Puʻuhonua Program

Students raising the flag at school
T-shirt with "where values matter"
Polynesian star compass
Front of school
Students giving knuckles
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Puʻuhonua (Advisory) Program

The Puʻuhonua program is unique to IPA. It is a combination of advisory program, social-emotional learning curriculum, and community-building environment. The program is centered around the six core competencies—Mastery Mindset, Identity, Social & Ecological Awareness, Self-Management, Community & Relationships, and Action & Service. All activities engage students with these competency areas in age-specific ways.

Twice a week in their advisory, students discuss topics, participate in activities, and expand their emotional and social awareness. All activities are driven by an Essential Question that helps guide student participation. At the end of each unit, students reflect and assess their own growth within the competencies using performance indicators.

For the other days, students meet with their advisor to discuss academics, interact with other grades or with the whole school community, and have time to talk about grade-specific needs like navigating Middle school for Grade 6 students or applying to college for Grade 11 students.

The Puʻuhonua program enables IPA to address whole-child education by supporting students through their own social and emotional growth, helping them address important and complicated social topics, exposing them to valuable and practical life-skills, and reinforcing community bonds throughout the school.

The Six Core Competencies

These are the six core competencies around which the Puʻuhonua program is built. Each is framed as “I can. . .” statements to help students see themselves as active members of the learning process:

I can see learning is an ongoing experience without an end point, persevere when it’s challenging, and see setbacks as learning opportunities.

I can consider my own agency in constructing identity, while acknowledging the validity of others’ identity.

I can be an enlightened agent of transformations against social and ecological injustice and acknowledge other people’s and species’ needs, ideas, and contributions.

I can acknowledge that I am an agent of my physical, emotional, and mental being, and can utilize effective strategies for regulating my mental, physical, and emotional responses in various situational contexts.

I can acknowledge that community is constructed through consistent and authentic collaboration, and can build connections with other people by showing empathy, respect, and understanding.

I can stand up to exclusion, prejudice and discrimination, and can identify a need in the community and seek to improve conditions through appropriate planning, organization, and action.