Categorized | Education

Public school enrollment increases for most grades


Hawaii’s public school enrollment continued to grow for most grades in the 2014-15 school year – keeping with a five-year trend – while kindergarten saw fewer students than last year due to a change in the entry age.

Kindergarten enrollment dropped by 4,400 students after Act 178 required children to be 5 years old by July 31 – instead of Dec. 31 – to be eligible for kindergarten. However, the combined public school enrollment for grades 1 through 12 rose to 159,622, or 823 more students, over last year.

The total enrollment for school year 2014-15 is 180,895 for the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) 255 schools and 34 charter schools, compared with 185,273 in school year 2013-14, and 183,251 the year before.

DOE schools enroll 170,482 students (-4,994 from last year) or about 94.2 percent, while charter schools enroll 10,413 (+616 from last year) or about 5.7 percent. This year, there are 163,545 students in regular education, and 17,350 students in special education.

On Oahu, Leeward remained the largest administrative district with 39,811 students, followed by Central (32,475), Honolulu (30,488) and Windward (14,608).

On the neighbor islands, Hawaii has 22,875 students, followed by Maui with 20,950, and Kauai’s 9,275.

In 2014-15, the five largest DOE public schools by grade level are:

High Schools (all grades 9-12): Campbell (3,024), Waipahu (2,494), Farrington (2,417), Mililani (2,415), Kapolei (2,024).

Intermediate (grades 7-8)/Middle (grades 6-8) Schools: Mililani Middle (1,766, grades), Kapolei Middle (1,435), Waipahu Intermediate (1,281), Maui Waena Intermediate (1,109), Kalakaua Middle (988).

Elementary Schools: August Ahrens (1,320), Holomua (1,264), Ewa (1,143), Kapolei and Waipahu (1,086).

The five smallest DOE schools in the state include: Niihau (9, K-12), Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind (53, K-12), Maunaloa (55, K-6), Kilohana (65, K-6), Olomana (72, 7-12).

Charter schools realized a gain of nearly 6 percent in enrollment over last year, topping 10,000 with 10,413.

The five largest charter schools are: Hawaii Technology Academy (1,154, K-12), Kamaile Academy (952, K-12), Ka Waihonua o ka Naauao (646, K-8), Myron Thompson Academy (584, K-12), Hawaii Academy of Arts & Sciences (547, K-12).

The five smallest charter schools are: Malama Honua (41, K-2), Ke Kula Niihau o Kekaha (44, K-12), Ke Ana Laahana (45, 7-12), Kanaka (60, K-12), Hakipuu Learning Center (63, 5-12).

A comprehensive enrollment table of complex areas and schools is available here.

Over the next several years, the DOE is projecting an increase in enrollment due to birth rates. Enrollment is expected to grow by about 500 students next school year, 2015-16, and up by more than 1,100 the following year, 2016-17.

Progress continues to be made in goals outlined in the DOE/Board of Education Strategic Plan. The DOE is using a number of measuring tools to determine progress of its public schools, students and educators.

The state Department of Education is among the largest U.S. school districts and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers.

Hawaii among nation’s leaders in afterschool programs for students

Hawaii is one of the top 10 states in the nation when it comes to afterschool programs for students, according to a new national survey that found a vast majority of Hawaii parents are satisfied with their child’s afterschool program.

The Afterschool Alliance’s 2014 edition of America After 3PM showed that 26 percent of Hawaii students, 54,184 children in all, were enrolled in afterschool programs – down from 28 percent in 2009, the last time the survey was conducted.

Eighty-nine percent of Hawaii parents are satisfied, while 68 percent agree that afterschool programs give working parents peace of mind.

In 2014, 40 percent of Hawaii’s children in grades K-5 participated in an afterschool program, compared to 16 percent in grades 6-8 and 10 percent in grades 9-12.

The survey also revealed demand for afterschool programs exceeds availability. The study showed another 5,000 children, or about 59,057 children in Hawaii, would be enrolled in a program if one were available to them.

The “Top 10 States for Afterschool,” from highest to lowest, are California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon, Nebraska, Tennessee and Hawaii, according to the survey.

“Afterschool programs are essential to keeping many of our students engaged and give them opportunities to develop skills needed in college and careers,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are grateful to our many community partners providing afterschool programs at our schools.”

Afterschool programs provide safety for children, physical activity, and academic support through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) opportunities, athletics and other enrichment activities. The state Department of Education partners with a variety of organizations to offer programs on schools across the state.

Several schools earlier this year received award money from Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui’s REACH (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health) program for middle-school students, including neighbor island campuses such as Hana High & Elementary, Molokai Middle, Waiakea Intermediate, Waimea Canyon and Maui Waena Intermediate.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Afterschool Alliance includes public, private, and nonprofit groups committed to raising awareness and expanding resources for afterschool programs.

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