Kamehameha SchoolsBy Harold Morse
public input on goals
Kamehameha Schools planning for the next 10 or 15 years needs participation from all stakeholders in the overall education mission.
That's the message being hammered home in a series of public meetings this summer, the first of which took place last night at Castle High School with about 35 people present.
But the process isn't all new. Sixteen study groups consisting of more than 400 individuals statewide earlier honed in on what directions they want the schools to take. They put emphasis on early childhood education, literacy and educational quality for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Out of this some 150 strategies emerged. Further honing channeled the planning ideas into seven broad goals in a draft strategic plan. Kamehameha Schools trustees sat in on some planning sessions. Then on May 25 the plan was presented to trustees. They made some changes, and now the plan is getting community airing.
"This is really the first public out-roll of the draft strategic plan," said Dwight "K" Kealoha, acting chief operating officer. It also will be presented to Hawaiian groups on the mainland in July and August, he said.
There are 72,000 Hawaiians on the mainland, about one-third of the Hawaiian population, said Julian Ako, normally Kamehameha Schools dean of men, now a co-facilitator for public input.
After all this plan exposure, it will go back to the trustees in October with added suggestions picked up along the way.
Charlene Hoe, an elementary art teacher and also a co-facilitator for public input, said seven goals that emerged from the process so far will be further refined.
"This is the framework, the skeleton," she said. "We will ultimately build the body."
Goals include providing overall quality education, nurturing strong family and community resources for a holistic approach and leadership development. "We'll try to look at the whole child," she said. Lifelong learning is an ideal.
"We all become teachers, and we all become students in a very real way," Hoe said.
Audience participants last night largely favored quality Hawaiian culture and language education.
"We want to perpetuate Hawaiian language and culture," Ako said. "We're looking for your feedback. We're providing information but also looking for your feedback."
Neil Hannahs, land manager, asset management division, hit the input theme hard.
"What we're looking at here are some broad directions," he said.
All parts of the Kamehameha family must work to build program effectiveness in coming years, Hannahs said.
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