Purple Maiʻa

Hālau Hekili

An educational collaboration between Purple Maiʻa, Windward Community College (WCC), and Kailua High School, that will create a space to nurture and empower high-potential students to succeed in academics while also helping them to build confidence in themselves and their capacities to problem solve and support their communities. This project aims to demonstrate that with the tools provided by Hālau Hekili—relevant technical skills and a grounding in Hawaiian culture and values—students will thrive in a world that is ever changing.

Program components

Hawaii's first Middle College educational experience:

Hālau Hekili is Hawaiʻi’s first middle college program and will be housed on both the Windward Community College and the Kailua High campuses.  Students will be actively involved in the Kailua High School community while also experiencing the benefits of learning on a college campus. 

Hawaiian Knowledge and Innovation Certification:

The curriculum will be designed around the WCC Hawaiian Knowledge Innovation (HIKI) certification, which is a set of college courses from the Computer Science, Business, and Hawaiian History Departments. Throughout their four years, students will complete all DOE high school graduation requirements while taking dual credit courses. They may also have the opportunity to graduate with an associate’s degree. 

The Community is our Kula!:

 Beyond implementing the Middle College model and incorporating the HIKI Certification to the curriculum pathway, Hālau Hekili will also place emphasis on learning from and within the community. Based on the traditional Hawaiian educational practice that tells us “Aʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi” (Not all learning happens in one school), Hālau Hekili will deconstruct the prevalent educational paradigm that learning takes place at a single physical site (a school) and re-emphasize the community as school. In this way the school is not the central cog of learning but rather a part of the community that shares in the responsibility of growing and supporting each student’s success.

The first cohort

The first cohort of ninth grade students began classes this year. The 12 students were recruited from within the Windward school district with a particular focus on the Waimānalo community, which has a large population of Native Hawaiian families. We connected with Mālama Honua Public Charter School as a key recruitment partner as many of their students are Native Hawaiian and from the target area. We have intentionally designed this learning space to be supportive of but not exclusive to Native Hawaiians, as we see that there is a need in our community for specific strategies and supports for this demographic of learners. That being said, we hope that the learning environment we create will be inspiring and empowering for any learner from any demographic.