Aloha HTA Ohana,
While excitement and anticipation almost always accompany the end of one school year and the beginning of another, I am finding the close of this school year to be particularly bittersweet. I have been overwhelmed by the way in which our entire HTA community has consistently embraced and exhibited our core values to further establish HTA as Hawaii’s premier charter school. These core values, or 5 C’s, are the heart of what we hope to cultivate in our students. Never before have I seen our core values so fully reflected throughout our learning community.
Collaboration: Our HTA Ohana Committee (HOC) was the picture of collaboration, joining forces to serve our entire school community. These HTA parents donated their time and energy to raise funds for the purchase of supplies and the sponsorship of activities to enhance the students’ hands on learning opportunities. We are excited about further growing our HOC next year!
Critical Thinking: Our HTA Oahu Robotics Teams flexed their problem solving and critical thinking muscles, earning awards at the Royal Robotics Open House at Hanalani School in January. Both our elementary and middle school Robotics Teams advanced to the state competition, where each team won second place in its division and qualified for the world competition!
Communication: By communicating the value of an HTA education to friends and neighbors in the community, our families were instrumental in HTA achieving our largest springtime enrollment numbers ever. Along with many new students, 89% of our current K-11 students intend to return next year!
Creativity: HTA’s dedicated teachers motivated and encouraged our students’ creativity through dynamic, interactive lessons and hands on learning opportunities. These lessons inspired students to develop living learning galleries at each of our Learning Centers and year-end projects which they proudly displayed at our statewide Learning Exhibitions.
Character: Our numerous teacher-led and parent-supported Service-Learning Opportunities helped students build character while giving back to the greater community. By participating in meaningful projects and field trips like the Kahuku Point Climate Change Resiliency Project, Pu’uwa’awa’a Forest Reserve, and OPIHI: Our Project in Hawaii’s Intertidal, our HTA students made an impact that will be felt for years to come.
Tomorrow, we will be graduating the largest class in HTA’s history! While we will miss those students and families who have been such an integral part of this successful school year, we can look forward to seeing so many of our HTA students and families again next year. That is a true testament to the trust you have placed in us, and we sincerely thank you.
As we close out another year, I want to assure you that your efforts do not go unnoticed. All of you have contributed in some way to the incredible growth of HTA’s blended learning community and the top-notch reputation we have earned as a school. I, along with the entire HTA faculty and staff, am committed to better serving our HTA Ohana next year and further building this awesome community.
Have a fun-filled, restful summer.
With warmest Aloha,
This past Friday, our awesome HTA students partnered with North Shore Community Land Trust to restore endangered species’ habitats at Kahuku Point on Oahu’s North Shore. HTA’s own high school humanities teacher, Ms. Jessica dos Santos, organized the service learning trip for students to study the basic dynamics of climate change and its impact on the coastline of the North Shore.
Students began the day with a scenic one-mile hike toward Kahuku Point, stopping along the way to learn a bit about the history of the area. After arriving at the North Shore Community Land Trust “base camp,” and learning more about Oahu's threatened and endangered plants, students planted species indigenous to the island. These native plants, like the endangered sesbania tomentosa, will serve as a barrier to predators and encourage seabirds to nest in the area. To round out the experience, teams of students engaged in a bit of competitive weed pulling to remove invasives in the dunes at Kahuku Point, some of the very last intact coastal sand dunes on the island of Oahu.
This service learning trip is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). By participating in this impactful day near Kahuku Point, HTA students gave back to Oahu by creating quality habitats for rare and endangered seals, turtles, seabirds, bees and plants. “It’s a perfect marriage of experiences when students can learn by doing, give back in meaningful ways and have fun outside,” says trip sponsor Jessica dos Santos.
This project was made possible by a grant from Youth Service Hawaii and support from North Shore Community Land Trust, Turtle Bay Resort, NOAA, and Turtle Bay Foundation. Through this project, HTA students truly reflected the school’s vision of “embracing the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow.”