Programs and Special Events


The Makahiki season represents a time of peace and thanksgiving, as well as the rejuvenation of human and Earthʻs natural resources. During the Makahiki season, warriors and artisans sharpen their skills through the practice of games that involve mental and physical skills of strength, balance, and strategy.

HPA honors the traditions of the Makahiki season each year through curricular and community involvement. Students in grades K-8 participate and engage in competitive games such as ‘ulu maika (stone rolling), moa pāhe’e (dart sliding), ‘o’o ihe (spear throwning), konane (checkers), pōhaku ho’oikaika (rock throwing), kūkini (running), hakamoa (chicken fight), and more.

In January, students have an opportunity to represent HPA at the annual Kā Moku o Keawe Makahiki Festival held annually at the Waimea Park.As a community event, it is just as important for students within a competitive setting to practice and model good sportsmanship and exhibit this through aloha (compassion) and mahalo (gratitude) at all levels of the games.

HPA also contributes each year to the season and the event through the schoolʻs Ulumau Garden program. Students grow, cut, and prepare sugar cane to share with all participants at the annual Makahiki festival.

HPA is proud to honor the traditions of the Makahiki season with our students, families, and community.

Theme Week

Theme Week provides students with an opportunity for hands-on learning beyond the classroom. Students challenge themselves to learn new skills and experience a wide range of unique learning opportunities. Middle School teachers—with the assistance of parent volunteers—lead these four-day adventures focused on an area of expertise or interest. Each student selects one activity.

This experiential place-based learning includes an array of activities. In 2014-2015 we offered the following adventures:

--Come Fly With Me -- Fishing/Gyotaku -- Food, Fun, and Fitness
-- Horseback (Hololi‘o O Mana) --Kona/Kohala Coast --Maui No Ka Oi
--Parkour Camp --Scuba Diving --Sources of Our Songs
--Survivorman --Wax Batik and Silk Painting

Grade 8 Transition

During the fourth quarter, all eighth grade students participate in a comprehensive transition elective to prepare them for the transition to Upper School, and plan their major year-end community activities and celebrations, including the eighth grade transition ceremony. This elective has several major components—visiting Upper School faculty members who share information about academic classes and the athletics program; health and wellness topics presented by the counselors, guest speakers, small group workshops led by the eighth grade advisors, planning for participation in the Hawai'i Island Charity Walk, and the transition ceremony held on the last day of school in May at Gates Performing Arts Center. During the transition ceremony, we honor eighth grade students as they transition from Middle to Upper School. The students receive completion certificates, view a video presentation highlighting their years at HPA, and perform for their fellow Middle School students, family, and friends.

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