Home Events A Virtual Classroom Case Study: How Kapaʻa High School, and the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa Academy Adapted during the Covid-19 Pandemic

A Virtual Classroom Case Study: How Kapaʻa High School, and the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa Academy Adapted during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Zoom: https://hawaii.zoom.us/j/8089682207

Project Hoʻokuʻi III: Na Kumu Alakaʻi is a US DOE, NHE grant funded program (Award # S362A180010), that supports Native Hawaiian, at-risk, and students with disabilities transitioning from secondary education towards post-secondary education. The project supports high school students through mentoring, tutoring, financial assistance for college tuition and books, and a professional development program for Hawaii Department of Education secondary faculty. Through mentoring and tutoring students with a place-based, culture-based curriculum, we scale up students by increasing their skills prior to graduation from high school. Many are prepared to enroll in a community college class during high school, accumulating college credit, and/or earning dual credit. In the past year we partnered with the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa’s program, Mānoa Academy to enroll top tier students the opportunity to enroll and experience a UHM class. The Mānoa Academy experience is for high school students that are prepared for the rigor of a recognized research university and has high standards for admission. The partnership is between Project Hoʻokuʻi, Project Hoʻokuʻi’s partner, Hawaiʻinuiākea, School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Kapaʻa High School, and Mānoa Academy.

Mānoa Academy was introduced to Kapaʻa High School in the Fall 2020 semester and students accepted into the program attended online classes combined with in-person classes, and performed hands on service learning through a huakaʻi to Alekoko fishpond, which is currently undergoing restoration. During the Spring 2020 semester, students were enrolled in an Ethnic Studies course taught by Dr. Kealiʻi Kukahiko when the Covid-19 pandemic demanded quarantine and restrictions in Hawaiʻi; and education on all levels required the pivoting to virtual learning.

Since Project Hoʻokuʻi has place-based and cultural-based learning components, how did the project, Kapaʻa High School, and Mānoa Academy adapt? We will talk story with the Director of the Kapaʻa Academy, Dr. Kahele Keawe, and Dr. Kealiʻi Kukahiko, University of Hawaii at Mānoa Ethnic Studies faculty to discuss how they were able to continue subject matter learning, place-based learning, and cultural-based learning for haumana during the pandemic.


  • Continue to make learning fun and interesting even through virtual learning
  • Continue to build collaboration between students
  • Adapt place-based and culture-based learning during the pandemic

Calls to Action:

  • Think outside the box and see how you can do a “work around” for things that are normally done in an ordinary classroom
  • Consider some of the advantages that the virtual classroom offers and use those advantages to the benefit of the entire class such as breakout rooms for small group activities.


Feb 27 2021


9:00 am - 10:20 am

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Feb 27 2021
  • Time: 2:00 pm - 3:20 pm

Zoom Meeting


  • Ms. Lisa Uyehara
    Ms. Lisa Uyehara
    Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - Principal Investigator, Project Ho'oku'i III: Na Kumu Alaka'i

    Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

    Lisa Uyehara, MA, JD, is an assistant specialist at the Center on Disability Studies. She is the Principal Investigator for Project Ho’oku’i III: Na Kumu Alaka’i and has over 20 years teaching experience. Her academic interests include supporting indigenous students and students with disabilities transitioning from high school towards postsecondary education and certification programs. She is also an advocate of culture based and place based learning. She serves as a Manoa Faculty Senator, and Chair of the Manoa Faculty Senate Committee on Student Affairs. In her spare time she supports the non-profit, Best Buddies as the defacto CDS team leader, and practices martial arts with her father.

  • Dr. Kahele Keawe
    Dr. Kahele Keawe
    Hawaii Department of Education, Kapa'a High School - Director of Academy

    Hawaii Department of Education, Kapa’a High School

    Dr. Kahele Keawe has 17 years of experience teaching at the Hawaii Department of Education, and 10 years of experience teaching secondary education. He is currently the Academy Director and Early College Counselor for Kapa’a High School on the Island of Kauai. His academic interests include organizational change and leadership, program development, culture-based learning and place-based learning. In his spare time he enjoys surfing and bowhunting. Dr. Keawe has been an instrumental part of Project Ho’oku’i III: Na Kumu Alaka’i establishing Manoa Academy at Kapa’a High School.

  • Dr. Keali'i Kukahiko
    Dr. Keali'i Kukahiko
    Hawaii Department of Education, Office of Hawaiian Education, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Ethnic Studies - Analyst/Lecturer

    Hawaii Department of Education, Office of Hawaiian Education, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Ethnic Studies

    Dr. Kealiʻi Kukahiko is an institutional analyst for the Office of Hawaiian Education, and a lecturer in the Ethnic Studies Department for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His research investigates the historical context of contemporary circumstances in HIDOE, which helps to inform the Educational P4 (practices, projects, programs and policies) that recalibrate the course of Hawaiian Education towards a desired futurity. Other published research includes the Getting In, Fitting In and Moving On of Pacific Islanders in College Football, and Critical Service Learning in Higher Education. Keali‘i received his BA, MA and PhD from UCLA in Higher Education and Organizational Change (HEOC), and currently lives in Laupāhoehoe on the moku o Keawe with his four sons (Kekoa, Makoa, Kaleimamo‘oka‘ala and Kaleiwaihonahalia), one-year old daughter (Kau‘ilaniowaipunalei) and wife (Kalehua).