Kanu o ka ‘Āina Celebrates Building Completions; PK-12 Students Together for First Time

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Graphic by Emily Metcalf

REPORT FROM About Kanu o Ka ‘Āina Learning Ohana in Kamuela ~ Kanu o ka ‘Āina (KANU) New Century Public Charter School, with its nonprofit partner Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ´Ohana (KALO) in Waimea, will celebrate the completion of two new buildings, Hālau Poki´i and Hālau Puke, on Tuesday, September 4. U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka will be among the dignitaries attending the celebration.

“We couldn’t be happier right now,” said Pat Bergin, KANU co-administrator. “It means so much to everyone involved – teachers, parents, volunteers and particularly our more than 250 students, to be together in such a special place in these beautiful new buildings.”


The two buildings, completed in time for the new school year, allow all KANU students to be accommodated together at Kauhale ‘Ōiwi O Pu‘ukapu. The buildings occupy a site on Department of Hawaiian Homes Land and are part of KALO’s womb-to-tomb community based initiatives to support culture based education and the community.

Within Hālau Puke is a native library for school and community use. The library is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Classrooms for KANU students’ grades 6 through 12 are also in a portion of the library building.

Hālau Poki´i is home to preschool classrooms through grade 5. The private preschool, Malamapokii, is operated by KALO and supported by Kamehameha Schools. Having the private preschool alongside KANU’s K-12 school helps create a seamless early education transition as part of the public private partnership between KALO and KANU.

Two off-site outdoor learning labs at Puupulehu and Waipi´o expand the learning opportunities further.

Hālau Ho‘olako has been occupied at the site on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands since 2009. Hālau Ho‘olako also serves as a community resource and technology center.

Although KANU is not an immersion school, Hawaiian culture and language are integrated into the curriculum from preschool on. KANU integrates Hawaiian culture, language, traditions, community and the natural environment in a curriculum that is project-based and place-based.

As a free public K-12 school, KANU is held to the same performance expectations and same assessment testing that all schools throughout the state must follow. The school achieved Annual Yearly Progress Safe Harbor status for the 2012-13 school year and has received six full years of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

KALO executive director Taffi Wise expressed appreciation for the support from DHHL, Kamehameha Schools, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Castle, Pa´ahana Enterprises, Quality Builders and the Waimea Community who have all had a role in reaching this milestone. “However, we are not done,” Wise said. “KANU still needs a cafeteria, high school classrooms and more. Since charter schools do not receive funding, KALO and community partners will continue efforts to perpetuate Hawai´i’s culture through charter schools like KANU.”
Learn more at kanu.kalo.org or call 890-8144.

Kanu O Ka ‘Āina Learning ´Ohana (KALO) is a nonprofit educational organization based in Waimea that assists statewide with Hawaiian-focus charter schools. Incorporated in 2000 as a Native Hawaiian nonprofit (KALO) provides viable choices in education, which empower Hawaiian learners of all ages to remain natives of the Hawaiian Islands inhabited by our people for over 2000 years. KALO’s womb-to-tomb programs constitute a dynamic intergenerational family of learners comprised of educators, students, parents, extended families, community supporters and partnering organizations dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawai‘i’s native language, culture and traditions. Visit kalo.org.





  1. Preservation of Hawaiian traditional practices, aina, and natural resources is vital to sustain and support Hawaiian education such as charter schools that actively engage our keiki, makua, and ohana in cultural practices and protocols.
    Congratulations Kanu O Ka Aina.

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