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Proposing a secondary school

  • submitted photo

    Nanea Marston gives input during the Kilauea listening session.

  • submitted photo

    Kapua Chandler (right) and Sass Marston look over ideas for a school from the Kilauea listening session.

KILAUEA — More than one proposal is in the works for a middle and high school on Kauai’s North Shore.

Independent architect Skylar Brown says the North Shore needs a place for secondary education. He has included that need in his vision for a public charter North Shore High School and a public aquatic center.

He says the school he envisions is a tuition-free school that would cost an estimated $15 million to build.

The Kauai North Shore Community Foundation has also been working on a concept for a public charter middle school and high school. The cost of that project hasn’t been determined.

“We’re working on the philosophy and vision for it right now,” said Melanie Parker, foundation charter school steering committee chair.

The foundation has been working on a community-based vision for the school for three years.

They’ve secured a 99-year renewable land license for eight acres in Kalihiwai donated by Joan Porter and fundraising initiatives are in the works.

Kapua Chandler and Jennifer Luck, who have held talk story sessions on the project, said the target opening date for the school is between 2021-2023.

“We’ve been having these small group meetings and getting input so (the school) is grounded in the community,” Parker said. “We want to create an ag-focused, place-based school grounded in the land.”

The group is preparing an application to submit to the State Public Charter School Commission.

Brown’s proposal touches on many of the same points. However, it doesn’t include a middle school. Instead, Brown has included a public aquatic center in his proposal, with a half-Olympic sized pool.

Both proposals focus on getting kids outdoor for learning, an emphasis on idea sharing and hands-on learning.

  1. gordon oswald May 20, 2019 7:38 am Reply

    Uh…excuse me Skylar. There is no such thing as a “free tuition” school!!! In fact, there is no such thing as “free” anything! Out side of course, in fairy tales, naïve unschooled imaginations, and the liberal left’s endless stream of self induced, publicly displayed, fantasy mind sex for votes shell game. On top of the $15,000,000 tree you will pick the construction money from, you will have to arrange for a never ending source of money, probably mismanaged by some Government Agency playing like it knows how to hide the higher taxes and it’s robbery from other “Government” programs necessary to fund the “free tuition” rabbit hole. Good luck with our collective future!

  2. livealoha May 20, 2019 9:00 am Reply

    No doubt the North Shore needs secondary schools. But, when I see ” We want to create an ag-focused, place-based school grounded in the land”, I wonder if the developers have gone to Kapaa High School and asked the students what they want. Please ask the demographic of students that would be attending the school what they want.

  3. Uncleaina May 20, 2019 9:16 am Reply

    “Getting students outside”? “Sharing ideas”? So you’re gonna build a school based on love and sunshine? Good luck on raising $115,000,000.00. That’s basically a million dollars for each kid.

  4. UncleLucky May 20, 2019 2:51 pm Reply

    Aloha All – this article exposes the long time need and support for a North Shore Middle and High School. These comments however are anything but supportive. Of course everything unfortunately comes down to money these days but kids have needed an alternative other than Kapa’a for years now and one would think folks could at the very least recognize this before jumping at the opportunity to criticize the program and financial aspects of the project, rather than keep their negative comments to themselves. As a NS resident with two amazing young kids, we have supported new schools wherever they can be opened (ie: recently opened Koloa charter school). We all know how long and laborious the process can take. Let’s try to show a little support for our keiki who all deserve access to a quality education, wherever they live on Kauai.

  5. Dt May 20, 2019 5:13 pm Reply

    I think a north shore school is completely viable. Dividing the cost of the school by the number of kids is rediculous. The school is not made to last 4 years. The cost of the school would be divided by the capital lifetime expectancy. Expect the school to last 30 years (26 classes of graduating students, 25 per class). Annual maintenance costs of 10%. Personnel costs probably around 150Kper 20 students per year. The personnel costs would just be shifting resources from Kapaa north. No added burden. The only added cost is the construction and maintenance. North shore property taxes are insane right now. There is more money donated to north shore community projects than probably the entire island combined. The north shore could probably build this school using a go fund me page and a couple fundraisers if they wanted to.

    Don’t let the nay sayers bring this down. The north shore needs a middle and high school. Busing the kids down to Kapaa is ridiculous.

  6. Uncleaina May 20, 2019 7:40 pm Reply

    Hold up. I’m not being negative – I’m being realistic. There’s less than 150 kids from the north shore going to Kapaa. Divide that by 4 and you’ve got 4 classes of 35 kids. That’s a really small public school. Do the math and you’ll see that $15M construction costs would be $100,000 per kid and you haven’t even paid a teacher or turned on the lights. And taking $ teachers etc from Kapaa isn’t so simple. Mostly wealthy mainland people who don’t have kids up there honestly.

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