About Us » School Profile

School Profile

About Kamaile Academy


Kamaile Academy is a PreK - 12 Hawaiian focused-arts integrated public conversion charter school that embraces all the cultures of our children with the emphasis on Hawaiian culture being the piko (the center). Our students learn about Hawaiian values, customs, traditions, music, legends, and language.  Students are engaged through rigorous study, the arts, and project-based learning.  Kamaile Academy was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 2014 for a period of 6 years. Our mid-term review is scheduled for April 2017.


Kamaile Academy is located on the Wai'anae Coast of O'ahu. Wai‘anae is home to many of those socioeconomically and ethnically marginalized in Hawai‘i. Nationally in 2010, 15.7% of families with children under 18 and 13.8% of individuals fell below the poverty level, while in the state of Hawai‘i those rates were 10.0% and 9.6% respectively. Rates in Wai‘anae eclipsed both of those baselines as 20.0% of families with children and 15.6% of individuals were below the poverty level.[1] Of the 13,177 residents of the community, the highest prevalence of any ethnic group [2] is Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders at 69.4%.[3] While poverty’s impact on educational attainment is similar across localities, studies have shown that Native Hawaiians have performed especially low on most measures relative to other ethnic groups.[4]


At Kamaile Academy, 78.7% of students live in economic hardship [5] (compared to a statewide average of 46.9% [6]) while 58.9% of students identify primarily as being of Native Hawaiian ancestry.[7] Moreover, 14.1% of students at the school have been identified as homeless or residing in emergency/transitional housing.[8] As would be expected from trends associating such socioeconomic and demographic factors with academic achievement, results from state assessments clearly evidence the achievement gap that exists. While 70.4% and 58.6% of students across Hawai`i met proficiency in reading and math respectively on annual statewide standardized test in SY 20112012, only 35.7% of Kamaile students were proficient in reading and only 23.2% in math.[9]


Situated in what would conventionally be labeled a “high need” and “high risk” community, the school community of Kamaile Academy deliberately chooses to focus on the talents, potential, and culture each of our students possesses. The vision of our school is “where learning leads to endless opportunities and infinite worth.” Faculty, staff, families, and community members are bound by the belief that education is the path by which those positive assets of our children will lead to endless opportunities for their future and the realization of each individual’s infinite worth. As the “Home of the Navigators,” Kamaile Academy believes fully that with an appreciation for where they come from along with the proper training, they can navigate their lives to wherever they want to go.


Our mission is “to prepare selfdirected, selfaware, collegeready learners who will embrace the challenges of obstacles, experience the pride of perseverance and accomplishments, and demonstrate the strength of ‘ohana (family) and community.” The school community at Kamaile Academy believes that our school must foster in each child, from preschool through 12th grade, an intrinsic drive toward achievement and betterment, enabling them to be become selfdirected learners. Throughout this process of growth, we also seek to instill in each child a selfawareness of her or his own academic, social, emotional, and physical growth. In a community that has experienced years of academic underachievement, collegereadiness has become the clear marker by which teachers, staff, and families will measure our school’s success. While all of these are noble goals, we recognize the daunting challenges faced in our community. Rather than trying to separate the child from this environment, we look to develop the ability of our students to embrace the obstacles in life as opportunities for growth. In this way, we hope that each child experiences the pride that comes with perseverance and eventual success. All the while, our school promotes the strength and support that can be found in family and community. Keeping with the metaphor, we hope to see our students follow the path of the traditional Polynesian navigators—disciplined training, cooperation with a crew, and respect for one’s roots enabling one to cross oceans of great struggle toward new lands of discovery.



[1] United States Census Bureau. (n.d.) SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-

[2] Self-reported as “race alone or in combination with one or more races.”

[3] United States Census Bureau. (n.d.) Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data, Waianae CDP, Hawaii. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/

[4] Benham, M. K. (2006). Pacific Islander scholars: What the research literature teaches us about out work. Race Ethnicity and Education 9(1), 29-50; and Kao, G. & Thompson, J. S. (2003). Racial and ethnic stratification in educational achievement and attainment. Annual Review of Sociology, 29, 417–443.

[5] As measured by those students qualifying for free or reduced meals as of October 1, 2012.

[6] National Center for Educational Statistics (n.d.) State Education Data Profiles: Hawaii Elementary and Secondary Education Characteristics 2010-2011. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/stateprofiles

[7] As reported on student registration forms as of October 1, 2012. Note that this percentage does not account for those students who identify with another race as their primary ethnicity but are still part Hawaiian.

[8] These are students receiving special support from the Navigators’ Center after being identified under the McKinney Vento Act.

[9] Scores as reported on the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s online Longitudinal Data System