Hawaii Academies Coordinated Initiatives


Hawaiʻi Academies (HA) activities serves as a coordinator for member school activities that benefit from shared experiences or as independent school activities that have common benefits for member schools.

Coordination is performed in part during HA monthly meetings as planned workshop segments during the meetings, as dedicated in person gathering, and during the Covid pandemic, as online meetings.

The in person workshops were organized around like academies that allowed similar academies to share experiences, both successful and unsuccessful. These workshops provided a forum for collective problem solving and the generation of innovative ideas that these academies may adopt. Workshops focused around like academy small learning structures allows solutions that were successful within similar academy types but may not be as successful with a different academy type to be implemented. 

There are two activities that were initiated during school year 2018-2019 and continues today. These were implemented to accelerate different member schools' implementation to smaller learning community academies and to prepare for the planned international academies summit.

These initiatives are::

  • Classroom InstructionEach school will have at least one academy accredited by a recognized smaller learning community professional organization.
  • Schools will establish a means to share their organization, operation and experiences with other interested educators. Schools identified specific small learning communities / academies that they plan to accredit. Information sharing workshops were conducted, the success of which provided an operational format for future workshops as schools seek accreditation for their academies.


The Covid-19 virus prevented this established practice of regular monthly meetings held at Pearl City High School with site visits to HA schools and instead were replaced with virtual meetings held at the same intervals. While these types of meetings limited the collaborations that were very successful in the past, it allowed a greater variety and number of participants to meet. 


The year’s workshops were centered on a series of seminars organized by Dr. Jay Steele and Dr. Danielle Mezera consultants with specialties in the implementation smaller learning communities in schools. Topics covered ranged from organizational and operational strategies to examples of other schools and districts experiences in other parts of the country. Seminars included specialists and were conducted virtually when the Covid-19 virus prevented in person meetings.

Hawai`i Academies welcomed three new members – Kohala High School, Kailua High School, and Molokai High School. These schools are in different stages of implementing smaller learning communities. In addition, other schools have expressed interest in smaller learning communities and have been participating in the monthly workshops.