A new leadership academy helps students who would best develop through an alternative learning program. Joan Lewis, vice president and teacher lobbyist for the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association, explains what the Ho‘ola Leadership Academy is.
“The program was created more than five years ago by a group of teachers and former principal Al Nagasako. We recognized a lack of alternative programs for students entering high school, which focused on preventative methods for credit deficiencies, absenteeism or drop outs,” she says. “The academy is an alternative learning program that offers core high school curriculum through hands-on, project-based and workshop courses based on lessons of Hawaiian culture, natural resources and sustainability. These lessons are taught through activities like working in a lo‘i patch or in aquaponics to learn biology, math, chemistry, and other topics.”