In today’s changing world we are getting busier by the minute. Children are growing way too quickly with barely a moment to pause and reflect on our child’s education. For many parents, when they finally do stop to take a breath they come to realize their children are about to enter their final year of elementary school, and panic can set in.
What middle school will be best suited for my child? What are my public school options? What are my private school options? If I choose to go private, how will I afford it? How do I still hold on to my child’s innocence through some of the most critical years of their life?
These are thoughts parents can face when they come to the crossroads of choosing a middle school. It can get even more daunting when we realize on Maui we have limited public and private school options to meet the needs of our children, especially when we feel that the need is not being met at the middle school level and income levels or personal preferences cancel out private school.
Some families decide their only available option is homeschooling, or charter schools that offer hybrid programs of technology-based learning supplemented with in-person support. We currently have two charter schools on Maui attempting to fill the gap, Kihei Charter School and Hawaii Technology Academy (HTA) based in Wailuku.
However, there is a new alternative on the horizon: a group of dedicated parents, educators, and community members have come together to design another option. The Maui Academy of Arts and Sciences (MAAS)
MAAS is a proposed new Upcountry public charter middle school that will be Hawaiian culture-based, focused on inquiry learning through a place-based curriculum that gets students out into their neighborhoods. The school is founded on core values of Hawaiian culture, helping students understand the history of their home, while challenging them to find ways to contribute to their community. The curriculum will be delivered through in-class studies combined with projects in the field, while incorporating the arts and sciences. With enough community backing this free public charter school anticipates opening in the 2020-2021 school year.
If you would like to find out more, show support or be apart of their email list, please email: Maasnorthshore@gmail.com. Together we as a community can create a new option for our middle school aged keiki.