Creating teams of students and teachers that form smaller communities of learning is an important facet of the Middle School. During the 2002-2003 school year, our interdisciplinary core teams were reorganized. This reorganization gave us an opportunity to seek new identities. These identities are reflected in our new team names. It was decided that our Middle School theme would be “Ka Ulu Aloha”, and our team names would reflect kumu lāʻau (trees).
Culturally, kumu lāʻau represents a system of passing knowledge from the very bottom of the roots to the very tips of the leaves. The stability and superiority of a tree’s roots, trunk, and branches influence its growth. The distribution of proper nutrients is evident in the healthiness of its leaves, fruits and flowers.
The selection of each kumu lā’au was determined by their cultural significance, association to Hawaiian values, and relation to the hopes and expectations we have for our students. The following descriptions reflect our aspirations and foresight for our Middle School and are for the purpose of clarifying our commitment to our learning community. The ʻōlelo noʻeau, “He lālā wau no kuʻu kumu” (I am a branch of my tree [literal translation] or I am an extension of my teacher [figurative translation]), reminds us of the humbling responsibility we all share in nurturing healthy and budding stuents.
Our theme, Ka Ulu Aloha, carries the notion that education is an act of love. Our love for teaching, learning, community, camaderie, and children inspires us to plant seeds of knowledge, nurture skills and talents, cultivate experiences, witness growth, and reap the harvest of a fruitful learning season. Our Middle School community fosters the spirit of aloha (love) which encompasses mālama (caring), poʻokela (excellence), naʻauao (wisdom), hoʻomau (perseverance), haʻahaʻa (humility), hōʻihi (respect), kuleana (responsibility), and ʻike pono (integrating intellect and intuition).
Robin Makua-Luahiwa (KS ’78) is credited for the conception of Ka Ulu Aloha. Robin has taught in the Hawaiian Language and Extension Education Departments of Kamehameha Schools.
Robin Racoma, KS graphic artist, created the pūʻulu icons and Ka Ulu Aloha banner.