The HPA ‘ohana is a multi-faceted group of people, all sharing a dynamic relationship rooted in the most deeply meaningful principles of living and learning, a relationship as expansive as the view from Pu‘u Lae Lae, as deep as the volcanic origins of Waimea; as diverse as the ecological landscape, as far-looking as the telescopes atop Mauna Kea, and as intimate as time spent in a canoe upon the sea that surrounds us.
Today, Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy (HPA) is a boarding and day school, serving children from kindergarten through commencement in grade 12, on two campuses currently enrolling 634 students from 28 countries and 17 states. Just as our iconic ka makani (the wind) tree is rooted firmly to the Earth, this community is rooted to the solid foundation built by those who have preceded us since the school’s founding in 1949.
With the adoption of this plan in September 2016, we have challenged our school community with a renewed commitment to accountability and excellence with respect to the promise of our mission. Specifically, we are committed to:
Providing exceptional learning opportunities offered through well-balanced educational and co-curricular programs that are rigorous and challenging and that emphasize mind, body, and spirit; encourage innovation; take advantage of our unique island location; nurture a strong sense of community based on mutual respect and service to others; and develop integrity in our students.
A diverse community, defined as students from different economic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds and homelands supported by a robust residential life program and exceptional faculty, staff, and administrators and school ‘ohana (family).
Honoring the traditions of Hawai‘i that have evolved through direct and meaningful relationships with the islands we call home and are passed from one generation to the next; that derive from the sea surrounding us, the land supporting us, and the heavens arrayed above us, and are complementary of our rigorous academic program; that surround us and shape us, much like ka makani sweeping across the campus slopes, much like our relationships with each other.
We are pleased to present a plan that melds our Hawaiian sense of place with the times in which we live and the future we hope to see. We welcome the opportunities and challenges to come for we know that, like the force of ka makani, these will strengthen HPA and the preparatory principles for which we stand.
In the context of our mission, guided by our vision and grounded in our values:
I. Design and implement a rigorous, inquiry-based learning experience integrating core academic skill acquisition with robust multi-disciplinary project experiences to promote and assess 21st century skills.
We have an ethical responsibility to prepare our students to thrive in a world that they and we can’t yet imagine. This means that they need to be able to earn a living as well as to solve increasingly complex challenges. More than ever, our students will need to be innovative, flexible, and critical thinkers, clear and effective communicators, and compelling collaborators and partners. Well-crafted project experiences at culminating grade levels will assess and give reliable feedback to our students on their abilities in these critical areas. A well-aligned K-12 skills curriculum will prepare them for the experiences and their life to come. Our ultimate goal is to graduate visionary, ethical global citizens.
● Systematic training of faculty in project development and implementation.
● Simultaneous systematic work at developing, documenting, and implementing a sequential skills curriculum across all grades, part of which is the incorporation of rigorous rubric assessments for each of the critical skills “tested” by the project experience.
● Capstone Project Requirement of every student in 5th, 8th, and 12th grades (graduation requirement for class of 2020) to allow for the highest level of secondary school work in the world in one’s field.
● Continue to develop and grow the OurWorld cultural immersion experiences to support language learning, internship opportunities, and comparative research in one’s field.
●Continue to develop and integrate the Outdoor Program into the formal Academic Program as a vehicle for formal leadership training and education of and in Hawai’i.
II. Ensure access to an HPA education regardless of ability to pay.
At Hawai’i Preparatory Academy, we are committed to providing life-changing experiences in and out of the classroom, academic preparation for higher education, and the tools needed to live meaningful and happy lives. Given that we serve talented and promising students from around the world, we will strive to eliminate the financial barriers to attaining an HPA education. HPA’s individual financial aid award currently provides up to about 45 percent of a family’s demonstrated need. To ensure an affordable HPA education for students with potential regardless of ability to pay, we will:
● Significantly increase endowment in order to meet the financial needs of our enrolling families.
● Explore sustainable strategies to reduce the gap between a family’s demonstrated need and the HPA financial aid award.
● Publicly recognize scholarship recipients for their extraordinary contributions to our community to augment appreciated value of the financial award.
● Clearly define the HPA student profile informed by market research, including education and demographic trends, in order to ensure long term accessibility.
III. Launch the long range facilities plan to consolidate our campuses and upgrade our facilities to provide living and learning spaces that enhance our educational objectives.
The HPA experience is intimately tied to the physical environment embodied by our campuses. A campus master plan revision has been completed incorporating input from school constituencies as well as building on the previous HPA master plan. General layout of campus zones, location of planned additional facilities and renovations of existing facilities beneficial to our programs have been thoughtfully identified. Cost estimates and phasing ideas have been developed. A campaign feasibility study has been conducted and target goals and timelines have been established. The need to upgrade older facilities at both campuses has been recognized.
● Develop master plan phasing options in tandem with campaign timelines allowing some flexibility for later phases. Primary objectives include relocating the middle school to the upper school campus as well as upgrading learning spaces for all school divisions.
● Ensure that detailed facility designs reflect intended use and community input. For example, learning spaces conducive to collaboration and collegiality.
● Develop plan for sustainable progress on deferred maintenance to include funding and scheduling of maintenance of campus buildings, building components and infrastructure.
IV. Integrate environmental stewardship and dedication to service in our curriculum and residential life programs.
Environmental stewardship and dedication to service are hallmark components of the HPA experience. Through examining the cultural, environmental and economic conditions of our island location, our students become specially equipped to make connections to understanding our global system as an island. We aspire to find new levels of meaning and depth in each of these ideas, for the long-term benefit of our students.
● Develop interdisciplinary capstone project opportunities with themes exploring environmental stewardship, the value of cultural diversity, and a deeper understanding of service.
● Continue to weave institutional sustainability initiatives into our day to day practices and into the curriculum through capstone projects and independent study opportunities, in addition to regular coursework. Initiatives include zero waste, garden programs, environmental monitoring, and energy conservation, production and storage.
● Create connections to the curriculum ensuring that opportunities to learn from service are embedded in the classroom/advisory experience as well as in the activities program.
V. Fully embrace boarding as a critical asset. Secure, enhance and expand the boarding program.
We are a boarding school because we believe in the outcomes. A boarding experience, more than any other educational option, promotes learning, personal growth and development, maturity and independence. Our boarding school graduates are well-rounded and prepared to lead balanced, healthy and meaningful lives. Typically our boarding population represents close to 25% of our student body and contributes close to 50% of our net tuition revenue. To maximize boarding-related or boarding-driven opportunities for all our students at HPA, we are fully committed to enhancing the boarding program in the following critical areas:
● Build additional residential life facilities and renovate existing structures to create more desirable student/community living environments.
● Renovate current faculty living spaces to create flexibility and allow for recruitment and movement within the program.
● Continue the current enrollment strategy of a balanced cultural representation within the dorms, supporting local and global inter-connectedness.
● Commit an increasing amount of funds to build up residential life programs, curriculum, support and professional development.
● Design enrollment management and student services systems to enhance the boarding experience
● Study the potential of returning to middle school boarding at the upper campus.
VI. Attract and retain exceptional faculty, staff and administration members who are aligned with the mission, vision and core values.
Qualified, passionate, caring, and committed employees are the heart of HPA. The schoolʻs faculty compensation aligns with NAIS/HAIS ranges and attrition rates are low across all employment categories. To attract and retain the best employees, HPA must regularly assess its compensation and benefits program, consistently implement a more comprehensive employee evaluation system, and communicate with employees about these systems and programs.
● Conduct a comprehensive study of employee compensation and benefits.
● Develop a tool for objective, core value-based employee evaluation that includes recognition of excellence, accountability, and support and monitoring for new employees.
● Provide consistent communication about all benefits, and increase awareness of resources such as online employee handbooks.
● Continue to focus on facility upgrades and additions—academic and residential—to improve employee morale.
VII. Enhance and develop a school culture reflecting our core values of Integrity, Respect, Pursuit of Excellence and Wonder.
The HPA Board of Trustees approved these core values on April 23, 2016 and members of the HPA community—from students to faculty, staff, and administrators—strive to model and incorporate the core values in their daily lives. Providing clarity and focusing on what we stand for as a school and as a school community will create a clear identity for HPA, enhance demand among prospective students, families, board members, and employees, provide the school community with a shared definition of success, and prepare students and employees for success at HPA and beyond.
● Develop a consistent, values-based approach to recruiting and onboarding students, parents/families, board members, and employees.
● Incorporate core values in all school materials, including policies, handbooks, and internal and external communications.
● Review the character education program at HPA.
● Continue to celebrate and recognize excellence in the school community.
VIII. HPA and Hawaii stand at the confluence of the world’s cultures. HPA will build on the cultural, ethnic and economic diversity represented in our students and our community to develop deeper understanding of each other and our world.
HPA provides one of the more culturally diverse environments to which any student could belong, and we intend to explore and unlock the value of that diversity for our students. We propose to become more intentional about what our students can and should gain from the mix of diverse backgrounds represented in the HPA student body and in the population of our island location with its unique cultural history.
● Initiate a school-wide conversation about the value of diversity for HPA students.
● Apply conclusions from the conversation to curricula in all three divisions