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Guidelines and actions taken

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..

Protocols are still being developed for the 2021-2022 school year, but we anticipate returning to in-person learning with appropriate measures in place to prevent spread. 

Layered Safety Protocols 

The measures below reflect our practice recommendations as of July 22, 2021. We will continue to revise and adapt measures as new recommendations are made and guidelines need to shift given the situation. 

Physical Distancing and Cohorting
Schools, by nature of their purpose and function, are social environments with high densities. By maintaining physical distancing and cohorting, we improve our ability to effectively reduce the risk of infection and be able to quickly contact trace to prevent spread.


Physical Distancing


Physical distancing has proven to be an effective strategy in the containment of COVID-19 and will continue to be one of our layered safety protocols.

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

A minimum of 3 feet of distance will be maintained between seats.

One way routes will be marked off, giving separation on walkways. Everyone is encouraged to maintain 6 feet of distance when standing. 

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 has been cited as an effective precaution for preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

This aligns with the CDC's guidance for modified layouts for schools in communities with low transmission of COVID-19

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

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 close contacts in the event of an exposure.


Kula Ha’aha’a - homeroom cohorts in groups. 

Kula Waena - grade level cohorts in groups. 

Kula Ki’eki’e - grade level cohorts in groups to the extent possible.

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. 

Reimagining large group activities and events


Large group and extracurricular activities will be limited and need to follow physical distancing guidelines and gathering limits. 

Field trips limited to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and avoid 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.  

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



Health Screening


Students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a daily wellness check-in form prior to arrival on campus or a bus stop, daily. 

Bus riders will be screened before boarding. Drop-offs will be screened at drop-off sites. 

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

The check-in is a simple, web-based form that 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.

Registered vaccinated students and employees who are registered with KS, will be provided a badge which can be saved and shown in place of the wellness check-in each day.  

Unregistered students and employees will be required to complete a daily wellness check-in (link below), and should do so prior to arriving at school or a bus stop. Make sure clearance is received(green happy face) before arriving at a bus stop or school. Show the email with clearance to the screener.

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

Links to each check-in:

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).

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

Face coverings


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

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

KS recommends wearing a cloth face covering, but face shields are also allowed if a student has a documented underlying health conditions or difficulty breathing (connect with your health room nurse for more information). 

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 county and state recommendations. Outdoor face mask usage in proximity of others is an addtional precautions KS is choosing to take for the safety of our community. 



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.


and Travel Notifications

Students and employees are required to follow all state and county rules regarding travel in compliance with the Hawaiʻi Safe Travels and current county guidelines. 


Travel notifications to KS and clearance from KS to return will no longer be required, unless school/work time is missed in which students and staff should follow appropriate leave approval procedures with their front office or supervisor. 

If not exempted from quarantine, per Hawaiʻi Safe Travels, students should contact their front office and staff should notify their supervisors. Absences may not be excused in all cases, so precautions should be taken if choosing to travel on personal time. 

Hawaiʻi's Safe Travels procedures and current county guidelines are in place to allow for screening. Additional clearance beyond the safe travels program is no longer needed, but everyone should follow applicable 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 Kamehameha Schools has developed specific guidelines for returning to school and what should happen if symptoms develop, including when testing should be conducted. 

If your child has experienced any symptom(s) of COVID-19 for 1-3 days even if at home and not missing in-person learning, a doctor’s note or negative COVID-19 PCR test collected after the onset of symptom(s) must be provided to your child’s health room prior to your child’s return to school or school activities (including athletics); a doctor’s note continues to be required for return following 4 or more days of illness.

See specific return to school procedures at the bottom of this page.  

CDC - When to Stay Home;

CDC-Steps To Take When You are Sick

Bus Transportation


We will continue to operate our buses at 80-100% capacity to allow for spacing in between school-level cohorts where applicable. Face coverings will be required for all riders from arrival at the bus stop.

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. 


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 should be maintained between seats while eating face to face.


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 and outdoor eating spaces are available. Whenever possible, it is best to eat outdoors.  

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

We will maintain a higher standard of safety in the handling of food and request that everyone follow the important distancing protocols, since students and staff will be unmasked when actively eating. 


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 still 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 are able to safely reopen all facilities.


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.

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. 

Returning to School

For an absence of 4 or more days due to any illness, a doctorʻs note is required.  For an absence of 3 or fewer days due to the presence of a COVID symptom*, a doctorʻs note or negative PCR test is required.  If the student was absent for 3 or fewer days due to an illness other than a COVID symptom, the student can return with a parent note.

All doctorsʻ notes and COVID PCR test results should be submitted for review and clearance prior to return.  Additional information on returning to school after symptoms is available at:

*COVID symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. 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 will be prepared to support should a positive case occur.


Additional Sources and Guidance: 

Information about how we are cleaning and sanitizing

All three of our KS K-12 campuses and Kawaiaha‘o Plaza are using aqueous ozone to supplement the routine cleaning and sanitizing that already occurs at KS work sites throughout the workday. KS will also continue to clean and sanitize using additional EPA approved commercial products as part of its daily cleaning process after the work/school day ends.

Enozo Pro’s Aqueous Ozone cleaning solution has been through testing and has been proven to reduce 99.9% of Human Coronavirus in 30 seconds.
All three of our KS K-12 campuses and Kawaiaha‘o Plaza are using Aqueous Ozone to supplement the routine cleaning and sanitizing that already occurs at KS work sites throughout the workday. KS will also continue to clean and sanitize using additional EPA approved commercial products as part of its daily cleaning process after the work/school day ends.

Ozonated water isn’t new. It is a common cleaning and disinfecting solution that has been used since the late 1800s and was FDA cleared in 1996. KS has reviewed the effectiveness of Aqueous Ozone at eliminating the Coronavirus and other microorganisms such as E. Coli, Staph A. and Salmonella and we feel confident that this technology will support safely returning to school and work.

We also recognize that during these challenging times we will be cleaning and sanitizing surfaces more frequently in the presence of kumu and haumāna. Because of this, we need to ensure our staff and students are not exposed to harmful chemicals which sometimes require a dwell time (“the amount of time that a sanitizer or disinfectant must be in contact with the surface, and remain wet, in order to achieve the product’s advertised kill rate”) before wiping down. With Aqueous Ozone there are no harsh synthetic chemicals or fragrances added, it leaves no residue, and it takes only 30 seconds to clean and sanitize a surface. Therefore, in addition to Aqueous Ozone’s effectiveness eliminating microorganisms including the coronavirus, it is also a safe and easy to use solution for our KS schools and worksites.

Stanford University; University of Wisconsin; University of Michigan; Honolulu International Airport; ‘Iolani School, Clinton National Airport; Sports Center of Richmond (SCOR); University of Toronto; Toronto Pearson International Airport; Middle Tennessee State University; Aetna Home Offices; Florida Hospital System; Yavapai County Facilities and Parks and Rec Department; Horizon House CCRC; Clarke County School District Athens, GA; Norco College; Wesley Hotel UK; QHotels Four and Five Star Hotel Group UK

The Aqueous Ozone data and efficacy information is provided in this PDF and you can also refer to these sites for additional information:, Ozone in Water Treatment and Ozone History.

Please contact the COVID-19 Response Team with questions anytime at

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