In special moment, Lahainaluna students sing alma mater on first day at new school

Lahainaluna High students sang their alma mater as they were welcomed at their temporary school site at the Kulanihakoi High School campus in Kihei on Thursday.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:10 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a special moment, Lahainaluna High School students sang their alma mater on their first day at their temporary school site in Kihei on Thursday.

An estimated 500 students reported to Kulanihakoi High School — over a month after they were displaced from the Lahaina wildfire.

It’s their temporary home for about a month.

Students got their schedules, received a campus tour and met with their homeroom teachers.

“We’re just happy to have the opportunity to be a school within a school because that allows them to remain in retain their status as a Lahainaluna school and to be on track for graduation,” said Rebecca Winkie, complex area superintendent.

The school day ended with students singing the Lahainaluna alma mater, led by retired teacher Aunty Lori, who taught at Lahainaluna for decades.

“I think it’s when we all come together shore school spirit, when we sing our alma mater together in the gym, you know … I’m looking forward to just experiencing that again,” said RJ Arconado, Lahainaluna High student.

In a letter to families, the principal said the school day will run from 7:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., with select extracurricular activities — like sports — happening as usual.

Students will begin their regular schedule on Friday.

The school’s first football game is set for Sept. 30.

Free bus service is being provided, but students are allowed to drive to school.

Breakfast and lunch will be free to all students until at least Oct. 6.


Lahainaluna is the oldest school west of the rocky mountains.

Meanwhile, HNN has learned the regular Lahainaluna campus will reopen on Oct. 13 along with Princess Nahienaena Elementary and Lahaina Intermediate.

The DOE says the campuses are safe following air quality tests and power has been restored. Crews have also restored power and removed debris.

Although most of the debris has been removed, officials say crews still need to do some cleaning, conduct soil and water testing, and restore internet and phone service.

The DOE has released a new online report showing the progress made toward reopening Lahaina schools. They say it will be updated as new information becomes available. Click here to view the progress report.

MORE: Restrictions lifted for some business zones in disaster area. Here’s the latest from the county

King Kamehameha III Elementary school students will temporarily attend Princess Nahienaena Elementary while a future “temporary” site for the school is planned.

As of Sept. 13, officials said more than 800 displaced students are re-enrolled at other public schools.

In-person learning hubs are also being rolled out.

A distance learning hub for K-8 Lahaina students will begin welcoming students on Sept. 19 at Citizen Church in Lahaina. Two other learning hubs will be offered in West Maui — one for high-needs special education students and another for Kaiapuni Hawaiian language immersion K-8 students.

The DOE says learning hubs will provide distance learning students with in-person opportunities for teacher support and peer socialization, as well as access to meals, recess, social-emotional learning and other resources.

Families who need assistance can call the Department’s support hotline at (808) 727-6880 or text SUPPORT to (808) 736-1427.

To read the latest update from the education department, click here.