NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A brand new health center designed to help students succeed was blessed Thursday at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School.
The school-based health center was created to combat chronic absenteeism or when a student misses too much school.
"Chronic absenteeism can impact a student's ability to stay focused and graduate on-time, which affects their college and career potential well into the future," said Christina Kishimoto, Hawaii DOE superintendent.
Nakakuli is the third school to partner with the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) to build a SBCH.
The first SBCHs opened at Waianae Intermediate and High Schools in 2016 and were created when the community realized chronic absenteeism is influenced by a student's health.
Kishimoto said Nanakuli's student health center "will help to diagnose health issues on-site and reduce absences, keeping students on-track towards academic success."
The center will offer a full array of pediatric clinical services and referrals for behavioral health services.
Students must have a parent or legal guardian sign a consent form to receive care.
The Nanakuli SBCH is unique because it features a beautiful mural created by local artists Cory Taum and Kahiau Beamer, who worked with Nanakuli students to design the mauka to makai theme. The mural features the school's mascot – a golden hawk – and other flora and fauna found in the Nanakuli ahapuaa.