Punahou School flourishes as an integrated community designed to help students succeed in School and in life. Many resources are available to help children develop healthy minds, bodies and souls, and to assist those having difficulty.
In the Junior School, the guidance program is incorporated into the homeroom setting. Teachers, supervisors and two counselors work together to determine the students’ counseling needs in kindergarten through grade 8. Supervisors remain with each class for multiple years, emphasizing connection and continuity. Outdoor Education is an essential component of the guidance program, featuring experiences at all grade levels designed to build self-confidence and independence, and to foster empathy for people and the natural environment. Teachers, counselors and supervisors are available for individual counseling with students, and also are happy to meet with parents. Conference appointments may be made through the School offices.
Children experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties are assisted first by their main teacher and/or supervisor. Junior School counselors may assist through evaluation or observation, making recommendations to administrators, teachers and parents. The assessment services of the School psychologist also are available.
In the Academy, class deans are available for personal counseling and the Psychosocial Education Department offers individual and group counseling and guidance programs designed to support students’ well-being. Everything discussed in counseling conversations with students is confidential, except information upon which counselors are required to act in order to protect human safety. Students may seek counseling themselves or through referral by a dean, faculty member, parent or fellow student. Along with providing direct assistance, counselors may refer students needing more extensive support to appropriate community resources.
A warm and familiar presence in the lives of our students, Punahou’s three chaplains are available for confidential personal counseling upon request. Chaplains Lauren Medeiros, Joshua Hayashi and George Scott do not participate in disciplinary decisions, so students may speak freely to them about School, personal or spiritual issues, knowing that these matters will be kept confidential. Whether seeking moral guidance about an ongoing problem, or simply a friendly ear on a tough day, students may visit Thurston Memorial Chapel and the chaplains as a source of sustenance and support. In addition, faith-based student groups and clubs coordinate with chapel staff to engage interested students.