather than hindered by them.

A growth mindset will intrinsically motivate children to improve, learn, and grow in school and all other areas of their lives.

Writing in Scientific American, psychologist Carol S. Dweck unpacked “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids” and the importance of fostering a growth mindset, stressing the importance of seeing success as the result of hard work instead of simply inborn talent.

“When we gave everyone hard problems anyway, those praised for being smart became discouraged, doubting their ability,” she wrote. “In contrast, students praised for their hard work did not lose confidence when faced with the harder questions, and their performance improved markedly on the easier problems that followed” (emphasis ours).

Make no mistake, it is good to praise our children for their strengths and talents, but it is crucial to encourage them to see challenges as opportunities and to value their efforts. If they can learn and embrace this at school age, there’s no telling what they may achieve.

Watch: On Growth Mindset

Alakai O Kauai Kindness Rocks

Join Us as We Spread Kindness!

Kindness Rocks!

World Kindness Day is this Friday, November 13.

Join the Alaka’i O Kaua’i community as we spread a bit of kindness through Kindness Rocks! Collect some rocks, decorate them with a kind word and inspiring art, and spread them around your community.

Please send in a picture of your rock art:

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alakai O Kauai Social Emotional Learning

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Purpose

“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Living with purpose.” The phrase evokes a range of thoughts and emotions, doesn’t it? When we choose to live with purpose, we choose to live proactively and decisively, rather than reactively.

As part of the Alaka’i O Kaua’i approach to project-based learning with a social-emotional focus, one vital component is purpose. Within the social-emotional learning (SEL) framework, we recognize purpose as follows: You are oriented toward a future goal, and you can explain the reason for your goal.

To understand the importance of purpose, it’s helpful to examine another key element of Alaka’i O Kaua’i’s approach to education: the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Successfully living with purpose encapsulates several of the 7 Habits: Being Proactive, Beginning With the End in Mind, and Putting First Things First. Understanding and incorporating those steps into your life connects directly to having a clear sense of purpose.

Let’s dive a little deeper into those Habits.

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive — With this habit, a learner can say, “I am a responsible person. I take initiative, and I choose my actions and attitudes.” Through developing this habit, kids are able to learn responsibility, initiative, self-control and self-management.
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind — With this, a learner can say, “I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I look for ways to be a good citizen.” In turn, they are learning to have purpose and vision, and developing skills of planning, self-management and reflection.
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First — By practicing this habit, a learner is saying, “I spend my time on things that are most important. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow a plan.” This habit develops skills of prioritization, planning and time management, and follow-through.

These habits influence a child’s sense of purpose and attitude. When learners embrace the value of thinking and doing with purpose, they can develop stronger self-esteem, improve social skills and empathy, and are empowered to enrich the world around them.

When learners understand the importance of approaching things — from school projects to life goals — with proactivity and the end in mind, they begin to grasp the value of living with purpose.

Watch: On Purpose

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i

Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi Charter School Celebrates Growth and Potential

By Michael Niehoff
Education Content Coordinator at iLEAD Schools

Now in its third year, Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi Charter School — which translates to iLEAD Kauai — is still experiencing lots of new. The school, located at the beautiful Kahili Mountain Park and serving kindergarten through 6th grade, has a new director, new learners, new projects and renewed enthusiasm.

New Director

Alakai O Kauai Meet the TeamAbout his role at Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi Charter School, Director DJ Adams said, “It is refreshing to join a team of people with a shared vision of a high-quality, free public education infused with project-based learning. Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi Charter School has tremendous potential for continued positive growth, so it is exciting to be part of our journey ahead.”

Adams is impressed with so many things about Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi, whose staff have worked hard to safely accommodate face-to-face learning during the pandemic this school year. He said that Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi team members and families are grateful to live and work on a beautiful island that is almost COVID-free. But above all, Adams is inspired by the enthusiasm, engagement and attitudes of the learners.

“Our learners have been fantastic,” Adams said. “They have embraced the challenges and uniqueness to be on campus, and we are extremely proud of their efforts to keep everyone safe here at school and on our island.”

Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi kindergarten facilitator Casey Zoppa said that, within a few weeks of Adams’ arrival as director, he’d learned the names of all the facilitators and learners and made his positive presence known.

“Talk about dedication to that job,” Zoppa said. “The man is always in sneakers because he is always on the run! And I love it!”

Outdoor Classrooms

Also new to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi are outdoor classrooms, which have added to the instructional environment and culture of the school.

Adams said that the outdoor classrooms create great opportunities, including safe social distancing, physical education and lots of play-based learning.

“The outdoor classrooms here in beautiful Kahili Valley are somewhat surreal, as the learners are surrounded by green, lush plants framed by the mountains,” Adams said.

The outdoor classrooms have also enhanced the school’s creative projects and learner inquiry. For example, Zoppa and the kindergarten learners are currently focusing on sound design and the driving question “How do we make sound?”

“We’ll be making instruments, learning about Hawaiian culture and seeing how native Hawaiians made instruments,” Zoppa said. “Music connects us around the globe, and this is a perfect time for connecting.”

Play-Based Learning

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter SchoolIn addition to project-based learning, the idea of intentional and learner-led play has become a foundational instructional element of Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.

Zoppa said that his kindergartners are learning school is not about sitting at desks but rather about being active and engaged in their environment.

“We have tremendous freedom here as facilitators, and we try to model that freedom for our learners,” Zoppa said. “We allow them to take chances, make mistakes and ultimately get messy. Authentic and deeper learning are messy.”

Adams said, “It’s so exciting to be part of new opportunities for our learners as they continue to be challenged in new ways by their amazing facilitators.”

Looking Ahead

Having achieved so much in only three years, Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi is just getting started. The team and families are making plans to continue to engage the learners and the entire community.

According to Zoppa, Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi is a special place with a strong foundation and exciting potential.

“We have come so far in just three years. I can’t imagine all the amazing things ahead for our learners, facilitators and community.”

Alakai O Kauai

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Culture: Components of Social-Emotional Learning — Optimism

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is one of the core elements of the Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School approach to education. Through social-emotional learning, learners understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Academic achievement is only one aspect of a learner’s education at Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School. We also deeply value learners’ development of emotional intelligence, life skills, and community engagement, and we support these through the development of character strengths, as defined by Character Lab. Social-emotional learning develops strengths of heart, mind, and will.

Today, we want to discuss a character strength of will: optimism. Optimism is being hopeful about future outcomes combined with the agency to shape that future.

When we embody the character strength of optimism, the following things are true about us:

  1. We attribute problems to temporary, changeable causes rather than explaining them in terms that author Martin Seligman calls “the three Ps” – permanent, personal, and pervasive.
  2. We expect good things from others, the world, and the future.
  3. We can overcome obstacles to reach goals.

We can help learners build healthy optimism in the following ways:

  • Create a positive, stable, caring environment. We can create positive, stable environments where kids feel known and cared for.
  • Help learners develop more positive thinking patterns. For example, if a learner gets stuck and says, “I’m not good at this,” we encourage them to reposition the statement like this: “I need more practice or a new perspective to master this concept.” This takes consistent practice.
  • Give learners opportunities to learn from their mistakes. If learners experience failure and learn from that failure, they will develop resiliency when obstacles occur.

Character Lab CEO Angela Duckworth has said, “It stands to reason that even in our darkest moments, there will always be hope for humankind.”

That thought likely rings true for many of us as we survey a world gripped by multiple ongoing crises. We all need optimism, and we have a responsibility to help kids develop a healthy strength of optimism that will help them face the world.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alakai O Kauai Social Emotional Learning

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Culture: Social Intelligence

In the Alaka’i O Kaua’i approach to project-based learning, which produces well-rounded kids, social intelligence is a key component of whole-child development.

What do we mean by social intelligence? It’s a person’s ability to interact well with others. It’s often simply called people skills, or tact. It isn’t necessarily a natural-born characteristic, but it can be learned. It involves situational awareness, understanding of social dynamics, and self-awareness.

In a nutshell, it’s the ability to recognize our emotions, exert control over them, show empathy for others, handle conflict well, and make good choices. By helping kids develop social intelligence, we empower them to build stronger relationships and lay the groundwork for bright futures.

Social intelligence isn’t static; it continually develops throughout one’s life. It’s never too late to sharpen it, and children are especially ready to learn. Educating children on healthy communication helps them to be a friend who is empathetic, generous, kind, and a good listener. There are four main characteristics of social intelligence:

Empathy: Empathy determines how well one relates to other people’s thoughts and emotions. Empathetic people consider and understand diverse perspectives, even if they don’t share the same ideas. They can pick up on a person’s mood and adjust their reactions accordingly.

Respect: Mutual understanding calls for a degree of respect. Respecting others can mean adapting communication styles to fit their needs, or finding a healthy compromise.

Behavior: This component concerns how people carry themselves in social situations. Are their actions appropriate for the setting? Do they make others feel relaxed or uncomfortable? A person must be able to adapt when necessary while maintaining their core values.

Self-efficacy: This characteristic refers to how a person judges themselves on their capacity to perform particular tasks. If someone has a stable sense of self-efficacy concerning social intelligence, they’re confident in their social abilities.

These skills are reinforced in school, but the foundations are set at home, which is one reason why Alaka’i O Kaua’i believes in strong parent/guardian involvement in the educational process.

We can do the following to develop our social intelligence:

  • Pay close attention to what and who are around us
  • Work on increasing our emotional intelligence
  • Respect cultural differences
  • Practice active listening
  • Appreciate the important people in our lives

Much like the other components of the Alaka’i O Kaua’i approach to education, the development of social intelligence builds strengths in kids, as well as sharpening all the other pillars of social-emotional and project-based learning — resulting in well-rounded kids who are ready for whatever challenges life may bring.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

Alaka'i O Kaua'i Charter School bus

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.

Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School

Remembering with Tutu B: How Alaka`i O Kaua`i Became a School

Aloha, Alaka`i O Kaua`i `Ohana,

Time for a little mathematics! How long ago was the year 2013? How old were you? Do you remember where you were or what you were doing? Let’s find out why the year 2013 is important to the `Ohana of Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School!

Ms. Moraes holds her certificate: “Thank you for your vision and insight to bring an iLEAD School to Kauai.”

In the year 2013, plans for iLEAD Kauai first began and our first application was submitted to the charter commission. Deena Fontana Moraes wrote the first series of applications with iLEAD cofounders, Amber Raskin and Dawn Evenson. Ms. Moraes now works as an administrator in the DOE as an educational consultant.

For the 2014-2015 application, Dr. B Blackwell (Tutu B — that’s me!) was added. A lot of volunteers supported this application and went out into the community to gather over 800 signatures in support of the school.

Nicola Sherrill, Tutu B, and Minna Freeman Prichard in 2015 at Kapaa Town Nite.

Three people who worked hard to gather signatures were Nicola Sherrill, Tutu B, and Minna Freeman Prichard, who also served as board members. Nicola had been part of the school effort since 2013 and still serves today as vice chairperson of the Alaka`i O Kaua`i Governing Board.

We held many community meetings, the first in May of 2014. The largest meeting was held January 8, 2015, at the All Saints’ gym in Kapa`a. Over 100 people attended, including the Mayor of Kauai, Bernard Carvalho Jr. and Superintendent of Kauai Schools Bill Arakaki!

Amber Raskin and Dawn Evenson,
cofounders of iLEAD Schools Development (now Maker Learning Network), our service provider.

In spite of the overwhelming community support, the charter commission denied iLEAD Kauai’s applications for both 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

So how did the community triumph with their third and final effort, when we submitted the application (now as Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School) for the 2015-2016 year?

This poster says, “Please join us for some free food and entertainment and learn about this innovative new K-8 charter school, proposed for the island of Kauai – Fall 2016.”

New rules stated that no director or group of people could submit an application. Only a governing board with officers could submit an application and a director had to be selected through an advertised and vetting process. Many times there were challenges that I thought we couldn’t overcome.

I spent many hours looking at my computer screen, answering the Charter Commission’s questions.

What got me through the process?

On my computer screen were the photos of the governing board members’ children, our school’s keiki (see our featured photo above). I wanted them to benefit from the alternative educational program offered by iLEAD Schools Development (now Maker Learning Network).

On August 11, 2016, Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School was finally approved!

And did you know that the Hawaiian translation for Alaka`i O Kaua`i means iLEAD Kauai?

Here is our Kauai County Fair booth, designed by Indulekha Reeves with her keiki, Sylvan and Nimai and Minna Freeman-Prichard’s children, Anneli and Ipo.

Soon after we received the approval, we shared the news with Kauai through the Kauai County Fair. Our booth was designed by Indulekha Reeves, who was vice chairperson of our board at the time and is now the chairperson.

But wait! If our school was planned to be in Kapaa, then how did Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School end up in our beautiful Mount Kahili home? That story will be told in the next chapter of Remembering with Tutu B!

Alakai O Kauai Mud Kitchen

Inspiration: Mud Kitchen Fun!

By Nicole Huguenin
Director of Arts Integration and Play Maker, Maker Learning Network

Remember: Kids are 100% washable!

Are you running out of ideas to entertain your bright learners at home? We have just the thing for you: Why not build your family’s very own mud kitchen?

Mud kitchens are so much fun for your kids! Not only do they completely engage children and provide you with some much-needed extra time, but they also encourage the following:

  • Exploration
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Social Skills
  • Role-Playing
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Math
  • Sensory Play
  • Wonder and Joy

Did you know that dirt is healthy for your kids? Find out “The Dirt on Dirt” and the many health benefits of mud!

How to Make a Mud Kitchen

Mud kitchens can be as simple as a bowl, a stick, some dirt, and some water. They can also be a little more elaborate. Click here for our collection of mud kitchen ideas on Pinterest! Let your child’s imagination guide them in their mud kitchen adventures.

Mud Kitchen Supply Ideas

Items for mud kitchens need not be new. They can be things from around the house, or you can ask friends and relatives if they have any. Thrift stores are also a great place to find things for mud kitchens. See what you can find from this list:

  • Cupcake Tins
  • Wooden Spoons
  • Mashers
  • Whisks
  • Spatulas
  • Metal Bowls
  • Wooden Bowls
  • Sifter
  • Small Pans
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Colanders
  • Ladles
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Rolling Pin
  • Pots and Pans
  • Expired Spices
  • Dried or Old Flowers

Remember: “Kids are 100% washable!” —Lisa Latimer, iLEAD Agua Dulce School Director

Have fun! #GETMUDDY

Be sure to share your mud kitchen photos with us here!

Alaka'i O Kaua'i learner outside with friends with boats near water

Together Tuesdays: Share Your Photos and Stories!

Dear Alaka’i O Kaua’i community,

Once a month, we share a new Together Tuesdays video. Click here to submit your photos or short videos for the next edition! Submissions received by the Friday before each edition are eligible to be included.*

We can’t wait to see your contributions!

If you have any questions, simply reply to stories@ileadschools.org.

Sincerely,
The iLEAD Team

*If you send us a photo or video, we will consider this approval for use on our school websites and social media accounts. Please do not include images of video conference screens showing learners.

21st Century Skills Alakai O Kauai

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Culture: Whole-Child Development

Last week we introduced the importance of social-emotional learning at Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School. Social-emotional learning is integral to our whole-child educational approach.

A whole-child mind-set means that we are focused on far more than teaching to tests or holding up state standards as the be-all, end-all of education. We believe in focusing on the whole child and promoting social-emotional learning, because education is about more than test scores.

Whole-child development empowers kids to be creative, engaged citizens. With that in mind, we believe it’s our responsibility to nurture learners’ creative abilities to express themselves, understand others, and navigate complex information so they can confidently solve the problems of an ever-changing world.

So when we say we focus on “whole child” development, what do we mean? We’re talking about an approach to project-based learning that emphasizes the following deeper-learning approaches:

Mastery of Core Academic Content: Learners lay their academic foundation in subjects such as reading, writing, arts, math, and science, understanding essential principles and procedures, recalling facts, and drawing on their knowledge to complete tasks.

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Our learners understand how to construct effective arguments using their critical, analytical, and creative skills. They develop the know-how to come up with solutions to complex problems.

Collaboration: Learners embrace teamwork and consider multiple viewpoints to cooperate and achieve shared goals.

Effective Communication: Learners communicate effectively in writing and oral presentations. They structure information in meaningful ways, listen to and give feedback, and construct messages for particular audiences.

Self-Directed Learning: Learners develop the ability to set goals, monitor their own progress, and reflect on their strengths and areas for improvement. They learn to see setbacks as opportunities to grow and be more adaptive.

Growth Mind-set: Learners with a growth mind-set believe in themselves. They trust their abilities and believe their hard work will pay off; they persist to overcome obstacles. In the process, they also learn from and support each other and see the relevance of their schoolwork to the real world and their own future success.

Coupled with vibrant project-based education and social-emotional learning, all these elements work together to empower kids to overcome any challenge that comes their way academically; but more than that, they build the character to succeed in the 21st century.

Shop Amazon for FREE Fund-raising for Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi!

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepageDid you know you can help Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi grow and provide additional resources by just doing the things you’re already doing every day?

We call this “passive fundraising.” Through Amazon Smile, you can buy items for the same exact price, and Amazon will send us a portion of their proceeds each time you shop with them. Every little bit counts! Please help us take advantage of the opportunity to earn funds! See below for details and make sure your purchases make a difference! Please help us build a better school for our keiki with the opportunity to earn funds from everyday purchases! We sincerely appreciate everything our Alakaʻi Ohana can do to help!

See below for the simple steps for using Amazon Smile and see how easy it really is!

Amazon Smile

  • Shop on smile.amazon.com
  • Under the search bar on Amazon Smile’s site, it will say “Supporting.” This is where you’ll choose Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • Start shopping on smile.amazon.com so that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi.
  • If you purchase under the regular amazon.com, those purchases will not be donated to the school. It has to be through smile.amazon.com.