New charter school readies for opening

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Zion Akana, a seventh grade home schooler and nearby resident, keeps an eye on the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i charter school, Tuesday while the shipping container was unloaded of its contents. Akana said he has been vigilant about keeping an eye on people not familiar with the new school in the Kahili Mountain Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Denise Trentham, the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i director, points out where books belong to Kim Morgan, a Grade 1 and 2 teacher, Tuesday during the Moving-in Day when a 400-square foot shipping container of school supplies and furniture was unpacked at the new charter school in the Kahili Mountain Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Amy Letherer, a Grade 5 teacher at Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i, unpacks boxes of books along with Kai Fox while parent volunteer Nathan Souvana assembles group tables, Tuesday at the new charter school in the Kahili Mountain Park.

LIHUE — Dr. Kani Blackwell put out a call for help to unload the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i “School in a Box” at the site of the newest charter school at Kahili Mountain Park.

Come Tuesday morning, people responded.

“There were more than 40 parents and some of the school’s students responding, and they made short work of unloading the 400-square foot shipping container,” said Denise Trentham, school director.

Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i, with the arrival of the shipping container, is beginning to take shape in time for its scheduled opening — Aug. 15 being the first day for teachers, and Aug. 28 being the first day for students.

Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i is still accepting applications.

“Our capacity is 165 students in kindergarten through grade five,” Trentham said. “We also have a wait list, but we’re drawing from the wait list, daily. All of the students who have applied for this year will probably get an opportunity to explore the new school.”

Help finding the school a home came from throughout the community, including its landowner, the Knudsen Trust.

“They have been more than gracious in getting us into the school that includes the school building, the gym, and a nearby cottage that will become a preschool for the next school year,” Trentham said. “They even put in a new separate road for the people who live near the school to keep the school students safe. They have been more than nice to us.”

Additionally, the Trust arranged to have a new roof installed on its main school building, and the Matson Navigation Company provided a grant to help get the school supplies container to the campus.

Trentham said opening day is about three weeks behind the Department of Education scheduling, but is necessary to ensure that everything is ready.


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