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New graduation requirements will ensure a comparable and consistent educational experience for our haumāna and bring KS a step closer to integrating as one world-class, Hawaiian culture-based education system.

New grad requirements show commitment to Hawaiian identity and consistent educational experience

Jan. 10, 2018

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

Kamehameha Schools continues to move forward as a tri-campus system with a plan that emphasizes student-centered learning, empowering our educators, elevating standards and redefining systems and learning environments.

With new graduation requirements that are consistent across all three campuses, KS has made a significant achievement that brings it closer to integrating the three K-12 kula and preschools as one world-class, Hawaiian culture-based education system.

The KS Board of Trustees recently approved these unified high school graduation requirements that will enable KS students across the three campuses to have access to comparable and consistent educational experiences, founded on the achievement of E Ola! Learner Outcomes which will assist them as they reach their full potential as good and industrious global citizens and servant leaders.

“I am sincerely grateful to nā Poʻo Kumu and nā Poʻo Kula from Hawai‘i, Kapālama and Maui for their incredible work in creating our first-ever set of unified graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2022,” shared Dr. Holoua Stender, KS Executive Vice President for Education.

The new graduation requirements will begin with next year’s incoming freshmen class (2022). Requirements are categorized into three areas:

  • Nā Papa ‘Ikoi (core courses),
  • Nā Papa Mauli (electives)
  • Nā Mauli Hiwa (non-credit courses).

As a part of Nā Papa ‘Ikoi and Nā Papa Mauli, students must earn 26 core and elective credits. In addition, all students will be required to take two years of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.

“We hope this emphasis on ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi conveys Kamehameha’s commitment to cultivating a strong Hawaiian identity, which we believe is a competitive advantage for our haumāna and graduates,” said Dr. Stender.

For the Nā Mauli Hiwa requirement, students will participate in school-based activities which foster character development, cultural identity, college and career readiness, healthy and safe choices, and servant leadership. A notable component in this new educational experience is a culminating senior capstone project demonstrating how E Ola! Learner Outcomes become embodied in student-centered, personalized projects which enable haumāna to become local and global leaders who are culturally engaged and play significant roles in creating strong `ohana and communities throughout ka pae `āina o Hawai`i and beyond.

The approved requirements align Kamehameha to other independent schools, while also acknowledging emerging trends in college acceptance requirements. As haumāna explore their options for college and career, they can be confident knowing that Kamehameha Schools has prepared them with rigorous and relevant courses of study. They have been equipped with skills, knowledge and values through our culture-based studies which will prepare them with a unique growth mindset – an important attribute in the complex global society of today.

“Our kumu, administrators and operations staff continue to put their hearts and souls into creating wonderful and enriching educational experiences for your keiki. As always, I am grateful for their dedication to our haumāna and to all of you, for fulfilling the sacred mission that Ke Ali‘i Pauahi set forth for us 130 years ago,” shared Dr. Stender”

“Our campus staff will continue to discuss and review these new graduation requirements among their colleagues, department heads, and campus leaders, and will work diligently to prepare our haumāna as we take this important step forward.”

More information will be forthcoming about the Hawaiian language proficiency assessment for incoming freshmen and their senior capstone project. This information will be sent to families by each student’s campus. The new requirements and frequently asked questions are available online if more information is needed. If parents or students have other questions about the new requirements, they are encouraged to contact their son’s/daughter’s counselor or the high school principal’s office.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What was the process to create the requirements? 

Do the new graduationrequirements align to other schools?

Campus leaders reviewed current graduation requirements from all three Kamehameha campuses, comparable independent and public schools, and college admissions criteria. The new requirements were created with all the aforementioned in mind and to ensure students develop a competitive edge in preparation for the college admissions process.

Why is the new language requirement important?
As affirmed by our Strategic and Tactical Plan, we are committed to ensure every student has a strong Hawaiian cultural identity. Hawaiian language is a foundational component to this commitment.

Read more FAQs here or please contact your child’s counselor or the high school principalʻs office for more information.

The new unified high school graduation requirements will start with the class of 2022.

Cultivating a strong Native Hawaiian identity is a critical why KS has made this decision, knowing that will be a competitive advantage for our graduates.

Nearly 700 students graduate from a Kamehameha Schools campus each year.

E Ola! Learner Outcomes serve as the foundation on which the new graduation requirements are built. E Ola! consists of fourteen outcomes that specify what all students will know or be able to do as a result of their educational experience at Kamehameha.

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