Monday message 06.17.2019

Alakai O Kauai Playground

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I cannot express how happy I am to continue to partner with you in the education of your child. I feel very fortunate to have a job that I really love and enjoy! The most enjoyable part for me is serving learners, facilitators, and you, the parents. I define myself as a “Servant Leader,” one who serves others through leadership. I am especially thankful to the Alaka’i O Kaua’i Board of Directors for placing me in the position of being the permanent leader for the present and future of this fantastic school.

Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School is fortunate to have a few dedicated parent/guardian volunteers who take an active role in the day-to-day activities of our school. However, we can always use more parent/guardian volunteers. Some work in the front office, others work in our classrooms, and others do whatever it takes to help our learners become successful. This type of support does not exist in traditional public schools; this is what makes charter schools so special. Unlike your traditional public schools where children attend because they live in a particular school district, I am well aware of the fact that our learners are here because of the choice their parents and guardians made to place them here.

Two main features that make our school special are our belief in supporting the social emotional well-being of all our learners, and Project-Based Learning that enables learners to develop a deeper understanding of the concept they are being taught through hands-on learning. I have a trainer who will be helping our facilitators and parents better understand how it works in practice. We will also be providing professional development for our facilitators, to ensure they have a solid understanding of the style of learning that we use at our school. In addition, we will continue to embrace and incorporate the principles of Love and Logic, establish schoolwide expectations, and work with our learners to make good choices. Our restorative approach to learner discipline views relationships as central to a healthy environment for our learners.

In conclusion, there are few new educational initiatives that I will be adding to our school next year. Some of the new initiatives are: art, music, and foreign language (Spanish). In addition, there will be a reading specialist on contract to work with our struggling readers. Also, we will have single separate grades next year, instead of combined grades (K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd,4th, 5th, and one 6th grade class). We will be following the DOE calendar for the 2019/20 school year, which should make it easier for parents who have children enrolled in district schools.

Frederick A. Birkett, Ed.M
School Director