Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Sept. 13


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. With the ongoing response to the West Maui wildfires, we have changed our header to pink in support of Maui’s official color and are focusing on updates, resources and how to help Lāhainā school communities.

Sept. 13

Editorial Mission: As the Department's primary publication, we aim to live up to the meaning of ha‘aheo – to cherish with pride – by bolstering and sustaining pride in public education and touting the successes happening across our system.

Editor's Note: With the ongoing response to the West Maui wildfires, we have changed our header to pink in support of Maui’s official color and are focusing on updates, resources and how to help Lāhainā school communities.

Aloha, HIDOE Community

As part of our commitment to increased communication, transparency and community engagement around our response to the Maui wildfires, today we launched an online status report. By making vital data readily accessible to the public, we aim to keep our school communities informed while fostering trust and confidence in our response efforts.

The report is designed to provide a snapshot of where we are with reopening our Lāhainā schools by mid-October. It shows progress of soil testing and air and water quality in Lāhainā schools and displays the criteria that must be met to reopen campuses safely for students and staff.

In the meantime, the Department has designated temporary schools for students to return to learning environments with their teachers and peers to help facilitate the healing process and restore some sense of normalcy as we await clearance for the Lāhainā campuses to reopen. In-person learning hubs are also being rolled out (read more below).

We are dedicated to the health and safety of our students and staff and are committed to keeping our communities informed as we work toward reopening our schools. Thank you for your patience and support as we work together to navigate this crisis.


Keith T. Hayashi


Social media highlights of schools and staff in their efforts to help, support and bolster the West Maui school community.

Lokelani Intermediate
»Mahalo nui loa to all of the Lokelani students who created cards filled with aloha for the Lāhainā Community over the last week.

S. E. Kalama Intermediate
»S. E. Kalama Intermediate School now has the Maui Strong t-shirt in Black in sizes Youth Large to Adult XLarge. T-shirts can be purchased in the school office. We will have more Maui Strong t-shirts in pink on Wednesday. Aloha kekahi i kekahi.

Mililani Uka Elementary
»Support families impacted by the Maui wildfires by participating in our "Read for Maui" challenge! Our goal is to read 50,000 minutes and raise $5,000 (that's $0.10 per minute)! The more we read, the more money we hope to raise! The more money we raise, the more reading we must do! Let's work together to "Read for Maui"!

West Maui Updates for Bus and Learning Hubs

HIDOE Bus Service Updates

Free bus Service for King Kamehameha III Elementary, Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary and Lāhainā Intermediate students to their temporary designated schools – Wailuku Elementary or Kamaliʻi Elementary in Kīhei, and Lokelani Intermediate in Kīhei – started on Sept. 7 for students already enrolled in these designated schools. Student ridership has grown since Sept. 7 and is now at 65 total students to date.

Lāhaināluna High teachers and staff began reporting to Kūlanihākoʻi High this week to plan and prepare for the welcoming of students tomorrow. Lāhaināluna students will remain enrolled at Lāhaināluna and do not need to enroll at Kūlanihākoʻi.

See our website for the latest pick-up and drop-off schedule which include some changes anticipating Lāhaināluna High students who will also take advantage of the free bus service. Students are encouraged to sign up in advance at bit.ly/WestMauiBusApp and arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled morning departing time to ensure they are checked-in beforehand.

Distance Learning Hub

The Department will be offering a distance learning hub for K-8 Lāhainā students starting Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023 at Citizen Church located at 4275 Hine Way. The learning hub will provide distance learning students with in-person opportunities for teacher support and peer socialization, as well as access to meals, recess, social-emotional learning and other resources.

The hub is open to King Kamehameha III Elementary, Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary and Lāhainā Intermediate students already enrolled in distance learning or who want to enroll in distance learning. For more information including the schedule and link to apply, see our website or contact the Distance Learning Hub staff at (808) 866-8432 or email MauiDLhub@k12.hi.us.

We are planning to offer two additional learning hubs in West Maui, one for high-needs special education students and another for Kaiapuni Hawaiian language immersion K-8 students. Families are being contact directly for the special needs hub. Details on the Kaiapuni hub will be announced once plans are finalized.

Important Dates and Upcoming Events

  • National Hispanic Heritage Month (starts Sept. 15)
  • Sept. 14 - Lāhaināluna High students at Kūlanihākoʻi High which will temporarily function as a school within a school in Kīhei
  • Sept. 19 - Distance Learning Hub opens at Citizen Church

How to Help

Mahalo to Players Trust, a charitable arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association, for matching up to $50,000 in donations to the Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation (PSHF) to support the more than 3,000 students displaced by the Maui wildfires. These funds will provide consistent access to counselors, transportation, meals and supplies for important after school programs that help nourish students and aid them in their socialization and healing. So far, $25,000 has already been received!

The most immediate need and request from our Maui schools is for monetary donations that can provide direct support for response efforts. All monetary donations received by PSHF through Oct. 1, 2023 will be designated solely for Maui public schools affected by the wildfire disaster. Tax deductible credit card contributions may be made online or via check payable to Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 41478 Honolulu, Hawaii 96812.


Keith Hayashi


Heidi Armstrong

Deputy Superintendent

Curt Otaguro

Deputy Superintendent

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun
Deputy Superintendent


Sean Bacon
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal Services
Annie Kalama
Student Support Services

Michael Otsuji

Information Technology Services
Randall Tanaka
Facilities and Operations

Cara Tanimura

Strategy, Innovation and Performance

Teri Ushijima

Curriculum and Instructional Design



Nanea Kalani

Executive Editor

Chanel Honda

Managing Editor

Sara Miyazono
Creative Director

Derek Inoshita

Contributing Writer

Krislyn Yano

Contributing Writer



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