On June 24th, 2022 the Hawai’i State Public Charter School Commission approved Namahana school which will serve the North Shore of Kauai from Ha’ena around to Anahola. This has been a long awaited process for the Kauai North Shore Community Foundation who started this process with 600 community member signatures in 2015 for their vision of a public middle and high school for their community.
Middle & High School Needed on the North Shore
The North Shore of Kauai has had multiple options for public elementary schools, but as students reach the 7th grade, they need to make the drive to Kapa’a town for middle and high school. For students in the Hanalei to Haena communities this could easily take 2-3 hours for a round trip to school, which isn’t an ideal situation if kids want to participate in sports or extracurricular activities, and makes for very long days away from home. For families on the North Shore seeking tuition-free education in the public school system past the 6th grade there is a lot of excitement and buzz in the air with this long-awaited approval by the state.
The approval Namahana school received has a two-year conditional period where they need to meet certain guidelines set forth by the Charter Commission. Once the school meets these conditions, the Charter Commission will issue a 5-year contract and the school can welcome the first students for grades 7th and 8th in the Fall of 2025 and add a new grade each year until they reach capacity at 360 students.
New School Location in Kalihiwai
The school is located on 8 acres in Kalihiwai with the dramatic Namahana mountain range set as the backdrop. A philanthropist, Joan Porter and her late husband Bill, donated the land on the Wai Koa Plantation back in 2018 with a 99 year license for the exclusive use of a public charter school. KNCF has raised over $3M for the initial costs with the development of the school and has now handed this vision over to the Namahana Education Foundation to continue raising funds and see the project through construction.
As a parent of two boys ages 8 and 10 on the North Shore of Kauai, my family is grateful for all the time and energy the Namahana Governing Board, led by Dr. Kapua Chandler, has given over the many years to secure this conditional charter approval. Here are links to recognize these hard working board members of the KNSCF and the NEF. Here is a link to ways you can support the Namahana School to help make the dream become a reality: https://namahanafoundation.org/services/
My boys could not be more excited for the opportunity to attend this charter for the targeted opening date of the 2025/26 school year.