Modest, gentle, unassuming, unpretentious, unobtrusive, docile, decorous, meek, suave; meekness, modesty

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Hawaiian dictionary : Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian 

Aka, with, care, and hai, to speak. To be tender of heart; meek

Andrews, Lorrin, A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language


Over the span of my lifetime, there have been several seminal, world-disrupting events that left an indelible mark on how we live our lives. Some were like a bolt of lightening – blinding for a brief moment, but leaving burns and scars that never seem to heal – like 9-11. Prior to that horrific event, security around air travel was nonchalant. I remember my friends and I crowding the airport gates, hanging out until a classmate boarded the plane to fly off to college. And now, even a bottle of water can’t make it past security. 

The COVID-19 pandemic similarly had an immediately jarring effect, dismantling the economy, keeping us confined in our homes for nearly half-a-year, and claiming far more lives than any single terrorist attack. Yet, the pandemic continued on, evolved, worsened, and continued to linger even after a vaccine was discovered. Many people experienced (and continue to experience) trauma, felt burnt out, reassessed their lives, changed their careers. Consequently, many businesses lack enough employees to stay afloat.

COVID-19 similarly affected schools. Since 2020, we had four teachers quit, two staff transfer and five retire mid-year, causing us to scramble to fill those positions with the best personnel and substitutes we could find. At times, our discernment caused us to delay in hiring and left us scrambling to cover the classes and roles as best we could. Eventually, we were blessed to find talented and loving teachers but not without valuable time lost and many anxious moments. 

This year, we begin the school year adequately staffed. All homerooms are opening with wonderful and passionate teachers – some are new, but all are willing to learn and grow to provide our students rigorous, relevant learning experiences. While there are key positions that still need to be filled, such as our School Administrative Services Assistant, our devoted team stepped up to ensure school operations are not impacted and the start of school begins well.

The wonderful team we’ve put together, after years of struggle, reminds me of a quote I heard watching Ted Lasso. A character shares about how devastated he felt after his partner cheated and left him for another person. But then he started to see life differently, “I realized this thing didn’t happen to me, it happened for me.” Even in grief and trauma, we can still find pono – or hope – we can still experience akahai, grace.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: The Name Jar read by the book’s author and illustrator Yangsook Choi. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Do you know the meaning behind your name? Who named you and what was the reason why you were given your name?
  • SKILLS: Describe the main characters in the story {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • INTELLECT: Unhei immigrated to the United States from Korea. Did anyone in your family leave the home of their ancestors to come to Hawaiʻi? Where did they come fro? When did they arrive? Why did they leave their home to come here?
  • CRITICALITY: “Identity is not just who we are but also who we are called to be” How might your name, be a call for you to make the world a better place?
  • JOY: Follow the instructions at the end of the video and draw a self-portrait to get to know yourself.


Please review this year’s ʻOhana Handbook prior to the start of the year. Please pay close attention to the following sections:

Please also note that our dismissal times have changed this year. 

On Wednesdays, we end at 1:15 PM

We end every other day at 2:05 PM.

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO – please join us

With the start of the new year, we bring back Daily Virtual Piko. This practice helps us become centered and ready to learn. It helps us get on the same page, hearing one message of focus for the day and the week. If you are able, we begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesday when we conduct the piko in-person.


Mon, Aug 7, 2023Castle Complex Planning and Collaboration Day, no students
Tue, Aug 8, 2023Waiver Day, no students
Wed, Aug 9, 2023First day of school for students Gr 1 – 6
Wed, Aug 9, 2023
4:30 – 5:30 PM
Wellness Committee Mtg – Join by Zoom
Wed, Aug 16, 2023
6:00 PM
KES Ohana Mtg – Hybrid 
Attend in-person at the library
Attend via Zoom
Fri, Aug 18, 2023Statehood Day – no school
Wed, Aug 30, 2023
4:30 – 5:30 PM
School Community Council Mtg – Join by Zoom

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