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Opportunities for student success through conversion charters.

Ho’okako’o Corporation (HC) is a private non-profit organization established in 2002 to improve the quality of education offered to Hawaii’s children through conversion charter schools.

The creation of conversion charter schools was made possible in 2002 when the Hawaii legislature passed Act 2.  The Act expanded education choices through charter conversion schools in Hawaii and allows eligible non-profit organizations to manage and operate conversion schools.

Vision:  To give every student a high-quality, 21st century public education which prepares them for college or a career of their choice, and enables them to give back to their Hawaiian communities.

Mission:  To provide public charter schools with the expertise and resources to foster visionary school leadership, accountability for student outcomes, and innovative educational programs for the purpose of transforming public education and increasing the contribution of schools to their communities.

II.  How we accomplish our mission

HC was established with a partnership between HC’s volunteer board of directors and Kamehameha Schools.  As an HC partner, KS has contributed technical support and funding.  HC and the partner conversion charter schools leverage resources and support from many additional partners, including philanthropic foundations and trusts, government, unions, business and family/community volunteers in order to benefit the conversion charter school as the school implements its plans. The non-profit HC volunteer board serves as the school board for the conversion charter schools.

Through collaboration with the community, families, and educators, and with access to funds from KS, the federal government, and corporate sponsors, HC works to empower communities, educators, and families, so that they are part of the change process to achieve increased academic success for Hawaii’s children.

As an education change agent, HC seeks partnerships with public school communities committed to:

  • Effective school community leadership
  • Capable teachers with high expectations and the skills to work together in focused learning communities
  • Curriculum that is aligned, articulated, and integrated
  • Parents and the greater community with a sense of ownership in the school and willingness to be part of the change process
  • Personalized schools
  • More time on instructional and co-curricular activities
  • Supportive and effective policies and regulations

III.  Three Current HC Conversion Charter Schools

The three HC conversion charter schools are all in communities with significant socio-economic need.  Altogether, our schools serve some 1,550 students:

  • Waimea Middle School, on Hawai’i Island, a 6 - 8 grade school
  • Kualapu’u Elementary School on Moloka’i, a PreK-6 school
  • Kamaile Academy, Waianae, Oahu, a PreK-10 school which will expand to grade 12 by SY2013-14

IV.  Looking ahead

HC will focus on its existing three conversion school communities as they continue to transform themselves to improve the quality of education for their students. We will also focus on systematic planning for expanding our base by demonstrating the necessary conditions for transformational change in schools and their communities. We will help our schools become focused learning communities where mission, instruction, resources, and organizational systems are aligned.