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New updates and additional resources are being published to a new ʻohana website for Kamehameha Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 response.

Kamehameha Hawai'i COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates

April 7, 2020

Contributed by Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi



  • Kamehameha Hawaiʻi has transitioned to distance learning for the rest of school year 2019-2020
    After thorough discussions with our medical director and executive leadership from across our organization, Kamehameha Schools has made the difficult decision to finish the school year through distance learning for all three of our campuses and 29 preschools
  • Access to campus is restricted to designated essential employees and those on already pre-approved school business only.
    Advanced approval needs to be received from poʻo kumu before entering campus.


Last updated: April 7, 2020

Event Status

On campus events through May 23 have been cancelled or will be reenvisioned. We will continue to update our haumāna and their ʻohana on the status of events, how we plan to connect with them and what and how we'll share as plans are finalized. This includes Graduation and transition ceremonies as well as our end of the year Convocation, among others. We look forward to finding new ways to create meaningful experiences and welcome any feedback or ideas to assist in this planning. 


NEW ʻOhana Resource Website

We have developed a centralized ʻohana resource website for information, relevant links, and an easier to access archive of messages related to our COVID-19 response. Messages will be posted on this website rather than on this page from now on. 


Below, find a list of messages through April 3 that have been sent to our Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi ʻOhana regarding Kamehameha Schools' response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

UPDATE TO ʻOHANA (Sent 4/3/20) - Distance Learning will continue through at least April 30


As we approach the end of our first full week of distance learning, a mahalo to all of you for the amazing job you are doing and for your patience and partnership in your child’s education. Whether you’ve found your routine and are in your groove, or you’re still working to get on beat, it’s never been more evident that we are all in this together and we’ll continue to learn together.

Being able to see the smiling faces of our haumāna has brought so much joy back to our kula. Even if it is just virtual, that connection with our students is why we do what we do.

In our continuing efforts to keep everyone informed, we did want to bring some certainty and confirm we will continue distance learning through at least April 30. More information regarding the rest of the school year will be shared as soon as it is available.


Beyond the health implications of this crisis, the other main concern is the mental health and well-being of everyone being impacted by this event. So we wanted to ask how you are all doing.


Our campus leadership team has developed a Pehea Kākou? check-in ‘ohana survey which we plan to do weekly so we can have a good pulse of how you are doing, how we’re doing, and what we can do better to support all of you. Your child’s po’o kumu will be sending a separate weekly Pehea ʻOe? check-in student survey to all students in grades 3-12 by or before next week Monday. If you could take up to five minutes between now and Monday to let us know how you are doing as an ‘ohana, that would be appreciated. A follow-up message with just the survey will be sent separately.

E kūpa‘a kākou! I mua Kamehameha!

UPDATE TO ʻOHANA (Sent 3/17/20) - Transitioning to Distance Learning

Over the past few weeks, our lives have changed as the global coronavirus crisis has continued to accelerate in scope and impact. While the pandemic may seem staggering right now, we can and will take proactive steps to face these challenging and uncertain times together. He waiwai nui ka lōkahi. Unity is precious.

All levels of Kamehameha Schools’ leadership have been working on contingency plans to continue our educational commitment. In alignment with guidance from state and federal officials, we made the decision to suspend on-campus instruction and activities and will transition to a distance learning program for students beginning March 27. We will continue to review and assess conditions to determine when it is appropriate to resume on-campus instruction. We are confident this is the right decision for our haumāna, ‘ohana, and community and wanted to provide you with this information as soon as possible:

  • Spring Break Extended Monday-Wednesday, March 23-25
    This shift will provide our kumu with planning days to ensure continued quality learning and student support through distance learning.​​​

  • Distance Learning Launches on Friday, March 27
    March 27 is designated for haumāna, ‘ohana, kumu, and alakaʻi to test and troubleshoot distance learning platforms. Information on how to access support will be forthcoming.

Monday, March 16 to 
Friday, March 20
Spring Break
Monday, March 23 to
Wednesday, March 25
Extended Spring Break
for Students
Planning and Preparation
for Distance Learning
Thursday, March 26Prince Kūhiō Holiday
Friday, March 27Distance Learning Launches
Beginning March 30-
until further notice

Distance Learning Continues
No on-campus student instruction or student activities until deemed appropriate to resume regular school operations. 


Throughout history, our lāhui has faced great challenges and has emerged even stronger and more resilient. By relying on our strong ancestral foundation as ʻōiwi Hawaiʻi, we will learn quickly and adapt together which, ultimately, prepares us all for our dynamic future. 

Over the next week, you will hear directly from your child’s poʻo kumu regarding next steps. Mahalo for your partnership, patience, and understanding while we ensure continuity of learning for your child. For event status updates and ongoing information, please refer to Kamehameha Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Updates.


UPDATE TO ʻOHANA (Sent 3/12/20) - Coronavirus: Impact on KSH events and updated travel notice

We have committed to you that we will communicate when updates occur and today, out of an abundance of caution, Kamehameha Schools is cancelling or suspending many of its upcoming events through April 5. This includes a significant decision made in regards to one of our signature events, Hōʻike.

The evening performance of Moku Aʻe Ka Pawa has been cancelled on Friday, March 13 evening. We are able to move forward with the performance this evening, Thursday, March 12. Tonight's performance will also be live broadcasted on Lehua TV starting at 6 p.m. We will continue to communicate regarding the implications of this cancellation and appreciate your patience and understanding as we act in what Kamehameha Schools feels is pono for the health, safety, and well-being of our haumāna and community. Tickets purchased for Friday night’s show may be exchanged for tickets tonight, otherwise refunds will be made. Please hold on to your tickets for reimbursements and we will communicate that process.

School will still be open on Friday, March 13 and we are proceeding with our Hōʻike matinee for our K-8 students, however, we will be unable to host our community schools and guests for the performance.

Kamehameha Schools has also updated our travel policies and guidance and have cancelled all student school-related travel outside of Hawaiʻi for the rest of the school year. See the chart below for information related to travel.



U.S. domesticInterisland



All travel has been cancelled for the remainder of the school year.

All travel has been cancelled for the remainder of the school year.

No restrictions at this time.


International travel is discouraged and travel to a CDC Level 1 or higher country is not recommended. Please notify our kula with any travel plans through the end of the school year.

Student travel is discouraged. We understand that some may have existing plans and recognize that personal travel is a family decision. Should you decide to travel, please notify our kula with any travel plans through the end of the school year.

No restrictions at this time.


All visitors from CDC Level 2 or higher countries have been cancelled.

Visitors from CDC Level 1 or other countries are discouraged and only permitted if deemed essential.

Visitors are discouraged and only permitted if deemed essential.

No restrictions at this time.

We kindly ask for your continued kōkua in updating our kula on any travel plans your child(ren) may have outside of Hawaiʻi for the rest of the school year. This includes any trips to the continental U.S. or Alaska or international travel regardless of CDC travel notice levels. You can share these plans on our Student Travel Notification form, or contact your child’s front office and provide your child’s name, location of travel, and duration.

Our haumāna, kumu, and ʻohana’s ability to evolve and adapt is what makes our Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi ʻohana special. Mahalo for your partnership as we navigate this fluid situation.

I mua aku nō kākou!


UPDATE TO ʻOHANA (Sent 3/10/20) - Changes made to the school calendar and important preventative measures. 

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and the shifts evolving locally and globally, we need to inform you about the changes we are making to the school calendar, information needed to assist with planning, along with steps we are taking to ready our kula to best continue to serve your ʻohana in a way that places your child’s health, safety and well-being as our #1 priority.

We continue to follow the latest recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, as well as state and local authorities, and we continue to adhere to and elevate those recommendations that apply to us as a school.

If this situation should turn into a local health emergency that would require us to close school for an extended period of time, I have asked our Associate Head of School, Mr. Scott De Sa and our campus leadership team to design a K-12 Distance Learning Plan in order to provide continuity of instruction for your child(ren). While I truly hope this proves not to be necessary, we are preparing for this possibility and will provide you with as much notice as possible.

To better prepare our kumu to be able to deliver quality instruction through an online platform, we will be extending spring break by one additional day for students and changing April 24 (a calendered teacher in-service day) to a regular school day for students. We apologize for any inconveniences caused by this shift and appreciate your consideration given the evolving situation with COVID-19 and the emphasis we are placing on student health, safety, and well-being.

Date K-12 Students
Monday, March 16
to Friday, March 20
Spring Break
Monday, March 23One Day Extended Spring Break - 
No School for Students
Tuesday, March 24 Students Report Back to School
Friday, April 24Students Report to School
(No longer a Teacher in-service day)


We are also asking for your kōkua in informing the plans we are making. Please take two minutes to complete this short survey by or before Monday, March 16 to help us better understand your support needs.

With our upcoming high school Hōʻike and other large school events on our horizon, we want to also remind you of several important steps you can take to prevent the spread of germs that cause a variety of illnesses, like colds and flu.The most important step is to stay home if you are ill. We are live broadcasting our signature events, so you can watch from the safety and comfort of your home, while being considerate of others.

The next one may be tough to adjust to, but in these times we need to adjust our social norms in an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our students, ʻohana, faculty, and staff. This means practicing a hug and handshake-free environment and following these other practices to stop the spread of germs:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Mahalo nui loa in advance for your patience, understanding, and partnership as we navigate this situation and keep our community safe.


UPDATE TO ʻOHANA (Sent 3/5/20) - Resources for talking with your keiki about coronavirus

We’ve been following the increased intensity of the coronavirus story here at our kula, maintaining a focus on being prepared for what is inherently a difficult set of circumstances to predict with certainty. We have taken many factors into account, led by our overarching priority to protect our students, families, and staff's health, safety, and well-being.

We have three key principles to guide our decisions as an organization: 

  • First, we need to ensure the health of our students, families, and staff.
  • Second, as an organization, we must do our part to keep our community healthy.
  • Third, we must plan appropriately to fulfill our educational mission and, to the extent possible, continue with normal business operations.

As the situation evolves each day, it may be necessary for Kamehameha Schools to adapt and update policies and procedures in response to guidance and directives from state and federal health officials. 

Parent/Caregiver Resources

As a parent/caregiver, our first concern is about how to protect and take care of our children and family. Knowing important information about the outbreak and learning how to be prepared can reduce stress and help calm likely anxieties. Here is another resource to help you think about how an infectious disease outbreak might affect your family—both physically and emotionally—and what you can do to help your family cope.

As children overhear us listening to news reports and discussing current events, our concerns can cause students to fret too. Here is a video that explains the virus to young minds in a way they can easily understand.


For the moment, we’ll continue to listen closely to our medical colleagues, we’ll confirm the well-being of our students as our primary focus, and we’ll stay attentive while we work to keep things in perspective.

The following is an update on specific Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi impacts as well as travel recommendations and updated procedures to maintain good communication and information for best decision making practices. 

School/Business Operations

All campuses, community programs and business operations will continue as normal until further notice.


All KS school and community events will proceed as scheduled until further notice.

School Travel

All travel to countries, where the CDC has issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory or higher, has been suspended.  
All other international or domestic U.S. travel at this time is discouraged and will not be permitted, unless deemed essential by the school. All travel requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For the month of March, all international and domestic U.S. travel involving students has been cancelled.
All interisland travel will be permitted without restriction, at this time.

Visitors to Kamehameha Hawaiʻi

KS has suspended hosting any visitors from CDC Level 2 or higher countries. Visitors from CDC Level 1 countries and other international or domestic U.S. visitors will only be allowed if deemed essential.

Personal Travel

Personal travel plans are discretionary and a family decision. We understand that some families already have Spring Break travel plans scheduled. For the safety and health of our students, families, and staff, we ask for your cooperation in the following:

We do not recommend traveling to a CDC Level 1 or higher country. Be aware these classifications may change without any notice.
If you are traveling to a CDC Level 2 or higher country, we request that you notify the school’s front office with your travel plans (place(s) visiting and estimated travel dates). For travel notifications, call your child’s front office or fill out a travel notification form online.
Based on conditions at the time of your return, an appropriate quarantine period may be required before your child returns to school.

We want to assure you that we are continuing to monitor the situation and will remain vigilant in our decisions regarding our school community. While we do not want to cause unnecessary alarm by communicating either too much or too little, please know that we are watching and planning, and will continue to communicate should the need arise.


UPDATE TO ʻOHANA (Sent 2/28/20) - Health Alert Update: Coronavirus (COVID 19) Precautions

We are well aware of the level of trust you put in us by sending your children to Kamehameha. We want you to know that we are grateful for that and do not take it lightly. We consider ours a sacred duty. Because of that, Kamehameha Schools continues to closely monitor the latest global developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus (also called COVID-19) and is putting significant efforts into prevention and preparedness should it spread to our local community. Connecting with our ‘ohana at this time is vitally important. If the outbreak reaches Hawaiʻi, a strong school-parent partnership will be critical.

While there have been no confirmed cases reported in Hawai‘i at this time, we are vigilantly gathering and monitoring information provided at each Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) update and via guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (HDOH).


We place the safety of our KS students above all else and ask that you please consider the fast-changing nature of COVID-19 when making travel plans in the coming months. The HDOH recommends that Hawai‘i residents reconsider their travel plans to regions with outbreaks because of restrictions and quarantine criteria that other countries have put in place or may put in place in the future. These restrictions may cause disruptions in travel and cause difficulties for Hawai‘i residents trying to return home. 

If you are traveling to a CDC Level 3 country or if the country you are traveling to becomes reclassified as Level 3 while you are overseas, we ask that you notify the school prior to leaving and upon your return. You should also plan to keep your keiki home from school for 14 days following your return and seek medical attention if any symptoms develop during this period.

As of February 28, 2020, the CDC has issued the following travel advisories listed below, however, the situation with COVID-19 continues to rapidly change. The latest travel  notices and advisories can be accessed at the U.S. Department of State and CDC websites. Currently:

  • A Level 3 travel notice (Warning) has been issued for mainland China (excludes Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) and South Korea. All non-essential travel should be avoided.
  • A Level 2 travel notice (Alert) has been issued for Japan, Italy, and Iran. Older adults and those with chronic conditions should consider postponing non-essential travel to these countries.
  • A Level 1 travel notice (Watch) has been issued for Hong Kong, meaning travelers should practice usual precautions. 
  • Other countries with risk of community spread are Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

At this time, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi has canceled all planned travel for its regular school year and summer programs to Level 2 and Level 3 countries. In addition, hosting visitors from these countries has also been suspended. While disappointing, this is the best safeguard for our haumāna, ‘ohana, staff and community.


On-Campus Precautions

This is also a good opportunity to remember that flu season is still with us. The same everyday precautions that help prevent the spread of coronavirus can also help prevent the flu. Please continue to follow school protocols, in that any student exhibiting a fever or flu-like symptoms should stay home and have appropriate medical treatment.

  • Students and staff should stay home from school and work until free of fever (100.4°), signs of fever, or any other symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing or symptom-altering medicines.   
  • K

Visit this page for updates regarding measures, precautions and resources for dealing with the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

There are helpful resources available for talking to keiki and ʻōpio about coronavirus, including this video from BrainPOP.

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