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NKW Blog

Naʻau ʻŌiwi, Alternative Learning Program at Kohala High School

During the planning stages of what the Naʻau ʻŌiwi school year would look like this past summer of 2023, the essential question was, “How do we provide as many opportunities for students, both culturally and academically engaging, so they can be taught and mentored by the community, while still meeting school state standards?”


Uncle Mikey talking to Naʻau ʻŌiwi students about weather systems and how they work.

Naʻau ʻŌiwi is a small, alternative learning program at Kohala High School and serves students who don’t necessarily fit in the traditional classroom setting for various reasons. The program is fully self-contained, meaning students are together for the entire duration of school with the same teacher(s), Monday through Friday. Because of this, the program has the flexibility to be off-campus where the students’ education is enhanced

through community partnerships with organizations like Nā Kālai Waʻa. 


No matter what, there's always some sanding that can be done!

Nā Kālai Waʻa has been a perfect resource for the Naʻau ʻŌiwi students because they are consistent, caring, knowledgeable, and just a really fun group to be around! Thus far, students had the privilege of listening to chicken skin stories from Uncle Chadd about the 2019 Hanauna voyage to Mokumanamana and realized that Uncle's explanation of how the Summer and Winter Solstice works makes so much more sense than Google’s. Uncle Mikey taught the importance of kilo specifically to navigating and how to read weather systems. Aunty Lehua gave her energy to share Au Ē Ua Hiti Ē, which students have meaningfully embraced. Uncle Shorty escorted them out to Makaliʻi where they were so fortunate to learn more about themselves as individuals and as a hui and just how important Makaliʻi is to Hawaiʻi and the people of Hawaiʻi. Uncle Bebe coached them on how to pull and release the halyards as a team to lift and lower the ʻōpeʻa, paepae, and peʻa, and when pau, how to properly tie the halyards to the cleat. And the Kaleis provided support in swim assessments and refurbishing Hōkūliʻiliʻi.


Students getting to hear the many stories of different voyages on the deck of Makaliʻi!

Uncle Chadd sharing manaʻo on navigational directions and how to use the Kūkuluokalani.

There is so much more that Nā Kālai Waʻa does for Naʻau ʻŌiwi in their support of the students’ education and the students are looking forward to what they’ll be learning and doing in the second semester!


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