Our Programs

Academic programming

For us, learning should be a joyful adventure. Yes, the academics are important, but so is the whole child. We see the importance of your child’s social and emotional development. We strive to open the door to healthy self-esteem and self-confidence as well as the development of that brand of independent thinking that is so crucial in today’s world.

Elementary Program

The Kindergarten birthday cut-off date is December 31st.

Ho`ala’s elementary curriculum makes full use of each professional educator’s personal skills and diverse experiences.  Teachers emphasize the process of learning, while working toward excellence in the students’ work.

Ho`ala students are empowered to become fully alive and involved in their learning, which naturally leads to maximum creativity and exploration.  Hands on, multi-sensory learning is key in the elementary grade levels.  All teachers are Orton-Gillingham certified.

Class work is purposeful, generative, challenging, engaging, gratifying and meaningful.   Competition is with one’s own limits rather than others.  Mistakes are accepted as learning opportunities.

Thinking skills, problem solving and writing skills are integrated throughout Ho`ala’s curriculum.  Whole group, small group, cooperative group, peer tutoring and one-on-one teaching are all used.

Core classes in science, math, language arts and social studies are balanced by Ho`ala’s excellent arts program, service learning, Spanish, and physical education.

Students of diverse racial and religious heritage attend Ho`ala School. Through open communication and interaction among parents, staff, and peers, students are motivated to grow academically, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. Students work through a curriculum, which fosters their love of learning, prepares them for the next steps in their education, and expands their ability to communicate effectively and participate fully in life.

It is our goal to create caring communities where students attend to those around them in a compassionate, loving atmosphere. Teachers are natural, genuine, and competent. Students can see their teacher as someone who believes in them so that they can resist the pull towards negative choices.

Our purpose is to educate students by providing a solid academic foundation in an environment in which children live healthy, happy and self-expressive lives while learning to be responsible, respectful, resourceful and responsive.

Additionally, our goals are

  • To make this program available to children of diverse ethnic, socio-economic and financial backgrounds;
  • To support parents and teachers in raising their children to be more energized, more responsible, more communicative and more cooperative; and,
  • To benefit the larger community of Wahiawa and surrounding communities through continued emphasis on Service Learning, Ho`ala Parent-Teacher Study Groups, and Financial Aid Programs.


Trike-A-Thon Fundraiser

Every year K-4 students are excited to participate in the St. Jude Research Hospital Trike-A-Thon program.  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded in 1962, is a leading pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases. Students obtain pledges for their participation and have raised thousands of dollars for St. Jude Hospital over the years. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment.  

Students kick off the program with a week-long curriculum that teaches children riding safety through a series of interactive stories while raising money for St. Jude.  At the end of the week students practice the rules we learned by riding in the Trike-A-Thon event.  It is a fun way to raise money for a worthy cause.

Art Awards 

Ho`ala School participated in the Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) children’s painting contest, “Beauty Through the Eyes of Our Children.” MOA received over 400 entries from the Leeward and Central Oahu school districts.  This year two Ho`ala students were selected both from 1st Grade. The winning paintings will be exhibited at Pearlridge Center and at a State exhibition at the Linekona Art Center at the honolulu Museum of Art.

Ho`ala Plus Before & After School Program

Ho`ala provides before and after school care for students in grades K-6.  Morning care begins at 6:00am and after school care ends at 5:30pm.  Ho`ala Plus staff coordinate group activities, free play, field trips and daily homework support.  Additional fees apply.

After School Enrichment Classes

Ho`ala School hosts teachers from the community to provide a variety of enrichment activities.  Classes include private piano lessons, hula, STEAM Club, Ukulele Club, and Robotics. Enrichment teachers set their own class fees.

Middle School

The Ho`ala Middle School Experience

It is our goal to create caring communities where students attend to those around them in a compassionate, loving atmosphere. Teachers are natural, genuine, and competent. For some students their teacher will be the one adult in their life that believes in them so that they can resist the pull towards negative choices.

From Middle School on, the signs of rebellion and individuation typical of this age group may be present. It is Ho`ala’s intent that there are few examples of overt or covert hostility and many more instances of collaboration.

Ho`ala students are treated as important, valuable and equal in regards to the quality of respect shown to them by the entire adult and peer community. Both academically and socially, their experience is taken seriously. As a result, they more often will treat those around them with equal respect.

About Academics 

At Ho`ala each student is supported in achieving excellence and satisfaction. Classes are organized in such a way as to invite students to participate actively and creatively in learning. Students want to learn and excel when they experience themselves as capable, responsible, and able to make a difference in life.

Ho`ala School encourages students to use their minds well and to realize that they are unique.  Teachers serve as facilitators, or coaches, to assist students in learning how to learn and thus be able to teach themselves.

Throughout the curriculum, the following skills are emphasized and encouraged:  sound study habits, critical and creative thinking, collaboration and effective written and oral communication skills.  Students are encouraged to take risks, to work cooperatively to find solutions, and to demonstrate their understanding of course material through exhibitions.  A small teacher-student ratio allows the educational process to be personalized to a notable degree.

Fine Arts Program

Ho`ala School is well known for our fine arts program for all students in Kindergarten through 8th grade including visual arts in drawing, painting, sculpting, etc., Additionally, drama is an important aspect of Ho`ala School’s curriculum. Art projects are depicted throughout the school and annual drama performances are one of the highlights of student events.

Tina Markel has been our Art and Drama teacher for over 25 years. She has left her incredible influence on many students who walked through our doors. Students who never thought they had an artistic ability have grown in confidence by working with Tina. Often students return to express their appreciation for helping to build their self-esteem through the art program. A student once said: “To know Tina is to love Tina.” We couldn’t agree more!

A former student recently wrote and summed it up beautifully::

“Tina Markel is a guiding beacon to any student that walks through her doors. She never fails to give everyone the chance to be their best selves, and in her grace, she is capable of giving chance after chance to people who need them. I believe that Tina sees a light in everyone she meets, and wants to help them see it when they cannot. Being lucky enough to be under her instruction for a couple years, she really helped me overcome the initial self-doubt and fear that anyone would have when it comes to artistry. In her class, I was able to create something that channeled and gave focus to what I was feeling. Outside of her class, I was able to completely trust her and try something new, and it’s thanks to Tina that I’m pursuing a career as a performer/director. I owe her so much–even though I’m sure she doesn’t think so.” …Cooper Knight


Music instruction is provided for all Ho`ala students in grades K-8. An emphasis is placed on movement and rhythm, and students learn to read music and discern music genres.

Theater/Drama Class

Experience the fun of drama classes taught by our Fine Arts Teacher, Tina Markel.  Students gain confidence as they participate in various activities to build skills on stage presence, speech and acting. Students are excited to share their acting skills during an end of the year drama performance for families.



Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, an after school club for all students. Helping students think creatively, collaborate and problem solve. Each three week block will concentrate on a different concept including:

Native Plants, Biospheres, Robotics, Engineering, and Computer Science. Ho`ala alum and current Ho`ala teacher Annie Hoadley leads this program. Classes are currently full, but will continue next school year.

Piano Lessons

Former Ho`ala mom Keiko Poarch — an experienced piano instructor for over 20 years — offers private lessons for Ho`ala students in all grades. Currently lessons are offered on various days throughout the week.

Arts & Crafts with Carolyn

Kindergarten teacher Carolyn shares her love for creating various art projects with students of all ages including, Marbling Art, Canvas Painting with a Surprise, and Gold Handmade Clay Roses, as a few examples.


Kumu hula Serena Algono learned hula from her mother, Toni Peralto, at her mother’s studio in Haleiwa. Serena’s mother is a former Ho`ala hula teacher and has passed her knowledge and skill to her daughter. Today, Serena, co-owns a Polynesian dance group called Maiarii and teaches Hawaiian and Tahitian hula. The class is scheduled after school on Fridays from 2:30 to 3:30 PM.

Ukulele Club

Ukulele Club is a fun, after-school enrichment program where students will learn to play and sing as they bring joy to friends and family. Taught by professional musician and Ho`ala School Music teacher, Arthur Stephano, students will learn Hawaiian songs to traditional American fold, jazz and even rock & roll. Students will gain a love and appreciate for this wonderful instrument with a big sound. Students in all grade levels are welcomed.


This club will introduce students to basic robotic skills and computer  programming using Lego Education WeDo 2.0 and Spike curriculum materials. The Club is open to the first ten students in grades one through eight who sign up.

Keiki Summer School

For students who have completed K-6. Theme based program,academic skills review, enrichment activities, early morning and extended afternoon care available.

Camp Kokua

For students who have completed 3rd through 8th grade. 2 weeks of various community projects on and off island. Must be mature and ready to work hard.


Working in partnership with the University of Hawaii’s Service Learning Program, Ho`ala hosts “Camp Kokua,” a summer program focused on service learning for students entering grades 3-8.

Ho`ala School is a two-week Service Learning Program dedicated to teaching students about community and volunteerism. We’re teaching children that they can contribute to the community in a variety of ways and have an impact.  Camp Kokua began in the summer of 2002 and started it’s 15th year and paused for a few years during the pandemic.  In 2023 the Camp Kokua Program will resume on July 24 for 2 weeks. This community service program for children 8-13, provides students with opportunities to serve in various service projects throughout the islands.   Several students who moved to the mainland, return each summer to attend Camp Kokua.  The two-week summer day camp is led by Ho`ala School teacher Lori Fukuoka and Atina Pascua, Executive Director of the University of Hawaii’s Service Learning Program. In 2010 Camp Kokua received the Promising Practices Award by the Character Education Partnership (CEP) in Washington, D.C.  The CEP gives this annual award for unique and specific exemplary practices that encourage the ethical, social, and academic growth of K–8 students through character education. Past projects have included:

  • a trip to the University of Hawaii’s Ka Papa Lo`i o Kanewa`i, part of the University’s Hawai`inuiaka School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Students prepared the lo`i for planting and helped to maintain existing taro plants.
  • collaboration with Surfing the Nations, an organization committed to helping the needy with headquarters now in Wahiawa.
  • a trip Moloka`i to volunteer at the Moloka`i Youth Center, the Keawa Nui Fishpond and the elderly home, Hale Naha`olu.
  • volunteer work with the Equine 808 Horse Rescue in Ewa
  • work with the Army Natural Resources Program at Mt. Kahanahaiki on an overnight camping trip
  • work with Service Animals
  • work at Volcanoes National Park, Mt. Ka`ala, Waimea Valley and various other state and national parks
  • work at the Humane Society and various animal shelters on Maui and Oahu

+ Ho`ala Plus Program

The Ho`ala Plus program is an extension of the regular school day. Students in this class may come as early as 6am and can either prepare for the school day by finishing up homework, bring breakfast, or enjoy some quiet time before the normal school day begins. Additionally, parents have the option to enroll their children in the after school Ho`ala Plus Program until 5:30pm. There is an additional cost for this program.

Our focus is to provide additional class time consistent with the policies and philosophy of Ho`ala School. Additional classes may include enrichment opportunities like, Lego Club, STEAM club, piano lessons, Ukulele, for an additional tuition fee.

Please contact us for details.

2024 Keiki Summer School

Ho’āla Keiki 2024 Summer School is available to students who have completed Kindergarten – 6th grade.  You do not need to be a current Ho’āla student to attend. This is an 7-week program beginning June 11  through July 26. The cost is $250.00 per week with discounts for 4 and 7 weeks. There are holidays on June 10th and July 4th.  Students may sign up for any week and it does not have to be consecutive weeks to receive the discount. This is a theme-based program with a different theme each week.  It is an inclusive classroom with all grade levels from K – 6 working on their own grade level. Morning academics are followed by afternoon enrichment activities based on the theme of the week. Summer School is filling up fast so don’t delay!  See the application for information and rates:

Click here to fill out Summer School Application

2024 Keiki Summer Program Themes:

Week 1: (June 11 – 14) Kreative Krafts (Monday is a holiday) 

Delve into the world of craft making from two of our craftiest Ho`ala teachers, Carolyn and Lori! From friendship bracelets, tie-die projects, shrinky-dink, and building their own bird houses, students will create and construct their own fun projects. Walks to the Botanical Garden and the Wahiawa Public Library are also planned, weather permitting.  Students should bring a white t-shirt, socks, or pillow case on the first day of school.

Week 2: (June 17– 21) Hawaiiana

This week we will hear stories and legends from Hawaiian history, do hands-on crafts (petroglyphs. coconut weaving, and printing paper “kapa”), learn about ancient Hawaiian musical instruments, important plants and their uses, and learn some Hawaiian words and phrases. E komo mai!

Week 3: (June 24 – 28) Melting Pot or Stew? 

Some say Hawai`i is a melting pot of people and cultures that came to Hawai`i.  Others say it is more like a stew. We’ll learn about some immigrant cultures that shaped modern Hawai`i. We’ll explore customs, language, music, food, and more of the Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, Korean, and Pacific Islanders who migrated to Hawai`i. Class will include stories, videos, and hands-on activities.

Week 4: (July 1 – 5)  – Anime (Thursday is a holiday) 

This week is full of color and excitement as we explore the world of Japanese anime! We’ll learn how to draw characters in different anime styles, learn to read manga, and analyze a famous Ghibli movie. We will even learn some Japanese words along the way! This week will be packed with hands-on activities and projects that will inspire future anime artists.

Week 5: (July 8 – 12) Ahoy Matie! 

Set sail on an adventure across the seven seas. Our crew will learn to work as a team while learning about ships, famous pirates, sea shanties, celestial navigation and more!

Week 6: (July 15 – 19) Around the World

This world is full of so many exuberant and amazing cultures! This week we will take a quick dive into some of the world’s food, languages, and landmarks. It’ll be a week that is sure to inspire some of our future international ambassadors.

Week 7: (July 22– 26 ) Malama `Aina

Malama ‘Aina means to care for the land. Hawaiians believed that if you cared for the land, that it would provide for our needs. Our final week of summer school will feature a week of service learning. As a cornerstone of Ho’ala’s philosophy, service learning plays a key role in the development of a conscientious and rounded individual. Projects will be done in the Wahiawa area, on campus, or a field trip to a project location.  The final day will feature reflection time, games, and a potluck style backyard picnic.

Experience why our children are HAPPY to learn!