Nā Hopena A‘o (HĀ)

A Department-wide framework to develop the skills, behaviors and dispositions that are reminiscent of Hawaiʻi’s unique context, and to honor the qualities and values of the indigenous language and culture of Hawaiʻi.

​​​​​​​​Key resources

Na Hopena Ao


End goals, the result of an action


Learning and teaching


In 2013 Former Board of Education Member Cheryl Lupenui gathered various community and HIDOE representatives to participate in an audit and redraft of BOE Policy 4000, General Learner Outcomes. As a result of the process, recommendations were made by the audit committee to leave Policy 4000 intact, and instead create a new kind of policy. This new policy, E-3 (which stands for Ends Policy 3), would provide a framework for the Department to develop in its employees and students the skills, behaviors and dispositions that are reminiscent of Hawaiʻi’s unique context and to honor the qualities and values of the indigenous language and culture of Hawaiʻi. In June 2015, the policy was approved by the Hawaiʻi BOE as follows:

Policy E-3: Nā Hopena A‘o (HĀ)

Nā Hopena A‘o (“HĀ”) is a framework of outcomes that reflects the Department of Education’s core values and beliefs in action throughout the public educational system of Hawaii. The Department of Education works together as a system that includes everyone in the broader community to develop the competencies that strengthen a sense of belonging, responsibility, excellence, aloha, total-well-being and Hawaii (“BREATH”) in ourselves, students and others. With a foundation in Hawaiian values, language, culture and history, HĀ reflects the uniqueness of Hawaii and is meaningful in all places of learning. HĀ supports a holistic learning process with universal appeal and application to guide learners and leaders in the entire school community.

The following guiding principles should lead all efforts to use HĀ as a comprehensive outcomes framework:

  • All six outcomes are interdependent and should not be used separately
  • Support systems and appropriate resources should be in place for successful and thoughtful implementation
  • Planning and preparation should be inclusive, collective and in a timeframe that is sensitive to the needs of schools and their communities
  • Current examples of HĀ in practice can be drawn on as sources for expertise
  • All members of the school community share in the leadership of HĀ

The purpose of this policy is to provide a comprehensive outcomes framework to be used by those who are developing the academic achievement, character, physical and social-emotional well-being of all our students to the fullest potential.

[Approved: 06/16/15]

Subsequently, the Office of Hawaiian Education (OHE) has been tasked with a pilot implementation of E-3 in the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (HIDOE). Early adopters of HĀ will help OHE to identify the best strategy to inform future expansion of this work. Early adopters include those who have initiated contact with OHE. They are working in various contexts driven by local communities of teachers, kūpuna, principals, offices and schools to help define how HĀ shows up in their work. In addition to the work of early adopters, OHE is convening internal and external stakeholders to formulate a strategic plan for implementation of HĀ.

The HĀ philosophy

HĀ is a set of six outcomes that are firmly rooted in Hawaiʻi. These six-outcomes contain values that are universal to all cultures. Educating students in an environment of HĀ will add value to and strengthen each and every person who engages over the course a learning journey. Department faculty and staff should also be models of behaviors that direct students to what these outcomes might look like in practice. Those who are moved by the goals and intentions of HĀ are encouraged to use it in their every day practice. OHE would welcome any moʻolelo (stories) of best practices and successes that you would like to share as we plan forward.

HĀ Summit, May 6, Wai‘anae High

Hosted by the Office of Hawaiian Education in conjunction with Leeward O‘ahu schools and community and the Native Hawaiian Education Council.

HĀ Community Days

Sixteen school-community teams are collaborating on HĀ Community Days. The goal is to bring schools and community together in each area to share HĀ and engage in discussions and activities to contextualize a learning framework and determine how to strengthen HĀ within and without HIDOE.

Contact Information

Kau‘i Sang

Phone: 808-305-9724

Email: dawn_kaui_sang@hawaiidoe.org

Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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