School Happenings

Thursday, May 31st, 2012
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‘Art & Sol’ benefit is June 10

Rare treasures and one-of-a-kind pleasures will be on the auction block at the Fifth Annual Mala’ai School Garden “Art & Sol” Benefit from 1 to 3:30 p.m., June 10, at Merriman’s Restaurant in Waimea.

Items at auction include: an exquisite long piece of Hawaiian kapa by Waimea’s Roen Hufford; baskets of mouthwatering mangoes and vine ripened heirloom tomatoes; an escorted Waipio rim hike led by Hugh Montgomery combined with a picnic lunch; glass art by Calley O’Neill, Lamar Yoakum, Joe Rivera and Ruth Van Doren; a prized yet whimsical goddess print by the “Matisse of Japan,” artist Mayumi Oda; an amusingly decorated wheelbarrow by artist Archie Macaraeg; a round of golf for four at the exclusive Hualalai course; a Jack Johnson-signed ukulele; a guided stargazing trip to the top of Mauna Kea and tour of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope with an astronomer; four hours of gardening combined with a tray of starts and a stunning island hardwood coffee table as well as much more.

Mala’ai:The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School is Hawaii Island’s model school garden, which was first planted seven years ago to grow real change for Waimea’s children and community in an outdoor living classroom. From the very beginning, Mala’ai was entirely funded by community members and foundations as a private, not-for-profit partnership with Waimea Middle School. All auction items have been donated by a Hawaii Island artist or patron to support Mala’ai’s mission.

Timed to nearly coincide with the summer solstice, the “Art & Sol” benefit auction tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased via PayPal at, or by calling Alethea Lai at 989-7861. “Art & Sol” will include Merriman’s pupu paired with vintage wines. Auctioneer for the event will be Pat Batchelder of Waimea. For more information on the exceptional list of auction items offered, go to

Waimea Middle School earns Candidacy for Accreditation

In what represents a major step forward recognizing school-wide academic progress, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School has become a “Candidate for Accreditation.” The Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) granted the designation, which came after an initial accreditation visit on April 13, covering the school’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade academic programs.

WMS’ initial accreditation visit report cited the following areas of strength: the entire school staff for remaining on a steady course of action keeping students focused on their work, unified in purpose consistent with their mission and vision; data-driven instruction and decision-making in collaboration with various stakeholder groups; well-run facilities, adequate instructional space and significant room for expansion; school leadership and staff for providing a variety of learning experiences that support the needs of middle school learners.

The report also recognized school leadership, staff, parents and students for consistent academic growth over time and exceeding benchmarks for average daily attendance. Administration, teachers and staff were praised for providing a safe, secure learning environment with disciplinary referrals below statewide middle school averages.

The report commended school leadership for strong, coordinated community involvement in planning the future of WMS and the local school board, the Ho’okako’o Corporation, for establishing a consistent, systematic improvement path for its charter schools tied to specific multi-year, Indicators of Success dashboards.

For WMS, Candidacy for Accreditation means the school community has agreed to collaborate on a writing a report by June 1, 2013, to the WASC Commission that addresses progress that is being made in meeting the recommendations of the initial visiting committee.

Also, prior to the end of the term of candidacy, the school must complete a self-study that evaluates the effectiveness of the school’s programs and operations to support high achievement of all students. The self-study will include a school-wide action plan that will serve as a guide for ongoing improvement. Once the self-study and action plan are completed, WMS will be visited by a WASC Visiting Committee to evaluate the school’s programs and operations and the impact on student learning. As a result of this visit, the visiting committee will recommend a term of accreditation to the WASC Commission, which may then grant or deny accreditation.


Sports camp at HPA

Daniel Mar Chong, performance training and injury prevention specialist, will lead the Mar Athletic Performance Enhancement Camp for students 14 years and older, from June 13 to 15 at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Nakamaru Fitness Center.

Students can choose from two camps times of either 1 to 2:30 p.m. or 2:30 to 4 p.m. The camp fee is $100 and space is limited to the first 20 athletes.The camp will cover the fundamentals of a progressive strength training technique. Chong is a certified athletic trainer (ATC), and graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a master’s in kinesiology and athletics administration. To register, or for more information, contact Lisa Sakurai at 881-4019 or e-mail [email protected] .