The Kona School, Social Conscience, Serious Learning and yes, Skateboarding.

Posted by Donny Mak on Saturday, May 4th, 2013 at 1:00am.

Kona School Downtown Jacksonville FL - Exterior
Kona School Downtown Jacksonville FL - Exterior

By: Alan Aptheker
Among all the creators in the recent One Spark Jacksonville event in April, the Kona School turned out to be an idea that has found its mark, as the their creative team showed off a concept that turned more than a few heads. Their efforts resulted in winning the high honor of first place in individual contributions, with a total prize money of more than $5,500.

Last week Kona School joined creators from all over the world in showcasing their creative projects at One Spark, the world’s first crowdfunding festival. One Spark was a huge opportunity for Kona School to showcase a completely innovative learning model and they were rewarded with more than money. The positive feedback from students, parents, investors, and other creators will be the impetus for these creators to turn this idea into reality, when the Kona School opens its doors in time for the 2014 School season. 

Forget those preconceived notions of what a public high school should be. The fact is, learning continues far after high school has come and gone, so why not just feed our kinds with what they need to know now, but instill a penchant for learning that is a continuous, expanding process in an environment that provides life motivation and encourages collaboration and creativity.  In short, teach kids to ultimately be responsible for their own learning.  After all, isn’t that the way the world actually works? 

Kona School, Jacksonville FL - Skate

What does this have to do with skateboarding, you ask? 
Among many high schoolers these days is that lack of passion. It could be a passion for sports, the arts, the sciences – more than just the three “R’s”. The Kona School has integrated their efforts with the most established and revered skate park in America, Kona Skate Park, which will be the site of the first Kona School Campus (Yes, there will probably more).  
What does it mean to promote “continuous learning” beyond high school. That’s first-hand experience in subjects and skills like marketing, graphic design, video editing, and print media. Teachers at Kona will be experts in their fields and have at their disposal state-of-the-art video editing and graphic design labs. Students will be able to develop a bona fide, strong portfolio of work before they enter into the marketplace to pursue their careers.

Kona Schoole Jacksonville FL - Coming Fall 2014
Kona Schoole Jacksonville FL - Coming Fall 2014
The Kona School website lays out eight guiding principles, or “core elements” for success:
•Blended Learning model integrating teaching-to-learn and project-based learning practices
•Intentional parental engagement framework
•Learning coaches who personalize instruction
•Enterprise and Entrepreneurial skills training including business development, marketing, graphic design, video editing, and print media
•Nutritional focus supporting healthy living
•Action Sports inclusion in school culture promoting physical conditioning and motivation
•Sustainable campus design using recycled shipping containers and resource-efficient materials
•School culture geared to assist adolescents in academic and personal development*
Looks like the Kona School’s Board of Directors have designed a facility, and a new model, that can be replicated in any community -- any city – that wants to provide a brand new dimension of learning.  Who says there are not more great ideas? 

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