Give Kani “DrB” Blackwell an A for effort, an A for attitude and and A for results.
She’s long been the face and voice of the proposed Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School, its ardent advocate, its most passionate person. She has been there through the first applications that were rejected by the Hawaii Charter Commission. She has been there for the disappointments when location after location that might have served as home to the school fell through. She has been there through the financial challenges and the unexpected setbacks.
But this woman with the delightful smile and positive outlook on life never gave up. Others might have. After all,we’re talking several years in the process. DrB never did. She and her board and volunteers and parents persevered. And we are better off for it.
All that perseverance paid off with the finding of a home at Kahili Mountain Park, which is located mauka of the highway just past Maluhia Road, the Tree Tunnel.
It was down the deadline to find that home. This came in just in time. 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 the school and negotiating lease details.
What would have happened if Alakai did not have its leases in the system on Dec. 15? If the school doesn’t open by the 2018-2019 school year, it loses its charter approval.
The Hawaii Charter Commission would have considered its charter contract null and void. That would have meant four years down the drain, for Hawaii to have this new school, which will be free to Kauai keiki.
Thankfully, four years of dedication paid off.
Hopes are high for Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School. We believe it will prove to be a big benefit for education here. It will be project-based learning, social emotional learning and offer individualized learning plans for each child. Annual operating costs will be in the $1 million range. While most of that will come from the state, the school must raise about $250,000. It will pursue grants and other fundraisers.
This school will need volunteers. It will need students. It will need financial support. If you’re interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a success story we are glad to share with the community. It’s a result of teamwork, collaboration and fortitude. It’s a shining example of how to set a goal and go for it.
We are glad to be able to congratulate DrB and the rest of the Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School for this achievement. It is sure to impact Kauai, for the better, for generations.