History of Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawai'i
the hawaiian language immersion program
Hawai'i is the only state in the United States that has designated a native language, Hawaiian, as one of its two official state languages. In 1987, in light of the Hawai'i State Constitution mandate (Article X, Section 4) to promote the study of Hawaiian culture, language and history and the persistent requests of parents and Hawaiian community leaders, the Department of Education established the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program, Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawai'i.
The program is a vehicle for revitalizing the Hawaiian language and assisting people to regain and maintain their language. The program continues through the twelfth grade and treats the indigenous language as primary and dominant in the school setting. English is introduced as part of the curriculum beginning in grade 5 to ensure bilingual ability at the high school level (see: program goals).
Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawai'i strives to provide a quality education based on knowledge of Hawaiian language and culture as the foundation for instruction and learning experiences which lead to the achievement of the DOE's Hawai'i Content and Performance Standards (HCPS). The kaiapuni student also develops a high level of self-esteem as perpetuators of the native language of this land and of the cultural heritage. They will become responsible, sensitive and productive adults who contribute significantly to all levels of Hawai'i's community.
In 1986, the Legislature amended Section 298-2, Hawai'i Revised Statues to expressly authorize the establishment of special projects using the Hawaiian language that were approved by the Board of Education. In September 1987, the Board approved a pilot Hawaiian language immersion project for K-1 students at four elementary sites, one each on the islands of O'ahu, Hawai'i, Kaua'i, and Maui, contingent on the availability of qualified personnel, parent/student interest, and sufficient curriculum material.
For the 1987-1988 school year, two pilot sites were established, one at Waiau Elementary School on O'ahu and the other at Keaukaha Elementary School on the island of Hawai'i. A total of thirty-five students enrolled in the program for the first year, eighteen at Waiau and seventeen at Keaukaha. Students at both immersion sites were placed in a single comination kindergarten/first grade class.
In September 1988, the board approved extending the program to the second grade for the 1988-1989 school year to accomodate the Waiau and Keaukaha students who had entered the program the previous year. In addition, a new kindergarten class was established at each school site and program enrollment grew to approximately seventy-seven students, including some new entrants to the combination first and second grade classes. In june 1989, implementation of the Hawaiian Language iImmersion Program as a limited K-6 program with transition to English in the upper elementary grades received Board approval. Two new immersion sites opened in the fall of that year, Kapa'a Elementary on Kaua'i and Pa'ia Elementary on Maui.
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In 1990, the Board approved the establishement of the 'Aha Kauleo Kaiapuni Hawai'i, or the Hawaiian Language Immersion Advisory Council, to advise the Department on the educational needs of HLIP students. Later that same year, the Board approved delaying the introduction of English to HLip students from grade 4 to grade 5. In addition, another elementary immersion site was established at Pu'ohala Elementary School.
On February 6, 1992, the Board approved; (1) providing sixth grade HLIP students with one hour of English language instruction per day, effective September 1992; (2) extending HLIP to grades 7 and 89, effective September 1993 and 1994, respectively; (3) providing grades 7 and 8 HLIP studnets with one hour of English language instruction per day, effective September 1993 and 1994, respectively; and (4) establishing HLIP as a kindergarten to grade 12 program by September 1995 at two school sites, one on O'ahu and the other on the island of Hawai'i, comprised of Hawaiian language immersion students only.
In September 1992, the Board approved extending HLIP to grade 12 with one hour of English instruction a day at each grade level beginning at grade 5.3 Another immersion site was also established that year at Kualapuu Elementary on Molokai and Nawahiokalaniopuu was added as an immersion site on the island of Hawaii in 1993.
The Board approved the Long-Range Plan for the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Long.-Range Plan) in March 1994. The plan was the result of a series of meetings held in 1993 and reflected the collaborative efforts of a wide range of participants from various immersion sites, departmental offices and outside agencies. The plan identified the vision, mission, and goals for the program. In addition, priority actions to address strategic objectives relating to HLIP personnel, curriculum, facilities, and governance were specified.
In 1995, Anuenue was established as the interim K-12 immersion site for Oahu. Other sites were added to the program as well, Waiau Elementary,4 Nanakuli Elementary, Kalama Intermediate, and Kealakehe Elementary. Approximately 940 students were enrolled in grades K through 9 at ten sites on five islands for the 1995-1996 school year. Kapaa Middle School and Waimea Elementary were added as immersion'sites in 1996 and Kekaulike High in 1997.
In 1997, the Legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 281 which requested that the Department, in conjunction with Aha Kauleo Kaiapuni Hawai'i, develop a long-range financial and operational plan to ensure the development of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program. Following Board approval, the Operational and Financial Plan for the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Operational and Financial Plan) was submitted to the Legislature in January 1998. The Operational and Financial Plan: (1) reviewed the current status of the program; (2) identified issues critical to program success; and (3) made specific recommendations to address said issues. The total cost of implementing all of the plan's recommendations came to $3,657, 721 for 1998-1999 alone.
HLIP grew to a total of sixteen sites statewide and 1538 students in 1998 with the addition of Kapaa High and Hauula Elementary as immersion sites. The 1998-1999 school year also was the first year that students graduated frorn'the program (Anuenue and Nawahiokalaniopuu). In 1999, Molokai High and Intermediate was added as an immersion site and the site at Kealakehe Elementary moved to Konawaena Elementary. Princess Nahienaena Elementary on Maui was established as a site in fall 2000.
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On May 4, 2000, the Board and Department entered into an agreement wiv~ the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to settle a lawsuit filed by OHA in 1 C-95 with regard to the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program.' Under the terms of the agreement: (1) the Department agreed to increase its funding for HLIP and any new century charter schools conducted in the Hawaiian language above its Fiscal Year 1999 base by $800,000 to $1 million a year for five years with OHA to provide matching funds on a 1:2 ratio basis ($400,000 to $500,000 a year for five years); (2) the additional funds would be used to implement the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program Operational and Functional Plan dated January 1998 and updated January 2000 and chartered schools conducted in the Hawaiian language; (3) the monies would be used only for operational support and not capital improvement projects; and (4) OHA would be provided with quarterly financial and progress reports for monitoring and evaluation purposes for five years.
In 2000, Princess Nahi'ena'ena Elementary School in Lahaina, Maui opened it's kindergarten classrooms and the Public Charter School initiative created 4 HLIP sites. These were Samuel Kamakau PCS (Kailua, O'ahu), Ka 'Umeke Ka'eo PCS (Hilo, Hawai'i), Kula Ni'ihau o Kekaha PCS (Kekaha, Kaua'i), and Joseph Nawahiokalani'opu'u Iki PCS (Kea'au, Hawai'i). In 2004, Kahuku High & Intermediate School became a secondary site for Hau'ula Elementary School kaiapuni students continuing on to 7th grade and the Moloka'i High & Intermediate campus separated into two distinct schools (Moloka'i Intermediate & Moloka'i High School). By 2004, HLIP grew to 19 sites statewide and approximately 1,500 students.
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