Pacific Heritage Academy is the first public charter school of its kind in the nation targeting students of Pacific Island heritage.
The school is the brain child of a group of mothers who wanted their children to learn more about their heritage.
Their idea is now taking shape as construction is underway for what school administrators say will serve as a haven for Pacific Islander students who need extra help and want to feel immersed in their own culture. The school will be located at 1071 North Redwood Road.
In addition to following state guidelines, the school's curriculum will focus on the heritage and languages of the South Pacific Islands. Parents will also be encouraged to take an active role in teaching students about their culture.
"We hope to be able to include in the school and in the curriculum, pieces of history, pieces of art, pieces of everything that might give these children a clearer sense of their ethnic heritage and their personal stories of how they came to be here," said Ofa Kinikini Moea'i, founder of the new school.
The school is still accepting students in grades kindergarten through eight grade. Although geared toward Pacific Islanders, enrollment is open to students of all ethnicities.