Kamehameha Schools Kapālama offers boarding to students in grades 7-12. The Boarding Program is a residential learning community for KS students that provides a home away from home for haumāna from the neighbor islands.
We understand that the idea of sending a pre-teen or teenaged child to attend school on O‘ahu is monumental for any ‘ohana. For parents to even consider having their child board at Kamehameha Schools, they need to see tremendous value in the experience for their child, and have assurance that their keiki will be safe.
Students at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama’s 600 acre campus have access to an educational program that will challenge their learning, ground them culturally and spiritually, expand their world, and open up endless possibilities for their future. Kamehameha seeks out and develops ‘ōiwi leaders for tomorrow, and for neighbor island students the Boarding Program not only enables them to participate in our educational program, but also supports their success in the program.
In addition to academics, boarders at our school are able to fully participate in campus life and extra-curricular activities both on and off campus. Because they are away from home, they learn independent life skills which will ultimately help them to transition to adulthood and post-high education.
And of course, students benefit from the lessons learned living in community, from cooperation and team-building to negotiation and problem-solving, all in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment.
For our boarders, leaving their home island to attend school on O‘ahu is not about leaving their family; it’s about growing their family.
“I enjoy boarding because it has helped me to maintain tidiness, become independent and I know that it will definitely help in transitioning into college, adulthood, and life in general.”
--Kapi’olani Nui Dormitory boarder
“Being a boarder makes me feel like I’m a part of a really big extended family. I love it!”
--Kina’u Hale Dormitory boarder
“I really enjoy how the whole boarding association can come together and make everyone feel like they are all family members.”
--Kina’u Hale Dormitory boarder
“I am very grateful for my 4 years in boarding. I will never forget my time here in the dorm.”
--Lunalilo Dormitory boarder
“After listening to my son’s advisors we felt very comfortable leaving our son at his dorm. The whole experience was very good for us to learn and hear from all the department heads. Also to go along with our son to all his classes and meet each teacher and to see the classrooms was an excellent feeling of leaving him there. Mahalo nui for that experience, we really appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.”
--Kaleiopapa Dormitory parent
“The dorm advisors do a wonderful job reassuring me of my son’s safety and explained in detail dorm life and curriculum. They really do care about my son’s education…I just can’t say enough. Everyone said I’d cry, but after leaving I just felt so blessed and grateful. I loved staying in the dorm, they’re very comfortable. Mahalo NUI!”
--Kaleiopapa Dormitory parent
“I have trust in all the dorm advisors, they made me feel that my nephew will be in good hands when he is at Kamehameha Schools. I had an awesome time and the meals was the best. Mahalo.“
--‘Iolani Dormitory parent
Our goal is to provide haumāna with a safe, nurturing environment that complements KS’ regular academic program. The program is designed to encourage student efforts to be respectful, responsible and resourceful members of our lāhui. The program is full and varied, and provides haumāna the opportunity to learn and practice independent life skills in a safe environment with the guidance and support of caring adults and peers.
As part of their boarding experience, our hope is that each student forms at least one meaningful relationship with an adult staff member, and that each student forms meaningful friendships with other students. While we strive to be a nurturing and supportive second home for our haumāna, we also want to make sure that the ohana unit is honored by encouraging regular student-parent communication while they are away from home.
Most importantly, the objective of our boarding program is to provide opportunities for educational enrichment and social and emotional growth; as well as to nurture mutual respect and shared responsibility.
We provide a safe and nurturing environment where relationships are formed, connections are made, and all are accountable for building high moral character and skills for lifelong success.
Our mission is to cultivate respectful, responsible, resourceful and resilient haumāna who contribute positively to their boarding ‘ohana here and beyond.
To ensure that our haumāna are academically successful Kamehameha students, regular mandatory study hall is held Sunday through Thursday evenings in all dormitories.
Study hall is a specific time set aside each day to help students complete their homework and develop consistent study habits. Study Hall is structured time for students to ensure that they keep up with class assignments and stay focused on working towards their own personal academic goals. Dormitory Advisors are available during Study Hall, should students need assistance or guidance. Advisors also work closely with the students’ teachers and counselors to ensure that each student is positioned for success.
Students may study in their room or in a designated study room in the dormitory. If a student does not have homework, the study hall time period may be used for reading or other quiet activities.
Our dormitories are comfortable spaces for our haumāna to study, rest or just hang out with their friends. Most dormitory rooms are shared (two to a room) and each dormitory has laundry facilities and a common gathering area with comfortable seating, televisions and a kitchenette. Healthy, nutritious and balanced meals are served daily in the school cafeteria with ample opportunities for our haumāna to socialize and practice conversation skills and dining etiquette.
And just like at home, our boarding haumāna have chores. Students are responsible to keep their own rooms clean and to help keep common areas and bathrooms clean, as well as to help with dining room and kitchen clean up.
Weekend and evening activities include a variety of enrichment and recreational programs to include overnight and weekend camping trips, special speakers and on/off-campus events, intra-mural sports and, on Sundays, worship service at KS’ Bishop Memorial Chapel. Together, these activities are meant to develop positive relationships within the boarding community and to foster life-long friendships
Religious instruction and worship are an important part of our educational program. Boarders and residential staff attend weekly worship services on Sundays at Bishop Memorial Church, the official church of Kamehameha Schools which is aligned with the United Church of Christ. Sunday evening services are open to parents, families and friends.
Dormitory Residents Advisory Council (DRAC)
High School students can hone their leadership skills by serving as a DRAC representative. DRAC is comprised of 2 representatives from each dormitory, as well as 4 officers who are elected-at-large and serve as the executive committee.
The weekly meeting provides an opportunity for students to discuss matters of concern to them and their constituent groups, as well as to develop and carry out activities for the boarding community.
Just for Fun
Many school facilities are available to boarders on the weekends and after school. These include various outdoor volleyball and basketball courts, as well as the pool.
Exclusive to boarders, the Hui Pā`ani program offers students an opportunity to participate in sports such as volleyball, basketball, soccer and pass league football. Games and competitions are organized for both boys and girls, and students who choose to compete in the games represent their dormitory.
Annual activities that involve the entire boarding community include the Aloha Games in August, Makahiki in October, Water Olympics in February, and Ocean Fest in May.
Individual dormitories often plan special activities. Past activities have included beach outings, bowling, camping, hiking, ice skating, miniature golf, movies, picnics, seasonal sightseeing, shopping, water-related activities, (such as canoe paddling, surfing, swimming) and dinners out.
Community and cultural presentations may also be planned, along with community and school-sponsored sporting events. There are also community service opportunities both on and off campus, such as working in loko i‘a or lo‘i kalo.
The health and safety of our haumāna is our greatest priority. All residential staff are certified in first aid and CPR, and every dormitory is equipped with standard First Aid Kits. Additionally, our campus infirmary provides health services to our boarders seven days a week.
The Mālama Ola Health Service Department (HSD) is responsible for all aspects of student health on campus which includes providing basic healthcare services to students. All campus health rooms are staffed by a Registered Nurse who may be supported by a Medical Assistant. The Medical Director, a board-certified physician, oversees the care provided by the nurses.
HSD does not replace the student’s primary care provider, but does become part of each student’s healthcare team. HSD provides basic primary care services for acute conditions and can assist with disease management.
Our campus infirmary, Hale Ola, is open 24/7 to provide healthcare services to boarding students while they are on campus.
Campus Security: Kamehameha Schools is committed to providing a safe, secure, and orderly environment for students, staff and visitors. KS security officers are on duty 24/7, and campus access is strictly controlled at the main gate during school hours (8:00 am – 2:00 pm) and overnight (10:00 pm – 5:00 am). All visitors to campus during school hours, including parents, must obtain clearance from campus security prior to their arrival.
Additionally, all three campus access gates are equipped with video monitoring equipment, and all entry to and exit from the campus is monitored through electronic surveillance.
In the dormitories, all entry doors are equipped with alarms, which are activated nightly. Dormitories have fire alarms and smoke detectors, and fire drills are conducted regularly.
Additionally, Kamehameha Schools has a campus-wide emergency response plan designed to provide staff with guidance for emergencies. All dormitories are considered emergency shelters and five of our dormitories are additionally designated as hurricane shelters.
Pono Behavior: To ensure a loving, safe, and inspiring environment, boarding staff and students are asked to commit to a mindset that centers on reflection, focuses on growth, promotes learning, and leads to positive outcomes for all our haumāna, staff, parents and community.
At Kamehameha Schools we believe that self-discipline is a mark of maturity and positive character development, so it is important that all students behave in accordance with the core ethical values that guide the Kamehameha community, and to uphold these values both in and out of the classroom, both on and off of the campus. These are our core ethical values:
The Hi‘ikua Helpline
To ensure that our haumāna have a way to report any health or safety concerns, KS has established the Hi‘ikua Helpline. This is a confidential service, available 24/7. Should a student experience or witness an activity that could cause physical or emotional harm to themselves or to another student, they can call the Helpline, or use the secure website, to file a report.
Maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment and residential community for all of our haumāna requires all members to be pono in their behavior and in their relationships with others. Unkindness and bullying in any form is not tolerated.
Parents have the option of making their own travel arrangements for their child, or having their child participate in group travel arranged by Kamehameha Schools. If parents opt for group travel, the Boarding Travel Coordinator will handle group travel reservations for students from all islands.
Participating students will automatically have a reservation for each standard travel date (common weekends and school vacations) unless a parent calls to cancel the trip ahead of time. Airfare charges will appear on the student’s account the following month. For boarders on full financial aid, the airfare for standard inter-island travel is part of their award package. Additional or special travel outside of standard travel dates, or mainland travel, is not covered by Kamehameha Schools.
Acting Boarding Director
A.B., Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Hope Luna Hoʻokele, nā kāne
B.S., Exercise Science – University of Southern California
M.A., Communications – Hawaiʻi Pacific University
Kapiʻolani Nui Dormitory
B.A., Geology – University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo
M.B.A., Human Resources and Management, Chaminade University
Mary Jane Markoskie
B.S., Social Work – California State Polytechnic University at Pomona
M.S.W., Social Work, University of Hawai’i – Mānoa
Kīnaʻu Hale Dormitory
A.A., Liberal Arts, Kapiʻolani Community College
B.A., Psychology, University of Hawaiʻi – Mānoa
B.S., Secondary Education, University of Portland
B.A., International Business & Business Management, Whitworth College
Naeʻole Hale Dormitory
B.S., Kinesiology (emphasis in Physical Education), Chapman University