The KS-Assets School partnership provides kindergarten scholarships giving keiki access to culturally grounded educational opportunities in a highly specialized learning environment. Above, Assets School ‘ohana members Kyra-Ann and Celestiale Solomon, Principal Ryan Masa and Khloe and Kori Gaurani – gather on the first day of school.
As part of an innovative pilot scholarship program between Kamehameha Schools and Assets School, eight kindergartners now have access to resources they need to thrive: financial support and culturally grounded educational opportunities combined with Assets’ highly specialized learning environment.
On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the first day of school at Assets marked the beginning of an exceptional learning opportunity for the eight students and their families. The young learners benefit from full K-3 tuition scholarships as a result of the four-year pilot program, and now represent eight members of the nine-person kindergarten class at Assets School.
“Kids like my daughter are capable of amazing things, but without a deeply specialized education, it’s hard to help them reach their potential,” said Kori Gaurani, mother of 6-year-old Khloe. “Dropping her off for her first day of school today filled me with hope and gratitude, knowing that Kamehameha is stretching far beyond their own campuses because they’re thinking about how to improve my child’s life.”
According to KS CEO Jack Wong, the pilot partnership is crucial for the children who will benefit from the special care and attention provided by the experienced team at Assets School.
“We’re looking forward to partnering with a school that provides expert assessment, instructional strategies and enrichment as well as ongoing and continuous engagement with the parents and caregivers who make such a difference in the keiki's present and future success,” Wong says.
Organizers of the scholarship program are also seeking like-minded funders and philanthropists interested in addressing the educational needs of Hawai‘i’s children to support the scholarship in the future.
Partnership Signifies New Approach to Education
Kamehameha Schools’ collaboration with Assets is an example of the creative initiatives under development by the newly formed Strategy and Innovation team at KS. The group was created to help the organization identify and test new approaches that will support the improvement of Hawai‘i’s educational system in new and innovative ways.
“Research shows that early intervention is vital for children with learning differences, and as we track the program’s progress, we hope to leverage its successes for future classes beyond the pilot group of students coming in this school year,” said Lauren Nahme, vice president of strategy and innovation at KS. “KS and Assets School hope that the success of the pilot program will allow for its expansion into future school years.”
KS and Assets’ shared goal is to create a powerful educational trajectory for the scholarship recipients, setting them on a path for success in learning. The schools hope that the methods of assessment and teaching utilized in this pilot program will be broadened and shared with other educators, eventually taking the positive impact of this approach to scale throughout Hawai‘i.
“This one-of-a-kind partnership is a testament to Kamehameha’s commitment to the youngest learners, giving them the tools they need to not only succeed, but thrive in their academic career,” said Head of Assets School Paul Singer. “Language-based learning differences can create real frustration and leave students thinking they can’t learn. At Assets, we help them discover their strengths and from that, discover how they best learn.”
Strategic Plan 2020
SP2020 is a five-year strategic plan that will guide Kamehameha Schools from 2015 to 2020. The plan marks a starting point toward KS’ Vision 2040, which envisions success for all Native Hawaiian learners.
This KS-Assets partnership addresses Goal 2 of SP2020 which calls for KS to contribute to collective community efforts to improve education systems for Hawaiian learners and Action 4 for fiscal year 2017, calling for KS to leverage community partnerships to improve educational systems for Native Hawaiians.
This one-of-a-kind partnership is a testament to Kamehameha’s commitment to the youngest learners, giving them the tools they need to not only succeed, but thrive in their academic career.
Paul Singer, Head of Assets School