Purple Maiʻa

Hālau Hekili

Hālau Hekili is an educational collaboration between Kailua High School, Windward Community College, and Purple Maiʻa Foundation, that has created a space to nurture and empower high-potential students to succeed in academics while also building confidence in themselves and their capacities to problem-solve and support their communities. Through this partnership, students earn their high school degree and gain college credit towards an AA degree, while developing the relevant technical skills and a grounding in Hawaiian culture and values that students will need to 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 where students attend classes on both the Windward Community College and Kailua High campuses. Students are able to be actively involved in the Kailua High School community while also experiencing the benefits of learning and taking college classes on an actual college campus.

Hawaiian Knowledge and Innovation Certification:

The curriculum is designed around the WCC Hawaiian Knowledge Innovation (HIKI) certification, which gives students an introductory grounding in Hawaiian traditional technologies as well as contemporary digital technologies and entrepreneurship. Throughout their four years, students complete all DOE high school graduation requirements while taking early college credit courses embedded in this certification. They also have the opportunity to graduate with an associate’s degree.

The Community is our Kula!:

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 deconstructs the prevalent educational paradigm that learning takes place at a single physical site (a building) and re-emphasizes the community as the school. In this way the community is empowered to share 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.