North Shore community proposes charter school for 100 students

North Shore community proposes charter school for 100 students

Jade Eckardt

HALEIWA—Parents of school aged children on the North Shore hope to a see a charter school opened soon that would accommodate 100 seventh- and eighth-grade students. Educators and community activists say the purpose of opening the school is to offer an alternative school that promotes self-motivation, creativity, and courage to create community-minded problem solvers. The school would use progressive methods in delivering academic content to engage students in their own learning.

If all goes according to plan, the school would open within two to three years. Signatures are currently being sought in a petition to open the school.

Currently, students from K through sixth grade can attend Sunset Beach Elementary or Sunset Beach Christian School. Seventh-grade-and-up students who live to the east of Pupukea Road attend Kahuku High School, while those on the west of the road attend Wailua High. Numerous students on the North Shore above sixth grade do homeschool.

Charter schools are independent public schools operating independently of the district Board of Education. Charter schools act as one-school public school districts. Educators, parents, community leaders and other people come together to write the charter plan and describe the school’s guiding principles, governance structure, and other measures. If the State approves the charter, funding for the charter is given on a per pupil basis.

Unique elements propose a staggered bell schedule with the intent of the schedule allowing extra, personalized instruction for struggling students. For advanced students, the bell schedule is expected to be tailored to fit their needs. Music elective and foreign language electives will be required for all students. The curriculum will be online and based on national standards, allowing teachers to individualize their instruction to support each student’s learning ability. The plan is for students to work independently online for half the day and spend the other half with reading, hands on projects and working with peers to grasp benchmarks.

Each student attending the school will be expected to provide three hours a week of community service, while one parent or guardian will have to commit to two hours of weekly volunteer service. If there are too many applicants, a lottery will be used to fill the spots.

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