Hawaiian Education

Hawai'i is the only state in the United States that has designated a native language, Hawaiian, as one of its two official state languages. In 1987, in light of the Hawai'i State Constitution mandate to promote the study of Hawaiian culture, language and history, the Department of Education established the Hawaiian Studies Program and the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program, Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawai'i.

​​​​​​Office of Hawaiian Education

​Welina mai kākou me ke aloha.

In February 2015, the Office of Hawaiian Education (OHE) was established under the Office of the Superintendent, a result of a policy audit of Hawaiʻi State Board of Education (BOE) policies pertaining to Hawaiian Education and Hawaiian Language Immersion programs​.

Additionally, OHE has also been charged with the task of planning for the implementation of a new ends policy. This policy, known as Nā Hopena Aʻo, will provide for the expansion of Hawaiian education across Hawaiʻi’s K-12 public education system for all students and adults. Together, this work helps the Department meet its obligations to both BOE policies and the Hawaiʻi State Constitution (Article X, Section 4 and Article XV, Section 4​).

The scope of work for OHE will be to facilitate the implementation of three strategic priorities. The programs governed by these policies currently exists as a pilot project of Nā Hopena Aʻo, Hawaiian Studies Program and Ka Papahana Kaiapuni​​. In addition, Hawaiian education in the HIDOE has the support of federal funding through Pihana Nā Mamo​, a project targeting improving academic success for Native Hawaiian children.

OHE has developed a three-year strategic plan​ that will help guide the effort.

State Kaiapuni Distance Learning Program (SKDLP)- Ka Papahana Keleaʻo Kaiapuni

The Department, through OHE, will use the Kaiapuni distance learning design to prioritize long-standing issues related to the educational infrastructure of Kaiapuni education. 

The virtual learning education program shall address student achievement through a flexible program design that will allow for:

  • A K-12 Interdisciplinary Approach to curriculum design
  • Prioritizing ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi learning engagement 
  • Shared leadership and increased collaboration of Kaiapuni stakeholders
  • The fulfillment of the Kaiapuni mission statement which is to:
    • Provide a culturally rich and dynamic learning environment 
    • Ensure excellence in the Hawaiian language, culture, history, and ways of knowing
    • Decision-making that empowers students to self-determine success and stewardship 

If you have any questions about the State Kaiapuni Distance Learning Program, contact ʻIlikea Kam at keleao-kaiapuni@k12.hi.us or (808) 518-5364.

Families who are affected by the Maui fires who are interested in enrolling in the State Kaiapuni Distance Learning Program, may continue to fill out this Google form to get more information about our program: https://bit.ly/SKDLPMaui.

Related links

  • Hawaiian Studies Program: [VIEW]
  • Kaiapuni Program: [VIEW​]
  • Kaiapuni Schools: [VIEW​]
  • Mohala i ke A‘o: [VIEW​]
  • Nā Hopena Aʻo: [VIEW]
  • History of Hawaiian Education: [​VIEW​]
  • State Kaiapuni Distance Learning Program on OHE Hub: [VIEW]


Contact Information

Kauʻi Sang

Phone: 808-784-6070

Email: dawn.sang@k12.hi.us


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