(L–R): Kyra-Ann and Celestiale Solomon, Ryan Masa (School Principal), Khloe and Kori Gaurani

Greater gifts

Summit + Assets School

Date
Oahu K-12 Schools
Place ʻAiea
Text Summit Staff
Thread School of the Future

Since 1955, Assets School has been serving gifted and capable students, specializing in those with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Assets provide a strength-based program, complemented by outreach and training, that empowers students to become effective learners and confident self-advocates.

The first day of the 2016–17 school year at Assets School marks an exciting beginning for nine eager kindergarteners with unique modes of learning.

As part of an innovative four-year pilot scholarship program between Kamehameha Schools (KS) and Assets School, eight of those kindergarten students are from KS. The program provides these students with access to the extra resources they need to thrive, combining full K–3 tuition scholarships and KS’ culturally grounded educational opportunities with Assets’ highly specialized learning environment.

“Kids like my daughter are capable of amazing things but, without a deeply specialized education, it’s hard to help them reach their potential,” says Kori Gaurani, mother of 6-year-old Khloe. “Dropping her off for her first day of school filled me with hope and gratitude, knowing that Kamehameha is stretching far beyond their own campuses because they’re thinking about how to improve my child’s life.”

“This one-of-a-kind partnership is a testament to Kamehameha’s commitment to the youngest learners, giving them the tools they need to succeed in their academic career,” says Assets Head of School Paul Singer. “Language-based learning differences can create real frustration and leave students thinking they can’t learn. At Assets, we help them discover their strengths and from that, discover how they best learn.”

“This is an opportunity for these students to benefit from the incredible learning that occurs here at Assets School,” says School Principal Ryan Masa. “Assets students benefit from an educational program that addresses their academic, social and emotional needs through a differentiated and integrated curriculum that includes enrichment offerings. These programs allow our students to explore a variety of topics so they can find their passions and nourish their gifts. When you work with children and want to help them develop gifted behaviors, one of the things you do is follow their interests.”

The first enrichment cycle of the 2016–17 school year includes class options such as Lego Creation, Drawing & Painting, Egg Drop Challenge, Photography, Rocketry, Glass Etching, Minecraft, Cooking, Games & Sports, Mudworks, Woodworking, Dessert Decorating, Hands on Science, Tennis, Debate Club, Piano, Sewing, and Creative Movement.

Paul Singer (Head of School)

According to KS CEO Jack Wong, the pilot partnership is crucial for the children who will benefit from the special care and attention provided by the experienced team at Assets School.

“We’re looking forward to partnering with a school that provides expert assessment, instructional strategies and enrichment as well as ongoing and continuous engagement with the parents and caregivers who make such a difference in the keiki’s present and future success,” Wong says.

Organizers of the scholarship program are also seeking like-minded funders and philanthropists interested in addressing the educational needs of Hawai‘i’s children to support the scholarship in the future.

“Research shows that early intervention is vital for children with learning differences, and as we track the program’s progress, we hope to leverage its successes for future classes beyond the pilot group of students coming in this school year,” says Lauren Nahme, vice president of strategy and innovation at KS. “KS and Assets School hope that the success of the pilot program will allow for its expansion into future school years.”

“I am thrilled that Jack Wong and Kamehameha Schools have turned to Assets in partnership to serve the bright, atypical learners who often fall through the cracks in traditional classroom settings,” says Singer. “With our specially trained faculty, nurturing environment and low teacher to student ratio, I’m certain that Assets will enable our Kamehameha keiki to make great strides academically, socially and emotionally, so that their futures will be filled with success, achievement and happiness.”

KS and Assets’ shared goal is to create a powerful educational trajectory for the scholarship recipients, setting them on a path for success in learning. The schools hope that the methods of assessment and teaching utilized in this pilot program will be broadened and shared with other educators, eventually taking the positive impact of this approach to scale throughout Hawai‘i.


Assets School // 1 Ohana Nui Way, Honolulu, HI 96818 // (808) 423-1356 // assets-school.net

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