Funding Priorities

Progressive Learning Environments

Facilities and educational programs at Punahou have become so intertwined that one cannot be explained or experienced without the other.

Reflecting dramatic changes in education, learning environments have undergone a radical transformation in recent years. If self-contained classrooms defined school for most of the 20th century, it appears that collaborative and interdisciplinary spaces signal its evolution in the 21st.
While campus planning is a complex and costly process, it is also a concrete and impactful way to manifest new educational paradigms. As Punahou’s story illustrates, reimagining learning environments begins with a compelling vision, is carried forward by an inspired and generous community, and is brought to life through the thousands of students and teachers whose educational experience is made richer and more relevant as a result. We invite you to learn more about ways you can impact the future of our campus by reaching out to a member of our Giving Team.

Kosasa Community for Grades 2 – 5

Funding from donors has allowed Punahou to build a cutting-edge learning environment that enhances children’s curiosity and play, while grounding them in an intimate, nurturing environment. We invite you to experience Punahou’s newest learning environment through the eyes of our students and through a tour given by Junior School Principal Todd Chow-Hoy.
Kosasa Community was inspired by the latest research in learning and childhood development, underscoring how physical environments affect a child’s ability to learn and grow. The indoor and outdoor spaces allow for collaboration among students of different age groups, and for teachers to implement a variety of instructional techniques.
Kosasa’s outdoor landscapes are inspired by the Hawaiian ahupua‘a to support a curriculum grounded in our unique island culture and history. Building on the successes of Case Middle School (LEED Gold) and the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood (LEED Platinum), we take Punahou’s commitment to sustainability beyond building design and make it a learning experience.

Take a 360° Virtual Tour

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New Structures

List of 3 items.

  • Classroom Studios

    Seven two-story classroom studios with 28 new classrooms overall. Classrooms measure 1,220 square feet with 447-square-feet lanais. Each floor contains two classrooms that can be unified via moveable partitions and a shared 271-square-foot breakout room.
  • Junior School Learning Commons

    The centerpiece of the new community is a 19,541-square-foot Learning Commons for K – grade 8 students. This includes technology/media facilities, design and fabrication spaces, administrative, instructional and conference rooms, flexible creative, social gathering and outdoor areas, and traditional reading and research spaces.
  • Patrick H. Quilter Lab For Creative Arts

    This 10,000-square-foot visual and performing arts building will house an array of spaces – including music and art classrooms, a covered lanai for outdoor work, a ceramics kiln and an exhibit area – that support students’ learning and provide opportunities to translate their questions, interests and passions into concrete forms.

Capital Project Funding Priority

The K – 12 Learning Commons are critical to the full realization of Punahou’s instructional philosophy, which must equip students to succeed in, and improve, a changing world. Comprised of two facilities – one in the Junior School and one in the Academy – the K – 12 Learning Commons will form a central part of every student’s experience at Punahou.

Learn how Punahou is pioneering a new approach to 21st-century education through the voices of five trailblazing alumni who have found success on the frontiers of emerging fields.
The K – 12 Learning Commons will become an extension of every classroom and the hub of collaborative and creative energies on campus, magnifying the applied learning that will help our students to succeed in the 21st century.

List of 2 items.

  • In the K – 12 Learning Commons, students:

    • Build congruency between their experiences and the world;
    • Transform questions into work that addresses real problems;
    • Collaborate with others from different classes, grades and disciplines;
    • Learn from outside experts to broaden their thinking about real-world questions.
  • In the K – 12 Learning Commons, faculty:

    • Have a shared gathering space that facilitates partnerships across grade levels and disciplines;
    • Gain access to professional development resources and programs;
    • Collaborate to explore questions and new approaches to education at Punahou and beyond.
The Junior School Learning Commons – a central part of the Kosasa Community – will be utilized by students and faculty from kindergarten through grade 8.

The Academy Learning Commons offers students innovative new spaces for study and collaboration.

Outdoor Learning

Children at the Kosasa Community are blessed with diverse outdoor environments to explore, play and learn in. These carefully planned spaces, including bioswales, forested trails, agricultural terraces and gardens, were created to support Hawaiian cultural education, allow for exploration of the natural world, and teach students about our island ecology and the importance of stewarding resources.
Punahou’s Outdoor Education faculty have built a thoughtful curriculum with engaging activities that foster an appreciation of the Community’s landscape.
To learn more about Punahou’s Outdoor Education program, read “Outdoor Pursuits” from the Winter 2018 Punahou Bulletin.
A field guide complete with in-depth information about each plant can also be viewed.