No more classes for Academy Of The Pacific studentsUPDATED 7:11 PM HST Jun 10, 2013Video Transcript
A local private school says it's shutting down for the year... Now parents have 2 months to find a new school! Good evening, I'm Paula Akana. And I'm Yunji DeNies. No reading, no writing, no 'rithmetic at the Academy of the Pacific this year. It's taking AT LEAST one year off. KITV4's Lara Yamada joins us live from the newsroom... Lara sounds like a decision that's tough on everyone! All you have to do is check out their facebook page. It's loaded with comments from students, parents and staff... DEVASTATED by the news. They say this wasn't just a school ... it changed their lives. CLARK: 2318-22 It makes me sad that we're not going to be here. Concerned mom, and now school registrar Karen Clark watched her shy, introverted daughter blossom at the Academy of the Pacific in Alewa Heights. CLARK 1905-09 she graduated with honors and doing really well. Head of School Lou Young says one of the big draws of AOP - the three acre lot in Alewa Heights with an average of an 8 to 1 student teacher ratio. But he says enrollment, at its peak of 140 14 years ago, has dwindled to about 30, with tuition close to the cost of much larger, more recognized private schools. That combined with a tougher economy, fewer alumi to tap for resources, and more competition for grants made it impossible to keep operating. YOUNG: 630-47 It was disappointing for everybody and sad for everybody, and I called every family Saturday to tell them about it, talk about what we are going to do to serve the students as well as they can be served. STANDUP: ...................... ................... STEVENS: 2730-39 I came here freshman and it was just so nice and I really enjoyed that it was a small school. New graduate Rachel Stevens is pursuing a nursing career. She says she loved the at-home feel. Filled with places to express creativity. Or to bond with the environment - the school garden even providing healthy meals. Knowning an education is only part of what she got out of AOP. CLARK: 2244-58 This school definately had a purpose and it has a purpose. I don't want to say it in the past tense because I still believe, l I still belve that we can do a lot of good. Hawaii Association of Independent Schools is helping place students in different schools. Most of the 12 full time teachers will stay on staff -- for the time being. For the next several months the school will be analyzing a marketing report -- to see if they can find a better way to market the school - to bring in more students and more money. They say they haven't given up hope they can reopen sometime in the not to distant future.