Puʻuhonua Program

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

Puʻuhonua (Advisory) Program

The Puʻuhonua program is the foundation of our educational program at ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY. Meaning “a place of safe refuge” in the Hawaiian language, Puʻuhonua is a time, place, and small community on campus where students start each school day.

Current educational research suggests a link between student achievement and the presence of meaningful relationships at school. Students meet in their Puʻuhonua every morning for fifty-five minutes, with the exception of Wednesdays (on Wednesdays, students meet for only twenty minutes).

Our Puʻuhonua program is built upon four main pillars, all of which place a strong emphasis on relationship building.

Each week, students will engage in activities grounded in each of the four pillars – mindfulness, ethos, community, and adaptability.


During our Mindfulness sessions students learn and engage in mindful practices. Mindfulness allows students to understand and regulate their emotions/stress, as well as encourage them to be present and focused in all they do.


Within the Ethos pillar, students consider their own identity and factors that shape identity. Students are given opportunities to understand others’ perspectives, consider the way our individual experiences shape how we see the world, and appreciate multiple worldviews. Additionally, students have opportunities to engage in civic discourse through the discussion of news and events happening in our local, national, and global communities.


The Community pillar is directly linked with our campus student activities at IPA. Students have the opportunities to work on class cheers, dances, community service, and more, all while learning to collaborate, resolve conflict, and develop their interpersonal skills.


At IPA, we believe in not only preparing students for college, but preparing them for life. Our Adaptability pillar focuses on creative and critical thinking skills, incorporates opportunities for problem solving, emphasizes self-directed learning and perseverance, and also supports students in learning everyday life skills like nutrition and finance.