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KSK FIFTH GRADE KUMU MARA BACON CHANG – Life has returned to campus as the heartbeat of our kula – nā keiki – are thriving and building pilina (relationships) with one another and their kumu. The value of our shared experiences of learning and growing together cannot be measured. WHAT WE’RE UP TO – In pilikanaka (social studies), we are laying the foundations for understanding the kānaka relationship with ʻāina through ʻike kūpuna (ancestral knowledge). We hope to build a strong sense of identity and strengthen students’ connection to our lāhui.

Keiki thrive as KS returns to in-person learning

Sept. 7, 2021

Kamehameha Schools campuses are pulsing with energy and enthusiasm now that students have returned to the classroom after more than a year of distance learning. So what is it like for kumu and haumāna now that school is in full swing? The KS news team asked teachers for their back-to-school mana‘o and to share let us know what they’re up to.


KSK KINDERGARTEN KUMU MARY PITTMAN – Beginning the school year face-to-face brought with it feelings of excitement, joy and anxiety at the same time. WHAT WE’RE UP TO – One of the haʻawina (lessons) we like to do in papa mālaaʻo (kindergarten) is reading the story, “The Kissing Hand” and talking about haumānaʻs feelings coming to “big kids’ school” here at KES. We also teach each keiki to mālama iā ʻoe iho (take care of yourself), e mālama kekahi i kekahi (take care of each other) and e mālama i kēia wahi (take care of this place) — helping to prepare our haumāna for kindergarten and beyond.


KSK MS KUMU ‘ŌLELO HAWAI‘I KALEHUA KAWA‘A – The most positive aspects of being back at school are that haumāna get to interact with their kumu and friends and that they understand and learn better in person. As a kumu, I mahalo being here in person because we are able to send and receive energy in the class, which feeds the lesson and the learning process. WHAT WE’RE UP TO – We are currently learning nā nīnau ʻalemanaka, nā nīnau maʻamau and hoʻolauna in papa ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.


KSK HS BAND DIRECTOR MATTHEW URABE – It has been a joy working with our haumāna in person and seeing how excited and happy they are to see each other and to get back to some sense of normalcy. WHAT WE’RE UP TO – The biggest lesson that I am teaching our haumāna is one of sacrifice and discipline. I have stressed to them the importance of following the school’s safety protocols and procedures not only to protect themselves, but to protect each other, their `ohana and our band program. In order to do this we all need to make sacrifices and be disciplined in how we handle ourselves.


KSM HS ROBOTICS ENGINEERING KUMU IOKEPA MENO – Being back in school allows our haumāna to feel once again the value of belonging to our kula, even with uncertainty in the world they remain the focus of all that we do each and every day! WHAT WE’RE UP TO – The robotics engineering haumāna are preparing for this year's VEX EDR Robotics Season: Tipping Point! We are completing the robot game field, discussing robot designs, developing effective scoring strategies and scouting other teams across the state, country and world!


KSH MS INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY KUMU ELLEN CORDEIRO – I enjoy seeing students in person and hearing about how stoked they are to be back in school! They don’t want to stay at home, they want to be here. It’s nice to see the joy on their faces when they’re with their friends. And of course, having class in person is way more fun! WHAT WE’RE UP TO – We’re currently working on principles of design in my Media Communications and Yearbook class.


KS HANA PRESCHOOL KUMU CLAIRE “MOKI” NIHEU – One of the best things about in-person learning is that it provides opportunities for real student engagement. This morning, one of our keiki showed aloha by making a lei poʻo with manipulatives and placing it on my head. “For you kumu.” I thanked him and off he went. WHAT WE’RE UP TO – Right now, the keiki are learning how to listen when kumu and classmates are talking, how to pule before eating, and how to use their words to tell others how they feel or what they need help with.



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