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Kilohana Wai‘anae is a place-based learning program that uses a Hawaiian culture-based approach to cultivate college readiness and teach an intensive math curriculum.

New summer program will sharpen student math skills

Jan. 29, 2016

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

This summer, Kamehameha Schools is offering a new program called Kilohana in the Wai‘anae and West Hawai‘i regions.

Kilohana is a place-based Kamehameha Schools summer program that combines Hawaiian culture-based education with academic support. Each program will look to strengthen math skills for students that reside in that region.

Kilo (to study) and hana (to work) reflect the program’s focus on academics. Kilohana also describes the highest point of a mountain. In naming the program Kilohana, the hope is that students will be able to reach their highest potential. 

While the regional programs share a common name, it is being customized for the specific needs and desires of each community.

Kilohana Wai‘anae
The five-week summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program uses a Hawaiian culture-based approach to cultivate college readiness and teach and support an intensive math curriculum. Students will participate in a series of activities and field trips to develop long-term plans for college, academic success, and a strong Hawaiian cultural foundation. Students of Kilohana Wai‘anae will also learn with their families through a back-to-school night and hō‘ike.

Haumāna will have a chance to visit O‘ahu colleges and universities to experience emerging college and career pathways.

“Kilohana Wai‘anae builds upon what was previously called the IMUA College and Math Academy,” shared Kalei Ka‘ilihiwa, KS director of community programs.

“In addition to the academics, students will participate in cultural activities connected to this place and explore different pathways through college.”

Kilohana Wai‘anae is scheduled to run from June 6 through July 13, 2016. It is open to non-KS students entering grade 7 in fall 2016, who reside on the Wai‘anae Coast.

Families can learn more about the event by participating in an informational meeting at Wai‘anae Intermediate School on Wednesday, Feb. 3, starting at 5:30 p.m. The Kilohana Wai‘anae presentation will follow a presentation about the After-School All-Stars program at the school. Dinner will be provided and application assistance will be available at the end of the meeting. Families should bring their student’s last year and current first semester report cards to complete the application.

Kilohana West Hawai‘i
In West Hawai‘i, the five-week summer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program is rooted in Hawaiian worldview and values with intensive supports in math.

“We’re launching this new program in West Hawai‘i to concentrate on an identified need in our community,” shared Jamee Miller, KS director of educational initiatives.

 “Through the Kilohana program, we’re looking to equip students in our region with valuable skills that have been linked to post-secondary success.”

Kilohana West Hawai‘i will run from June 13 through July 15, 2016. It is open to non-KS students entering grades seven and eight in the fall, who reside in West Hawai‘i between Honoka‘a and Kealakekua.

An informational workshop is planned for Thursday, Feb. 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kamehameha Schools offices located in the Keauhou Shopping Center, Phase II – Suite 429.

The deadline to apply for the Kilohana programs is Tuesday, Feb. 16. Late applications will also be accepted. Download an application or apply online at For more information or if you have any questions, contact the KS Applicant Services Center at (808) 534-8080 or the KS Resource Center nearest you.

Informational Meetings

Learn more about these programs, ask questions and receive application assistance at the following information sessions:


Feb. 3 starting at 5:30 p.m.

Wai‘anae Intermediate School


Feb. 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Kamehameha Schools West Hawai‘i Regional Office at the Keauhou Shopping Center

The five-week Kilohana program is open to non-Kamehameha students.

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