Academics
The Punahou Journey

Junior School

Punahou’s Junior School, encompassing kindergarten through eighth grade, is comprised of three varied learning environments: Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood, Kosasa Community for Grades 2 – 5, and Case Middle School, for students in grades 6 – 8.

The Junior School Principal, two Assistant Principals, six Administrative Deans and Junior School faculty support approximately 2,000 students in their journey through the Junior School, building confidence and independence along the way.

List of 9 items.

  • Kindergarten

    Developing a love for learning – whether it be through play, personalization or exploration – along with becoming respectful, empathetic, collaborative members of a larger community, is at the heart of a place where teachers learn alongside students every day, and where love and kindness are valued.
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  • Grade 1

    The second year of a child’s Punahou experience is about providing the space and time to be creative, curious risk-takers, and experiment with independence. Students take an in-depth exploration into ideas and concepts that are of interest to them, as well as those that will be foundational to their future learning.
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  • Grade 2

    As students leave their familiar K – 1 classmates, teachers and neighborhood, the move to second grade is a transition to a larger world. Students join their new teacher in the Kosasa Grades 2 – 5 Community, with a new classroom mix that typically includes at least a few of their first grade classroom group.
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  • Grade 3

    Third-graders remain in the Kosasa Community, as they move into their new classroom, meet new teachers and make new friends. The curriculum’s focus on connections and Hawaiian and Polynesian studies gives students culturally-grounded, place-based and hands-on experiences.
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  • Grade 4

    In fourth grade, goals for students include finding a passion, building a solid skill set, being active learners who can advocate for themselves, and becoming deeper thinkers. Experiences are ever-evolving and varied, yet impactful and designed to develop an intrinsic love for learning. A team of caring teachers strives to provide opportunities to learn through extended projects that balance independence and collaboration, develop inquiry skills, and constitute a meaningful challenge.
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  • Grade 5

    Fifth grade is about helping students practice, refine and grow their skills, and is a year where they are encouraged and expected to be more independent in their learning, requiring less guidance and support from adults and teachers. Students try on new roles, explore themselves and how they fit in with their peer group. They start identifying with peers more than adults and are becoming aware – and making sense of – a complicated world. Our fifth grade program tries to recognize this as it helps students navigate their social, emotional and academic worlds.
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  • Grade 6

    In sixth grade, 88 new students join returning Punahou students, bringing the grade to around 290 students in total. Students are each placed on a four-teacher team of 96 students for their core (English, math, science, social studies) classes, one of whom serves as a child's homeroom teacher. These teams reside in Weinberg Hall and Wodehouse Hall, part of the Case Middle School facility.
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  • Grade 7

    In seventh grade, an influx of 90 new students brings the class total to about 370. Students are each placed on a four-teacher team of 92 students for their core (English, math, science, social studies) classes, housed in Higgins Hall and Yamane Family Hall, in the Case Middle School facility.
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  • Grade 8

    Eighth-grade students are each placed on a four-teacher team of 92 students for their core (English, math, science, social studies) classes, housed in Leong Hall and Miyawaki Family Hall, in the Case Middle School facility. Students rotate through their core classes independently, each classroom having a different mix of students. This intentional departure from classrooms rotating together as a group is designed to help students transition to the Academy experience in ninth grade.
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