“Just figure out what’s next.”

The Kealaʻula Innovations Institute Cohort 2.0 just returned from a very inspiring R&D trip to the Bay Area. We visited the Stanford d.school, Google, Apple, and a host of innovative K-12 schools from Oakland to Menlo. The purpose of the trip was to glean ideas, inspiration, and resources to bring back and to hopefully transform our campuses.

Takeaways
Naming: Names imply and have parameters that are unintentional, subconscious, and  subatomic. The word “teacher” means something. Schools here call faculty “collaborators.” Grade levels are called “bands” and “stages.” A word makes a world of difference. We do similar things (i.e., SEL,) but they are undefined at our campuses.

Identity: The schools that we visited were very mission-driven. School leaders could draw a picture on a sheet of paper describing exactly who they are and what they do. Everything is aligned.

Our mission is incredibly noble, to preserve a culture, a language, and a people. It is our strength.

Attention to Detail:
Every detail is intentional. Every square inch of space has been analyzed. Every resource has been maximized. (We have a mountain full of  native plants and hiking trails that is considered off-limits.)

Conclusion
It was a dream-come-true to visit the Stanford d.school. I pretty much esteem the d.school as the greatest thing since sliced bread. During the visit, I desperately looked for that “magic box” to unlock all of its hidden secrets. I couldn’t find it. Either it is hidden underground, or it doesn’t exist. What I saw were amazing things that we could emulate here at Kamehameha.

I believe that we have amazing potential to do amazing things. To be “world-class.”

My Hope
I noticed that these innovative schools that we visited were all small schools. I hope that we would launch an alternative/innovative school in Kakaʻako. (How many schools own/manage 9 city blocks like we do?)

We can transform our current campuses by revisiting & reimagining everything that we do. It is doable. I am filled with hope. Imua Kamehameha…

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