Health & Wellness during the Pandemic
Kona Pacific Public Charter School, like most other schools worldwide, is grappling with difficult conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This has required us in essence to create a new educational system to meet the needs of our students, families, and community as we continue to navigate our way through the crisis.
Our highest priority in every decision we make will be the safety and well-being—the physical as well as mental and emotional health—of every member of the Kona Pacific ohana, and the vital continuity of learning for each of our students.
On Tuesday, January 19 we began our long-awaited Blended Learning Program! We are joyful to have our students back on campus in a structure that is more like normal than anytime since March, 2020. Below is a history of our journey as a school through the pandemic to this point, links to relevant health and related documents, and links to enriching virtual activities to do with children to maintain good spirits while spending more time at home. See also the Director's Page for additional ideas for home activities.
Makahiki Games at Kealakekua Bay
COVID-19 Enters Our Lives
Our last "normal" day of school prior to the onset of COVID-19 as a serious state-wide (as well as national and international) health crisis was Wednesday, March 11, 2020, which was also the day of our Makahiki closing ceremony. The ceremony, and food sharing afterward by the upper grades, were unusually excellent and moving, and some of us remarked that it almost felt like a gift from another realm prior to something difficult occurring. It was soon after that the impact of COVID-19 came. First our spring break was extended a week through March 27, and distance learning was required of all Hawaii public and charter schools through the end of April, as part of the governor's statewide stay-at-home order. This mandate was extended through the end of May (i.e., through the end of the school year). This was a difficult time for the KPPCS Team not only because we hadn't had time to say in-person goodbyes to our students, and because we had to create an entirely new instructional program, in essence a new educational system, with a week's notice, but also because we weren't permitted to introduce new learning to our students or assess them in any way during these nine weeks of distance learning in quarter 4 of the 2019-2020 school year.
During the summer of 2020 we formed our School Reopening Team, consisting of teachers, support staff, administration, and parents, to create our school reopening plan in preparation for our students returning to campus in August. However, the pandemic did not subside, and our first day of school was pushed back ten days. Then our plan to offer blended learning was postponed the first quarter (with distance learning again being the instructional mode), and then distance learning was extended through the second quarter. However, now we were permitted to offer real instruction to our students, and to assess them. In addition, we were able to have some students on campus, with the number increasing in the second quarter. Finally, the KPPCS Governing Board gave the go-ahead to offer blended learning to our students beginning in the third quarter after winter break. We are so excited having our students back on campus!
The Pleiades, aka Makali'i, the sighting of which signals the start of Makahiki
Enriching Virtual Activities
Did you know you can virtually visit many national parks?! This includes:
Google has amazing 360 tours of national parks.
National Parks Virtual Tours:
Celebrity Book Readings are super fun and engaging. We have found a few that we land on regularly.
Options for learning on YouTube are endless!
Many museums are hosting virtual tours .Google your favorites to see if they have virtual offerings.
The Louvre has some INCREDIBLE options.
Here is a list of appropriate podcasts from CommonSense Media.
Fatherly created this list of Zoos and Aquariums offering tours and video streaming.
Audible continues to offer their free audio books while schools are closed through their Stories Site.
Scholastic continues to offer tons of free curriculum and resources.