Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The strength of our ‘ohana endures through difficult times.

HPA is committed to keeping our community safe and healthy by doing what we can to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. As we adapt to this rapidly evolving situation, the health of our community remains our top priority and we are confident HPA will emerge stronger, prouder, and even more connected than before.

HPA remains committed to offering in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year and we believe that careful planning and thoughtful research has resulted in the development of new procedures that will keep our community as healthy and safe as possible. We understand that we have an opportunity to reopen school during a time when most schools are unable to do so. While we are prepared to pivot, if need be, to our Continuous Learning Plan, we are optimistic that we can do something that very few schools in the country can do, thanks to the good fortune of ample resources, beneficial geography, and an amazing faculty and staff.

Please review our health and safety policy, as well as our Return to Campus Plan. Any changes will be contingent upon recommendations and guidelines to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible. We will provide regular updates as we continue to assess this fluid situation.

In the meantime, we send well wishes and aloha to our Ka Makani everywhere. We are looking to the future with hope and confidence. Be well, and we hope to see you soon—in our classrooms, on campus, and at HPA events near and far.

Answers to frequently asked questions

The latest message from our Head of School

View the September 14th message from Patrick Phillips.

Key HPA communications since the outbreak


 

  • September 11, 2020: All-School Bulletin

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review our Sept. 11 edition of the All-School Bulletin.

  • Pivot to Continous Learn Plan

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review a message from the Head of School from Sept. 4 that talks about our plans to pivot to the online Continuous Learning Plan.

  • Return to Campus Plans

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review our Return to Campus Plans and Information document.

  • August 21, 2020: All-School Bulletin

    In an effort to best prepare you for the official start of the 2020-2021 academic year, we ask that you please review our AllSchool Bulletin for August 21, 2020.
  • August 16, 2020: Video message from the Head of School

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review a message from our Head of School.

    To view the message, please click here.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • August 5, 2020: Video message from the Head of School

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review a message from our Head of School.

    To view the message, please click here.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • July 29, 2020: HPA Health and Safety Policy

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to view our document breaking down what the 2020-21 school year will look like at HPA.

  • July 22, 2020: Health and Safety Policy

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review a message on our Health and Safety Policy for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • June 15, 2020: HPA Learning Models and Safety Pledge

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review the following documents:
  • June 15, 2020: Frequently Asked Questions: 2020-2021 Academic Year

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to view our Frequently Asked Questions about the 2020-21 school year.

  • April 8, 2020: Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19.

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to view our Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19.

  • April 29, 2020: Video message from the Head of School (End of Year Celebrations)

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review a message that talks about our end of year celebrations.

    To view the message, please click here. Alternatively, we are providing a transcript of the video.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • April 22, 2020: Video message from the Head of School (Addressing Seniors)

    Aloha,

    Like students across the nation and around the world, our seniors have shown incredible resilience in the face of great uncertainty and ambiguity. In order to provide them with some clarity as they prepare to transition from high school to college, we send this message about the end of the school year.

    To view the message, please click here. Alternatively, we are providing a transcript of the video.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • April 8, 2020: Video message from the Head of School (Continuous Learning Plan Update)

    Aloha,

    Please take a moment to review a message that answers questions regarding our Continuous Learning Plan.

    To view the message, please click here. Alternatively, we are providing a transcript of the video.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • April 1, 2020: Video message from the Head of School (Returning to School)

    Aloha,

    Today our students begin their first day of continuous learning and as a community we embark on a new way of learning for HPA. Please find below a video message from our Head of School, Patrick J. Phillips.

    To view the message, please click here. Alternatively, we are providing a transcript of the video.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • March 25, 2020: Video message from the Head of School (Continuous Learning Plan)

    Aloha,

    Please find an important video message from our Head of School, Patrick J. Phillips.

    To view the video message, please click here. Alternatively, we are providing a transcript of the video.

    As mentioned in the video, we are providing our families with links to the individual Division Learning Plans which describes what Continuous Learning will look like at the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • March 19, 2020: Student Life letter to boarding families

    Aloha HPA boarding families,

    We want you to express our most sincere gratitude to you for your flexibility, sacrifice, and support over the last two weeks. We understand that it has been an uncertain time with rapid changes and challenges happening across the globe. Like many other schools, we have had to make some difficult choices requiring swift action and truly appreciate your partnership and communication with us.

    At this time HPA will not be able to offer on-campus accommodations for students after the scheduled break that ends on March 30, 2020. This temporary measure is for the safety and health of all our community members, as we follow best practices for social distancing and avoid gathering in large groups. While our hope is that the school will return to normal operation by mid-April, it remains a possibility that we will need to extend continuous learning to the end of the school year. If so, we will make arrangements to secure, store, or ship student belongings that were left behind. For now, please do not return to the dorms until further notice.

    We send along our sincerest best wishes, full of hope and confidence that the HPA community will continue to persevere, honoring the core values that bind us. If you have any questions, please reach out to studentlife@hpa.edu.

    With aloha,

    Fred Wawner
    Assistant Head of School for Student Life

  • March 18, 2020: Video message from the Head of School

    Aloha,

    Please find an important video message from our Head of School, Patrick J. Phillips.

    To view the video message, please click here. Alternatively, we are providing a transcript of the video.

    As mentioned in the video, we are providing our families with our Continuous Learning Plan (formerly known as the Distance Learning Plan). This plan will give you a broad overview of what to expect when virtual classes begin on April 1, and our division principals will be sending more specific information next Wednesday.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • M​arch 13, 2020: Press Release

    HPA TO SUSPEND FACE – TO – FACE CLASSES FOLLOWING SPRING BREAK

    WAIMEA – HPA’s top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and the Hawaiʻi Island community as a whole. We have been assessing the rapidly escalating COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and that has resulted in swiftly changing circumstances on our campus.

    While we have no reason to believe that anyone on our campus has contracted the virus, we are taking precautionary and proactive measures to deal with what the World Health Organization has dubbed as a global pandemic.

    As students head into spring break, HPA is dealing with a unique set of challenges and we have taken steps to ensure the safety of our community.

    HPA has decided to follow the recommendations from dozens of medical professionals and the CDC to practice social distancing as a method of stemming or slowing the spread of this disease. The school (K-12) will suspend face-to-face classes and will move to distance learning for the two weeks following Spring Break.

    Remote classes will begin on April 1, 2020. If experts recommend that gathering in large groups is safe again, regular classes will resume on April 15, although any change will be based on the information and recommendations gathered to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible.

    “We do not take this decision lightly and we are committed to providing high-quality instruction moving forward,” HPA Head of School Patrick J. Phillips said. “While the social aspect of school is an important part of every child’s experience, we are confident that we can deliver a strong academic program because we know that we have outstanding teachers who truly care for our students. We look forward to the day when we can resume classes as usual, and we know that we will be stronger and more connected for having carried on through this global pandemic.”

    HPA will be following up with more information as we continue to assess this fluid situation.

    ###

    CONTACT:
 For more information, please contact Liz Watson, assistant director of marketing, at 808-881-4008 or lwatson@hpa.edu.

  • March 13, 2020: Follow-up letter to families and students

    Aloha HPA students and families,

    By now, many of you have seen the video message that was sent to our community yesterday, sharing that HPA will be moving to distance learning for the two weeks following spring break. If you havenʻt had the opportunity to view the video, please click here. Alternatively, we are providing a transcript of the video.

    Please note that all school events and activities prior to April 1, 2020, have been canceled.  This includes all programs and activities held on campus for students or the wider Waimea community. In addition, all school events and activities between April 1 and April 15 will either be postponed or canceled. We will provide more information regarding the status of these events closer to April 1.

    We recognize the challenges our school community is facing in light of the global pandemic. Our hopes and thoughts are with our HPA ʻohana around the world, and especially for any family who has been impacted by COVID-19. We do appreciate your support and willingness to partner with us as we continue to fulfill our mission and provide exceptional learning opportunities, even if that is delivered in a different format. We strongly believe that these challenges, inconveniences, and even sacrifices in the short term, will reap long-term benefits for our school, community, and society by impeding the spread of this disease.

    Please stay safe, practice social distancing, sanitize your personal space, and support one another. Should you have any academic questions, we encourage you to reach out to your division principals: cgrant@hpa.edu, gchickering@hpa.edu, or cmiller@hpa.edu; for residential life questions: studentlife@hpa.edu; for all other questions: safety@hpa.edu. In addition, we will continue to update the COVID-19 page on the Resource Board in myHPA.

    Sincerely,
    Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy

  • March 12, 2020: Video message from the Head of School

    Aloha,

    Please find an important video message from our Head of School, Patrick J. Phillips.

    To view the message, please click here.

    Office of the Head of School
    Hawai’i Preparatory Academy

  • March 3, 2020: Head of School letter to all families, students, and employees

    Aloha HPA families and students,

    Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy is following up on our correspondence last Friday regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and is sharing travel advisory information and updated policies related to Spring Break travel. We have been in communication with local and state agencies and are monitoring several federal health agencies to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information and guidance available. The safety of our school community is our top priority, and this communication applies to all K-12 day and boarding students and families. Similar protocols will be in place for all HPA employees and visitors.

    HPA strongly recommends avoiding all non-essential travel to geographic areas with widespread or sustained community transmission of COVID-19, as outlined by the CDC. Any travel at this time carries risk since the location of outbreaks around the world remains fluid. Students may not be allowed to leave the country or region of a new outbreak, or they may not be allowed to travel back into the United States once they are in a region that has experienced an outbreak. Families need to stay informed and make travel decisions and arrangements that minimize their risk. As a reminder, our residence halls will remain open during Spring Break to accommodate any boarding students who choose not to travel.

    Updated HPA Protocol

    If a student or family chooses to travel away from Hawai‘i Island and meets the following criteria, then after completing their travel they must self-quarantine for 14 days:

    • The student or family traveled internationally to a region, country, or geographic area that has been identified, or becomes identified, with widespread or sustained community transmission, as outlined by the CDC (level 2 or 3)
    • The student or family traveled domestically to a city, region, or state within the United States that has been identified, or becomes identified, with widespread or sustained community transmission

    The self-quarantine period must be completed in a country that is not listed by the CDC as a level 2 or 3, or in an area in the United States that does not have widespread or sustained community transmission of COVID-19. After the 14-day self-quarantine, HPA will require a doctor’s note certifying that the student has been symptom-free and is eligible to return to school. For boarding parents who choose to have their child travel during Spring Break, please understand that HPA does not have the facilities to self-quarantine on campus, and your child will need to self-quarantine elsewhere under parent or guardian supervision. Any additional expenses that may arise from this will be the family’s responsibility. During a self-quarantine, HPA faculty will support students to maintain their studies and coursework as much as possible.

    In the coming hours, we will send a short survey to all parents and students asking for your Spring Break travel plans. Due to the urgency of this matter, these forms will be due on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. (HST). Please note that incomplete or missing forms may jeopardize a student’s ability to return to campus for a period of time after Spring Break.

    For the health of our community, please remember that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Medical experts indicate that the most effective methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same recommendations for preventing the spread of the flu:

    • Stay home when you are sick
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol‐based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
    • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
      • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
      • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
      • Face masks should be used for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings.

    We encourage you to talk to your child and help them better understand COVID-19, since Child Mind Institute points out that “Kids worry more when they’re kept in the dark.” While COVID-19 is a global health concern, we must remember that over 80% of confirmed cases experience mild to moderate symptoms (coughing and flu-like symptoms), and it is severe in only a smaller number of individuals.

    By exercising caution we can partner together to ensure the health and safety of our community. In the interest of shared responsibility, we have created a COVID-19 Information page, which can be found on the Resource tab of myHPA. HPA will continue to monitor this evolving situation and will make changes to our protocols as necessary. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your individual school offices.

    Best wishes for good health,

    The Office of the Head of School
    Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy

  • January 31, 2020: Head of School letter to Upper School families and students

    Dear HPA families and Upper School Students,

    As you are aware, the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has become a worldwide concern. While coronaviruses are common, the 2019-nCoV can cause severe respiratory illness, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and kidney failure.

    As a day and international boarding school, HPA is closely monitoring the situation. We have confirmed that none of our students have exhibited symptoms of the 2019-nCoV. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) both state that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Students returned from Winter Break on January 5, and we are now past the symptom window.

    Yesterday, January 30, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory: Do Not Travel to China. In light of the changing circumstances, we are providing the following updates:

    1. In order to care for our boarding students who might otherwise need to travel to affected areas, HPA will keep the dormitories open over Spring Break (March 13 to 30, 2020). We encourage all students who live in areas with confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV to remain at HPA during the entire break. We are working with our food service provider and residential faculty to ensure we have appropriate supervision and support. Once we have an understanding of the costs associated with keeping the dorms open, we will be able to communicate the nominal fee associated with staying on campus.

    2. We are investigating the health risks associated with the OurWorld Travel Abroad program, planned for Spring Break, and will make a decision after further consultation with the trip providers and the most current status of the spread of 2019-nCoV. We will communicate the decision to the participating families by Friday, February 7, 2020.

    3. For the safety of our students, faculty and staff, HPA has protocols in place for scheduled and unscheduled visitors from off-island to our campuses.

    These actions are taken out of an abundance of caution since travelers from infected areas are being monitored by the CDC. Various countries are working hard to control the spread of 2019-nCoV and at this time Hawai’i Island is considered low-risk. As stated on the CDC website, “For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low. The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to prevent sustained spread of 2019-nCov in this country.”

    For all our families, exercising good judgment and caution will protect everyone’s health.  Our Health Services Office recommends that the best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including influenza, are:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects/surfaces.

    Should you exhibit any symptoms, however minor, we urge you to make an appointment to see your health care provider. Boarding students are encouraged to visit our campus infirmary located in the Health Services Office.

    In addition, as a long-standing day and international boarding school, HPA is proud of the diversity that exists in our community. While this epidemic may seem far away from Hawai’i Island, it impacts many of us who have loved ones in the affected regions. One strength of HPA has always been the support that we provide to each other, and we ask our ‘ohana to continue to show kindness and empathy to one another.

    Wishing you good health,

    Patrick J. Phillips
    Head of School

HPA, upper school

Additional resources

HPA is keeping in constant communication with our ‘ohana on this rapidly changing situation. These outside resources may also be of help.