Health and safety measures
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on almost every facet of our lives.
We commit to delivering in-person learning, while we continue to move forward living with COVID-19, focusing on the health and well-being of our entire community. Our commitment is to maintain the emotional and physical well-being and safety of every member of our campus ‘ohana. We believe that our success as a school to safely operate relies on our collective promises to each other as members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana; we all will adhere to campus safety guidelines and protocols, we all strive to maintain a healthy environment, in and out of the classroom, and will all mālama each other and ourselves to minimize risk of virus spread.
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.
KS’s approach to safety
All of our measures and protocols have been developed with a focus on the well-being of our entire campus community. The appropriate combination of mitigation strategies contributes to creating a safe environment for rich, dynamic learning to take place.
KS COVID-19 guidelines
Effective 8/1/2023, KS will implement the following guidelines:
- KS has updated its return to school after illness approach. Students who are out sick must be fever free for 24 hours without medication and symptoms improving. Documentation of testing and parent self-attestation forms are no longer required. The recommendation is to still test to rule out COVID-19 when symptomatic, but will only need documentation when a student is out 4 days or more by providing a doctor’s/PCP note clearing student to return to school. This change shifts kuleana to haumāna and ‘ohana to make sure they are taking the proper precautions and staying home when sick, testing and reporting positive test results if applicable. This kuleana includes notifying friends, classmates, and kumu who you may have been in contact with so those individuals can take the necessary steps for their own care.
In addition to the above updates, the following existing guidelines are still in effect:
- Reporting positive results — We continue to ask all staff and students to report if they tested positive using the KS COVID-19 reporting form in order to calculate return to work/school dates and provide further guidance on five-day isolation and mask wearing recommendations. All information is kept private and confidential and is only shared with those who have a need to know.
- KS does not require any KS staff or student to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 onsite or outside of KS, regardless of vaccination status or mask use. If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should wear a mask for 10 days, monitor for symptoms, stay home if sick and testing on day 6 is recommended after exposure. In addition, reporting exposures to the COVID-19 Response Team is no longer required.
- Staying home when sick, vaccination, masking — We continue to ask all of our KS ‘ohana to stay home when sick and encourage staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations as the leading public health strategy and the best way to keep ourselves and each other safe. You can find a vaccination location at HawaiiCOVID19.com/vaccine.
- Handwashing, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting: 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 will be incorporated into the school day routine. All classrooms and common areas will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
- Regarding ventilation, air conditioning systems vary across KSP facilities and have been improved where possible. Additionally, in lieu of air conditioning, windows and doors may be left open to increase circulation of outdoor air in rooms where 100% natural ventilation is prudent.
COVID-19 health guidelines for in-person learning
Kamehameha Schools is committed to preserving in-person learning for our students and teachers. We recognize that COVID is still with us, with the rates of community spread of variants bouncing up and down. We continue to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, as the leading public health strategy. Our COVID-19 protocols and layers of protection have evolved over the past several years based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) and the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS) and will continue to do so. Mahalo to everyone for accepting the personal kuleana to do what is necessary for our kauhale to get to this point. We trust that each of us will continue to embrace the kuleana of caring for ourselves, our loved ones, and those in our school community.