K – 12 Learning Commons

The K – 12 Learning Commons are critical to the full realization of Punahou’s instructional philosophy, which must equip students to succeed in, and improve, a changing world. The K – 12 Learning Commons are two facilities – one in the Academy and one in the Junior School. Both are multi-age in scope and will encourage collaborations across all grades, forming part of every student’s experience throughout their whole Punahou career.

The K – 12 Learning Commons will become an extension of every classroom and the hub of collaborative and creative energies on campus, magnifying the deeper, more enduring and applied learning that will help our students to succeed in the 21st century.

In the K – 12 Learning Commons, students will:

  • Build congruency between their experiences in school and the real world;
  • Have access to the space and resources (technological, creative and human) that will help them to transform their questions into meaningful work that addresses authentic challenges and audiences;
  • Make structured and unstructured connections with other students and teachers from different classes, grades and disciplines who can enrich their own thinking and spark new ideas, collaborations and relationships;
  • Learn from outside experts or mentors whose knowledge and networks can broaden their audiences and their thinking about relevant, real-world questions.

In the K – 12 Learning Commons, faculty will:

  • Have a shared gathering space that facilitates interactions and connections across grade levels and disciplines, helping Punahou to truly leverage its potential as a K – 12 institution;
  • Belong to a thriving community of professional development resources and programs that help them to deepen their learning and share it with one another;
  • Work with partners from Hawai‘i and internationally to explore essential questions and new approaches to education that can be shared within Punahou and beyond.

The Junior School Learning Commons will be a central feature of the neighborhood for grades 2 – 5, whose resources, gathering spaces and programs will also be used by students and faculty in the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood and Case Middle School.

The Academy Learning Commons will repurpose Cooke Library and reconnect grades 9 – 12 to the center of campus by creating innovative new spaces for study and collaboration. An important feature will be opening the rear wall of the building so that the Academy is physically and visually reconnected to Rice Field and Ka Punahou.

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