Environmental Academies Open

An environmental academy, which includes popular hands-on gardening projects, was launched during a conference Aug. 29 in Kaneohe, marking the first time career and technical education (CTE) will be directed at all grades in all 31 Windward district schools, which stretch from Sunset Beach to Waimanalo.

Students will have the support this fall of these new academies, complete with teacher training by eight community partners.

“The CTE program and support bring relevancy to learning and the real outside world to the schools,” said former math teacher Melissa Mano, its creator and coordinator. “It prepares students for college and career.” The campus academies aim to improve test scores, she noted, but they also “reach students by offering subjects that interest them.”

Additional academies are planned for the future with a focus on culinary, health and graphic design.

Partners signed on so far are Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Pacific American Foundation, Hookuaaina, Hauoli Mau Loa, Chevron Energy Solutions, Kamehameha Schools, Kupu and STEMworks.