Letter for Tuesday, January 2, 2018

School starting over with enrollment

Thank you for the coverage in the Garden Island Newspaper of Alakai O Kauai Charter School. We greatly appreciate the coverage to the community. We need to correct the article by John Steinhorst in that we do not have 100 enrollees in the school. We had 111 with intent to enroll last year for the 2017-2018 school year and asked the Hawaii Charter Commission if we could “roll these numbers over” for this year. We were denied the chance to do this and were told we must start all over for this coming school year (2018-2019). We now begin our challenge of gathering enrollment from scratch.

John asked me two questions and I might not have gotten my answers to him in time to be printed. I would like to share my responses with our families and community.

John: Can you provide a comment about what it means for Kauai keiki?

DrB: I think Kauai keiki and families need a choice. They are going to be challenged to meet those 21st Century Skills of creativity, collaboration, communications, critical thinking (problem-solving) and caring.

John: How will your new school impact the community?

DrB: We have some wonderful schools here on Kauai, and Alakai O Kaua`i Charter School is going to be a great addition to our Kauai schools and an alternative choice for families. As we educators all know, all children do not learn the same and we hope to meet the children with our project-based learning, social-emotional learning, and individual learning plans.

There won’t be any desks, only tables for collaborative work, and no homework! Research shows that homework in early grades K-5 is not beneficial.

We want our learners to go home and be with the family to dance, surf, play soccer or participate in some community service. They will be busy during those school hours engaged in their academics and learning to think, question, and be ready to be leaders of tomorrow.

Dr. Kani Blackwell (DrB), Kapaa


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