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WMS 22-23 School Year Calendar 8-25-22 FINAL.JPG


67-1229 Mamalahoa Highway 

Kamuela, HI 96743


If you have questions about the school or would like to get involved in supporting Waimea Middle School, please contact:



Janice English


Community Liaison:

Patti Cook




Brent Takenouchi


Hoʻokākoʻo Corporation

Executive Director:

David Gibson


The School

  • Location: Waimea, Hawai'i Island

  • Grades taught: 6th, 7th and 8th

  • Enrollment: 205 students

  • Teachers and staff members: 41

  • Year converted to charter: 2003

  • Areas served: Waimea, Kawaihae

  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges


The Students

  • 49% of students are Native Hawaiian

  • 71% of students are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch (Title I)

  • 13% of students receive special education (SpEd) services

  • 12% of students are English language learners (ELLs)

  • 30% of students are migrants eligible for Migrant Education services.



Waimea Middle School

“Waimea Middle School empowers all students with the skills, values, and cultural understanding to successfully navigate high school and beyond.”


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News Release

 "STEAM" Building Update




Located in Waimea/Kamuela on the Island of Hawai'i, Waimea Middle School (WMS) serves approx. 205 students in grades six to eight.  


The school became the state’s first public conversion charter school in 2003, yet continues to be the public school of the community, accepting all students without an admission process or tuition.  Students receive all services that are provided by a regular DOE school (food services, busing, etc.) at no charge to families, however, the school must pay for these services out of its per pupil funding.  


Utilizing a middle school framework and philosophy, teaching and learning are conducted with the belief that all children can achieve to high standards.  To ensure rigor and relevance,  the core curriculum is integrated with hands-on/place-based learning with both an 'Ike Hawai'i cultural and Mala'ai garden’s health-wellness and environmental stewardship focus.   

Volunteer Mentors Needed!

A mentor can make a huge difference in the life if a middle school adolescent. WMS is continuing its student mentoring program. 

To learn more about becoming a mentor, please contact Ilene Grossman (808-313-7571) or email


More Information Here.

WMS serves a diverse demographic of students.  While the average income of the region is 4% higher than the state average, family incomes at WMS lag significantly, with 68% of the children qualifying for free or reduced lunch. 


Ethnically, Waimea/Kamuela is a diverse area of primarily Caucasian and Asian residents, but the community also includes significant numbers of Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians.  WMS differs ethnically from the general population with students of Hawaiian/Part-Hawaiian ancestry making up nearly half (48%) of the school. 


WMS has a fairly high percent of students eligible for Special Education services (12%); 8% are English Language Learners, and 19% qualify for the Migrant Education Program. 



In Spring of 2013, the State of Hawai‛i adopted a new STRIVE HI educational accountability “tool” for Hawai‛i public schools to replace No Child Left Behind, which didn’t do students or schools justice.  STRIVE HI was crafted by a large number of educators – based on nationally proven best practices-to measure student and school achievement, individual student growth and “readiness,” and narrowing the achievement gap.  Put more simply, STRIVE HI gives students, families, teachers and school leaders a clearer picture of students’ academic progress: Are students learning?


WMS STRIVE HI score puts the school in the “Continuous Improvement” range along with about 75% of the schools in the state.  Most notably, our students are showing academic progress but more is needed and this has been and continues to be our schoolwide focus. 



  • A safe, nurturing school environment embedded with “I KAIR” Core Values of ‛Ike, Kaizen, Accountability, Integrity, Respect.   Also, all students are assigned to an Advisory class, take part in guidance lessons, and are provided opportunities to get involved with different clubs and extracurricular activities.  Taken together, these protocols and opportunities nurture mutual respect, trust, support, honest communication and positive relationships among students, faculty and staff.  


Responses from year-end Student and Family Surveys (2012-‘13), verify that:  

  • When students were asked if they feel “Waimea Middle School is a safe and friendly place for learning,” 76% agreed/strongly agreed. 

  • When students were asked if they “feel welcome at Waimea Middle School,” 80% agreed/strongly agreed. 

  • When students were asked if they feel “proud to be a student of Waimea Middle School,” 80% agreed/strongly agreed. 

  • When families were asked if they feel “Waimea Middle School is a safe place for learning,” 95% agreed/strongly agreed.  

  • Rigorous, relevant and integrated hands-on, place-based lessons connecting Core Curriculum with ‘Ike Hawai’i and the Mala‛ai School Garden. 

  • Steady academic growth by students over the past three years.

  • Strong schoolwide family engagement policies and procedures including online grading with family access (51% of families average 1.3 logins per student per week).

  • A wide array of Student Supports both during the school day and before and after-school. 

  • Extensive community partnerships and community service.

  • Financially accountable with annual audits and strict procurement, employment and conflict of interest policies.   

  • Ongoing Teacher Professional Development around new Common Core Standards, use of data, embedded Instructional and Technology Coaches and new/integrated curriculum.

  • Significant planning time for teacher teams which meet three times per week by grade level for Common Team Planning (CTP) with time set specifically to review student data, discuss specific student concerns and do curriculum planning.  A fourth CTP weekly provides time to discuss inclusion preparation for Special Ed in Science and Social Studies as well as for ‛Ike Hawai‛i lessons. 

  • Annual Teacher and Administrator Evaluations. 

  • College & Career Preparation and Dropout Prevention for high-risk students with a new “Connecting For Success” 3-year grant.



  • Teachers and staff genuinely care about students.  Faculty have deep roots and ties to the community – they care about this place and about what’s best for students and families.  They also are innovators and risk takers – willing to do the extra work to benefit students. 


  • Meaningful ‛Ike Hawai‛i cultural connections and exciting learning experiences including an exceptional array of guest presenters.


  • Re-introduction of an “Exploratory Wheel” Period that includes PE/Health, Art, Technology and/or Business and Practical Arts, plus an Enrichment or Intervention Period.  These are in keeping with The Middle School Model, intended to provide extra support, as needed, and also help adolescents recognize interests and develop individual goals and aspirations.


  • A beautiful, productive organic learning garden created by and for students.


  • Homework Help+ with free busing and snacks, and a new morning “Hot Chocolate Club” for tutoring support. 


  • Athletics, Robotics, K(Arts), Student Leadership, 8th Grade East Coast Travelers – lots of free after-school activities that nurture friendships, trust, and respect.


  • Consistent, effective internal and external communications including a Student Planner, face-to-face family meetings, events and conferences, a Tuesday Envelope, newsletters, news releases, website, Facebook, “School Connects” calls/emails home, etc., all to keep everyone informed and share student and school news and achievements.


  • Student-Led Family Teacher Conferences and portfolios to support family understanding of, and involvement in student achievement and support College and Career readiness. 


  • Low cost, easy-care student uniforms that also help ensure student safety. 


  • A deep commitment to community service. 



Our Beliefs About Teaching And Learning At WMS:

  • Student success is a responsibility shared by all stakeholders: students, families, teachers and staff, administrators and the community.

  • All students are unique and deserve a rigorous, creative and nurturing school environment that encourages them to realize their individual goals and aspirations as they move through the formative middle school years.

  • Students benefit from learning opportunities that are culturally relevant and encourage appreciation and respect for diversity.

  • It is the school’s shared responsibility to develop students’ critical thinking skills necessary for success in the 21st century. 

  • Quality curriculum and instruction, as well as ongoing assessment, are critical elements for student success. 

School Wide Learning Results: 


With our focus on educating the whole child, Waimea Middle School seeks to ensure that our students become competent learners who embody our core values of:


I          ‛IKE

  • Recognize and produce quality work

  • Demonstrate developmental competence in academics

  • Communicate effectively

  • Understand and appreciate culture


K        KAIZEN

  • Demonstrate continued academic growth

  • Use complex thinking and problem-solving skills

  • Develop personal strengths and interests



  • Set priorities and establish achievable goals for one’s own learning

  • Plan and manage time and resources to achieve goals

  • Monitor progress and evaluate learning experiences

  • Utilize technology effectively and ethically


I           INTEGRITY

  • Understand and follow rules and codes of conduct

  • Demonstrate responsible and ethical behavior

  • Develop habits that are individually and environmentally responsible                


R         RESPECT

  • Respect similarities and differences in others

  • Respond to cultural differences with understanding, knowledge, and consideration

  • Serve others and the community

‛Ike - Knowledge:  To see, feel, know, experience, understand


Kaizen:  Trying every day to be better than the day before


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