Aloha and Welcome to our Blog!

KPS recently learned that they will receive $45,000 a year for the next five years in order to transform the school’s learning environment into a model for future schools across the nation and globe. KPS is one of 20 schools awarded these large grants as part of a statewide initiative to foster educational innovation. The 20 schools will create a community of learners that will collaborate using a social networking site called a Ning On this site, teacher and other school leaders will share their progress, their projects and their findings about how children are learning with the latest technologies. 

At KPS, the focus of the grant for the students and teachers will be on 21st century skills including “The Three C’s”; Creativity, Collaboration and Communication.” Preparing children for the future requires a conscious focus on academic rigor alongside skills that cross all academic disciplines. Younger students will tell their family stories using VoiceThread, our first and second graders will share their poetry with EPals from other countries, our third and fourth graders will share their learnings about Polynesian Culture and History with others using Movie Maker. The KPS 5th and 6th graders will engage in a  year-long unit of discovery called Kilauea: Past, Present and Future where they will look at how the town has evolved over the years with a special focus on how to ensure that Kilauea understands its roots while integrating sustainability into its future plans. The content of all the units will emerge from existing units of discovery in the core program but students will learn complementary skills in their specialty classes.  For example, storytelling formats and strategies will be practiced in their weekly creative dance/storytelling class. Students will also experiment with design principles needed to enhance new storytelling tools in their weekly art classes. Finally, they will learn to manipulate new media tools in their technology class.  We envision a true collaborative effort that will increase classroom engagement, improve student literacy and create more meaningful work for our students and our community. 

This blog will be our attempt as teachers to share what we are learning with others! “This is a huge honor for our school. Over 50 schools initially expressed interest in the grant so we feel very lucky to be the only Kaua¢i School to be honored with this award,” says Principal Lisa Mireles. “The day after we received news about this grant, we also learned that we were selected by the Hawaii Arts Alliance as an Arts Excellence School for 2009.  We are thrilled that our efforts to create an innovative program that is more reflective of what children need today are being recognized and rewarded.”