Positive accreditation report heads to final review


High School Vice-principal Leo Delatori and Elementary School Principal Dr. Paul Prevenas, along with the KSM faculty and staff, show their appreciation to the WASC and HAIS review board at the school accreditation debriefing on March 7.

Amanda Lee

By Amanda Lee, News co-editor

Ten major commendations were the result of Kamehameha Maui’s two years’ work compiling evidence and writing an extensive report to present to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Hawaiʻi Association of Individual Schools (HAIS) board to review for accreditation.

On March 7, the whole of KSM breathed a sigh of relief as the project neared its close, and the visiting committees presented their findings to the school’s staff in Keōpūolani Hale.

“I think going through the accreditation process was great,” said Kumu Lōkahi Antonio, high school Hawaiian culture and language teacher. “It was a lot of work, and, I mean, at times it was stressful, but it gave us the opportunity to look at what we do, and ask ourselves, ‘What kind of school are we?'”

Many students felt the same way.

“I feel that having our school accredited helps the teachers and the students and the staff to improve their teaching and learning techniques, and it helps us to keep up the reputation of our awesome school,” said junior Alyssa McAlinden, Recognition Chair for the Associated Students of Kamehameha Schools Maui.

The re-accreditation project was headed up by Dr. Hal Schmid, High School Curriculum Coordinator, and Ms. Linda Shibano, K-12 Assessment Coordinator and Analyst.

“At people’s first look, they were worried about what they feared we weren’t doing well, but it gives you a chance to also took at what you’re doing very well,” Dr. Schmid said.

The visiting committee reported 10 major commendations and only 3 recommendations, or areas to work on.

Major Commendations for KSM

The school was commended on the following:

  • the trustees and administration’s involvement in the school to help the students succeed
  • the school’s incorporation of Hawaiian values and the sense of community in the school
  • the operations staff’s consistent good work to support the teachers and their classrooms, and their embodiment of the school’s mission
  • the faculty for being a group of dedicated and caring individuals who work tirelessly to help their students learn
  • the school’s college preparatory curriculum and the integration of Hawaiian and Christian ethics into it
  • the trustees’ commitment to the mission and their management of the trust
  • the trustees and KSM staff and students, for forming a community of learning that is genuinely mission minded in word and deed
  • the parent-teacher ʻohana for their active efforts to develop meaningful efforts, and their generosity for supporting the school
  • the librarian and staff for their plentiful resources and comprehensive support and development of Hawaiʻi-Pacific resources throughout all three campuses
  • the administration and leadership team for their meaningful use of assessment data to develop curriculum.

Dr. Harlan Lyso, head of the committee, said that their recommendations reflected the ones already made by KSM in their nearly 300-page report.

“I think the report was pretty reflective of what we need to work on and what we think our strengths are,” said Mr. Kyle Fujii, co-chair of the high school section of the report. “Within the next six years [the expected length of time for re-accreditation], I think we’ll do a good job as to strengthening our school and showing them [WASC and HAIS] what they need for the next time.”

Major Recommendations for KSM

The three major recommendations for the school are that:

  • the administration, faculty and staff commit to utilizing the Hawaiian values of the Working Exit Outcomes, or WEO, document as a means to promote academic rigor
  • the administration further communicate their vision and plans while providing strong development for each of the KSM initiatives and that the administration monitor and be sensitive to teacher stress and time commitment associated with these initiatives
  • the administration and faculty further develop school guidelines and appropriate practices related to assessing and supporting students with learning differences and special needs

Ms. Lehn Huff,  a volunteer reviewer on the committee for HAIS said, “This is a school that is clearly focused on the student.”

Dr. Lyso, said that the KSM visit was unlike any he had done from among the 39 accreditation visits he’s been a part of.

“There is a uniqueness of your school in that it has academic rigor, the Christian ideals, and the powerful Hawaiian values,” he said.

He stressed that the committee’s report was not an end to the process of school improvement.

“The key [to accreditation] is not a goal, but a process where schools continue to strive to do better and support their kids better. It’s a process, not a destination,” he said.

The High School Section

The high school’s review went seemingly well, receiving more praises than corrections from all review board members.

The high school was also recognized for their emphasis on their adoption of Kula Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian school approach).

“The administration has been very aware and very helpful in supporting the  implementation of those things [intiatives like Kula Hawaiʻi] by establishing new postions to help…and to provide all of the technological things you need to do all those things with students,”  said Kumu Carol Puanani Wilhelm of ASSETS school and a member of the visiting team.

The high school was also commended on the administration’s helpfulness in establishing the school’s mission, the high school staff’s dedication to help students succeed, and, of course, the quality of the food.

The committee recommended that the high school continue their work on school initiatives and work toward making learning happen for all students.

The Students

Elementary, middle, and high school students were interviewed by the board members as part of the accreditation visit.

Mr. Anpau Duta Flying Earth, committe member, said the students made a positive impression on him with their traditional greetings, their sense of community, their respect, their daily exhibition of Christian and Hawaiian values, and their dedication to learning.

“They remind me of my nieces and nephews,” he said of the feeling of home and cultural identity.

The committee’s report and the final accreditation decsions by WASC and HAIS are expected in May. In the meantime, a pdf of the KS Maui report submitted to the visiting team is available online by clicking here.

Additional Links

For additional information on the team members and their organizations, click on their names below:

Dr. Harlan Lyso
Retired Head of School
Seoul Foreign School, Seoul, Korea

Julie Crane-Cory
Jr. School Supervisor, Gr. 2-5
Punahou School

Michelle Nahale-a
Special Education Teacher
Ka`Umeke Ka`eo Charter School

Lehn Huff
Middle School Head (Retired)
Seabury Hall

Ryan Masa
Director of Social Innovation

Darlene Robertson
Director of Professional Program Development

Carol Wilhem
Education Director
Kua O Ka La Charter School

Anpao Duta Flying Earth
Director of Outreach and Community Relations
Native American Community Academy