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Health and safety

While the learning models may vary instruction and approach, one constant that will not change is Kamehameha’s commitment to the health and safety of our campus community.

Guiding Principle 3 ("We will follow Enterprise Health and Safety Requirements.") underscores the importance and health and safety protocols, policy and practice.

KS' approach to safety has four pillars:

  • Physical Distancing and Reducing Density
  • Health Screening and Preventive Hygiene
  • Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting
  • Communications, Training, and Coordination

Each of these critical areas helps shape our approach to ensuring our policies and protocols provide the necessary conditions on the ground to mitigate risk of exposure to COVID-19. We identified these pillars through ongoing study of the growing literature on COVID-19, from the Centers of Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, the HI Department of Health, the Hawai‘i State Department of Human Services, the Hawai‘i Association of Independent School, and from our local county and State of Hawai‘i emergency orders and proclamations. We also recognize the guidance on COVID-19 continues to evolve and our health and safety approaches must be flexible and may need to shift quickly to ensure we can incorporate any new best practices into our daily school environments.  

We are grateful to our Enterprise Safety and Campus Leadership Teams that came together to lead this important work. These Leadership Teams quickly became well-versed in the science of COVID-19 prevention and risk mitigation related to specific areas, reading numerous publications, attending webinars, and closely following local and regional regulations and guidelines.

For the school year 2020-2021, we anticipate operating under a MODERATE risk level, which is in alignment with the State of Hawai’i’s Recovery or Act with Care impact level designation. If conditions improve or worsen, we are prepared to adapt our measures and delivery as such.

A LOW risk level would align with the state’s New Normal impact level, and looks closer to a normal return to activities, with safety measures at the individual’s discretion, with elevated hygiene and cleaning practices encouraged as part of our next normal. 

A HIGH risk level would align with the state’s Safer at Home or Stay at Home impact level, and result in a campus closure and transition to full distance learning for our kula. 

Safety Measures 

The measures below reflect our current risk level and represent practice recommendations as of July 10, 2020. We expect to revise and adapt measures as new recommendations are made and guidelines need to shift given the situation. 

Recovery or Act with Care

Physical Distancing and Reducing Density
Schools, by nature of their purpose and function, are social environments with high densities. By maintaining physical distancing and reducing density, we improve our ability to effectively reduce the risk of infection.


Reducing Density


New restrictions on space capacity will have an impact on the school experience for our keiki both inside and outside of the classroom. 

We will utilize large, non-classroom areas and outdoor spaces for additional educational center spaces to reduce in-classroom density.

Schools will be at 50-100% capacity with a learning model option including distance learning, which will reduce density.

Bus capacity will be reduced to 60% per bus; we will be doubling routes where appropriate to accommodate new seating arrangements.

Reducing density in classrooms better allows for physical distancing measures and allows us to better comply with guidelines around gathering in spaces.

This step is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for Schools Re-entry Physical Distancing Measures.

Physical Distancing


Physical distancing has proven to be an essential strategy in the containment of COVID-19 and will be a key component of our return to campus plan.

Physical distancing will be followed, and group sizes and mixing will be limited according to guidelines.

A minimum of 6 feet of distance will be maintained between seats.

One way routes will be marked off, giving separation on walkways.

Scheduling and classroom locations will also be adjusted to limit the amount of movement during transition times allowing for greater physical distancing guidelines.


Physical distancing and limiting face-to-face contact has been cited as the most effective precaution for preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health uses a guideline of 3-6 feet for physical distancing. 

American Academy of Pediatrics has identified that at least three feet of distance is as effective, particularly if students are also wearing face coverings. 

The World Health Organization says a minimum distance of 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others, due to how liquid droplets travel from the mouth and nose when speaking, sneezing or coughing. 

In combination with face mask protocols and proper usage, the distancing is even more effective.


Students grouped together in cohorts to limit interactions and easier to identify.


Kula Ha’aha’a - homeroom cohorts in groups no larger than 24. 

Kula Waena - grade level cohorts in groups no larger than 58 

Kula Ki’eki’e - grade level cohorts in groups no larger than 75.

Limiting mixing of groups reduces the potential risk of larger spread and, in a worst case scenario, allows for easier contact tracing in the event of a positive case. 

CDC Considerations for Schools - Identifying Small Groups and Keeping Them Together

Reimagining large group activities and events


Large group and extracurricular activities will not be held unless they can be in compliance with physical distancing guidelines and gathering protocol. 

Limit field trips to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas.

All gathering guidelines will be followed and adjusted as deemed by KS.

Events and activities will be reimagined either virtually, or redesigned to comply with all of the necessary physical distancing and cohorting requirements in place. 


Compliance with all local guidelines is a critical and necessary step.  

CDC Considerations for Schools - Gathering, Visitors, and Field Trips

Health Screening and Preventive Hygiene
Coupled with physical distancing, health screenings and preventive hygiene are among the most effective strategies in containing COVID-19.



Temperature and Health Screening


Temperature screening for all students will be conducted. Bus riders will be screened before boarding, and parents must wait until their keiki is cleared to board. Walk through temperature scanner stations will also be in place on campus for student drivers and those who are dropped off. 

Students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a health screening form prior to arrival on campus, daily. 

Visitors and vendors who are on campus for longer than 15 minutes will also be required to complete a Wellness Check-In.

The best first step is self-monitoring at home if you or your child are feeling feverish. 

For Bus Riders
Bus drivers will conduct a temperature screen using portable non-contact forehead thermometers. 

For Student drop offs or drivers
Scanners will be available on-campus at drop-off points and near student parking. 

Haumāna with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be cleared to be on campus and should rest at home. Parents will be notified and need to pick-up their keiki if not cleared. 

Parents and/or students (depending on age) will be required to complete a daily wellness check-in either prior to arriving at school or upon arrival.

Faculty and staff have also been provided a wellness check-in protocol that is in place across the system. 

Visitors and vendors will also be subject to the wellness check-in protocol upon arrival.

Temperatures of 100.4℉ indicate a fever, which is a higher risk symptom of COVID-19 and generally caused by infection or illness. All members of our school ʻohana should only come to school when they are feeling well, and take the kuleana to stay home and rest or seek medical attention if you are not. 

The daily check-in is a reminder of our individual kuleana to diligently monitor our health symptoms and to stay home if feeling ill(see the section below).

Face coverings


Face masks are required at all times when in proximity with another person, including while on the bus. 

In collaborative spaces where face-to-face interaction will occur, students will also wear protective eye wear (face shields, glasses).

Masks are not required when sitting alone in an enclosed space, walking alone outdoors, during outdoor exercise or recess or when eating.

Face masks and shields will be provided by the school to all faculty, staff and students.


KS recommends wearing a cloth face covering, but face shields are also allowed if a student has underlying health conditions or difficulty breathing.

KS’ face covering at all times when on campus except when sitting alone in an enclosed office, walking alone outdoors, or eating is made in compliance with an order issued by the City and County of Honolulu. KS is adopting this requirement for the safety of all our staff, their ‘ohana and our communities across the pae ‘āina.  

CDC guidelines on face coverings, recommend that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.



Increased hand washing, proper face covering protocols, coughing/sneezing into tissues or your elbow, not touching your face are all examples of good preventive hygiene and respiratory etiquette  and will be incorporated into the school day routine.


Awareness through signage, videos presented that demonstrate proper hand washing behaviors, and additional training modules for staff, students, and parents on good hygiene practices.  

Staff and students will be encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw used tissue in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Proper hygiene is another level of protection against the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Following CDC guidelines on hygiene is good practice to reinforce. 


Hand Sanitizer and Washing


Hand sanitizer will be provided around campus and in all classrooms where a sink is not available. 

Where sinks are available, adequate soap and paper towels will be provided.

Hand sanitizing stations will be supplied using sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol for use by students, faculty and staff. 

Sanitizing and washing protocols when entering and exiting a room, anytime when sitting on outdoor furniture, after using the bathroom, or prior to eating should be followed.

CDC Hand Washing Guidelines.


Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting
Classrooms and common areas will be appropriately cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected as directed by guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Enhanced Cleaning of Surfaces


Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks). 

If cohorts are moving throughout classrooms, classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected between use. All surfaces will again be sanitized daily at the end of the day.

Non-chemical Enozo Sprayers will be available in each classroom for students to sanitize their desks. The Enozo sprayer energizes tap water to kill 99.9% of bacteria without the use of toxic chemicals or leaving residue. 

When students leave a classroom, designated and trained staff will sanitize the class, using EPA-approved disinfectants. 

Heat extraction for carpeted areas is available.

Access to non-toxic, non-damaging methods of sanitation was an area of concern, so the use of ionized water allows for a chemical-free, residue free solution to disinfect surfaces. 

Cleaning protocols are informed with CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines and a cleaning schedule will be instituted for equipment, materials and assistive devices that must be shared.
Restrooms Physical distancing and face coverings in restroom facilities will be required. Enhanced cleaning will also take place.  Facilities will be modified to better allow for physical distancing requirements, including adjusting physical barriers and spacing. CDC Considerations For Schools - Maintaining Healthy Environments



The Hawaiʻi Campus does utilize a high volume air conditioning system (HVAC) with UV light filters in addition to normal filters in the system.


To address additional concerns of COVID-19, the normal filter will be replaced by a MERV-13 filter, which is even more effective in catching particles (up to 90% of particles in the air - the highest standard for filtration). 

Our HVAC system also introduces 25% of fresh air into the indoor environment.

The use of ventilation systems improves Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) by reducing bacteria, viruses and mold that either grow or pass through the air handling systems. 

Guidelines follow the recommendations of the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers for COVID-19.

Water Systems


KS will take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (e.g., sink faucets, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown.


Maintenance on campus water systems is regularly conducted and testing has already been performed. 

Students are encouraged to use a container.

Water systems will be maintained in compliance with CDC Considerations For Schools.


Communication, Training, and Coordination
An informed school community is a safer school community. By providing appropriate signage and collateral materials in key areas and by sharing COVID-19 resources with our campus ʻohana, our students and staff become advocates for maintaining a healthy environment.




Regular updates will be provided on all of our Kamehameha Hawaiʻi channels (email, social media, website) and increased signage on campus.


Signage will be posted in highly visible locations and regular announcements will be frequent so everyone involved feels informed about current status and procedures taking place. 


CDC Considerations For Schools - Promoting Behaviors that Reduce the Spread: Signs and Messages

Reinforcing positive behaviors and providing stakeholders with the necessary details to follow proper protocols is important to having those protocols followed. 

Individual kuleana is to remain makaʻala for these announcements and follow them accordingly.



All faculty and staff were required to complete a ʻReturn to Work’ Training prior to returning to campus.

Students and parents will have a training module developed for them as well to orient them to new procedures in place.

Online training modules that overview specific new protocols have been developed and will be delivered. 

Additional training will be presented to all groups throughout the year on specific topics of interest. 

We will also use videos to illustrate expectations for students when on campus or commuting to campus.

Required training will help equip our staff and faculty to implement and maintain good health and safety practices.

CDC Considerations For Schools - Maintaining Healthy Operations
Coordination The Campus Leadership Team will be responsible for making sure systems are aligned and coordinated, and will oversee any emerging gaps, adaptation needs, and trouble-shooting. Communication with enterprise Health and Safety and organization leadership on updates to system guidelines. Any updates will be addressed and documented.

CDC Considerations For Schools - Maintaining Healthy Operations

Coordination is key to consistency.

Specific Areas of Enhanced Protections
New procedures are being put in place for specific service areas that will look significantly different than normal operations. 

Stay Home if Ill   For students who are ill and do not come to school, they may return if they are fever free (less than 100.4 degrees) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, and they have no other signs or symptoms of illness. A parent note is required if the student returns in within 3 days and doctor’s note is required if a student is out for 4 days or more.

CDC - When to Stay Home;

CDC-Steps To Take When You are Sick

Daily Student Wellness Check-in

Kamehameha Schools has updated it’s COVID-19 safety protocols for students who will be on-campus or participate in face-to-face onsite activities. Like our faculty and staff, students (or their parents on their behalf) should complete a daily wellness check-in prior to arrival at their bus stop, or on-campus if not catching the bus, each morning.


A clearance (green happy face) is required to come on-campus or onsite and the confirmation email will need to be shown via a device prior to boarding. See the Student Wellness Check notice for more information on this new safety protocol: Student Wellness Check-In: What You Need to Know 

A paper form will be provided if a device is not available.

Some tips:

  1. Set a reminder. Either a daily calendar reminder or alarm at a designated time each morning or a location based reminder to complete the form prior to arriving at a bus stop or on-campus.
  2. Leave the form as an open tab on a browser. You can easily go back to that tab each morning and click submit another response.  
  3. Or create a shortcut app to the form url. Launch and complete the form each morning if using a mobile device. 

The check-in is a simple, web-based formthat asks you to take an additional step in making sure you are not experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms or evaluate if you have been impacted by any higher risk activities.

If you have any questions regarding this new safety protocol, contact our COVID-19 response team at

Bus Transportation


Physical distancing guidelines require us to operate buses at 50% capacity or less. Face coverings will be required for all riders. Temperature screening will be conducted for additional protection.


Bus riders and ʻohana will be informed of all adjustments for transportation in their award letter. Additional communication activities will take place to reorient riders on the new protocols and what they can expect.


To protect both riders and drivers, everyone should practice all safety actions and protocols as indicated above. 

CDC Considerations For Schools - Maintaining Healthy Environments

Security and Campus Access


Campus access will be restricted while we remain at a moderate risk level with new procedures in place to identify who is coming on to campus.


Campus access will be enforced by campus security and restricted to:

  • KS students
  • Employees with a KS employee auto decal and KS ID card
  • Parents/guardians with a specialized parent auto decal available through KS Operations Support Office. Please contact Ella Yasso at 982-0063 or for more information.

Essential visitors with access include sales vendors, package delivery vendors, service providers, approved contractors, pre-approved students and coaches or sponsors visiting from other schools. Essential visitors will need to complete our KS Visitor Process and follow all established safety procedures (face masks, distancing, etc.) All other visitors will be restricted until further notice.

CDC Considerations For Schools - Maintaining Healthy Operations

Limiting non-routine, non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups and operations help to maintain healthy operations.


Food Services


Food services will involve single-serve, self-contained meals and beverages. There will be no self-serve or buffet type service. All students will eat meals in designated areas and abide by physical distancing guidelines.

Second/third servings will be offered as plated meals.

A minimum of 6 feet of distance will be maintained between seats while eating


Individually, pre-packaged meals will either be picked up from facilities or meals will be delivered to alternative dining areas. Specific arrangements will be coordinated and followed to reduce movement and maintain appropriate use of facilities with density requirements in place. Indoor use of meal facilities will be reduced for density and distancing requirements. New tables that better support seating that aligns with physical distancing requirements have been ordered. 

Increasing cleaning and disinfecting in dining areas will be conducted, especially between seated groups.

CDC Considerations For Schools - Food Service recommends the use of disposable service items and pre-packaged boxes or bags.


Health Rooms and Behavioral Health Services


Our health services staff will continue to support and care for students and provide families with health related and COVID-19 guidance when appropriate.


Isolation rooms will be utilized for any student or adult who displays COVID-19 symptoms while on campus. Additional information on procedures being used can be found below in the Should COVID-19 Symptoms Develop section.


Health Services staff are trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in children and the KS protocol for their follow-up and return to school.

Use of campus facilities


The use of campus facilities by outside groups is restricted until deemed safe and appropriate to do so.


If groups inquire about usage of facilities, they’ll be informed of the restrictions on use until we return to a LOW risk level.


CDC Considerations For Schools - Maintaining Healthy Operations

Limiting non-routine, non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups and operations help to maintain healthy operations.




Should COVID-19 Symptoms Develop

If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school, the school health rooms will have a designated area for isolation and care will be administered by Health Services staff. The Health Services staff will contact the parents/guardians to pick up the child as soon as possible, within 2 hours of the phone call. If no parent response is received after 2 hours an emergency contact will be called Please refer to our Kamehameha Schools Approach to Health and Safety for requirements for returning to school after having COVID-19 symptoms and for more information on KS’ COVID-19 Testing Program.

If your child has experienced any symptom(s) of COVID-19 for 1-3 days, a doctorʻs note or negative COVID-19 test must be provided to your childʻs health room prior to your childʻs return; a doctorʻs note continues to be required for return following 4 or more days of illness. 

The Administrator will ensure that spaces where the student spent more than ten minutes are cleaned and disinfected before the next day when other students will be in them.

Please see the COVID-19 student exposures: What you need to know page for more information on Kamehameha Schools' procedures in the event of a positive case. 


Please note COVID-19 symptoms and the student return to school process after being ill may need to be adjusted over time to reflect any new federal or state guidance.

KSH will cooperate with local health officials on any contact tracing protocols for any confirmed COVID-19 cases, and be prepared to support should a positive case occur.


Additional Sources and Guidance: 



What drives our decisions and actions


Using safety and risk to determine education delivery


What we're doing to keep our keiki healthy and safe


Adjusting to a new campus life experience


Kawaiaha‘o Plaza

567 South King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 523-6200

KS Hawai‘i

16-716 Volcano Rd
Kea‘au, HI 96749
(808) 982-0000

KS Kapālama

1887 Makuakāne St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 842-8211

KS Maui

275 ‘A‘apueo Pkwy
Pukalani, HI 96768
(808) 572-3100