History of Wai‘alae School

Wai`alae School first opened its doors in 1928. For many years, the school enjoyed a reputation of excellence. Its students consistently performed well on standardized tests and by all traditional measures demonstrated high achievement and progress in learning. However, in 1990, the school community realized that to truly prepare students for the 21st century, traditional teaching practices would not suffice. Wai`alae could not focus solely on content and skills, but recognized that habits of mind were equally important in the development of responsible, productive citizens of the future. From these beliefs came the Wai`alae vision..

The vision of Wai‘alae School is to prepare children for the 21st century as . . .
. . . well-rounded individuals; capable of multiple dimensions.
. . . self-confident risk-takers.
. . . creative problem-solvers
. . . collaborative.
. . . socially responsible to others and the world.
With the vision as a focus, members of all role groups — teachers, parents, students, administrators, support staff, and community members — embarked on a journey of reform and renewal.

 1928 Wai`alae Elementary School opens in its present location at 19th and Harding Avenues in Kaimuki.
 1990 Wai`alae becomes the first school to adopt School/Community Based Management (SCBM).
1992 Wai`alae begins a five-year restructuring project that focuses on: developing a social studies/science curriculum framework; designing a multi-dimensional student assessment system; promoting parent participation in schoolwide improvement efforts; and enhancing professional development for teachers.
1994 The Hawai`i State Legislature passes the Educational Omnibus Bill creating “Student-Centered Schools” (SCS). Student-Centered Schools would be allowed to implement alternative administrative and educational policies and goals without being bound by Department of Education policies and State laws (except those governing collective bargaining, procurement, equal rights, and health and safety). Funding would be provided based on a per pupil allocation for instructional and classroom expenses. Budgetary and fiscal decisions would be made by the school’s own governing board.
1995 Wai`alae School signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hawai`i State Department of Education to become Hawai`i’s first Student-Centered School.
1996-98 Wai`alae School undergoes a self-study using the WASC Focus on Learning process.
1998 Wai`alae School receives a six-year term of accreditation from WASC.
1999 Legislation creating “New Century Public Charter Schools” is passed and signed into law. Wai`alae School becomes Wai`alae New Century Public Charter School.
 2002 A groundbreaking agreement between the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the Wai`alae School Board is signed making Wai`alae School the first public school in Hawai‘i to have its own contract with its teachers.
2005-2006 Wai`alae School begins a self-study for renewal of WASC accreditation.
2006 Wai`alae School receives a six-year term of accreditation from WASC.