Founded in 2000, Kanu o ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School was started by Dr. Kū Kahakalau and a group of educated Hawaiians whose vision was shaped on the Pedagogy of Aloha.
Our name “kanu o ka ‘āina” literally means “plants of the land” and figuratively refers to “natives of the land from generations back.” This name reflects the commitment of our school, our staff, our students and their families to perpetuate Hawaiʻi’s native language, culture and traditions, as mandated by Article X of Hawaiʻi’s State Constitution. It demonstrates our efforts to assure that future generations of Waimea residents have the choice to remain natives of this land.
Kanu is a Hawaiian-focused, bi-lingual public charter school serving students in grades K-12. Kanu o ka ‘Āina teaches through an indigenous model, grounded in Hawaiian values and kuleana to the community. The school is located in Waimea on Hawai‘i Island and has received a full term of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for its K-12 program.
To provide students of Hawaiian ancestry and all who honor the ways of our Hawaiian kupuna residing in the North Hawaiʻi area of Hawaiʻi Island, with an equal opportunity to quality education that addresses their distinctive learning style.
Kanu’s mission to Kūlia i ka Nuʻu or strive for the highest. A philosophy of excellence guides Kanu as we collectively design, implement and continuously evaluate a quality, culturally driven, intergenerational Hawaiian model of education with Aloha.
As a community-based learning ‘ohana, Kanu is steadfast in cultivating compassionate, empowered, highly competent learners of all ages who are grounded in Native Hawaiian culture and language.
Kanu Ideal Graduate
The successful Kanu graduate exemplifies Kūlia i ka Nuʻu i ka paepae kapu o Līloa; values learning through an applied growth mindset with the confidence and discipline to transform their world (kanaka, ʻohana, kaiāulu, lāhui, honua).
E ʻAuamo Kākou i ke Kuleana-Core Values
Our collective commitment to keep Hawaiʻi’s native language and culture alive includes perpetuating the values of our hulu kūpuna codified in countless ʻŌlelo Noʻeau or Wise Proverbs. Four of these ʻŌlelo Noʻeau make up Kanu o ka ʻĀina’s core values or school-wide behavioral expectations. These proverbs were chosen to provide a safe, loving, positive and orderly environment conducive to the academic, social and character development of haumāna, kumu and our extended learning ʻohana.