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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, July 22, 2004

Students get individualized course of study

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer

KAILUA — At Kailua Christian Academy, each student works at his or her level, never competes academically with others and moves to the next level of learning only after gaining an 80 percent to 85 percent mastery of the subject.

Maya Enos, 5, sits on a lunch table as fellow students work on their laptops at Kailua Christian Academy. The school uses computerized programs to individualize students' studies.

Jeff Widener • The Honolulu Advertiser

The school is able to do this by using the computerized Switched-on Schoolhouse program in grades seven through 12 and for younger students the Accelerated Christian Education program, which allows teachers to individualize each stage of a student's education, said Diana Abraham, school principal.

The systems eliminate frustration and give students a feeling of accomplishment, Abraham said.

"Not everyone is lock-stepped into the same work," she said. "We can handle the very best and those that are struggling."

Education at the school of 60 students from first to 12th grades is based on Christian principles and includes Bible studies. Students learn to see life from God's perspective, a school brochure says.

The school also has 39 students enrolled in its Satellite Home School program, which provides the programs for home-schooled students and monitors their work.

Wrapping up their summer classes recently, the students at the school had different opinions of the computerized programs.

Mikiala Cravatt, a senior, said she likes the individualized curriculum, even though she discovered after taking a diagnostic test of her abilities that she was further behind than she realized. Help is always available, Cravatt said.

"You can keep asking for help if you have a problem," she said. "It's not like other schools that pass you by."

But James Kahalewai III, a junior, said he liked working on the computers even though there seemed to be more work and more projects then he's used to. He likes the school but wishes it had more after-school activities and sports. "I would recommend the school because it will help build the Christian character," Kahalewai said.

• What are you most proud of? The school teaches students that they are responsible for their learning at school and for their actions at home, said Ben Abraham, director of administration.

• Best-kept secret: The school, which has been around for 30 years. "People don't know who we are," Diana Abraham said.

• Everybody at our school knows: Chaplain Danford Guittap, who all the students feel comfortable talking to and is always available to them.

• Our biggest challenge: Finances, so a campaign is planned to raise $100,000 beginning with a golf tournament in October.

• What we need: Computer furniture to maximize classroom space and give each student a bigger work station.

• Special events: Classic 100 Golf Marathon, in which players will play 100 holes of golf in a day to raise money for the school.

Reach Eloise Aguiar at 234-5266 or eaguiar@honoluluadvertiser.com.

• • •

At a glance

• Where: 1110-A Kailua Road, Kailua

• Phone: 263-9999

• Principal: Diana Abraham since 1989

• School nickname: Swordsmen

• School colors: Blue and silver

• History: Kailua Christian Academy is a private elementary and secondary school founded by Pastor Ray and Lila Shurance in 1974. The school nearly closed in 1989 when Kailua Assembly of God Church decided it no longer wanted the school to be a part of the church. Diana Abraham, then acting principal, refused to shut down, so the school became independent and rented space from Kailua Church of the Nazarene. The school has been at its present location for two years.

• Computers: 45

• Enrollment: 60, with room for 150, in grades one to 12.