Assets School's Transforming Lives Center Helps Students & Families
This article appeared in the Hawaii Parent Magazine's January/February 2023 issue.
If you notice your child is having some difficulty with school, you may want to have them
assessed to see if there is anything you can do to improve their journey in school and in life.
The Transforming Lives Center is the first private school-based full resource center on
Oahu to provide comprehensive assessments of students who may be struggling in a
traditional school setting or facing academic challenges. Students from kindergarten
through 12th grade can be evaluated whether they are from a public, private or charter
school. “At TLC, we determine the appropriate testing based on the child’s presenting
problems, as described by their parents and teachers, along with what the clinician
observes during the evaluation,” explained Elsa Lee, Clinical Director at Assets School’s
Transforming Lives Center.
Some of the early signs of learning differences include having a tough time remembering
the alphabet or trouble with reading. Can your child rhyme? Perhaps they struggle with
telling the time on analog clocks. Maybe your child finds math extremely difficult.
“Sometimes when a child is a struggling learner, it can manifest as adverse behaviors or
emotional responses,” said Sandi Tadaki, Assets School’s Assistant Head of School and
Admissions Director. “Keep your radar up and be on the lookout. Being able to recognize
the signs in children, especially when they are really young, is so important because the
earlier you can intervene, the earlier you can address it. The student can develop the
appropriate skills they need to succeed. For those who are struggling readers, if that goes
unnoticed, can take a toll on both the student and parents. When kids hurt, parents hurt.”
The Izuka family had their son assessed at the Transforming Lives Center. “It answers a lot
of questions for us,” said father Kent Izuka. “We feel fortunate to have him evaluated to
better understand his strengths and challenges appropriately.”
After the test results are analyzed and explained to the parents, we can begin discussing
options available to improve the child’s learning experience. “Another important goal of
testing is to provide treatment recommendations and academic accommodations for the
child who may need these elements to thrive,” said Lee. There are varying options that can
help the student depending on the results of the assessment. Some of these solutions
include tutoring, psychologists, medication, and finding the right school.
Assets School may be able to assist if your child has learning differences such as dyslexia -
trouble with reading - or dyscalculia - trouble with math.
Assets School celebrates where the student is at in their educational journey and nurtures
them where they need help by creating an individualized learning plan. With a typical 8-to-
1 student-to-teacher ratio, students receive the help they need to succeed in school. Assets
is the only private Kindergarten through 12th-grade school in Hawaii specializing in educating children with dyslexia, language-based learning differences, and those who are
Throughout Assets’ campuses, hands-on and multi-sensory teaching is emphasized and
welcomed by students, teachers and parents. One popular example is at our K-8 campus,
where students can learn math in a way that they will remember! Teachers take students to
one of our full kitchen classrooms and use a pie pan or measuring cup to show fractions, in
order to visually explain the use of numbers in the real-world. There are several similar
classes in robotics, sports, still life drawings, sketchbook designs, cooking/baking, piano,
and even a robotics class where students use Legos!
A unique initiative at the Assets High School level is the Mentorship Program, which lets
students explore career options, build their resume, and learn business etiquette. Our 9th-
grade students remain on campus during their Mentorship Wednesday. This year, they can
choose between rocketry, robotics, blacksmithing, visual arts, East Asian art and crafts,
journalism, or photography. Our 10th through 12th graders are either on or off-campus at
places such as Mercedes-Benz, where students learn how to repair cars and get a peek at
what it takes to run a service center at a high-end car dealership. Assets High School
partners with over 400 off-campus Mentorship sites, with 70 active sites this year.
On average, 95% of our students are college-bound after graduation while about 5% are
career bound. Assets School students go on to work as architects, attorneys, chefs, first
responders, entertainers, health care workers, business owners, and many other successful
and fulfilling careers.
The Transforming Lives Center opened in June 2022 at One Ohana Nui Way on the Assets
School K-8 campus. For more information about this incredible program, please visit
www.assets-school.org/about/transforming-lives-center. For more information about
Assets School, come to an Open House! Visit www.assets-school.org/admissions/open-
house for details.