Mid-Pacific Institute
makes bid to expand

The school has plans to
combine efforts with
Epiphany Episcopal School

By Helen Altonn

Mid-Pacific Institute has invited Epiphany Episcopal School to join forces to eventually become one school offering classes from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.

Mid-Pacific President Joe Rice said yesterday that his school, which offers sixth through 12th grades at its Manoa campus, has a plan to take students from pre-kindergarten through the senior year. Epiphany, in Kaimuki, has kindergarten through sixth-grade classes.

Mid-Pacific's enrollment has been growing over the past five years, but the offer to Epiphany is more related to the institute's strategic plan, Rice said yesterday. "It is in our best interest to be a complete program, from pre-K to 12."

"Our two schools are exploring ways we can work together to provide a seamless, values-based education for children from pre-K through high school graduation," Edna Hussey, head of school at Epiphany, said in a written statement issued yesterday with Rice.

"We're very excited about the potential benefits for both schools. In the meantime we both continue to operate as usual and independent of each other."

Rice said leaders of the two institutions have been talking for nearly two months about joining programs, but no agreement has been reached. He said they will meet again next Thursday.

"Our hope is by the 20th or so, we will have a deal to move ahead," he said.

If an agreement is reached, Rice said, "It would start off more like a partnership and eventually be one school. ... Epiphany would become Mid-Pacific."

But, he added, "We're looking at least two years into the future."

Mid-Pac does not have enough space now at its 2445 Kaala St. campus to accommodate Epiphany's classes, he said, explaining some remodeling would be necessary.

The 138-year-old institute had an elementary program in its earliest years that later was abandoned, he said. "We went to nine through 12 and later added seventh and eighth and three years ago added sixth grade."

He said Mid-Pac wants to start with pre-kindergartners because "there is a great need in the community for early childhood care. I think a lot of kids are underserved. It would be a good market to be in and a good entry into school."

Rice said a partnership would be "a mutual benefit to both schools," since Epiphany is on a small site at 1041 10th Ave. next to the freeway and is limited in growth. However, many details would have to be worked out, he said.

Both are Christian schools, so Christian traditions would continue, he added.

"There are a lot of positives to it."

Mid-Pacific Institute

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