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About This School

West Hawaii Explorations Academy Public Charter School is a charter high school in Kailua Kona. The principal of West Hawaii Explorations Academy Public Charter School is Heather Nakakura, who can be contacted at explorations@whea.net. 196 students go to West Hawaii Explorations Academy Public Charter School and identify as White, non-Hispanic; Hispanic; and Asian/Pacific Islander. 7% of the 196 students here get reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at West Hawaii Explorations Academy Public Charter School is 10:1. Kealakehe High School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Arts

    • Computer arts
    • Drawing painting
    • Video film production
  • Languages Taught

    • French
    • Japanese
    • Spanish
  • Sports

    • P.E. classes

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 58% 19%
Hispanic 4% 5%
Asian/Pacific Islander 22% 73%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 21% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 2% 0.6%
Multiracial 2% %
Asian 12% %
Black, non-Hispanic 1% 2%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 7% 42%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (2 years ago)

    Reading Proficiency is #2 among all Hawaii public high schools. Math proficiency is consistently above the state average. 2010 College SAT scores 122 points above average for Critical Reading 44 points above average for Math 99 points above average for Writing. Congratulations and well done WHEA students!

  • (2 years ago)

    I am a graduate from WHEA in 2006 I am currently working on a bachelors degree. If I could go back I would not have finished my senior year at WHEA. Let me share my personal experience I really did not get very much out of many of the basic academic areas. They focus mainly on writing long essays about research which does indeed help you become a good essay writer. Everything else falls well below what is offered at a regular high school with the exception of the Electric car project (no prom no wood shop no metal shop no art etc.) If they do offer anything extra it was very stripped down I found this very disappointing. I did very well with my school projects at first but then problems started to arise with my advisory teacher's grading. Many of the young students were very disrespectful to me as a senior and tried to act smarter than me. I was treated more like a freshmen that a senior by some of the teachers and was denied working on several projects because the they only let students from previous school years work on them. The school is much more catering to the young students. Only 7 kids were in my graduating class most leave by senior year and I can see why!

  • (3 years ago)

    I really enjoy WHEA. It's project based learning which in my opinion is a lot more practical to apply to real world situations than what can be learned in a boring structured classroom. It isn't perfect but that is what makes it WHEA. It's a hot environment that can be uncomfortable at times but being able to see the ocean at all hours of the day really makes up for it. What other students can say they go to school at the beach? In my opinion WHEA students are fortunate for that. I've noticed some negative comments coming from middle school parents and I would like to point out that middle school is already a very awkward time in kids lives. So please don't blame the school for your child's performance. Middle schoolers can be very judgmental and pressuring of each other that is gonna be at every other school out there.

  • (3 years ago)

    This is not a good school the campus consists of a few tents and portable toilets that the 6th grade teachers have their students clean (very unhealthy for the kids!) If you feel like you still want to enroll your children wait until after the 6th grade the quality of teaching improves after the 6th grade. I really believe my child would have been better off at any other school. The curriculum is far below grade your child will have severely limited opportunities which revolve almost exclusively around marine science. It seems like the school was started with good intentions even winning an award years ago but those intentions have long been forgotten and now the school is not even mediocre at best! I feel I have wasted my child s time and now I have to enroll my child elsewhere. I feel that this charter school is one that falls so very short of providing a quality education. Poor educational opportunities ramshackle environment by far the shortest school calendar I am sure in the U.S. (school hours are 9-2 most days and 9-12 on Wed. with many many many school closure days due to weather and safety issues).

  • (4 years ago)

    WHEA works well for some students but does not work well for other students. My child did not learn much and suffered due to lack of positive social interactions. My child achieves better grades and is happier at Kealakehe. WHEA fell short of our expectations.

  • (4 years ago)

    I currently attend WHEA and I absolutely love it there! It s challenging and I love a good challenge. So by the end of the year I know that my straight A s were well earned. You learn more academic skills than social skills at this school apposed to most of the other schools on Hawaii. WHEA is excellent!

  • (4 years ago)

    We are a very innovative project-based school - very unique!

  • (5 years ago)

    I have a child that attended this school for 7th and 8th grade. He was disappointed because the school didn't provide text books for math and other subjects. The school is very close to the airport and he felt very distracted by the jet noise. When he needed extra help it was hard to schedule time with the teachers.

  • (6 years ago)

    I have a child that used to go to Kealakehe Middle school. Now she goes to Whea and she is a whole different person. Her skills have improved for the better but if you send your child to Whea they need to be able to write at least 300 words every night! It is a self motivational school but in my opinion its the best on the Island! (grades 6-12) (www.whea.net)

  • (7 years ago)

    You get what you give. Although my child struggled in this school it was because of her own daily choices (which were not very mature). I was very pleased with the staff--they were highly communicative and tried different approaches. The school is not for everyone but it is a solid program.

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