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New Graduation Requirements for KSBE Students

Parents of students at Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate (KSBE) students received an email from Vice President of Education Dr. Holoua Stender, notifying them of new graduation requirements that would begin with the class of 2022.

A new set of unified high school graduation requirements for all three campuses was recently approved by the Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees. These new requirements will enable Kamehameha Schools students across the three campuses to have access to comparable and consistent educational experiences, founded on the achievement of the E Ola. Learner Outcomes which will assist each student to grow toward realizing his/her full potential as good and industrious global citizens and servant leaders.

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

The new graduation requirements will begin with next year’s incoming freshmen class (2022). Students in the classes of 2021, 2020 and 2019 will continue to follow the requirements set forth prior to the new tri-campus graduation requirements.

The new requirements are categorized into three areas:

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

*Language requirement includes two years of Hawaiian language (Hawaiian 1 and Hawaiian 2). Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 1 may earn placement in Hawaiian 2. Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 2 may earn placement in Hawaiian 3. Students who attain proficiency in Hawaiian 2 via assessment, or by completing the Hawaiian 2 course, may choose to enroll in Hawaiian, or another language (e.g., Japanese, Spanish, etc.) and complete at least two years of their selected language to fulfill the language requirement.

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

Stender stated:

“This emphasis on ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi conveys Kamehameha’s commitment to cultivating a strong Hawaiian identity, which we believe provides a competitive advantage for our haumāna and graduates.

For the Nā Mauli Hiwa requirement, students will participate in school-based activities which foster character development, cultural identity, college and career readiness, safety, health and well-being, 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 ʻohana and communities throughout ka pae ʻāina 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 will be confident knowing that Kamehameha Schools has prepared them with rigorous and relevant courses of study. Haumāna wil be equipped with skills, knowledge and values through our Hawaiian culture-based program of study which will prepare them with a unique growth mindset for learning and leadership 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.

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 out by your student’s campus. The new requirements and frequently asked questions are available online if you would like to see more. If you have other questions about the new requirements, please call your son’s/daughter’s counselor or the high school principal’s office.”

Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i Announces New Head of School

Dr. Holoua Stender has been selected as the new Head of School for Kamehameha Schools’ Hawai‘i campus (KSH).

Dr. Holoua Stender

Dr. Stender has contributed to Kamehameha Schools over the past 32 years in his current role as Kapālama’s Elementary School Principal as well as prior department leadership and teaching roles at Kapālama’s High School, and as an administrator in its summer programs. He is also a member of Kamehameha’s tri-campus leadership team, tasked with advancing all three of Kamehameha’s campuses in 21st century educational excellence.

“Holoua has shown his passion for student learning and has contributed tremendously both at the division and campus levels of leadership. He is well respected for his educational knowledge and his deep understanding and expression of Hawaiian culture, language and life. He practices what he believes in and inspires others to do so as well,” commented Dr. Rod Chamberlain, VP of Campus Strategic and Academic Affairs at Kamehameha Schools.

This expertise was recognized by members of the KS Hawai‘i leadership team as they reflected after the interview process, “Dr. Stender is a proven educational leader within the KS system — he is a scholar that has connected Hawaiian pedagogies to impact student achievement.”

Dr. Stender grew up on Kewalo Hawaiian Homestead and learned Hawaiian culture and ‘ōlelo at an early age. In 1979 he achieved the level of Kumu Hula and still advises and supports various hālau and Hawaiian performing arts groups here and on the continent. He also teaches chant and mele composition and translates Hawaiian documents, songs and poetry for groups and individuals. He has been actively involved in his community and volunteers his time at church activities and in community fundraisers.

Dr. Stender received his doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California where he currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor. He also holds a master’s degree in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently serves on the core planning team of Kamehameha Schools’ Standards-Based Kula Hawai‘i curriculum project.

Upon learning of his appointment, Dr. Stender responded, “E ō e Moku o Keawe — Hawai‘i island — has always held a special place in my heart. This ‘āina is the ancestral homeland of my kūpuna. I am thankful and humbled to know that I‘ll be returning there to work with so many dedicated individuals, who are also inspired by the vision of Princess Pauahi to promote well-being and provide the very best in educational opportunities for our children and community on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.”

“Kamehameha Schools’ Hawai‘i campus has achieved many milestones in educational excellence. The school is a piko, gathering place for students, families, staff and the community. There is great synergy here where people come together to do noble work. I am excited and look forward to continuing the excellent traditions and work of leadership, faculty and staff of Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i.”

Opened in 1996, Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i is located on 312 acres in Kea‘au and serves 1,120 students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. The campus is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The year 2012 marks the 125th anniversary of the opening of Kamehameha Schools, which today operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i and 31 preschool sites statewide. Over 40,000 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools’ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai‘i and across the continental United States.