The foundation of Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School centers around Project-Based Learning, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students, Love and Logic, and the social emotional development of all our learners.
We encourage all our facilitators (teachers) to help our learners become aware of their social emotional feelings, and the social emotional feelings of their classroom peers. Our learners exhibit this through interactions with peers at school, as well as friends and relatives outside of school. Since our learners have been in school for approximately 6 months, many of our learners are exhibiting the characteristics found in our 7 Habits curriculum, which includes one characteristic they all are encouraged to exhibit on a daily basis.
Many of our Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School learners have incorporated the 7 Habits principles into their lives. I recently saw this characteristic on full display when Kainoa, a new 4th grade learner, enrolled in our school approximately three weeks ago. His first two weeks of school were pretty rocky; however, little by little he began to adjust to his new school and classroom environment and got to know the personalities of many of his classroom peers.
One day, when Kainoa was playing with his peers during recess, he fell and broke his leg, (which was not immediately evident). With only 1 hour left in the school day, our newest learner was laying on the ground in excruciating pain. At that point, many of his peers surrounded him to find out what happened. Two of his classmates stayed with him, applying an ice pack to his leg. These two classmates took turns holding the ice-pack as they let the new learner know just how sorry they were he was hurt. While they were administering the ice pack, both of these learners expressed how glad they felt about having him as a part of their class and encouraged him to return to school as soon he is well.
The response of these 4th grade learners toward Kainoa was proof that our curricular model (7 Habits and social emotional learning) is working and practiced on a daily basis. This is what makes Alaka`i O Kaua`i Charter School such a special place to be for all of our learners.
Frederick A. Birkett, Ed.M
Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School Director