Alaka‘i charter school celebrates SBAC results

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Public Charter School board member kumu Chris Town said “Learning is taking place” as students create marshmallow towers in one of the school’s outdoor classrooms Friday in Kahili Valley.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kumu Chris Town, standing, an Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Public Charter School board member, joins students Tui Saia, Chase Batalucco, Sawyer Kimball and Ayda Phillips for an ice-cream bar Friday during a school-wide ice-cream party celebrating the achievements in the latest state Department of Education Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing.

KOLOA — For a lot of the 180 students enrolled in Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Public Charter School, the ice cream was just another way to celebrate Friday, the last day of school before the weekend.

School Director David Adams said the school-wide ice-cream party symbolized more than that. The ice-cream party celebrated the school’s latest results from the state Department of Education state Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing at the school.

“It’s hard to imagine we are already five weeks into the 2021-2022 school year,” Adams said. “We have been blessed thus far with increased enrollment and no quarantine cases on campus yet.”

“On the 2020-2021 HIDOE state SBAC testing, our school enjoyed our best results in our short history,” Adams said. “We scored above state standards in six of nine categories, including some results as high as 30 percent above the state average. We’re celebrating this accomplishment with an SBAC Ice Cream Friday where all of our learners will get ice cream.”

For students in third through sixth grades, Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i demonstrated its highest level of accomplishment in the third grade English and language arts, where the school finished with 73 percent proficient compared to the Kaua‘i Area Complex’s 43 percent and the state’s 43 percent. This score puts Alaka‘i at 30 percent higher than the state level.

The school’s third-grade students were also the only class to show a positive finish in mathematics, finishing with 60 percent compared to the Kaua‘i Complex 36 percent and the state’s 41 percent for a 24 percent higher level than the Kaua‘i Complex, and 19 percent higher than the state. Other grades’ scores follow:

Fourth grade

• ELA 68% Alaka‘i, 42% Kaua‘i, 46% state;

• Math 32% Alaka‘i, 33% Kaua‘i, 36% state.

Fifth grade

• ELA 68% Alaka‘i, 49% Kaua‘i, 51% state;

• Math 26% Alaka‘i, 27 % Kauai, 32% state;

• Science 63% Alaka‘i, 37% Kaua‘i, 37% state.

Sixth grade

• ELA 54% Alaka‘i, 46% Kaua‘i, 46% state;

• Math 23% Alaka‘i, 25% Kauai, 29% state.

Scores on SBAC tests are important because they show how well students are progressing against the new, higher standards, states the HIDOE website. It is important for parents to know that their child is mastering the necessary skills to be successful in the next grade level.

The SBAC tests in mathematics and English language arts are aligned to the Hawai‘i Common Core Standards and designed to measure whether students are “on track” for readiness in college and/or career. These are mandatory assessments for students in grades three through eight, and grade 11.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for the learning community of Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School to celebrate the success of our keiki,” Adams said.

“We are extremely fortunate to be a small school located in a remote rural setting, which has allowed our learners to be on campus during most of the pandemic. The blessing to have our students on campus for daily instruction combined with creative, project-based learning activities has both contributed to strong positive outcomes on the HIDOE state SBAC test results,” he said.

“Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School also wishes to acknowledge the good work being done by our colleagues in the HIDOE schools, the private schools, and the other charter schools on Kaua‘i in educating our keiki,” Adams continued.

“Our school still has much work ahead in the spirit of continuous improvement, but we are happy to celebrate with our learners today.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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