Pact mission: ‘Restore our people’

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Island School’s Head of School Shannon Graves and Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong sign a memorandum of agreement Friday at the Frear Hall on the Island School campus in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong accepts a take-apart wa‘a ho‘okupu from kumu Sabra Kauka and Steve Soltysik Friday following the signing of a memorandum of agreement in the Ho‘oulu I Ke Ola o Na Pua, or “to enrich lives of the children” program site, at Frear Hall on the Island School campus in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Island School Head of School Shannon Graves and Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong shake hands on the partnership that allows opportunities for Native Hawaiian children and families to attend Island School, Friday following the signing of the memorandum of agreement at Frear Hall on the Island School campus in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kumu Sabra Kauka and her Hawaiiana students listen to remarks about the memorandum of agreement that is a planned collaboration to assist Native Hawaiian students the opportunity to attend Island School Friday at Frear Hall on the Island School campus in Puhi.

PUHI — Native Hawaiian students took a step toward access to private school education when officials from Kamehameha Schools and Island School signed a memorandum of agreement Friday.

“This partnership with Kamehameha Schools is something I’ve worked on for years,” said Kathy Richardson, president of the Island School board. “This, Ho‘oulu I Ke Ola o Na Pua, or ‘to enrich lives of the children,’ provides opportunity for children and allows Native Hawaiian children and families, especially those who never thought they had the opportunity, the chance to attend Island School.”

The MOA signed by Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Jack Wong and Island School Head of School Shannon Graves will include shared funding for tuition, wraparound support services, innovative initiatives and shared data and research. These efforts are all part of Kamehameha School’s plan to uplift students through educational systems change.

Buffy Ofisa, Kamehameha School regional director on Kauai, said this provides more opportunities for students.

“While we want a campus similar to that at Kapalama, that will never happen,” Ofisa said. “Instead, we have a variety of outreach ervices and programs that provide an array of opportunity for students, including summer school, athletics and more.”

The signing at Island School’a Frear Hall Center of Hawaiian Culture marks the fifth partnership between Kamehameha Schools and an independent private school in Hawaii.

Sean Magoun, Island School’s director of admissions, said with the signing, Island School qualifies as a school participating in the Kamehameha Schools’ Kipona Scholarship Program, where new or returning or renewal students attend, or plan to attend, a participating private school in Hawaii.

“Our mission is to restore our people, and we accomplish that by putting our keiki at the center of all we do,” Wong said. “It is a mission we can’t do alone.”

The MOA is effective for the 2019-20 school year, and will be for three years with the intent to continue beyond the initial term.

“We are excited to partner with Kamehameha Schools to inspire Kauai’s children to be confident, passionate learners who embrace their unique interests and learning styles,” Graves said. “This collaboration aligns with our Island School mission of educating the mind, inspiring the heart, and preparing Kauai youth to lead lives of significance.”


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. james November 18, 2018 7:50 am Reply

    How is a “native hawaiian” student defined? What percentage of “Hawaiian’ blood is required and does that include any Polynesian blood? I wonder about these things.

  2. gordon oswald November 18, 2018 9:59 am Reply

    While many understand the motive and efforts to bring back the Hawaiian Kingdom and steer our children in the direction of “bringing back” ancient and early Hawaii, one must also realize that fantasies of a self governing “Kingdom” are futile and destructive to the future generations of “Hawaiians”. As long as our children feel victimized and are told negative things about the reality of their existence in the United States of America, they will under achieve, have harder lives, and will not assimilate to the point of taking full advantage of the “American Dream” that the tens of thousands, and yes even millions of people around the world would risk death to experience. Maintain the Hawaiian culture through Hula, Aloha, Religion, and valuable customs, but don’t forget to transfer a love and loyalty to the Country that 96% of all Hawaiians voted to become a State of. Do it for your children. They deserve it!

  3. Reverend Malama Robinson November 22, 2018 10:33 am Reply

    It would be nice if tgi would bother to hire a proof reader…. esspecially when addressing matters of education of Hawai’ians but from the comments and general content of the newspaper,
    facts and decent journalism are not important…. We are America!!!

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