To find out more about our staff, click here. Located on Weno, Chuuk, Akoyikoyi School’s mission is to “help children achieve the necessary education to be accepted to a good high school and eventually a good college, gaining knowledge and skills to live productive lives, bettering themselves and their communities.”
Current Situation It is well known, and supported by numerous studies and data, that Chuuk State schools rank among the lowest performers in the entire Pacific: children can decode but have difficulty comprehending, sometimes even in their native language. Simple arithmetic skills are a challenge; many lack awareness of their traditional ways and are caught in a money economy that has taken them from a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency to poverty. Having neither the knowledge of their ancestors to live sustainably, nor the education necessary to become productive in today’s world, they are “in-between” those worlds. Education can provide the necessary bridge and is a major component to success in the future. Akoyikoyi School 2011-2012 Licensed by the FSM Department of Education in November 2010, the school initially opened in October 2011 with one grade of 19 children ages five – eight focusing on teaching Oral English and arithmetic. Clark Graham was the only teacher. Akoyikoyi School 2013-2014 In the 2013-2014 school year, accreditation teams for the Department of Education performed site visits through all of the schools in Chuuk State. Akoyikoyi School was the only elementary school in the entire state to receive a 3 year accreditation. The Plan Akoyikoyi School meets Educational Strategic Goal #1: “To improve the quality of instructional services for early childhood and elementary education….” In September 2012 we added another Kindergarten and the previous Kindergarten students moved to First Grade. Our staff has grown to include a Jesuit Volunteer teacher, a Chuukese teacher and teacher aide with Clark Graham serving as principal. Recently an Australian Volunteer joined us. We plan to add one class annually until the school has grades K-8, with approximately 15-18 students per class, or an estimated total enrollment between 135 to 162 students taught by 10 teachers. In grades K-3 we wish to maintain a small teacher to student ratio of approximately 15 students per class. Because the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has no legislation authorizing charter schools, Akoyikoyi School, located in Penia Village, Weno Island, Chuuk State, is licensed as a nonpublic school, but operates like a charter school. The Akoyikoyi School is a unique elementary school designed to provide a quality education, delivered by qualified and dedicated teachers, using state-of-the-art technology assisted learning, with community involvement and support. Improving education while empowering the community is an important component of Akoyikoyi School. Parents are required to attend PTA meetings and, as the school grows, parent and community involvement will increase. Curriculum The core Oral English curriculum is Direct Instruction; Arithmetic uses Abeka Books home study materials; and Chuuk State School System’s (CSSS) Chuukese Reading & Writing (R/W). This is the basic curriculum and must be modified and enriched as classes are added. Staff Needed Chuukese and American staff are needed for proper bilingual instruction and cross-cultural awareness. They must meet CSSS & FSM teacher requirements and be dedicated to improving the lives of Chuukese children and eliminating the debilitating effects of poverty and lack of opportunity. Infrastructure Classes currently meet in our 30’ x 60’ center. SHIP hopes provide the land for school expansion. We wish to construct an environmentally sensitive school with nine classrooms, office, PE facilities, storage area, toilets, water catchments, solar power, and Internet connectivity; complimenting the village community of which it should be an integral part. Sustainability Sustainability of the school and staff is one of our major concerns. Philosophically, we believe that if we are successful in educating our children to a high level, that funding will be forthcoming. Realistically, actually securing funds and teachers is a challenge. But we are addressing this concern and are seeking grants, government support, corporate and individual endowments and through membership in our program. This will, we know, not be easy, but we believe it is possible. Significance to Chuuk and the USA Better-educated Chuukese with the tools to succeed at home will help Chuuk develop positively, and also reduce the oft-heard complaints of “compact impact” should they decide to migrate to Guam, Hawaii or the mainland USA.