September 2018 Newsletter

Dear friends and supporters,

This is a time of many firsts for Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i.  The first day of school for students has been the big one so many have been waiting for. Over the years there were times it looked like it might never happen; we are used to setbacks and have gotten even more resilient over time.  So when Hurricane Lane approached the islands and forced everyone to stop what they were doing to prepare, our teachers and staff also took it in stride. Luckily, Lane appeared to spare us, until the lingering stormy weather dumped torrential rain and flooded the road to school on the morning of our first day!  Our students’ and families’ safety is our number one concern and the reason we had to cancel school at the last minute.

First Day of School: 1st & 2nd Grades Combined Classroom

We were reassured to know that this is a rare occurrence, and only the second time Knudsen Trust had to close the road due to flooding like this. The following day, Wednesday, August 29th, can go down in history for us as our school’s opening day.  For many, it was their first chance to meet their child’s facilitator (teacher) and see the classrooms.


The first week was a huge success and already parents and learners are raving about Alaka‘i.  Check out what they are saying:

“We love the school, faculty, staff and families!”

“…I saw the biggest change in my children’s behavior when I picked them up from school yesterday.  They were kind to each other!!!!!…I asked them what’s different about this school than (name withheld) School? They said, “EVERYTHING! We share everything.”…He was so encouraged. My son has always hated school he dreads and complains complains complains! He was so excited to get up and go to school this morning!…”

“My fifth grader went on and on during our ride home about how much he loves his class. Then I found him later looking forlorn. He wishes he was back at school!”

We hope these wonderful feelings of excitement, pride, success, fortitude and inspiration continue to fill our hearts and halls long into the future!

If you have had similarly good experiences with Alaka‘i, please visit our Facebook page to give a rating and review; this will help encourage others to inquire and apply. We currently have a few seats available in all grade levels and hope to fill them fast.


Preparing for Learners

August was a busy time for prepping. Our school building has been reawakened as classrooms were cleaned, painted, decorated and furnished. The campus was also part of the preparations as weeds were trimmed and the playground equipment repaired.

Since parents were eager to help ready the school, our first Aloha Day was organized on August 17th. Driving up to the campus you could hear the sounds of hammering, landscaping, and the buzz of many volunteers working up a sweat in the summer heat.  Special thanks to the teachers, parents, children and community members who spent their Saturday helping our school!

Some of the many volunteers at our Aloha Day


Supporting Our Facilitators

Most of the island was busy preparing for a hurricane the week of August 20th, but our facilitators were immersed in their professional development, learning the iLEAD way of project based learning, social emotional learning and creating individual learning plans for every learner.  Linda Krystek came from the iLEAD Schools Development in California to lead this week-long boot camp.

Linda Krystek leads our facilitators at professional development


Enrollment Update    

There are currently a few seats available in all grades. Do you know anyone whose children might respond well to our unique learning environment? Share your knowledge about Alaka‘i with all your friends and family as well as on your social media! Our campus is open to visitors for anyone curious about enrolling their children. Applications are still being accepted at the school office and through our online enrollment portal:

Once grades are full, applicants will be placed on a waitlist and will gain an invitation to enroll as soon as a space becomes available.

Board Updates

Our August board meeting was held on August 15th.  Some things to note are…


School Logo: The board approved the school logo which features our pueo mascot. School shirts were also approved to be printed. The shirts display our school colors, purple and green.  They will be available at our Back To School Night, Wednesday, September 5th. All learners will receive 1 t-shirt. Additional shirts will be available for purchase. Youth sizes are $10 and Adult sizes are $20.


Before and After School Care: The board discussed the implementation of before and after school care/programs. The need was acknowledged and became available from our first day.  A survey went out to determine who and how many learners plan to attend an after school program. We have seats for 65 learners in the program for after school care and 15 seats in the before school program.  Early drop-off for before school care is 7:00 a.m. Rates for before school care are $10 per week ($35 prepaid for the month on the first day of care) for the first child, $7.50 weekly for the second child ($25 prepaid for the month).  Hours for after school care are 2:25pm to 5:30pm M-Th, 1:40pm to 5:30pm on Fridays. rates for after school care are $40 per week for the first child or $150 prepaid for the month on the first day of care. Rates for additional children are $30 per week or $100 per month prepaid on the first day of care.  Late pick-up after 5:30pm is $5 per 15 minutes. Three late pick-ups may result in dismissal.

If you are interested in before and/or after school care, please stop by the office, call 635-5110 or email in**@al**********.org


Our governing board meetings are every third Wednesday, held at the school from 5-7 pm. They are open to the public. If you would like to review the agenda and minutes of the meetings, you can find them on our website. The next meeting will be September 19th.


Money Matters

Some of our fundraising efforts paid off last month when we received a check from the Visitor Industry Charity Walk for $5,000.00. Even though our efforts at this year’s charity walk on Saturday, May 12, were challenged by our focus on opening the school and limited volunteers, we are so pleased and grateful for this donation! We are even more inspired for next year’s walk! This year’s Charity Walk money will be used for outdoor play equipment.


Donor Acknowledgement

During the month of August we received generous donations from the following:

Hawaii Hotel Visitor Industry Foundation

Rick Eckert

Sarah Salamey


Not all donations come as money!…

H Hawaii Media donated a 30 second commercial played on their radio stations twice a day.

Island Comfort Air Conditioning sent a work crew to help with landscaping and removal of old playground equipment.

The United States Coast Guard sent a crew on their day off to help clean and prepare the school facility.


Save The Dates

Wednesday, Sept. 5: Back to School Night

There will be 3 sessions for presentations and discussions: 5:30-6:00, 6:00-6:30 and 6:30-7:00. You can join in any session, that way if you have more than one kiddo you don’t have to worry about cloning yourself. We’re also cognizant of afternoon traffic.


Saturday, Sept. 29: Alaka’i O Kaua’i Grand Opening Celebration

This will be a HUGE event and we will need a lot of help in the following areas: Opening Ceremonies, Entertainment, Food/Beverage (did someone mention luau?), Children’s Activities, Set up and Clean up.

If you’d like to lend a hand, please send a message to Claire at in**@al**********.org and indicate event and job that interests you. Mahalo in advance for your support!


Amazon Smile

We are an approved NonProfit on Amazon Smile!  From now on, make your Amazon shopping page so that a percent of all your purchases gets donated to Alaka’i O Kaua’i. Here’s how: