Community, faculty, staff envision Kamehameha’s future


KSM middle school Hawaiian Language Kumu Moani Kekahuna and KSM Chaplain Kalani Wong share their group’s ideas for strategic planning on Friday, April 12, at the KS Maui high school campus.

By Landon Ballesteros, news writer

The KS Maui faculty and staff, as well as other educators of the community, spent their In-Service Day on Friday, April 12, in strategic planning meetings at the Kamehameha Schools Maui High School campus.

Strategic Planning is a project focused on setting educational and operational goals for the future of Kamehameha Schools and the Hawaiian people that the schools serve.

As part of the introduction to the day, employees were supplied with data about Native Hawaiians. The Strategic Planning data sheets said that there are 31,626 Native Hawaiians on Maui, and 289,970 state-wide and that 23.6% of the state’s Native Hawaiian population live in low-income or impoverished lifestyles, a number that is higher than the statistics for other ethnicities.

The information sheets also stated that it is estimated that by 2018, 65% of jobs in Hawaiʻi will require post-secondary education, yet only 24% of Native Hawaiians in the state currently have post-secondary education degrees.

Many of the ideas shared today came as a result of trying to improve these health and welfare statistics of Native Hawaiians.

Kamehameha Schools has been operating under the 2000-2015 Strategic Plan, which set forth seven goals for the Schools and the Native Hawaiian community; however, those plans will be expiring in 2015. The strategic planning committee followed a process similar to the one they are spearheading now to develop the previous plan.

The new 15-year plan will drive the Schools’ practices through 2030.

“It’s a ‘kākou’ development of a vision, and that’s what the strategic planning process is all about,” said Dr. Shawn Kanaʻiaupuni, one of the process coordinators.

Those in attendance separated into small groups to discuss visions and goals to improve on the Schools’ current practices and adapt to the changing world of education.

After the small group sessions, they assembled into larger groups to share their ideas. Many of the groups were in agreement on a need to focus more on individual learning needs, adapt to technological evolution, strengthen the school’s cultural and spiritual values, and enhance learning about self-sustainability.

“We valued all the expertise and manaʻo in our staff and our students and communities,” Dr. Kanaʻiaupuni said.

At the end of the day, everyone gathered in Keōpūolani Hale to share their thoughts on the meetings. Many teachers said that the process went a lot better than anticipated. Throughout the day, dozens of ideas were presented, and Strategic Planning must work to narrow them down into about five core goals to guide Kamehameha Schools and the Native Hawaiian community into the next couple of decades.

“This was the time to have lots of ideas,” Dr. Kanaʻiaupuni said. “We are so much stronger when we do these things together.”

In addition to the work done on Friday by the school’s faculty and staff, about a dozen alumni attended a community meeting in the high school’s dining hall on the previous night to go through the same process.

There will be many more steps in the planning process, but there are still two more community meetings that will be held on Maui — one in Wailuku at the Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center on April 30 and one at Helene Center in Hana this Tuesday, April 16. Both meetings will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Kamehameha Schools stakeholders, which include alumni, parents of KS students, and even current students are welcome to attend these meetings to add their input about the future of Kamehameha Schools.

“We don’t have enough youth at these meetings,” Dr. Kanaʻiaupuni said. She wants to encourage students and alumni to attend the last two of these meetings on Maui.

Anyone interested in attending can just show up, but there are also several ways to RSVP for the next meeting.

You can register online by clicking here.

You can also RSVP to Pacific Rim Concepts by calling (808) 342-4030.

Last, if you can’t make the meetings, you can also share your mana’o by clicking here. You will be taken to the Progress and Promise home page where you can watch a short introductory video and answer the same questions being asked at the live meetings.