Honolulu - (January 28, 2019) — Two years after Kamehameha Schools (KS) and Assets School collaborated on a first-of-its kind scholarship program for keiki in kindergarten through fourth grade, the schools are expanding the partnership to serve gifted and capable haumāna (students) through the high school level.
The robust scholarship agreement provides keiki and their 'ohana with access to resources they need to thrive: financial support and culturally grounded Hawaiian culture-based educational opportunities fostered by KS combined with the highly specialized learning environment unique to Assets School. In addition to reducing financial barriers to a quality education, the scholarship partnership establishes a supportive environment in which Native Hawaiian learners and their families are set up for success.
"This partnership is very important because it represents a unique opportunity to create scholarships for keiki who will benefit from the exceptional care and attention available at Assets School," said KS CEO Jack Wong. "We're excited to continue our collaboration with a school that provides expert assessment, instructional strategies and enrichment, as well as ongoing engagement with the parents and caregivers who make such a difference in the present and future success of our Native Hawaiian keiki."
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 anticipate 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.
"Assets is honored to be included in Kamehameha School's Strategic Plan 2020 partnerships, ensuring that more Native Hawaiian students can receive the education they need and deserve," said Assets Head of School Paul Singer. "Assets is the only school of its kind in the state, providing students who are gifted, twice-exceptional, or facing language-based learning differences with a strengths-based education that embraces the student's differences and builds a platform from which they can excel and succeed at school and in the world. We are so grateful to Kamehameha Schools for joining with us to expand our school's diversity and our cultural understanding."
The collaboration with Assets is an example of the ongoing initiatives and partnerships fostered by the 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 creative and innovative ways.
KS has established similar agreements with St. Andrew's Schools, Island Pacific Academy in Kapolei, Saint Louis School, Island School on Kaua'i and Akaʻula School on Molokaʻi as part of its focus on creating opportunities for more Hawaiian haumāna through educational systems change.
In addition to these partnerships, KS also provides K-12 private school tuition support through its Kipona Scholarship Program. The need-based scholarships provide financial assistance to children attending participating schools throughout Hawai'i.
"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 Kamehameha Schools.
Organizers of the scholarship program are also seeking like-minded funders and philanthropists interested in addressing the educational needs of Hawai'i children to support the scholarship in the future.