KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS HAWAI`I
The 312-acre Kamehameha Schools Hawai`i is located in Kea`au, 8 miles south of Hilo in a remote, heavily forested and beautiful area. Founded in 1996 to serve more Native Hawaiians on the neighbor islands, the campus enrolls 1,120 students in grades K-12 and employs about 235 teachers, support staff, and administrators. Plans are underway to increase this enrollment to 1,156 over the next several years.
The curriuclum is directed toward preparing students for success in post-high school endeavors and a rewarding and productive life. Christian values and Hawaiian culture are absolutely integral to a Kamehameha education.
“I desire my trustees to provide first and chiefly a good education in the common English branches, and also instruction in morals and in such useful knowledge as may tend to make good and industrious men and women.”
This directive of Ke Ali`i Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Kamehameha’s benefactor, coupled with her intent that Protestant Christianity would be taught and practiced in her schools, is the basis for a long-standing Christian tradition at Kamehameha Schools. Christian education, devotions, chapel services and character education are significant components of the Kamehameha experience.
In addition, students are encouraged to embrace the values Pauahi embodied, such as mālama (caring), kuleana (responsibility), na`au pono (deep sense of justice) and kahiau (generosity from the heart). In order to develop empathy, social responsibility and servant leader qualities, all Kamehameha students and their families will be encouraged to perform meaningful and significant community service each year in Hawaiian communities.
`Ike Hawai`i means knowing, experiencing, feeling and understanding things Hawaiian. To strengthen `ike Hawai`i at Kamehameha and within each student, the school will integrate Hawaiian cultural knowledge, language, traditions, practices and skills into the curriculum and daily classroom activities at all grade levels.
Like Pauahi, students graduating from Kamehameha are expected to be competent and comfortable in both the Hawaiian and Western cultures, and capable of practicing and passing on their cultural heritage to future generations. Students are required as a condition of graduation to successfully complete courses and be proficient in Hawaiian history, culture and language.
The Elementary School
Elementary students (K-5) are housed in two classroom buildings and a covered play court. In addition to a strong academic program, the Hawai`i campus creates opportunities to strengthen physical abilities and technical, social and artistic development. Learning through personal experience extends beyond the campus with visits to an ancient Hawaiian village at Pu`ala`a in Puna, a lo`i in Waipi`o, the bird sanctuary at Keauhou Ranch, the Visitor’s Center for Astronomy at Hale Pōhaku, the Volcanoes National Park at Kīlauea, or just a visit down to Puhi bay in Keaukaha to learn about currents, marine life and more.