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Questions and answers

To help clarify some of the expectations involved with reopening, here are some questions that have been asked or are being anticipated as plans are being refined and finalized. Questions are organized by different categories, and we'll continue to update this page as more questions are received. Mahalo! 

  • Why can’t we have more time to make a decision to see if we are able to keep our keiki home?
    In order to finalize planning, a decision was needed to see whether or not ʻohana preferred a distance learning model or not. One of the struggles is knowing what that demand may be for the distance learning option at which grade levels to determine resourcing, which is why the deadline is earlier. And the idea being if makua are nervous about sending their keiki back to school, they’d know that decision sooner than later and can take that time to plan and prepare accordingly. If after opting in to distance learning, a decision was made that it was not feasible or not the right decision for the haumāna, the ʻohana could opt out of the distance learning election. 

    To reverse it, you would need to contact the front office to have the registrar reverse the election. But making that selection earlier, gives us a better chance to plan if we know if an ʻohana is leaning that way, to which more details can be provided.

  • If ‘ohana chooses Distance Learning, would they have the same Grade Level Counselor?
    Yes. Students will still have the same grade-level counselor. 


  • How are grade level classes taking place: e.g. Guidance, Christian Ed and Digital Citizenship?
    As fundamental to a Kamehameha Hawaiʻi education, these classes will absolutely continue to take place in a smart, measured, and meaningful way. Just because we are returning to face-to-face instruction doesn’t preclude us from continuing to use the powerful tools and means for connection that were so critical in our switch to distance learning. Plans are in place to allow for these normally large group activities to take place in new ways that will accommodate any learning model chosen.
  • Is there a school supply list to complete?
    This will vary by grade level. Look out for more information from your child’s division. We understand the limitations that may exist around cleaning supplies. 

  • If 'ohana decide that they no longer feel safe sending their keiki to school physically, what options do they have? If the active case number continues to increase, will there be another opportunity to opt out of "in person" school attendance?
    If the conditions change in a way that we feel will affect our ability to reasonably and safely execute an on-campus program, then a decision will be made to shift to full distance learning. 

  • What are the cleaning and sanitizing procedures (i.e. bus,etc) and if students will be assigned as cohorts to monitor and limit interactions?
    All of the health and safety measures have been posted to our Health and Safety page, with enhanced cleaning and sanitation between groups. Cohorting is one of the strategies that will be used to reduce density and provide for easier contact tracing. 

  • At what point will the school increase to “High”  from moderate level and transition to all Distance learning? Is it a certain amount of Big Island cases or what factor will determine that transition of it happens?
    We’ll be using a variety of factors and are prepared to adjust as we need to. It won’t just be based on case counts alone but will have to look at what the impact may be in terms of community spread, where those cases are located and overlap with our own campus community. We’re going to move cautiously, but make those decisions using good science and with experts available to our organization. 

  • What is the ratio of students planning to come back vs stay at home, at this time?
    Majority of students are scheduled to be in a form of hybrid learning, and about 10% have opted in to full distance learning. That is fairly consistent at each school level. 


  • How early are students allowed to come on campus?
    7 a.m. for ES; 6:45 a.m. for MS/HS. This was determined by the bus schedule. We are working on efforts to mitigate traffic that may result due to increased activity, but restricting access is necessary to make sure that support staff are in place before students arrive. We greatly appreciate your consideration and patience in this matter.
  • Am I allowed to walk my keiki to their class or eat breakfast with them?
    In accordance with all of the safety precautions, handoffs need to be at the bus ramps, unfortunately safety protocols will not allow for visits outside of designated areas. 
  • Where are temperature checks going to take place?
    For students who arrive to campus via bus transportation, a procedure has been put into place where students will be screened prior to boarding their bus. Parents should wait until their child is cleared to board before leaving the drop-off area.

    For students who are driven to campus, a visible temperature screening station will be in place at the drop off area. Parents should wait until their keiki is screened before leaving. 

    For students who drive on their own, high school will be screening students near the student parking lot.

    All students should complete their daily wellness check-ins PRIOR to arrival at a bus stop or on-campus and will need to show the green smiley face confirmation that they are well enough to be on-campus that day. 
  • What are logistics of how elementary will attend school face to face while social distancing?
    Cohorting students in groups of no more than 24, arranged by homeroom class. Alternative on-campus learning sites are being used to allow for distancing. Everyone will be required to follow protocols for masking and proper hygiene. 

  • If a student needs to travel outside of Hawaiʻi and the quarantine procedures are still in place, what needs to happen?  What are your policies on traveling to outer islands or to the mainland?
    We recognize that travel is a personal and discretionary family decision. With current travel monitoring taking place outside of Hawaiʻi, families should follow all procedures around quarantine or COVID-19 testing to avoid quarantine when you return. Please follow the established student travel notification procedures

  • What will be the daily sanitization protocol for the classrooms?
    Classrooms will be sanitized as groups move from the space and an enhanced cleaning at the end of each day. Students should use hand sanitizing stations or wash their hands (where sinks available) entering and leaving classes.  

  • Can a high schooler wait with an elementary student for after school pick up? In the mornings, Do they have to be dropped off on individual campus?
    Elementary students should be picked up by 3 p.m. Drop-offs should be made at individual campuses, though more information on drop off and pick-up protocol will be provided from each school.

  • Can my child wear a face shield instead of a mask?
    Considerations are being made if there is a health consideration, but face masks are the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

  • What will be done on campus to maintain social distancing  (classroom, outside, meals, etc) 
    There are a robust set of health and safety measures in place to assist with physical distancing. Training will be provided and everyone must take the kuleana in sticking with these measures so that we can remain healthy and safe. 

  • Is KS putting the proper filter for air conditioning in classroom/pods and/or open windows?  
    We use an HVAC system that is upgraded to the highest filtering standard. 

  • Will the distance be changed to 6' all-around instead of 3' forward facing?
    Yes. Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi has adopted the 6 feet distancing standard.  

  • How the structure of the kula haʻahaʻa day will go: will they be rotating, will they be allowed to leave their seats, will they be allowed to use manipulatives, etc?
    The in-school schedule will be both face-to-face and digital. This is to take advantage of the learning opportunities offered digitally as well as have all students prepared to move to DL should that be needed (based on a change in risk level). They will be in cohorts by homeroom class and movement between classes will be minimized with specials courses being provided in the same class. 

  • How long will the keiki be expected to wear their mask at each period?
    Masks should be worn whenever in proximity with another person. Only when distancing outside or eating should masks be removed. This is the safest practice, and consideration for how we give “mask breaks” especially when able to go outside, will be given. 

  • Will parents be allowed to walk their keiki to class to help carry school supplies?
    Unfortunately no parents are able to enter buildings, but we will have kōkua available for keiki to carry supplies. 

  • I have children on all 3 campuses, will schedules be similar? 
    All three campuses are going to be on a 7:30 - 3 (roughly) daily schedule. Wednesdays will no longer be early pick-up days. 

  • Will all necessary items be placed at the desk so less walking around & sharing?
    Special consideration is being given so supplies are not being shared. Or if shared, PPE will be used or supplies will be sanitized in between use. 

  • Will there be social distancing markings around campus & classrooms?
    Yes. Signage and promoting safe practices and good hygiene is a part of our planning.

  • Will students be contained in one classroom all day, everyday?
    There are breaks in between the day, depending on grade level, though emphasis is on limiting movement. Designated areas for lunch would be a movement. More specifics will be shared by the child’s school. 

  • Will any action be taken if a child doesn't wear a mask or doesn't wear it properly or keeps taking it off or what not?
    We recognize that this is a major change and that learning and getting used to these changes will take time, especially for our youngest learners. We expect to work with our parents and caregivers in encouraging safe practices and realistically strategize what is the safest way we can make that happen.  

  • Are there academic advantages to distance learning?
    Each person learns differently and there are haumāna that prefer distance/more independent learning, to where that could be advantageous. Regardless of preference, Kamehameha Hawaiʻi will provide a high-quality academic experience and support for all learners.
  • Would students who opted for distance learning be allowed to participate in on campus activities, or attend games should those resume?
    Yes. There will be established protocols for tracing, and students will be required to follow all on-campus protocols (including daily wellness check-ins and temperature screening), but students in distance learning will be able to particiate in social activities (should those be able to resume and in compliance with county gathering guidelines). 
  • Will ASU be teaching at grade level?

  • What is the process of distance learning? How long will they need to be on a computer when distance learning? Will distant learning have a set schedule for classes?
    There will be a schedule, but it will vary by grade level and courses taken. Activities will be both synchronous and asynchronous, but majority of that time will likely be on a device. Find a little more information on our learning model page, but more information would be coming directly from each school.

  • Will online learning be the same assignments as in person learning?
    It will vary from school to school. But generally, there will be different coursework for full distance learning, but the learning objectives will be similar. 


  • Are the tuition costs different for distance learning vs. on-campus instruction?
    No. Majority of a Kamehameha Schools tuition is subsidized and there are different and significant costs associated with each model of delivery, which makes it incredibly difficult at this time to make a distinction. The exception being transportation costs will not be charged if electing distance learning. KS will continue to subsidize the majority of the cost of tuition. 
  • Is the bus service set to pick up the Waimea students?
    Yes, we will continue to have bus service for Waimea students. 

  • What will bus transportation be like? How will students be arranged on the bus?
    Individual bus capacity has been limited to 60%, with students sitting in their own seat. Temperature and wellness check screening will be conducted prior to boarding, so parents must wait until their child boards the bus before leaving. Distancing should be done at bus stops. 

  • If our financial circumstances change later in the year due to COVID-19, can we submit a request for aid based on a change in circumstances and if so, what's the timeframe for receiving a response?  
    We also recognize that financial circumstances can be volatile in this pandemic. If your financial circumstances have changed, please contact our fiscal administrator, Peter Fuchs at


  • If uniform masks are deemed uncomfortable, are students allowed to bring their own?
    Students have the flexibility to wear their own masks, as long as what is printed on the mask is appropriate. Kamehameha Hawaiʻi will also be providing uniform masks so students have enough to be able to properly wash and care for their masks.
  • Should parents plan to buy dress whites for this school year?
    Given the uncertainties around gathering and events, grade 9-11 students will not be required to purchase dress whites, and can instead opt for chapel and special events attire with white polo and blue bottoms. Seniors should plan to purchase dress whites in anticipation of having events, inclusive of graduation ceremonies, where dress whites would be appropriate. Middle and Elementary school haumāna should have at least one set to wear during these special events, which also consists of a white KS polo and blue bottoms.
  • Are students going to be able to wear any mask or will Kamehameha be requiring specific masks for uniform? What type of glasses are required for students?
    Kamehameha Hawaiʻi will be providing specific uniform masks and face coverings for all students. However, personal masks can be worn as long as they meet the reasonable standard for what is appropriate. Glasses and face shields are supplementary personal protective equipment when in close proximity and will be provided. If a student has a different preference, those can also be worn. 


  • When is breakfast going to be available?
    7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.; breakfast will be available in each keiki's cohort area.
  • If my child receives a grab-n-go lunch, but they are still hungry, are they able to grab another lunch? Are different portion sizes going to be available?
    It’ll be a learning process as we get back to school and these new protocols, but as is the case with normal lunch service, our haumāna will be fed and provided a nutritious meal. Specifics about meal service protocols will be provided before the start of school and students will have a chance to get seconds if available.  
  • If meals are all pre-packaged and students are not selecting what they eat, are there any plans to deal with the inevitable food waste that will result?
    Kamehameha Hawaiʻi has always taken food waste seriously, segmenting food waste from other trash. That food waste is repurposed for feed, compost, and other uses in our agricultural programs on campus. Safety will be an overriding concern in this instance, but we remain committed to our sustainability goals and minimize waste whenever possible. 
  • Is home lunch an option?  
    Home lunches can be brought. Though please make sure to consider food safety and that refrigeration and warming up will not be available.


  • What, if any, athletics facilities are open before or after school? Are students allowed to run around campus before school starts?
    Campus facilities will be closed until 6:45 a.m. Until there is a clear understanding and agreement by users (both students and staff) of their kuleana with safety in those areas, facilities will be limited to organized classroom activities, like a P.E. or another kind of class with appropriate approval, or (when appropriate) athletics practices.
  • Are athletics going to take place? What sports are going to be open for play?
    The Big Island Interscholastic Federation (BIIF) and Hawaiʻi High School Athletics Association (HHSAA) are in regular communication with officials about appropriate guidelines about when practices and competition may begin. No final determination has been made on which sports or if sports will be able to continue, but the working assumption is to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. That may mean a staggered start to the season, reduced scheduling, or other adjustments that may be appropriate given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Once those decisions are made, they will be communicated. Sports where physical distancing is easier to achieve (e-sports, bowling, air riflery) are likelier to continue with modifications on other restraints (like transportation). 
  • Can students who opt in to distance learning participate in sports?
    Yes. Athletics will have safety measures in place and as long as students are in good standing and have transportation options in place, students can continue to participate in an athletic program if enrolled in distance learning. that are identified 
  • Will the gym and weightlifting areas be open?
    Athletics facilities will be closed except for instructional classes at this time.


  • If a vaccine is developed for COVID-19, will Kamehameha Schools require it?
    Kamehameha Schools will follow the guidance of the CDC and Department of Health in regards to vaccinations and will adjust our requirements accordingly. If required, vaccinations would follow the same protocol and guidelines of other required vaccines, including those governing exemptions. 
  • Does the school have a protocol, when a child has just a cold?
    Even with a cold, students should stay home until they are feeling well. 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 within 3 days and doctor’s note is required if a student is out for 4 days or more.    
  • If the face to face enrollment is low will the school allow students to take off their mask while in class?
    No, classroom density is already being lowered, but using a face mask has been shown as an important procedure in reducing the spread of COVID-19, and face coverings should be worn in doors as long as students are able to, and masks are the preferred protective covering. 
  • If students are not able to remove mask in class will they be able to remove while outside?
    As long as they are physically distanced/alone outside, masks can be taken off. Or when eating. But otherwise, masks should be worn for everyone’s protection. 
  • Also will the guideline be if anyone in the student’s household is ill- has fever etc are the KS students required to not attend school? 
    If the ill member of the household is believed to have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive case or has been contacted by a Department of Health contact tracer, then they should follow those established procedures and stay home. If not COVID-19 related and there is a regular illness, students should monitor any symptoms and take precaution as they are able. Should symptoms develop while at school, there is a specific procedure in place including isolation and a doctor’s note may be required to return to school. See our health and safety measures for more information.



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

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