top of page

E  Kūpa`a  Kākou! 

Standing strong, steadfast together to connect health, place-based education, and communities to build awareness and informed lenses to navigate through these uncharted waters 


He wa`a he moku, he moku he wa`a

A canoe is an island, an island is a canoe

ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #258 Pūku`i

Green version.png

Note:  This page is in preview mode.  Additional resources, ideas, interactives...are being added.  Mahalo for adding your thoughts and voice to this network.

Transforming Education

For some, coloring outside the lines, taking that risk to try a different path can be daunting, and for some anxiety filled, and overwhelming.  (For others, this is just the way you live, and think.)  For anyone that would like some a dose of inspiration, please read the two articles shared below.  They are a nice segway into examining our educational system and can help us work together to make changes sooner rather than later.   What excites us, the Kupa`a Collective, is that the there is more interest than ever in the possibilities that are out there.  Get those creative juices flowing, the present climate is pushing many out of their comfort zones.  Embracing productive struggle can be difficult. We encourage our students to be willing to fail "harder-er".. so go for it!  (If you have an idea that you want to bounce off of someone, we are here for you.  There is a feedback form on the home page, or feel free to email us at  The following two articles are simply entry points into considering what direction you may want to go in your quest to transform education.  It will take all of our voices together, educators, parents, the community to change the trajectory of education and what we define as learning, how we move towards systems that support all students--builds curiosity, connects to place, builds thinkers rather than regurgitators, uplifts and supports growth and students' strengths rather than a system that judges and minimizes one's intelligence through standardized tests, and rating systems.  We all have a right to be valued as learners wherever we are at on the learning continuum.  Education with aloha.  Nurture your "seeds" and watch them grow.  

E pūpūkahi e holomua.  Let's unite to move forward, to progress.

National Equity Project.png

An excerpt:  Let’s start with the end in mind. Fast forward to a time in the near future, say 12 months from now when we have made it through this world health crisis. Imagine that you have been invited to be on a panel at a conference because you decided to do something unusual amidst the crisis. You decided you were going to refuse to return to schooling in the same way you left it when COVID-19 erupted. You decided you would not return to doing business as usual in how we educate children. On this panel you share why you made this decision and your remarks focus on a desire to change the system because you realized it was designed to produce inequities. You share what it took to stop doing business as usual and how you became a catalyst for others to join in this effort too. You talk about the innovations you and a team of educators, parents, and students created and what you are learning from taking those actions. Then you share the impact those changes had on students, families, and staff. 

Making Good Humans.png

Read Article at:  Making Good Humans

Here is an excerpt from the article:

I’m not sure about your experience with Distance Learning so far, but for me, the experience seems to have begun to separate and elevate the concept of learning from the current, collective, notion of schooling.

Not by choice or intention. But by having to start over. Having to start from scratch. Having to come up with totally new things. Having to look at old things, in completely new ways. Questioning the purpose, place and impact of things that we may have never needed to question before. Rendering the phrase, “that’s the way we’ve always done things” powerless.

good humans final.png

Building Pilina, Relationships

What are some tools you would like to use to build your classroom community?

Pick a couple to start, then expand when the time feels right.  Consider what your intentions are?  How can you make the use of new technologies inviting?  Are there some models that you can show to students?  How can you build ownership into the use of the technology?  Understanding, and expecting that you may have some students who may not feel comfortable videoing themselves will be important.  Will there be a number of students who have interacted with technology in this way and enjoy it, yes there will be.  But for some this will fall far outside of their comfort zone.


How can you build up structures within your classroom that will support relationship building?

Is there a way you can create activities for students to build up their comfort with using technologies like this?

(Perhaps creating a group PSA, creating a family fun video--encouraging families and siblings to participate....)

Here is a place-based model from our team's Kumu Kaleo.  Mahalo for sharing!

Kumu Kaleo's classroom.png
Kumu Kaleo's classroom2.png
Kumu Kaleo's classroom3.png
Kumu Kaleo's classroom4.png

Creating a Portal

This will be the inviting, engaging space where you can create your virtual classroom.  In the tutorial video (and there are many on youtube, you can design the bitmoji version of yourself.  

Although it is easy to fill your space with various elements, consider the intention behind each item.  They should serve dual purposes.  They can also be the symbols that signal to your class how to enter various "portals."  Perhaps a globe can be the entry point for your global classroom link.  Calendar, can link reminders to your classwork for the week.  Paint brushes to art projects that your students can explore.  There are so many creative ways you can use this tool.

Most importantly, you want it to be an exciting place that will make students want to come back week after week.  


How can you use a tool like this to build curiosity, mystery, and intrigue so that students will want to keep up with what's happening?

I'll kick off the brainstorm, but please add to our bitmoji classroom brainstorm jamboard.

This is our collective space to swap ideas with one another.  Mahalo in advance for sharing!

Here are a couple of different tutorials for anyone who may not have ventured into the bitmoji classroom world.  (There are many other tutorials available on youtube!)  My next question for all of you is to consider: How would you personalize your classroom so that it had a place-based, Hawai`i feel to it?  Think outside the box, literally.  Mahalo for participating in the brainstorm.  Feel free to upload images of your own place-based classroom.  Together we rise!

Building Pilina Connections is Foundational

Connecting students, families, and our community to `ōlelo no`eau, Hawaiian proverbs, is a great way to build connections.  Bringing `ōlelo Hawai`i into our learning spaces allows the language to live.  `Ōleo Hawai`i is the language of Hawai`i.  Honoring it and cherishing the `ike, the knowledge that it holds is necessary.  E ola mau ka  `ōlelo Hawai`i.  There are many Hawaiian language resources out there.  I will place a few here to get you started.  We need our haumana to be kama`aina to the Hawaiian language.  The more you can embed `ōlelo Hawai`i into your life, your curriculum, your learning space, the better.  All students deserve access to `ōlelo Hawai`i.  

`O ke kahua ma mua.png
`O ke kahua ma mua part 2.png
Mental Health2.png

What practices and structures can you build into your class that are place-based?  Connecting students to their place, providing opportunities to reconnect to their space through mo`olelo--stories grounded in place, kilo--deep observation of the passage of time and place based on the context of one's place, 

Hawaiian Language Resources

Laiana Kanoa Wong.png

Hawaiian Word of the Day

Hawai`i News Now

Laiana Kanoa-Wong features a new Hawaiian word once per week on Hawaii News Now Sunrise.  Learn how to say the word, the word's meaning, and examples of how to use the word within a sentence.  

Hawaiian Language Resources

`A`ohe Pau ka `Ike I Ka Halau Ho`okahi.p

Nā Kiʻi ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

ʻAha Pūnana Leo

 ʻŌlelo Noʻeau to read, discuss, and apply to one's thinking and life.  This site, Niuolahiki has additional Hawaiian language resources to explore.  Many links to checkout, ideas to support your embedding Hawaiian language into your life and /or classroom.  

Hawaiian Language Resources

Annotation 2020-08-16 155506.png

Ka Leo ʻŌiwi

ʻŌiwi TV

Ka Leo ʻŌiwi, the newest Hawaiian language learning series. Join again with Hina, Pōmaikaʻi, and ʻIwalani as they practice ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, go on a huakaʻi, and kanikapila with some of our favorite musicians! As you continue these lessons, youʻll start to notice how our ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi is all around us

E Ho`omākaukau

The Time To Prepare Has Arrived

This school year is unprecedented.  The expectations, all the planning that has already gone in to prepare classroom learning spaces, thoughts focused on safe returns to face-to-face learning, seemingly endless to do lists.  For some, this meant the complete moving of classes, or major reconfiguring of learning spaces, it was all about being open-minded and flexible to the sometimes daily changes that are taking place. 

How can we support the navigation through these uncharted way to look at it is, we need to be the navigators.  And how do navigators reach their destination?  They prepare, build awareness of their surroundings, of the world around them, learn how to read the signs so that they can forecast the paths they will need to take, they can prepare the wa`a and the crew for what lays ahead-- they are well informed.  They do not navigate blindly.  Lives are at stake.  Resources are limited.  They work together as a collective to reach their goal--arrive at their destination with minds, hearts, souls, fulfilled, nourished, everyone safe...

In this video, Dr. Darragh O`Carroll creates a picture for us all on how we can envision getting through this pandemic together.  He utilizes a wa`a metaphor and the `ōlelo no`eau:  He wa’a he moku, he moku he wa`a, the island is a canoe and the canoe is an island, focusing on the idea that we are all in this together.  A story like this can help to build an understanding that it is going to take all of us, working together, practicing the 4 W’s to stop the spread.

He Wa`a He Moku, He Moku He Wa`a-Featured in this video:

Dr. Darragh O`Carroll models and messages for viewers practices for being safe and healthy in these times.

  • Helps to build the "We are all in this together" in a place-based way using his experience on Hōkūkle’a.

  • He teaches us how to wear a mask and how to keep it sanitized

  • He teaches about fomites--how when we don't wear a mask, we can be shedding the virus onto inanimate objects and if anyone were to touch these objects then touch their t-zone area on the face, they increase their chances of contracting COVID-19.

This video can be deconstructed and used to teach a variety of different lessons to proactively build awareness on "best practices" at this time.  

Each of you know your communities the best--how to build the pilina, how to connect everyone in the spirit of Pupukahi e holomua...  

Together we will navigate through these uncharted waters. 

Excerpted from a City and County Press Conference

Going Deeper Through Student Reflections

4th Grade Student Sample

Sample 4th Grade Response.png

**My students read a transcript of the video prior to watching it.  This is one way I build literacy into interdisciplinary units.  It takes time to transcribe, but I find the rich student reflections well worth it.  Reading first, allowed my students the time they needed to think deeply and process what Dr. Darragh O`Carroll shared on the video.  It allowed them to linger on sentences that they found meaningful, and to connect to his words in insighful ways.  I transcribed the parts of the video that I wanted students to focus their thinking on.  See transcribed document below as a model.  Personalize it according to your grade level.  

4 Ws Poster.png

Remind students that when they carry out the 4 protective practices--wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance, walk away from gatherings they are taking care of the people that they feel so deeply connected to--family friends, AND their whole community.  When you care for your family and friends in preventing the spread, you are caring for your whole community--your school, the medical and health professionals/workers, the essential workers...

Nā Hoʻokele ʻŌpiopio

Na Ho`okele `Opiopio2.png

Music has a way of getting deep into our na`au. inner being.  This mele was selected because it connects to the idea that our students are metaphorically young navigators who will be guiding their schools, their `ohana , and their communities safely through these uncharted waters that we find ourselves in.  With guidance, preparation, and the `ike, the knowledge they need, they will be able to chart the best path in moving forward.

Posted by ʻŌiwi TV on March 28, 2015 Visit to purchase the song Nā Hoʻokele ʻŌpiopio by Chucky Boy Chock featuring Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga.    Nā Hoʻokele ʻŌpiopio ʻŌiwi TV  28 March 2015

In this "We Are ALL In This Together" Hawai`i Theater for Youth Episode:

He wa`a he moku, he moku he wa`a--this episode makes connections to this `ōlelo no`eau.

  • Extension Activity:  Who are the people on your wa'a that you want to work hard to protect?  

    • Remind students that when they carry out the 4 protective practices--wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance, walk away from gatherings they are taking care of these people, AND their whole community.  When you care for your family and friends in preventing the spread, you are caring for your whole community--your school, the medical and health professionals/workers, the essential workers...

A diverse glimpse and reminder of how locally, and globally we all need to work together to keep each other safe

  • Extension Activity:  How can you, your `ohana help to ensure that we are looking out for each other's health and wellness?

Mahalo--expressing and showing appreciation for everyone that is working so hard to support all of our communities health and total well being. 

  • Extension activity:  How can your organization or school show appreciation for someone in your family, community?

What kind of collaborative projects could you develop to support students taking ownership and responsibility of driving safety and total well being practices?

What kind of PSAs would support this endeavor?  How can the arts play a part in projects like this?  How can you involve families, or the community-based partners in projects?

`O Hawai`i ke kahua....png

A Sense of Total Well Being

"What makes Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i - a place unlike anywhere else - are the unique values and qualities of the indigenous language and culture. ‘O Hawai‘i ke kahua o ka ho‘ona‘auao. Hawai‘i is the foundation of our learning. Thus the following learning outcomes, Nā Hopena A‘o, are rooted in Hawai‘i, and we become a reflection of this special place.


Nā Hopena A‘o or HĀ's six outcomes include a sense of Belonging, Responsibility, Excellence, Aloha, Total Wellbeing and Hawai‘i. When taken together, these outcomes become the core BREATH that can be drawn on for strength and stability through out school and beyond."

In utilizing the Nā Hopena A‘o or HĀ since 2015, we have found that when it is an embedded part of one's way of living, learning, and teaching, it builds strength, solidifies one's identity, fosters social emotional growth and intelligence.  The sense of total well being with Hawai`i at it's center, is an area that will need extra attention during this time.  We are all experiencing the impacts of this pandemic differently.  Attending to the social and emotional health of the communities we work with is critical in addressing holistic needs.  How are we going to address all six of the outcomes in ensuring that we are addressing our students, their families, our communities total well being?   Developing all of the outcomes in the Nā Hopena A‘o charts a path to total well being.

Na Hopena A`o Statements.png
Na Hopena A`o Introduction.png

Princess Lili`u, Inspired Leadership Grounded in a Sense of Aloha


From Lili`uokalani:  Hawai`i's Last Queen

"In 1881, she got her first taste of decision-making and her first bad brush with the business community. 

Her brother was away on a trip, leaving the 43-year-old princess in charge, when a smallpox epidemic broke out. The native people had no resistance to this foreign disease and many died. The source was Chinese laborers brought in to work in the cane fields. To protect the health of the native people, Liliuokalani closed the port. This infuriated the sugar growers, but Liliuokalani stood her ground."

Princess Lili`u Navigating the Way Image

Ko`u Noho Kahu `Aupuni Ana

Queen Liliuokalani looking back at 1881 and the smallpox quarantine, continued, 1898




A mamuli o ka ikaika a me ka makaala ponoia ana o keia mau rula, i ka wa i hoopauia ae ai o ka hoomaluia ana, aole he mai i hoike ia mai ua puka ae mawaho aku. Aka, he ikaika nae kona laha ana ma ke kulanakauhale o Honolulu, a maloko o laila he ewalu haneri i loaa i ka mai, a ma kahi o ekolu haneri poe i make.

…and so scrupulously and energetically were these regulations enforced, that when they were relaxed and quarantine raised, it was found that no case had been reported outside the place of its first appearance. But it was a serious thing to confine its ravages to the city of Honolulu, in which there were some eight hundred cases and about three hundred deaths.

(Aloha Aina, 12/31/1898, p. 5)

Queen Liliuokalani looking back at 1881 and the smallpox quarantine, 1898

Princess knew what to do....png

Aka, he mau kumuhana ano nui kakaikahi ka’u e kamailio aku ai i keia wa. He mau pule kakaikahi mahope iho o ko ka Moi Kalakaua kaawale ana aku, ua pahola ae la ka lono, ua puka ae ka mai Samola Poki iloko o ke kulanakauhale.

Ua manaoia, ua hoea mai keia ma’i mai Kina mai, aka, o na hiohiona i hala aku la, i loaa makou he oolea, a o ka hana pono wale no oia no ka hoao ana aku e kaohi i ka laha loa ana aku. Ua kahea aku au i ka Aha Kuhina, a ua makaukau hoi au ma na ano a pau e kaohi mai ai i ka nee mua ana aku o ka ma’i.

O na launa kamailio ana mawaena o na mokupuni, ua hoopaaia na moku e lawe ana i na ohua, ua hookapu loa ia. Ua haawi ia aku na hoomalu ikaika ana maluna o na poe i loaa i ka ma’i a i hoohuoi wale ia.


But here are a few matters of interest during this time of which I must now speak. King Kalakaua had been gone but a few weeks when the startling news was in circulation that the small-pox had broken out in the city. It was supposed to have been introduced from China; but our past experience with the disease had shown us how fatal it might become to the Hawaiian people, and whatever the inconveniences it became necessary at all hazards to prevent its spread. Summoning the cabinet, I had all arrangements perfected to stay the progress of the epidemic. Communication between the different islands of the group was stopped. Vessels were absolutely prohibited from taking passengers. A strict quarantine of all persons infected or under suspicion was maintained…

(Aloha Aina, 12/17/1898, p. 6)

Quarantine (Hoomalu) notice by the government 140 years ago, 1880

Read Article:  Nupepa-Hawai`i

Posted on August 16, 2020

Board of Health, Notice!!

The following regulations of the Board of Health are still in force and notice is hereby given that San Francisco is considered a “port known to be infected with small pox.”

It is further ordered that all persons specially permitted to land from any vessels arriving from San Francisco in less than fifteen days passage, shall report in person to the port Physicians at least once a day, until a period of fifteen days, shall have elapsed since leaving San Francisco.

Quarantine regulations and rules adopted by the Hawaiian Board of Health.

Ho`omalu 1.png

With Mindsets and Hearts of Aloha...

  • As navigate through these uncharted waters let's:

  • Recognize and acknowledge that this is uncharted territories for us all

  • And some situations are more dire than others

  • Come with great amounts of patience and understanding for the unique situations that each of your families will be faced with.

  • Understand that some families are under great financial strain--there are so many layers to the impacts from this pandemic that we will all need to function from and with aloha

  • Consider:

  • How can you communicate with families in ways that demonstrate your understanding?

  • The importance of connecting and building bridges from the start will be critical in getting all the parts to move smoothly.

  • See the whole family as members of your classroom community

  •      With distance learning and depending on the grade level you work with families can play a large part in  a child’s learning. 

  • Honor that here are many ways to acquire knowledge.

Aloha Opens the Door to Learning

"I’ve always wanted to be some type of teacher; many important teachers have shaped me as a person. Teaching is one of the vital processes of knowledge transfer through which cultures are preserved, and I’m humbled to be a part of that. At the same time, the best part of my job is that I’m constantly learning. Every person, every interaction, is unique, and approaching complex topics with sensitivity and open-mindedness is a key to creating successful learning experiences.

That said, I would like to return to the concept of aloha, and credit my understanding to the late Aunty Pilahi Paki, a Hawaiian intellectual and source of knowledge of Mea Hawai‘i, often translated “things Hawaiian”—our traditions, including our ideas and values. Aunty Pilahi is the person responsible for the unuhi laula loa, or extended translation, of aloha.


One of the most important things we have as Hawaiians is our language, and nuance is easily lost in translation. The true meaning of the word aloha in Hawaiian is deeply important to a Hawaiian worldview and transcends the word’s constant appropriation. More than a greeting or salutation, aloha is like a feeling that encompasses many other feelings. According to Paki, the following acronym may be used to contemplate what she called the life force that is aloha:"

How did Queen Lili`uokalani Show Aloha in

The Way She Lived & The Decisions She Made?

Liliʻuokalani's Peaceful Approach To Foreign Aggression Set Stage for Kapu Aloha

HPR's Audio and Article:  By Ku`uwehi Hiraishi


The words kapu aloha have emerged in the ongoing conflict over Mauna Kea. The term refers to a non-violent approach in Hawaiian activism. This code of conduct has its roots in the peaceful steps taken by Hawaiʻi’s last monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani.

At this past weekend's celebration marketing Queen Liliʻuokalani’s birthday on the grounds of ʻIolani Palace, people remembered the overthrow and how the queen back in 1893 decided against taking up arms and fighting the forces seeking to take over her nation. 

"She knew that violence wasnʻt the answer because we were up against countries that have the means to violence," said Healani Sonoda-Pale, a reference to the military forces aligned against the monarchy.

Some may have wished she had taken up arms in defense of the country, but not T.J. Joseph.

"I think in her naʻau she felt that that was the best for her people because she loved her people," he said.

For Students-Think About It:

This is a question that is posed in the article:  Did Kapu Aloha Start with Queen Lili'uokalani?

Make a claim.  Do you agree or disagree.  Provide evidence to support your claim.

Onipa`a Picture.png

Ka Na`i Aupuni

Project Kuleana

Source: Composed in 1906,this song honors the great chiefs of the islands. Keawe of Hawaiʻi, Piʻilani who ruled the Hono bays of Maui; Kākuhihewa, chief of Oʻahu; Manokalanipō, king of Kauaʻi. The words are attributed to Kamehameha Nui on his death bed, as he counselled the chiefs surrounding him. They all agreed that only righteousness would preserve the nation of Hawaiʻi. Stanza 4 of the hui is our state motto taken from a speech by Kamehameha III, given at Kawaiahaʻo Church, July 31, 1843.  

Ka Na`i Aupuni.png
bottom of page