KILAUEA — Kilauea’s Puu Kumu School is closing, and its teachers and students plan to combine classes with the nonprofit education program Homeschool Now.
Puu Kumu, which has 80 students, announced in April it was planning to close for the 2018-19 school year. The bulk of school funding ended when founder Bill Porter passed away in 2015.
To keep the school running, students took part in schoolwide fundraisers. Although not enough funds were raised in the end, 100 percent of its seventh-grade class participated to earn a ziplining trip to Princeville Ranch.
“Although the seventh- graders worked their hearts out and raised money, they really couldn’t get much in the way of other donations,” said Puu Kumu board member Jack Sculley.
Some Puu Kumu educators are joining Hawaii Technology Academy, while two instructors will join Homeschool Now, which offers kindergarten through eighth- grade. Most classes will be held at Anaina Hou Community Park’s two new facilities under the management of Christina Zimmerman, owner of Homeschool Now.
For the school year in August, 130 families are enrolled in Homeschool Now.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Sculley said. “I’ve got an incoming seventh- and eighth-grader, so it’s gotta work. Otherwise they’re going to have a long drive.”