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Ke Kula ʻAmakihi Community-Based Education

Ke Kula ʻAmakihi Community-Based Education (CBE) Program began in school-year 2016-2017 to provide high quality, experiential education that integrates home and school resources to support students who learn best in a home setting. 

Teachers collaborate with grade level campus teacher(s), the parent or other adult learning coach, and the student to develop a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) for each student.

Ke Kula ʻAmakihi is an innovative distance learning program include a planned curriculum using digital and printed material (tailored to each individual student’s needs), project-based learning, weekly face-to-face meetings with a licensed teacher as well as collaborative learning with group classes and outings held on Fridays.


Ke Kula ʻAmakihi embodies the VSAS philosophy that education is more meaningful to children when presented in an environment that is familiar, that relates to their home life, and that allows for discovery-based experiential learning.Ke Kula ʻAmakihi is rooted in Volcano Schoolʻs place-based, experiential curriculum. 

The name Kula ʻAmakihi refers to the ʻamakihi bird, which is endemic to Volcano. The ʻamakihi never flies far from its tree home and is one of the birds that has flourished in the changing environment. This name was chosen by Kiliona Moku Young, VSAS ‘Ike Hawai’i kumu. 

Students meet together once per week with cross-age groups of students working together. Students and parents/learning coaches meet with a licensed teacher at least once a week to update the Personal Learning Plan. Some students come in 3-4 times per week for additional support from the teacher. 


This program works well for families who would otherwise homeschool, for children of parents who want to have a lead role in educating their children, for students who need to be able to work at their own paceincluding those who perform below and above grade level, andalso for students with different types of special needs.


Ke Kula ʻAmakihi can be a good solution for parents who have the interest, and the time, to focus more deeply on their child’s education. Although the learning coach is usually a parent, it may also be another adult. Physical proximity to VSAS is not required as long as the student and parent/learning coach are able to meet using Google Hangout and the parent/learning coach provides appropriate alternative collaborative learning experiences for the student. 

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