Visit to Hale Kula Elementary on Schofield Military Base (now known as Daniel Inouye Elementary School)
Principal Jan Iwase
7:30 a.m. Denied access as foreigners with no armed services sponsor onto a US Military Base. We were told very firmly that we were unacceptable in our current state. Brendan, our good friend, guide and organiser no doubt found this frustrating and embarrassing as people were waiting for us in the school, but was carefully compliant and immediately began working on “Plan B”
8:00 a.m. Brendan has Plan B organised for us to visit a school down the road, when Jan, (principal from Hale Kula) calls to say she has a military sponsor for us.
8:30 a.m. we make it onto base after displaying our beautiful NZ passports and from there on it’s like being back in Hawai’i. The manaaki is amazing. Gifts of leis, food, drink, -a really warm welcome.
This school is receiving a $33M property upgrade mostly courtesy of Dept of Defence, after President Obama realised as a result of parent pleas that Base Schools were in an embarrassingly shoddy condition.
The state contributes 20%.
This school has MLE’s in the new build (if the teachers choose to use them that way) and have blended learning going on although they have 1:1 potential. Their key question for us was ‘how did we get all our teachers onboard?’
As in much of the US they are talking about integration rather than fully digital learning.
The teachers in the MLE’s were taking the option of keeping them closed into cells, (much as our some of own teachers did when we first cut holes through the walls to create more flexible spaces.This was where we saw the first of many magnificent school gardens. We timed our visit well as children were harvesting their crops and eager to show what they had grown.
Nyla talked me through the challenge she was solving; waste created by plastic Keurig (K-Cup) Single Serve Cups that are used in fast coffee machines like Nespresso.
She shared her Google doc with us which was a prototype of Manaiakalani's Learn Create Share.
Like Pt England, these people have lived through construction, noise and dust for the last two years. Working hard with incredibly high turn-over of students because they are a military base school.