Happy New Year!
Welcome back to school! I hope that everyone had a wonderful winter break and that you are ready to begin the New Year with renewed energy and commitment. Thanks to the winter rains and the hard work of our custodial and grounds keeping staff, our campus looks especially green and beautiful.
Wai’alae School Goes Solar!
We are excited to announce that over the break, the installation of the new photovoltaic system was completed. As of January 1st, we are now producing our own electricity from the 550 solar panels installed on the rooftop of B-Building. We’ll be sharing this exciting milestone with our students at the morning assembly on Jan 13th. The assembly will start at 8:30am in the dining hall so that our energy partner Sunetric can show us how the system works and how sunlight is converted into electricity. We have invited community dignitaries to join us in this celebration. This is the culmination of over a year’s worth of planning and negotiations. We would like to extend our thanks to Wai’alae School Board members Christopher Walling, chairman, and Lee Irwin, CPA and senior partner at Erwin, Cabrinha, and Au, LLP for their guidance and advice during this process.
WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) Accreditation Update
WASC committees worked hard to complete draft reports before the break. They are in review and will be finalized over the next few weeks. Each committee has spent many hours reviewing documents, survey information, the School Synergy report, and school mission, vision, charter, and our beliefs of how students learn to evaluate our program. The data collected is compiled and summarized into the drafted sections of the required report. Bill Wellhouse, WASC visiting committee chair, visited our school in December to familiarize himself with our school and meet our faculty and leadership team. The WASC process is part of an on-going effort toward continuous self-improvement. By holding a magnifying glass up to our school, we are able to assess how effectively we are carrying out our charter, mission, vision, the general overall health of our school, our accountability to all constituents, allocation of resources, effectiveness of curriculum on student learning, and develop a plan for any needed improvement. While the process does take considerable time, accreditation will validate the integrity of Wai’alae’s educational program. We will be posting the report on our website (waialae.edu) soon. We will notify everyone when it is posted and provide an opportunity for feedback.
Orientations for New Families Begin January 11, 2012
Every year in January, we begin the enrollment process to showcase our school and encourage families to enroll in our program. Parents of children who live in and outside our district are also researching the best schools and investing time to learn about the strengths of each program. In East O’ahu there are many high quality schools so it is important that we are able to articulate what makes our school stand out.
One of the most significant differences that Wai’alae School offers parents is the opportunity for involvement. As a public charter school, all decisions are made at the local level by the people closest to implementation. We have our own local school board made up of members of our school community. The local school board is responsible for hiring the Chief Educational Officer and assuring the continued financial, organizational, and educational viability of our school.
Wai’alae School controls our school budget. We determine our priorities and fund them accordingly. We have the opportunity to negotiate a contract with our teachers that is unique to our school needs. We can fund programs and curricula that best suit our students’ needs.
Wai’alae school faculty and administration are responsible for the development of curriculum, instruction and assessment practices that support our school mission and vision through an integrated curriculum framework, opportunities for collaborative inquiry and problem solving, equitable access to high quality education, and multi-dimensional assessments of student learning.
If you know of families interested in our school, please have them call our office (733-4880) or visit our website (waialae.edu) to sign up to attend one of the orientations being held to inform interested families about the educational opportunities at Wai’alae School.
Wendy Lagareta, CEO