December 2017 Newsletter

Patience is a Virtue

You have not heard from us in a while because sometimes big steps take more time to accomplish.  The past couple of months have been a waiting game as representatives and lawyers  from all the players involved have been busy in securing a home for our school and negotiating the many details of a lease.  We now have a lot of good news to share…

We are SO EXCITED to announce that Alaka`i has a home!!

We will be the new tenants at Kahili Mountain Park.  Our lush and unique site will encompass several acres, an orchard with gardening space, a school building, gymnasium, and other multi functional buildings.  Woohoo! The kids will love it!  It is an idyllic setting for a school like ours.

Located mauka of the highway just past Maluhia Road (Tree Tunnel), Kahili Mountain Park is within the Koloa zip code.  While we tried our best for over three years to find an east side property, it was just not possible at this time. However, we will still accept and encourage students from any and all parts of the island to apply.  We would like to form a task force to focus on bussing and/or carpooling to ease the burden of traveling distance.  Please sign up on our volunteer form.

2015 Alaka`i friends scouting Mt Kahili


iLEAD School Development Support Services

The Governing Board of Alaka’i O Kaua’i made the decision to hire iLEAD Schools Development, after whom our school is modeled, to receive support in three areas:

Back Office : bookkeeping, business, computer programs, marketing

  1. Professional Development : year round workshops and training for our teachers, board and staff
  2. Educational Services : curriculum development and implementation of PBL, SEL, STEAM, ELA and Math; program and student assessment support.  

This is great news as they offer a generous array of services and have ten years of success for us to build upon.  We will benefit greatly from their decade of experience and multitude of schools.  As a 501c3 nonprofit, they will also act as our non profit until we can get a Friends of Alaka’i O Kaua’i non profit of our own off the ground.

Walmart Grant

A huge thank you to Walmart for providing us with $32,500 in grant money to be used for tablets and iPads for our learners!! How awesome is that?!   A special thank you to Diane Keeler, manager of our local Walmart store in Lihue, for helping Alakai O Kauai Charter School  receive this grant.  The project “A Sound Investment for the Future” will provide iPads for our  learners and is a true investment  in our youths, our future leaders.

Board members Nicola Sherrill and DrB with our grant check from Walmart

Admissions for SY 2017 – 2018

Our Admissions Policy is up for review and approval by the State Charter Commission on December 14.  On December 15th our admissions policy and learner applications will be made available on our website.  Applications may be submitted through January 12th at 4pm.  Our lottery date is planned for the evening of January 16th (location tbd).  Applicants who are accepted will have two weeks to confirm their spot by submitting a complete enrollment packet.  Then on February 7th, we will begin enrollment on a first-apply, first-served basis according to our available spaces.

We look forward to building our community!

Director (Principal)

In other wonderful news, we are happy to have Denise Trentham join us as our school director for our opening year.  She specializes in start-up schools and taking on the challenge of improving schools who are struggling.  What is even more special, however, is that Denise has been part of our Alaka`i family since its inception and through the years has volunteered her expertise whenever asked.  She has a long and highly respected career in public school administration but was inspired after retirement by the iLEAD philosophy which we will practice at Alaka`i.  We will have a meet and greet in 2018 after her arrival.

Volunteer Opportunities

As always, we are reaching out for volunteers.  Please do what you can to help ensure a successful school for your keiki.  We have an easy form you can fill out on our website.

We will need help recruiting learners (AKA students)!  If you can attend any events or markets or gathering areas where we can set up an information table, please let us know!  We will also have flyers you can pin up or pass out.


If time is not on your side to help, please consider a donation!  Financial support is also needed to help get our school set up.  Or maybe you have skills or services you can donate to help our keiki and their new school?  Please let us know!  Donate on our website or send a check to Alakai O Kauai Charter School, P.O. Box 1585, Kapaa, HI 96746.


Project Based Learning at Home

A component of PBL is problem solving. When your child comes to you with a problem, rather than try to fix it for him or her, start asking questions to help guide towards a solution. There may not always be one right solution, or the first idea may not work.  The point is that you get your child thinking, motivated, experienced (especially in times of failure), and more self-confident.  And parents can practice patience and cheerleading!

One way you can incorporate this at home is to talk about what concerns your child has about the world around him. Maybe you can give examples of what our island community struggles with. What issues does he or she relate to, or which one(s) would he/she be interested in learning more about?  How can your family help towards the goal of easing the problem?  Research community groups who are already established and need volunteers, attend county council or other non profit group meetings, organize your own event with friends and family, etc.

In fact that is how this school got started!!