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the island school


a tri-annual publication Fall 2010

Shifting Towards

Digital Classrooms Though this might look like a calculator, it’s a high tech testing device. See page 2.

What’s Ahead? November 29

Trimester 2 Begins

December 9 & 10

Student/Parent/ Teacher Conferences Winter Concert KCCPAC, 7 p.m. Winter Break

December 14 December 20 - 31 December 27 January 17 February 4 March 4 & 5 March 12

Alumni Reception Frear Center 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day School Holiday Island School’s 34th Birthday Celebration 5th grade presents Chocolate Soup Island School Auction

(808) 246-0233

• Digital Technology - Do you embrace it or brace yourself? … pg. 2 • Hunting for tadpoles … pg. 3 • Leading the way in Cyberspace … pg. 6 • The Computer Curve … pg. 7

CyberTrekking - Are the Adults Leading the Way? by Ed Eaton When I was a kid, I looked to my mother and my teachers as sources of reliable information. When I wanted to know something, my mom usually knew the answer - or we’d look it up in that set of books that took up half our living room shelf, Encyclopedia Britannica. Adults today often need the assistance of a child just to set up their computer or their cell phone. Rather than abandon our role as elders of our tribe, adults must take a look at what it means to be a “sage” at this time of supersonic technological changes. In navigating their path through life, children still experiment and explore, learning from mistakes as well as from successes. Today’s path, however, morphs at an accelerated pace and is crowded

with massive amounts of information. Making good choices requires some kind of framework that can be learned from those with the kind of wisdom that comes from experience - the adults! While my students have thumbs that can text with the speed of light, they don’t always understand the difference between research and plagiarism. They’re pros at social networking, but they don’t always realize that not talking to strangers includes their “friends” on Facebook. Most children can easily learn how to make a PowerPoint presentation, but have difficulty managing their time to meet the due date. Our children are more comfortable with new technology than most of us will ever be. But life has given us

something they do not yet possess, experience. We don’t have to know all the answers to help our children Ed holds a B.F.A. make good in Theatre. He has choices, we training and experience just have to be in stage lighting, acting willing to learn and photography. and help guide them along this ever-changing journey. We will be of better use to them if we keep current with what’s in the digital marketplace so we are aware of what they are likely to encounter on their path to adulthood.

Redesigning the Classroom by Nathaniel Evslin

I consider myself a huge user of technology, both personally and professionally. I love the fact that I can find out any information that I need by whipping my phone out of my pocket. Or that I can walk up to my Smart Board in the classroom and pull up an image of the earth and from the front of the classroom zoom in on any area that we may be discussing at that moment. My students can also take out their netbook computers and google what the population of the US is at any given moment. Everything is at our fingertips and available as soon as we want it. This is indeed an exciting information age.

As an educator I can’t help but reflect on how using the Internet is changing the way I teach and the way children learn. How is a child to efficiently and effectively sort through the data to find what is useful? The staggering amount of information available at only a click of the finger makes critical thinking skills essential. Today’s students must be able to choose the best keywords that will take them to the Internet sites they need. Then they should be able to Nathaniel is an 8th grade evaluate a website for accuracy and veracity. All this must be done while judiciously avoiding Island School graduate! He sites that are inappropriate or even dangerous. The Internet is a new world of adventure, has a B.A. in Education and has been teaching 4th grade at challenges and knowledge. Island School for five years.

There is an extensive curriculum involved in teaching digital technology. Choosing how to spend each valuable classroom minute is a critical decision teachers make all day. If teaching the use of technology becomes a high priority, it is likely to preclude something else. In my fourth grade class for example, teaching cursive writing has definitely taken a back seat to teaching tech; there simply is not enough time in the day to do it all. Although I don’t doubt that handwriting is a useful skill, technological literacy is, in my judgement, of far greater benefit to students in the long run. Today’s middle and high school teachers require papers to be typed on a computer, resumes are done digitally, and most personal communication is done via email or social networking sites. Handwriting today is more an art form than a necessary skill! I am teaching in an exciting and fast-moving world. And I’m determined to enjoy every minute!


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In math and science, technology can be an effective learning tool as long as students by Dr. Jeffrey Kozak are able to critically analyze the data that’s delivered. Digital technology cannot replace the fundamental learning that takes place when students have to apply systematic problem solving strategies using old-fashioned paper and pencil. A balance must be struck between the two for optimal contemporary learning. To critically analyze the output from a calculator or software program, students need to possess an understanding of the process. For instance, a typo entered into a software program that leads to an invalid answer will not be detected if the student cannot approximate what the answer should have been. To ensure accuracy, my students Jeff is in his second year at Island learn to graph equations both by hand and using computer software. This way they are School. He teaches physics and math. able to verify if the software output is correct. Without being able to corroborate the He earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. information, the technology is useless in both learning and practice.

Knowing How: not the same as Knowing Why

Today, answers to any science or math problem at the high school level can be found online. There are virtual calculators that will output solutions for the most difficult applications. Unfortunately, the problem solving method is often hidden from the user. Similar to checking their answers in the back of the book, students should be encouraged to verify their homework answers online. However, in order to demonstrate their understanding of the material they must be able to show all of the steps, verify the solutions and cite their sources. On exams, my students are allowed only a calculator, and they must demonstrate that they know each step in solving problems. As long as our students possess ßcritical thinking and problem solving skills, technology can be effectively used to save time. However, students who use these devices to avoid learning the concepts involved are placing themselves at an undesirable disadvantage.

Tadpoles + Technology by Cristy Peeren, M.A. In September, I took my first grade class on a field trip to the Gamby and Evslin property in Kapahi to catch tadpoles. This adventure, part of our study on the metamorphosis of a frog, was the kind of field trip teachers have been taking since before our great, great grandparents were in school, just like Tom Sawyer’s teacher probably organized for his class. Low tech, right?) By using high tech tools in my classroom, my students prepared for this trip in a way that raised the excitement level several notches and the learning potential significantly. A bit of Internet research uncovered valuable materials I printed for the students ahead of time. The publisher of these materials provided online interactive activities we explored together using the overhead, digital classroom projector. By the time the children were on the bus headed to Kapahi, they were both emotionally and intellectually pumped up Cristy has been teaching at Island School since 1978! She has to wade in the stream and catch tadpoles. These first grade scientists had a solid base of information upon which their field trip experience would build. The materials we used her Masters in Education and hit on all the learning styles in the class: visual, kinesthetic, oral and auditory. Internet and is the head of the Elementary Division. digital technologies made all of this available quickly and easily. I could have easily shown my students high definition video clips of tadpoles turning into frogs. But their hands-on, personal experiences provided a lesson they’ll never forget!

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Centerfold Alumni Reception Monday, December 27, 2010 Island School Frear Center 6:30-9:30 p.m.

2010 - Bailee Morrison-Fogel and Christy Mayfield went on safari to Africa to study animals last summer. They traveled first to Ethiopia, then to Tanzania where they spent most of their time. They got up close and personal with quite a few critters

Bailee Morrison-Fogel and Christy Mayfield, both from the class of 2010 on Safari last summer.

in the wilds on the vastness of the Serengeti plains. Bailee wants to create and manage a nature preserve with both sea and land animals. She is completing some of her core courses this year at KCC before transferring, probably to UH, Manoa, in the fall. Christy has been studying at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. 2007 - Christina Chuckas was selected by the Phi Sigma Sigma National Board of Directors in Washington, DC, as this year’s recipient of the Helen Berkowitz Memorial Scholarship for her commitment to the ideals of the Phi Sigma Sigma Fraternity and her academic excellence. She is currently a senior at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR. 2005 - After spending several months traveling the globe, George Ferrier is living in London, working for an independent publisher of agriculturalbased books and DVDs. Jenny Ray spent a week sailing on a tall ship from San Diego to Honolulu! She got a job in August working at a shipyard in Ensenada, Mexico, with an organization called Sea Education Association. The organization sails a Pacificbased training Caira Nakasone, ‘02, and Jeannie Smith, ‘05, reconnect at Island School’s fall vessel to theatre production. Mexico, hauls it out and does maintenance, then sails it back to Hawai‘i. As the ship does oceanographic research, the voyage took her all the way south to 5 degrees north and then back up to Hawai‘i. “It was an incredible experience,” she reported. 2004 -Tiana Kamen has returned to Kaua‘i and is working with Island School on a project called

Grow Hawai‘i – A Farm to School Project. Coordinated by the Hawai‘i Association of Independent Schools,.Tiana will pilot this program on Kaua‘i and work with our teachers and students helping them learn about and grow healthy food that can be served to students for lunch. Tiana recently attended the National School Garden Symposium in Pasadena, CA, and learned that there are many schools across the country that serve salad bars sourced from their school gardens, or sell produce back to their cafeterias. She is going to help Island School raise the nutrition bar! Wyatt Taubman has developed a device (looks like a vending machine) that allows people to fill their re-usable water containers with filtered water for a nominal fee. He has chosen to bring a prototype to Island School’s campus.

2002 - Bianca Simonetti recently returned from Australia and is living in Cardiff-by-the-Sea in northern San Diego County. She is working as a private trainer for an athletic training facility called EZIA Human Performance, as well as in a sweet restaurant in Del Mar. She’s working hard but reports that she loves her jobs and is enjoying her southern California home.

2003 Tarah Henderson is living in San Francisco working for a family that owns a winery Krystal Peak and Tarah in Napa ValHenderson, both from the class of ley. She travels 2003, stopped by their alma mater in back and forth August. between the City and the country, enjoying both lifestyles. She’s taking a break from her academic studies before she decides what direction to take. She’s leaning toward using her sports medicine degree to study fitness training. Krystal Peak is also living in San Francisco. She has recently completed an internship with Pacific Business News in Honolulu. Prior to that, she was working as a reporter for San Francisco Business Times and creating a focus in civil rights and LGBT reporting. She has also been contributing to bilingual and hyper-local newspapers in SF. Chloe Roth is making music in the Bay Area. Luke Evslin and his canoe team, (Kailua Canoe Club), had been enjoying a winning season until the Molokai Hoe race in October when Luke was almost cut in half by a boat propeller. He had jumped out of the escort boat to join his teammates when a wave pushed him under the boat and into the propeller blades. An hour away from medical attention, things looked pretty grim, but today Luke is back on Kaua‘i and expected to make a full recovery.

1999 - Elizabeth Hood is living in Palo Alto, CA, serving as the Director of Children,Youth and Family Ministry at Grace Lutheran Church. She recently participated as a volunteer on a Thrivent Builds Habitat for Humanity trip to Costa Rica where they spent a week nearly completing the building of a deserving family. “We are so lucky and blessed, truly rich compared to most of the world and I think it is our responsibility to give back,” said Elizabeth, who also mentioned how much she benefitted and grew from the experience. “The family we built the house for will never forget the group of 13 Americans, who in one week changed their lives forever.”

2000 - Sabrina Goldsman recently moved from Portland, Oregon, where she had been living for about 2 years, to Prescott, Arizona. In Portland she started a small, nonprofit creative writing and tutoring center for disadvantaged youth. She couldn’t resist an invitation from a former coworker to apply to be the Program Director for a wilderness camp for girls in Arizona. “What started as a curiosity found me one month later on a train to the SW.,” she said. She works mostly outdoors, “which I find deeply revitalizing.”

1992 Devaki Murch started a business in Salt Lake City, Utah, Park N Pedal. This entreprePaddy Hannon, ‘92, and his new neurial venbride, Jennifer. ture offers a variety of services that take people out of their cars and onto a bike. Her company aims to make biking a convenient, greener, healthier transportation alternative. Visit her website, Paddy Hannon was just married on Maui to the former Jennifer Kriske. They live in Malibu, CA. Paddy is VP of Software Architecture at in Santa Monica. 1982 - Karen (May) Remitio and her husband, Chuck, have moved from Kaua‘i to Arizona to help care for her in-laws. She intends to keep sewing and selling her products on and artfire. com.You can visit her Kaua‘i Kwilts & Things shops at and also at www.

Aaron Wilson, ‘99, & wife, Aarti, pick up their niece, Abby from Island School during a recent visit from Southern California.

1982 - Brian Couch joined a “really hoppin” variety/dance/rock band called Switch. “Lots of great steady gigging and a really fun bunch,” according to Brian. Check them out at or search for them on Facebook.

How do you view technology?

Which of the following statements most accurately describes your feeling about the rise of Technology: Technology is spreading into our daily lives like … A. rain falling on parched earth. B. microbial alien life forms attacking our bloodstream C. sunshine on melting snow..

If you answered … You feel …


comfortable,even warm & fuzzy with technology fearful that technology is taking over. it’s inevitable, and makes growth possible.

Just try and avoid digital technology. Unless you live out of range of Cyberspace, it can’t be done. It’s in your bank accounts, your cameras, your television sets, your telephones (does anyone even use that word anymore?), schools, offices, cars, on the tops of mountains, in airplanes, at the beach, at check-out counters and fast food restaurants. You have to know how to use digital technology to pay your bills, enjoy a photo album, communicate with your kids and most of your friends!

Since it’s unavoidable, it is in everyone’)s best interest to become educated about the use of the Internet and digital devices, and to find the best ways to make them enhance our lives. At Island School, we’re doing some serious thinking and planning about how technology and learning complement one another. Rather than be swept away with the latest and greatest products on the market, teachers, students, administrators and board members are becoming more and more informed about what’s out there and how to productively put it to use.

Enhancing Learning Stephanie Achuara makes good use of the Smart Board to make math interactive and visually obvious. Below, she uses the piano keyboard to illustrate rates and ratios.

Students use a portable classroom set of laptop computers in their Senior Counseling class to complete their college applications. Juniors use them to research colleges and universities.

Fourth grade student, Quinn Catlin, uses a Smart Response device to answer questions on a science test. Answers are digitally recorded, tabulated, and immediately available for students.


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Climbing a Steep Learning Curve by Robert Springer Head of School No institution can avoid the impact of computers and the information

Island School’s 32nd Annual Auction

age. This includes schools. At present, each Island School teacher has an assigned computer and must be familiar with five different computer operations: (1) a student management system, called RenWeb, to take attendance and lunch counts, to display course syllabi, objectives, daily lesson plans, and homework assignments, and to record and calculate grades; (2) e-mail accounts, an institutional calendar, and documents that are shared through Google; (3) use of an overhead digital projector to display Internet images, to project PowerPoint presentations, and for large-screen viewing of videos; (4) word processing and spreadsheet functions through such programs as Open Office and Microsoft Office; (5) Beyond TV whereby TV, programs seen at home can be loaded to a file server at the campus for ready viewing in the classroom. In addition, two classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards, the latest development in the use of computers to enhance learning. Also, many teachers have acquired and are using special programs suited to their particular subjects. Added to the challenge of learning and using these programs are technical factors including connecting computers to the different accessories, how to troubleshoot when things don’t work as expected and who to call for help when needed. Many computer developments used at Island School are relatively recent, over the past five years. Think of how such changes affect teachers. They are learning and applying new skills; in turn, these skills are influencing classroom practices. There is a virtual explosion of thinking about teaching and learning as we struggle to keep pace with new developments and their implications for education. It is an exciting but not an easy time of rapid change. At Island School this has meant increased efforts at professional development, and teachers’ acquisition and use of new techniques is not even. All teachers are not at the same level of expertise. We are learning from each other and with each other and often from the students. Perfection is not our goal but improvement is. In this new age we continue to treasure the wisdom of the past while learning that its efficient and effective transfer to students takes teachers who both know their subjects and can take advantage of developments of our modern age.

For over thirty years, the Island School Auction has raised critical funds for tuition aid and the operating budget. This year’s event will incorporate Carnival and Festival traditions from around the world and awe attendees with a fanfare of colors, sounds and flavors – not to mention unique and appealing auction items. Co-Chairs Lulu Schilleci and Alan King have assembled a dedicated team of volunteers to make this year’s Auction a spectacular experience! You can be a part of it by purchasing tickets or tables, donating Auction items or becoming an event sponsor. If you’re off island that weekend, you can still bid on items through our on-line remote access platform. Tickets go on sale early in 2011. For more information, contact the Office at 808.246.0233 or email

Mahalo to the Rutters Last summer, Kurt and Tomoe Rutter started something wonderful: an automatic monthly contribution to Island School’s endowment fund! Why? Here’s what they told us: “We value the Island School ‘Ohana as a vital part of the educational and community base of Kaua‘i and hope in this way to help support the school’s continued success.” Their son, Kenji, graduated from Island School in 2009 and is currently a sophomore at Chicago’s Art Institute. The Rutters’ recurring gift is the first of its kind for Island School. It is greatly appreciated. Island School Navigator


Kurt Johnson

Kurt may live the life of a downhome family man, but he’s about as cosmopolitan as they come. Born in Japan and brought up as a self described “military brat,” Kurt was raised in Portland, Oregon and has lived in Berlin,Vienna, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and Sakahlin Island (former USSR). He is fluent in German, Spanish and can get by in Russian and Japanese (“– if aided by the right food and drink,” he says). His educational background is

cosmopolitan as well: he has a B.A. and M.A. in German from Stanford University, and an International Master of Business Administration in Economics from the University of Vienna, Austria. So what’s a worldly guy like Kurt doing in a place like Island School? “My previous teaching experience had been at the college or adult level, so this was an opportunity to become a competent middle and high school teacher. Also, I was really impressed by the faculty and administration, and correctly sensed that Island School would allow me to effectively bring to bear my own personal style and experiences. Kurt’s personal style takes full advantage of the many ways technology can enhance what goes on in his classroom. “Teachers are always on the lookout for tools to facilitate learning and technology can be a rich source of this. It does not matter if it is a video file, animated map or web-based role-play –

if it augments understanding, develops empathy, or virutally transports students in terms of culture, time or place, then I will look into using it in the class.” A typical lesson in one of Kurt’s social studies classes includes video clips, photographs, maps & charts, questions to ponder – all projected onto the screen in front of the class. All the while, Kurt enlightens his students with important facts, details and topics for discussion. When Kurt goes home he changes into his “Super Dad” outfit. He and his wife, Mary, are raising three children, not an easy task considering that Kurt is a full-time Island School teacher and Mary is an episcopal priest. She is Vicar and Pastor of The Episcopal Church on West Kaua‘i, which means she oversees two churches on the west side! Their children include six year old Jonah, who is a first grader at Island ) School, four year old Nathaniel, and two year old Bibi. Somehow, they hold it all together … extremely well!

Island School 3-1875 Kaumuali´i Hwy Lihu´e, HI 96766


What’s Ahead? the island school December 27 Alumni Reception...