What is a “New Century Public Charter School?”
New Century Public Charter Schools are Hawai‘i’s answer to charter schools. Charter schools are free to establish their own policies, practices, and curriculum unencumbered by Department of Education (DOE) policies and State laws except those pertaining to collective bargaining, equal rights, and health and safety. Charter schools still receive government funding but are free to create and manage their own budgets. They are also responsible for the hiring and supervision of their own personnel.

Who governs charter schools?
Charter schools are governed by their own local school boards. The Wai‘alae School Board is comprised of teachers, parents, the school’s administrator, a support staff member, community members, and a student.

Where do charter schools get their funding?
Charter schools are tax-supported public schools. In Hawai‘i, they get an allocation equivalent to the per pupil allocation for all non-charter public schools in the state. Charter schools are free to expend their funds to support their own needs and priorities. However, they do so in accordance with established procurement laws and practices, and subject their financial records to an annual audit.

Are charter schools accountable for student learning?
Although charter schools are free to develop their own curricula and teaching practices, they are still obligated to insure that their students meet the Hawai‘i Content and Performance Standards. Each charter school develops their own accountability system but they must demonstrate progress toward attainment of the Standards. All schools, including Wai‘alae, participate in the DOE’s school accountability system which involves administration of the HCPS II State Assessment Test.

What is a conversion charter school?
Wai‘alae is considered a conversion charter school. It refers to the fact that Wai‘alae was formerly a regular DOE school that converted into a charter school. As a conversion school, Wai‘alae differs from most charter schools in the state in that it occupies an existing public school facility and still serves students who live within the school’s old geographic boundaries.