Kapolei Middle students can take classes at home, online

Luana Viveiros
Luana Viveiros
Anson Chan
Anson Chan

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Luana Viveiros teaches technology education to 7th and 8th graders at Kapolei Middle School.

"I like to think of it as I'm teaching kids to be human," she said with a laugh.

But there's nothing funny about the challenges the school is facing. Enrollment is forecast to reach 1,800 in two years. The school was built to handle 1,200.

So next year Kapolei will launch an on-line academy to ease demand on the crowded campus.

"We're going to be offering math, language arts, social studies and science," registrar Anson Chan said.

The on-line academy will start small with thirty kids -- fifteen 7th and fifteen 8th graders.

Kapolei Middle will be the first public school in Hawaii to offer a full curriculum via computer.

To hook up students will need a computer and printer, Internet access, e-mail, a telephone, and motivation.

"It's going to be self-driven students that are very responsible," Viveiros said.

Think home schooling using Dept. of Education curriculum.

And parents must be involved.

"Because they're not in a brick and mortar setting with us in school, the parents are basically the first line to give them that help and that response," Chan said.

On-line students will meet with a teacher once a week to go over problems and get instruction face to face.

If it takes off, the academy will gradually expand until it can handle 300 to 400 students. That could get Kapolei Middle off the multi-track system that puts students on different class and vacation schedules.

"In general this is how education is going to be moving," Viveiros said.

Registration begins March 1 and continues through July 1 or until all slots are filled.  For now, space for the on-line academy will be limited -- even though it's in cyber space.

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