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 firstname.lastname@example.org.