Kauai Complex High Schools: Laulima Project

Department of Education

This program is intended to integrate Leadership Kauaʻi’s current 11th grade program, Piʻina Hoku, into our public high school system over years 9 to 12.

The Laulima project seeks to ensure that over the next five years, every Kapa’a High School student will be engaged in a more challenging and relevant course of study that develops the knowledge, skills and disposition necessary to pursue post-secondary education and careers without the need for remediation.

Our vision is to integrate the three core design principles of personalization, equity and rigor & relevance into every classroom bell-to-bell and wall-to-wall. We will begin by establishing two heterogeneous smaller learning communities (SLC’s) for Grade 9 in 2011-2012. These SLC’s will feature four core teachers sharing between 100-125 students to promote personalization and shared identity. For sophomores, juniors and seniors, we will establish two Academies—“Hopes” and “Ideas”—with four strands in each Academy. Students will take a blend of electives and core classes redesigned to align with both the common core standards and the goals of their Academy. The Academies will start in grade 10 in Fall of 2012, and will be fully implemented by Fall of 2014.

We want our students to be all of the following:

  • Self-Directed Learners: The ability to be responsible for one’s own learning
  • Community Contributors: The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together
  • Complex Thinkers: The ability to be involved in complex thinking and problem solving
  • Quality Producers: The ability to recognize and produce quality performance and quality products
  • Effective Communicators: the ability to communicate effectively
  • Effective and Ethical Users of Technology: the ability to use a variety of technology effectively and ethically.

Therefore, they must experience the following:

  • Relevant, challenging and engaging learning experiences
  • Project, process & problem based learning
  • Inquiry based approaches to teaching
  • Service learning opportunities
  • Apprenticeships and internships
  • Academic choice
  • Group and individual work
  • Presentations of learning
  • Regular opportunities to reflect on their learning
  • Interaction with students and experts across island, state and national boundaries so they can gain a global perspective
  • Ubiquitous access to appropriate technological tools

Also, we’d like our students to be supported by the following:

  • Smaller learning community structures
  • Significant adults & mentors
  • Advisory programs
  • A college-going culture
  • Open honors and advanced placement classes
  • Timely interventions
  • Strong extra-curricular programs
  • Accessible and supportive teachers, counselors, and administrators

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