HONOLULU – Hawaii's public school enrollment continued to grow for most grades in the 2014-15 school year – keeping with a five-year trend – while kindergarten saw fewer students than last year due to a change in the entry age.
Kindergarten enrollment dropped by 4,400 students after Act 178 required children to be 5 years old by July 31 – instead of December 31 – to be eligible for kindergarten. However, the combined public school enrollment for grades 1 through 12 rose to 159,622, or 823 more students, over last year.
The total enrollment for school year 2014-15 is 180,895 for the Hawaii State Department of Education's (DOE) 255 schools and 34 charter schools, compared with 185,273 in school year 2013-14, and 183,251 the year before that.
DOE schools enroll 170,482 students (-4,994 from last year) or about 94.2 percent, while charter schools enroll 10,413 (+616 from last year) or about 5.7 percent. This year, there are 163,545 students in regular education, and 17,350 students in special education.
On Oahu, Leeward remained the largest administrative district with 39,811 students, followed by Central (32,475), Honolulu (30,488) and Windward (14,608). On the neighbor islands, Hawaii has 22,875 students, followed by Maui with 20,950, and Kauai's 9,275.
In 2014-15, the five largest DOE public schools by grade level are:
High Schools (all grades 9-12): Campbell (3,024), Waipahu (2,494), Farrington (2,417), Mililani (2,415), Kapolei (2,024).
Intermediate (grades 7-8)/Middle (grades 6-8) Schools: Mililani Middle (1,766, grades), Kapolei Middle (1,435), Waipahu Intermediate (1,281), Maui Waena Intermediate (1,109), Kalakaua Middle (988).
Elementary Schools: August Ahrens (1,320), Holomua (1,264), Ewa (1,143), Kapolei and Waipahu (1,086).
The five smallest DOE schools in the state include: Niihau (9, K-12), Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind (53, K-12), Maunaloa (55, K-6), Kilohana (65, K-6), Olomana (72, 7-12).
Charter schools realized a gain of nearly 6 percent in enrollment over last year, topping 10,000 with 10,413.
The five largest charter schools are: Hawaii Technology Academy (1,154, K-12), Kamaile Academy (952, K-12), Ka Waihonua o ka Naauao (646, K-8), Myron Thompson Academy (584, K-12), Hawaii Academy of Arts & Sciences (547, K-12).
The five smallest charter schools are: Malama Honua (41, K-2), Ke Kula Niihau o Kekaha (44, K-12), Ke Ana Laahana (45, 7-12), Kanaka (60, K-12), Hakipuu Learning Center (63, 5-12).
Over the next several years, the DOE is projecting an increase in enrollment due to birth rates. Enrollment is expected to grow by about 500 students next school year, 2015-16, and up by more than 1,100 the following year, 2016-17.
Progress continues to be made in goals outlined in the DOE/Board of Education Strategic Plan. The DOE is using a number of measuring tools to determine progress of its public schools, students and educators. Learn more about these goals and vision for success at HawaiiPublicSchools.org.
About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is among the largest U.S. school districts and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii's public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.