Distance Learning at Punahou

Although the current COVID-19 situation necessitates the closure of our campus to student activities, we are committed to sustaining the connections with our students that support and foster learning, albeit from a distance. While we cannot replicate the in-person, real-time experience of Punahou, our design for distance learning reflects the same care and commitment to our students’ learning.

Punahou’s Distance Learning Plan reflects a version of our education program that has been age-appropriately designed across grades K – 12 to offer flexibility to students and families. Our plan for distance learning is not meant to replicate what students would do if they were on campus in an online space. Rather we hope to create opportunities for students to continue their learning, their sense of community and their connection as best as possible in this unique and challenging situation. We are committed to learning together in this new context, and to improving with each day.

Kindergarten – Grade 5

Many of the experiences provided for our youngest learners (K – 1) will be offline and experiential in nature. Students in grades 2 – 5 will leverage our one-to-one iPad program to continue their learning. In all cases, please review and refer to pages 18 – 22 of the Punahou School Student and Parent Code of Conduct for our Acceptable Use Policies with school-provided devices.

  • Grades K – 5 students and families are following a Monday through Friday schedule in order to simplify things for parents/guardians whose support this plan involves.
  • Grades K – 3 are using Seesaw as the online platform for their primary communication with students.
  • Grades 4 – 5 are using Google Classroom as the online platform for their primary communication with students.
  • The grade level Administrative Deans will send out an email every week to parents, with a grade level message and weekly grade level schedule information. They will also follow up with individual families when support is needed.
  • We are using a single webpage as the K – 5 Distance Learning Hub that will link to weekly grade level schedules so you can see an overview and know what to expect for the week. (You will be receiving a link to this from your grade level Administrative Dean.) Your child’s daily learning plans will come to them directly from their teachers, on SeeSaw for grades K – 3, and on Google Classroom for grades 4 and 5.
  • WebEx is what Punahou will be using to connect with students and with one another. WebEx is currently the preferred platform for Punahou due to our very large scale. Important note: All WebEx meetings with students and faculty will be recorded so that children who miss the “live” version can access it at a different time. (See more about WebEx in the Technology Use Guidelines and Support section.)

Grades 6 – 8

  • Grades 6 – 8 students and faculty will follow the A–F day schedule.
  • A-day, April 1, will follow a modified schedule to provide time to orient students to distance learning. (See more detail under Schedule Section)
  • We are using Canvas as our 6 – 8 Distance Learning Hub. Please ask your child/children to show you their Canvas Dashboard to see course information as this is the primary landing point for communication between teachers and students.
  • Webex is what Punahou will be using for teachers to connect with students synchronously. They will be using other online tools to continue their learning and to express their learning asynchronously. (See more information in section on Technology Use Guidelines and Support)
  • Administrative Deans will be the primary point of communication to families for common information being shared to an entire grade level. They will also follow up with individual families when support is needed.
  • Team Leaders will be the primary point of communication for team schedules and information pertinent to the team. Individual teachers will communicate with families around issues pertinent to an individual student or to their particular class.


Starting April 6, we will use a modified distance learning schedule that provides more flexibility and is better suited to online learning than our regular schedule. You can read about this in the details of distance learning or you can watch this instructional video.

Teachers will have posted office hours and all students will have advisory check-in time. For this time period, students will work on weekly learning plans as developed by their teachers and may have one synchronous meeting per class per week (in addition to teacher conferencing as needed). For this time period, attendance will be assessed on a weekly basis of “Engaged in the learning”, or “Not Engaged” by each faculty member.

The details of these schedules for each student and grade level will be shared with students by their Deans prior to April 6.

  • The purpose of Distance Learning Plan is to actively keep students connected to their learning and to the school community. 
  • Distance Learning will not, and can not replicate the school experience on our campus.
  • These are complicated times and the School is eager to be flexible and supportive of students and families and their diverse situations.
  • We know that technology is a powerful connector, and it has limits. We strive to remain flexible and understanding.
  • Regular communication between students and faculty is of paramount importance in Distance Learning; students should check canvas and their emails regularly to ensure that they are doing what is expected of them; students should ask questions when things are not clear.
  • School personnel (administrators, deans, faculty, helpdesk) will do their best to answer emails within 24 hours or the next school day; thank you for your patience and understanding.
  • Academy Class Deans will continue to be the main point of communication for families.

Please visit the Parent Portal at punahou.edu if you need additional information or contact information.

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