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Curriculum & Instruction

Hawaiian-Focused Curriculum

As a Hawaiian-Focused School, the goal is for teachers to integrate Hawaiian values, knowledge, and practices throughout the curriculum. All students participate in Piko Wehena, morning protocol to set the intention for the day; regular ʻIke Hawaiʻi classes that incorporate music, hula, and Hawaiian language; and school wide activities such as Makahiki and Hōʻike. Two years of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is required for high school students. 


VSAS officially became a Hawaiian-Focused School in 2016 in order to fully implement its mission and vision.  Since that time, the school has prioritized professional learning and increased expectations for teachers and staff to support integration of Hawaiian-Focused content as the piko (center/source) of the VSAS curriculum. 

Arts & Culture 

Art and multi-cultural learning are integrated into core content. Professional artists and arts educators work directly with students through residency programs such as those provided by the Volcano Art Center and the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture in the Arts Artists-in-Residency program. Art and Japanese language and culture classes are provided to all elementary students weekly and offered as electives in middle school. High school students choose from electives that include classes in a variety of artistic media. 

English Language Arts

Teachers use multi-sensory, structured language approaches to reading as well as rich experiences with high quality literature to engage in texts and respond to them. Writing instruction incorporates Common Core Standards including research; informative/explanatory, argumentative, and narrative writing; and English language usage (mechanics, grammar, and spelling).  Students gain skills in oral communication and listening through classroom experiences in social skills, group work, various presentations, and performances for a variety of audiences.



Students in grades K-10 use Eureka Math Squared. Teachers also integrate real-world, experiential, and place-based activities along with opportunities for practice. We emphasize understanding and communication of concepts in math more than rote memorization of facts or drills in computation.



VSAS uses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our students have rich opportunities to work in hands-on and field-based activities and engage with scientists across a variety of fields. 

Social Studies

VSAS uses standards of the National Council for Social Studies C3 Framework. At the elementary level, individual teachers and sometimes groups of teachers create their own social studies curricula, often integrating this content area with language arts and other learning. Social Studies in the Middle School grades is integrated with English Language Arts in Humanities core curriculum and ʻIke Hawaiʻi, US History & Civic Action, World History & Culture co-curricular classes.

PE & Health

PE is offered to all elementary students weekly. In the middle school, PE is provided four times a week through morning calisthenics, aerobic, and HIIT workouts. PE and Health are provided to high school students in accordance with BOE credit requirements and include electives based on areas of interest.  

Volcano School offers 1st Aid/CPR and Lifeguard Certification training for high school students. Other certifications such as for scuba are offered based on interest and availability of funding. 

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