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CEO Message: Great Expectations

Aug. 5, 2022

Aloha mai kākou,

Welina mai e ka ʻohana o Ke Kula ‘O Kamehameha!

As we start the 2022-2023 school year, we do so with a renewed sense of hope and optimism having learned and grown so much over the last few years. Indeed, this is my favorite time of year, seeing excitement in the faces of our keiki as they return to – or enter for the first time – our campuses and preschools, and we look forward to the best year ever for each of our students, faculty, staff and all their ʻohana.

We begin the year firmly grounded in the safety and well-being of our students and staff as a core value and our highest priority, knowing also the importance of developing and maintaining in-person relationships and learning.

COVID-19
We continue to learn to live with COVID-19, protecting ourselves with now well-established health practices; being thoughtful to take care of and respect others; being ready to adapt as situations change; and recognizing the importance of moving forward with our lives, including the education of our keiki. At Kamehameha Schools, we continue with the principles that brought us here: maintaining healthy environments, providing world-class education and keeping us together. Leaders from each of our campuses and preschools will be communicating their policies and protocols directly with you.

As for the emerging Monkeypox virus, we continue to track and monitor information from our State Department of Health. Like COVID-19, we will communicate with our staff, students and families as information affecting our communities becomes available.

Safe School Environment
As we return to in-person learning, we will renew our focus, as we do every year, on creating a safe, nurturing learning environment built upon, among other things, leading practices and policies as recommended by retained independent professionals; mandatory safety training for employees; background checks; student counselor supports, including enterprise care and support provided by our Mālama Ola staff of nearly 60 nursing, behavioral health, and athletic training team members; a strong partnership with Hawaii Pacific Health for medical and specialist advisory services; and a separate compliance division assuring independent reviews and investigations for any reports of staff misconduct.

An integral and important part of our culture of safety is the kuleana each of us has to use our voice to protect ourselves and one another by reporting incidents. Students, staff and families should always feel safe to speak up, without fear of any retaliation whatsoever, whether reporting to our campus faculty, staff, administrators or leaders; our Ethics and Compliance division; or our campus helpline or compliance helpline that is maintained by an independent vendor. Please also know that even though retaliation will never be tolerated, you may always file a report anonymously.

Our Best Year Ever
I firmly believe that each of us is called to be at Kamehameha Schools, whether as a student or staff member, and that the year ahead is the most important year of our lives. With the highest hopes and ambition for each haumāna, we remain committed to providing a world-class, Hawaiian-culture based education, grounded in E Ola!, with rigor and personalized learning opportunities. We send our mahalo to our campus and preschool leaders, administrators, faculty and staff for their commitment to making every school experience amazing, and to our families for entrusting us with the care and education of their keiki.

E Mahi a e Mālama i Ko Ke Akua
Our campus Kahu - Nā Kahu o Ke Kula ‘O Kamehameha - having sought guidance from Ke Akua and been inspired by scripture, have penned the spiritual theme for the new school year: 

E Mahi a e Mālama i Ko Ke Akua – Cultivate and Care for God’s Creation. 

It is in this spirit of kuleana and care for all that God has blessed us with – each other, our ‘āina, our health, our resources, and so much more – that we embrace the year ahead with the greatest of expectations.

Me ka haʻahaʻa,

Jack



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