At Hale Keiki School we pride ourselves on providing a rigorous and carefully developed academic program. We are mindful of best practices and continually work to differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs of our students. Our faculty and staff bring decades of experience with them into the classroom and are especially adept at bringing together students from around the world.
The curriculum is shaped to meet the academic needs of each of our students to promote individual development through multisensory and hands-on learning.
We use Orton-Gillingham for language arts, which grounds our students with a strong fundamental knowledge of phonics, spelling, and writing conventions.
Nowhere else is the level of individual instruction here at HKS more visible than during our literacy blocks. Literacy blocks divide the class up into smaller groups consisting of reading to self, word work, listening to reading, reading groups to read with the teacher, and writing. At designated intervals within the literacy block, students switch to a different activity. This program has proven especially critical for our many students who transfer in and out of the school throughout the year and supports the development of more reading and writing stamina as the year progresses. As the year progresses, the students continue to build on their skills and meet the grade-level standards. Students in all grade levels are afforded one-on-one and small group instruction with teachers and teaching assistants, while those working independently are engaged in reading “good-fit” books and literacy activities designed to maximize individual growth.
Our preschool and prekindergarten students start to learn about the sounds and formation of letters through exploration, play, and direct lessons. Our activities and lessons are planned to support the development of large and fine motor skills. Our littlest students may start writing letters if their fine motor skills are developed enough to have a proper pencil grip. Proper pencil grip is important as it promotes the proper, neat formation of letters. The proper grip also reduces strain when writing. Building fine motor skills is a key component of early literacy.
In grades Kindergarten through second, handwriting is explicitly taught including, printing, proper spacing, and letter formation. Beginning in 2nd-grade students are taught cursive writing, which continues to be a formal part of instruction through 5th grade.
Here are additional links to items used in the classrooms for Language Arts:
K Thoughtful Learning “Writing Spot”
2nd Thoughtful Learning "Write Away"
Our teachers use Everyday Mathematics as it is inherently designed to foster differentiated instruction and maximum growth among individual students. When HKS students transfer to schools on the mainland and abroad, they are well prepared for success with a strong foundational understanding of math concepts and basic math facts.
HKS has found that the combination of Everyday Math with repetition of basic math facts assists our students when transferring to schools on the mainland and abroad, preparing them for success with a strong foundational understanding of math concepts and basic math facts.
Pearson’s Elevate Science is a highly engaging and interactive approach to student-centered learning. This curriculum uses both digital and print components to immerse students into phenomena-based inquiry, three-dimensional learning, and hands-on labs/ STEM activities. Elevate Science encourages high-level thinking and questioning skills, while also introducing students to real-world and career applications to Science.
Here are some links to supplemental materials used in each grade level:
The Social Studies curriculum is supported through periodical subscriptions and teacher-created units that are based on current events, high-interest topics, environmental studies, and US and Hawaiian History.
Below are links to materials used to teach social studies in various grades:
PS-PK Social Studies Curriculum
Social and Emotional Literacy
There is a high level of engagement at HKS, due in part to our use of differentiated instruction and curriculum that allows for students to work in a manner that best suits their needs and interests. This high level of engagement leads to more motivated students who work to their full potential. Due to the nature of our military community and the fact that students must frequently move into and out of the school throughout the year, we put a great deal of energy into our rolling admission policy and how it aligns with our curriculum implementation. Our teachers are supported and empowered to seamlessly deliver curriculum to children who come in at the various points of the school year and begin work.
HKS values growth in academic aptitudes as well as the development of good character traits. Through the Star Keiki Program, we actively cite laudatory examples of character traits the school values. This provides a meaningful opportunity for the children, staff, and parents to exemplify traits that foster a positive learning community and good citizenship.
Art is a critical part of brain stimulation at HKS. Students learn to manipulate shapes and colors with hands-on involvement. They study art elements, art history, and multicultural art. The Spring Art Exhibit showcases a piece from each student to share with our community. Each year HKS submits 20 pieces of visual art from our students for the coveted placement at the Hawai'i Convention Center. HKS's talented students earn numerous positions every year.
Physical education is an opportunity for students to participate in physical activities and instruction that encourage them to value a healthy and active lifestyle. We present a wide array of games and activities in a positive learning environment to ensure maximum participation. HKS P.E. curriculum focuses on motor development, positive social interaction, and exploration of new skills and activities. The program includes individual and team activities, fostering teamwork, cooperation, and leadership skills. Running Club is an opportunity for the children to start the day with physical activity. Running club is held throughout the week for all grade levels.
The HKS library provides students and teachers with a place where books are valued and information is plentiful. Our library is small, but comprised of over 4,000 books from preschool to intermediate grade levels... and we're still growing! Every HKS student participates in library class once a week. All students check out books from the library to take home to grow their independent love for reading. Students learn library skills, such as how to take care of books, how to find a book, how to use the online catalog card system, and how to use the library and online print resources for research.
HKS staff view technology as a powerful tool employed to strengthen the educational experience of our young 21st-century learners. HKS staff is also mindful of the importance of limiting the amount of screen time to which our young learners are exposed while at school. With that in mind, technology is a measured and integral part of all classroom instruction at HKS. It is used to enhance concepts already covered by classroom teachers. Interactive whiteboards are used daily as part of morning routines, to display educational videos related to current studies, and as an interactive device where students can input and manipulate information. Interactive technology is used to enhance language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and creative arts lessons.
Visit the following links to learn more about some programs our teachers may use in their classrooms: