Hawai‘i’s public education system must engage, challenge, and support students or risk adversely impacting their lives – today, tomorrow, and in perpetuity. Voyager is here to shape Hawai‘i’s youth by providing them with the necessary tools to become the leaders, the innovators, and involved members of the 21st century global community. Let’s build tomorrow’s leaders today.
Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
-President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Delivering on a Promise
A key path to a better life is a quality education. Yet too many young people in Hawai‘i are not presented with promising opportunities that help them develop the skills and knowledge needed for success in college and in today’s highly competitive global markets. Hawai‘i’s public school students are not achieving at the same level of educational performance as their more affluent peers attending private schools. These differences in academic performance, known as the achievement gap, have serious implications for student’s future opportunities and our society at large.
Since 2001, Voyager Charter School has delivered on the promise of equal educational opportunities for all children and by doing so has successful contributed to the narrowing of the academic achievement gap in Hawai‘i. As an incubator for systemic education reform, Voyager endeavors to introduce, adapt and demonstrate successful methods of learning to improve student attitudes and academic performance. Voyager’s proven innovative curriculum is designed to both support Hawai‘i Content and Performance Standards and raise student performance in Hawai‘i’s public schools.
Our commitment to excellence begins with ourselves, extends beyond our walls and out to the greater community. As we expand our understanding of educational best practices and continue to develop and implement the Voyager Method, it is our responsibility to share these best practices with Hawai‘i’s educators. Voyager’s vision of becoming a teacher training site allows us to live out our vision. Envisioned are dedicated classrooms designed for training workshops on Voyager’s methodologies, arts integration, and best instructional practices, coupled with an opportunity to observe first hand these strategies modeled by Voyager teachers in actual classrooms. Scaffolding designed to give opportunities to practice what you have learned in a safe atmosphere of support and encouragement. Next step, trained educators take what they have learned back to their home schools to improve the quality of education in Hawai‘i. I can hear the laughter, deep conversation, on going learning and quiet reflection taking place already! We welcome you to join us in this endeavor to change the face of Hawai‘i education.”
-Amy Vorderbruegge, Principal, Voyager Charter School
Similar to scientific research or business development, proof-of-concept is the realization of a certain method or idea to demonstrate its feasibility, or a demonstration of principle, whose purpose is to verify that a concept or theory has the potential of being employed. For Voyager, the past decade spent employing, developing, and refining its unique educational methodologies in and outside of the classroom speaks to the school’s commitment to improving public education in Hawai‘i. As a public school, Voyager students are not tested for entry requirements and students are selected through a lottery process.
Voyager has positively served over 350 families across O‘ahu since its humble beginning a decade ago. Over the past three years, over 90% of Voyager’s eighth graders have met or exceeded standards on the Hawai‘i State Assessment. This remarkably high percentage serves as a testament to the unwavering efforts of Voyager’s highly qualified and highly effective teachers; dedicated and inspired students; and their committed and involved families. It is no wonder that the school’s eighth graders have gone on to experience tremendous success and assume leadership positions at the most competitive private and public high schools.
The aforementioned successes and percentages only tell half of the story. Voyager families offer the most relevant and valuable evaluations of its educational offerings. One Voyager parent commented:
My son loves the school’s emphasis on ‘quality students’ that helps each student be responsible for their own goals as a member of a community. We see that their unique educational methods have been definitely working on my son’s personal-growth and learning attitude. My son is very proud of being a student of Voyager School. We are very certain that Voyager has qualities to be a model school for public education for children in Hawai‘i.”
It is evaluations like this that assures the Voyager Ohana (family) that both the curriculum and educational approach meets the diverse needs of its students.
Walking the Talk
It takes courage to be a change agent in education. By design, Voyager Charter School continues to serve as a change agent in education in the State of Hawai‘i. From the implementation of innovative, research-proven teaching methodologies in the classroom to reaching remarkable academic achievements to improving the core of active teachers through teacher-training initiatives, Voyager has truly raised the bar on public education in Hawai‘i. Notable highlights include:
- Passed all No Child Left Behind benchmarks, unconditionally
- Made AYP (adequate yearly progress), the federal benchmark for school success
- Served over 350 kama‘aina families and counting since 2001
- Over 90% of Voyager teachers hold advanced degrees or certificates
- Standing member of the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- Local School-University partnerships with the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Education, Hawai‘i Pacific University’s School of Education, and Chaminade University’s Division of Education
- International School-University partnership with the University of Zurich
- 2010 recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network project grant
- 2006 recipient of the Arts Excellence Award presented by the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance in recognition of Voyager’s significant contributions to the children and youth of Hawai‘i
- Since 2004, Voyager School has partnered with Honolulu Theatre for Youth to advance arts education in Hawai‘i’s public education system