1. Do you need to be of Hawaiian ancestry to apply to Pūnana Leo?2022-12-01T16:19:09+00:00

You do not need to be of Hawaiian ancestry to apply to Pūnana Leo. The program is open to keiki of all ethnicities.

2. Do you need to speak Hawaiian fluently in order to apply to Pūnana Leo?2022-12-01T16:18:57+00:00

No, you do not need to have a command of the Hawaiian language to apply to the program. However, priority is given to families whose primary language spoken at home is Hawaiian.

3. Is the curriculum delivered only in Hawaiian?2022-12-01T16:18:46+00:00

Yes, your keiki will be taught exclusively in Hawaiian throughout the day. From the time they arrive until they depart, all of their learning activities, lessons, play and eating will be conducted through the Hawaiian language.

4. How soon will my child be fluent in Hawaiian?2022-12-01T16:17:58+00:00

Most children will have an understanding of the language in the first couple of months and will be able to communicate in simple sentences within 4 months. Their learning is not hampered by the written word. They learn naturally in this immersion process, as they do any language, such as English.

5. What happens after Pūnana Leo for my keiki?2022-12-01T16:26:01+00:00

The vast majority of our keiki graduate and continue their education in Kula Kaiapuni in Hawaiian medium education (HME). Immersion education has been available in our public schools, K-12 for several years now. In addition, many continue their education at the universities. Bachelors to PHD programs are now available in the Hawaiian language. For more information visit the Department of Education website or speak to your site coordinator.

6. Does the school provide lunch for my keiki?2022-12-01T16:26:23+00:00

Due to the impacts and precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are asked to prepare home lunch for their child until further notice. The Pūnana Leo will continue to provide breakfast and an afternoon snack.

7. Who is the ʻAha Pūnana Leo (ʻAPL)?2022-12-01T16:26:42+00:00

The ʻAPL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1983 that is committed to Hawaiian language revitalization. Its most renowned program being the operation of 12 Hawaiian language medium preschools. The ʻAPL is recognized as a leader in language revitalization nationally and globally.

8. Are the Pūnana Leo preschools accredited?2022-12-01T16:27:02+00:00

All schools in the ʻAha Pūnana Leo system received a World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) Accreditation in May 2014.

9. Do you have financial aid available?2023-04-04T19:54:28+00:00

The ʻAPL accepts all outside tuition assistance programs (eg. Pauahi Keiki Scholars, Maui Family Support Services, Inc., Preschool Open Doors, Early Learning Program, First-to-Work, Arbor Child Care Connections, Military Programs, Queen Liliʻuokalani Children Center, Alu Like, Good Beginnings, Office of Hawaiian Affairs).

10. What is expected of our family in order to support the program?2023-04-04T20:31:51+00:00

10. What is expected of our family in order to support the program?

Updates to requirements are being made due to Covid-19, please contact the kahu at your site.

Hālāwai ʻOhana: Your attendance is required at the parent meeting. Meetings last approximately two hours. It is an opportunity to gather, discuss initiatives and find ways to strengthen our mauli ola Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian lifestyle). At the hālāwai, parents are informed of curriculum, upcoming monthly activities for the children at school and any events, fundraisers, or committee work for the Kōmike Makua.

Hui Kīpaepae:  Language is an integral part of Pūnana Leo. Hui Kīpaepae is where families develop Hawaiian language skills and cultural identity. The Hui Kīpaepae is where we learn different aspects of the Pūnana Leo focusing on the history of the Hawaiian language movement, Hawaiian language, and hands-on learning. Itʻs purpose is to assist ʻohana to gain knowledge and support for one another to create and reinforce a continuum between the home and the Pūnana Leo.

Lā ʻOhana: Lā ʻOhana is our opportunity to gather both staff and families to strengthen our mauli ola Hawaiʻi. It is a time to work and socialize together as a Pūnana Leo ʻohana.

Hoʻihoʻi Honua: Hoʻihoʻi Honua is a way in which we connect to the Pūnana Leo honua. By caring for our Pūnana Leo home we ensure a safe, clean and healthy environment we can be proud of.

Tuition: A non-refundable fee of $50 must be submitted with your electronic signed Registration/Agreement Form as official registration for every child each school year before the childʻs first day of school. Tuition is an integral part of fulfilling your responsibility as a Pūnana Leo ʻohana.

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