DREAMHOUSE STATEMENT ON FACILITIES AND OPENING
DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach public charter school was approved by the Hawai‘i State Public Charter School Commission on July 13, 2017, and provided a two-year window to open its doors.
The DreamHouse Founding Team has since worked diligently to engage partners and community support for the school. The Founding Team - comprised of educators, parents, and community leaders - has built out an extensive, rigorous curriculum centered around student awareness of identity and development of local leadership. The DreamHouse Non-Profit Board has received over $200,000 from generous and committed friends, family members, local foundations, and national organizations for the school’s start-up operations; additionally, the Non-Profit Board has developed strong partnerships with philanthropic organizations, private companies, and multiple stakeholders to form a deep supporting network for the charter school. The school is well-positioned to open.
An equally important consideration to opening a school, though, is securing a facility. There are many challenges to securing a safe and appropriate facility for a brand new public charter school, and the Founding Team has been humbled by and appreciative of the process. The Team firmly believes that securing a permanent home for the school is of the utmost importance, especially given the facility challenges faced by nearly all charter schools in the State. For over two years, the Team has sought out and explored numerous public and private facility options in the ‘Ewa area; unfortunately, none have come to fruition. As such, DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach has not secured a facility that would be ready to open the school in August 2018.
However, the Founding Team has been presented with an incredible opportunity to build a strong, safe, and well-prepared permanent school location. We are excited to share that the Founding Team has developed a strong and aligned partnership with the Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation, which is working alongside of stakeholders and partners to bring DreamHouse to the Kalaeloa Heritage Park (between ‘Ewa and Kapolei), which would serve as the school’s permanent location. This location is a culturally and historically rich site that already plays a vital role in the rapidly developing surrounding areas; the significance of this cultural heritage site is directly aligned with the mission and vision of DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach. Accordingly, the Founding Team has decided to use the additional year granted by the Charter Commission to move forward with this option, with the goal of opening our doors in August 2019.
Sione Thompson, Executive Director of the Charter Commision stated: “DreamHouse has upheld their commitment with integrity to the standards and opening assurances the commission had set. The Commission acknowledges the logistical difficulty with facilities in Hawai‘i compounded with financial and resource limitations in opening a school. The Commission is committed to working with DreamHouse in supporting a successful school opening and supports their decision to forgo opening in the 2018 school year to put the proper time and effort into opening at their Kalaeloa location in 2019.”
If all goes to plan, DreamHouse will first open a 6th grade class for 100 children in August 2019; from there, the school will build out - one grade per year, 100 children per grade - to eventually become a 700-student, grades 6-12 middle and high school by 2026. To achieve this ambitious growth, a long-term site partnership is critically important for consistency and security. We are thrilled that we have finally found that partnership with the Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation, and honored to be welcomed to the Kalaeloa Heritage Park.
The creation of DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach was predicated on the active involvement and input of community members and school stakeholders. As such, the Founding Team welcomes all interested stakeholders, community members, and prospective family members to a community meeting at ‘Ewa Beach Public Library on Thursday, February 15th at 6PM to further engage in the creation of this school. We hope you will join us for food, conversation, and partnership as we write this next chapter in the journey to open DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach.
Please visit www.DreamHouseEwaBeach.org for more information.