740 Haiku Road, Haiku, HI 96708
Administrative Office: 808-250-7988

[email protected]

Preschool to 8th Grade 

Roots School is an independent private school for students from Preschool to 8th Grade. Through our project-based approach, multi-age setting, small classes, and emphasis on critical thinking and creativity, we create a flexible learning environment to encourage students to develop their unique potential. Along with mathematics, science, history, social science, language arts, and foreign language classes, we offer fine and performing arts, physical education, gardening, student activities, and field trips. Roots School is located in the heart of Haiku town on the island of Maui, which provides distinctive educational and cultural resources. Our graduates attend high schools across Maui and are accepted at colleges and universities across the nation.

Real Ongoing Opportunities to Soar (ROOTS) is a nonsectarian, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation licensed by the Hawaii Council of Private Schools and the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services, and is fully accredited by the Hawaii Association of Independent School (HAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

We believe children have unlimited potential.  Our inspired purpose is to help develop that promise.

Our Mission
Through experiential and academic learning, we encourage students to integrate creativity, critical thinking, integrity, and compassion to engage collaboratively and realize their potential as unique, fulfilled individuals.

Our Learning Environment
We instill enthusiasm and love for learning by providing inspiring teachers, a challenging and flexible project-based curriculum, small class size, multi-grade classrooms, and a stimulating environment.  Our students are offered a broad range of enriching subjects to keep them active and engaged. Well-planned curriculum integration across subject disciplines strengthens our students’ knowledge of real world applications for learning.

Class sizes are purposefully small to enable our teachers to appreciate and encourage multiple types of intelligence.  Using State and National standards as the foundation, our teachers build dynamic lesson plans combining traditional learning with exciting, interesting hands-on projects. Along with mathematics, science, history, social science, language arts, and foreign language classes, we offer fine and performing arts, physical education, gardening, student activities, and field trips.

Our Social Environment
We believe the success of Roots School relies on a supportive partnership between faculty, students, parents, and staff who actively promote healthful living and human kindness.

We believe children are socially intelligent and are not willing to settle for being treated poorly or for a negative classroom environment. They reflect and know there is something better out there.  We strive to be that better alternative to give them a safe, supportive environment to grow into healthy, happy individuals.

Our purpose includes the development of personal integrity, confidence, and compassion for others.  We allow time for social and emotional development through class discussions which include a focus on the power of personal responsibility as a citizen of the school, the community, and the world.  Our multi-grade classrooms teach students how to interact with children younger and older than themselves. Our goal is to help our students become reflective, mindful, thoughtful, aware, and responsible.

Key Features of Roots School

  • Project based learning
  • Multi age classrooms
  • Small student to teacher ratio
  • Forward thinking and progressive
  • Flexible learning environment

Admissions Process

We are excited to welcome new students to ROOTS, below is an outline of our admission process. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. https://rootsmaui.org/pages/admission-process


(Prospective preschoolers must be aged 3 by their proposed start date, and must be fully potty-trained; able to complete toileting without any assistance.)

  1. A completed Preschool Application including all health records and $100 non-refundable application fee must be submitted.
  2. A school tour is required, and is scheduled for Monday mornings.  This tour is only for parents/guardians, so please make childcare arrangements for your child.
  3. An interview and brief assessment for the prospective parents/guardians and student is scheduled with the Head of School.


  1. A completed K-8 Application including all health records, previous school information and $100 non-refundable application fee must be submitted.
  2. A school tour is required, and is scheduled for Monday mornings.  This tour is only for parents/guardians, so please make childcare arrangements for your child.
  3. An interview for the prospective parents/guardians is scheduled with the Head of School.
  4. An interview and brief assessment for the prospective student is scheduled, and if more observation is required, a visit day will be scheduled for the prospective student.


Call 250-7988 today to arrange a personal tour!


The goal for our preschoolers (ages 3-5) is to set the foundation for their future educational experiences. Students learn what it means to be part of a group or class, how to communicate their needs and wants appropriately. They learn about nature, cooperative play, and develop key language skills.  The preschool benchmarks develop skills in a child’s cognitive, language, social/emotional, and physical capabilities.  Children come in with little or no experiences and are introduced to tasks/activities which specifically move to strengthen their total body and mind. The students all achieve substantial success with our benchmark goals.


The early elementary years are a beginning foundation for ones academic journey.  The goals in the Kinder through 2nd grade classroom are setting children up to have a deep love for learning, be able to problem solve, have interpersonal communication skills with others, be conscientious and sensitive to our planet, and to be able to think for themselves.  Our setting provides a daily rhythm that begins with story and academic experiences in both language arts and mathematics.  The afternoon hours of our day are dedicated to right brain thinking including Art classes, Physical Education, Gardening, Singing/Music/Ukulele, Building/Creating, Play, and Yoga.  Throughout the day, conversational Spanish is used in the classroom to allow the students a solid foundation in a foreign language.

The K-2 Roots curriculum is looped on a three year cycle.  Themes are taught throughout the year in a cross curriculum approach in Unit Studies.  The three year cycle is described below, but not limited to these subjects:

Year One: Egypt, Bones & Our Human Bodies, Space, Insects, Rainforest/Botany, World Geography
Year Two: Dinosaurs, Presidents of the US, Weather, Vikings, Grossology/Science Experiments, World Geography
Year Three: Birds/Ornithology, Arachnids, 50 United States, Geology, Oceanography, World Geography

Every year the children learn and discover how the peoples of this earth celebrate holidays with emphasis on Día del los Muertos, Winter Celebrations, and Hawaiian History.


The 3rd – 5th grade classroom builds on foundations established in the K-2 years. The program utilizes previously learned skills and scaffolds into more abstract learning.  Third to fifth graders work to become organized and responsible students, while seeking the answers to questions about the world all around them.  Students are encouraged to set goals for themselves and to use multiple intelligences in developing projects and completing assignments.

Daily Schedule:
Most mornings begin with core Mathematics and English/Language Arts classes, followed by Science, History, and Social Studies thematic units in the early afternoons.  Students have the opportunity to study material that is of interest to them and to apply their knowledge through a variety of hands-on projects, presentations, service work/study in their community, and special events.

Units of study may include, but are not limited to:
Hawaiian culture and values, Geography and mapping, stream and reef ecosystems, weather and climate, forces and motion, simple machines, Health and the human body systems, Colonial America and electricity and magnetism, and units are looped in a three-year cycle. Students explore the continuity and change that has led us to today, and we examine challenges and brainstorm for solutions through individual and small group investigation, communication, and discovery.

Afternoons end with extra-curricular activities like Art and Physical Education, Music, Drama, Spanish, Gardening and more!


Our Approach
In addition to preparing students in grades six through eight for the next step in their academic careers, we are committed to supporting middle school students in the transition from childhood to young adulthood. We believe that the needs of middle school students are best served within/in our small, multi-age class setting.

Traditional school models, divided arbitrarily into age, grade, and isolated subjects, cannot address the richness and complexity of life. An integrated, project-based approach to education is learning for the real-world; addressing the whole child, creating learning experiences that are tailored and relevant to students, enhancing engagement and providing a greater depth of knowledge, cultivating the academic and social skills needed to succeed in the classroom and in life.

Project-based learning favors depth and application of knowledge over breadth. Focusing on real-world challenges, multiple subjects are integrated into a single unit of study.

Topics for our integrated units of study for the 2016-2017 school year may include, but are not limited to: Systems of Government, Hawaiian History, Colonization, U.S./Pacific Island Relations, Climate Change, Adaptation, Ecology, Farming, and Marine Science.

Daily Schedule
Each day begins with Language Arts and Math Workshops, providing students with daily practice of essential skills in these core subjects.

Midday classes are dedicated to thematic units integrating Science, History, and Social Studies. Students explore and apply their knowledge through a variety of hands-on projects, presentations, assignments, quizzes and tests, service work/study in the community, and special events.

Afternoons feature a variety of enrichment classes and instructors. Enrichment class offerings may include: Art, Physical Education, Music, Gardening, Crafts, Drama, Spanish, Human Development, Communication, Test Taking, and more.

Service is another important form of learning. Students in grades 6-8 participate in our year-long “Reading Buddies” program, teaching reading strategies to an elementary student for a half-hour each week. Roots students also perform independent community service on a monthly basis.

Language Arts
Reading, writing, speaking and listening are essential literacy skills integrated across the Roots curriculum. In grades 6-8, the Language Arts Workshop format features frequent student-teacher conferences, providing regular opportunities for feedback, individualized goal setting, and tracking of student progress as readers and writers.

Independent reading is a daily practice at Roots, fundamental to fostering a community of readers and to our student’s continued academic success. During the upper elementary and middle school years, a period in which young readers typically regress, the Reading Workshop supports each reader’s continued growth through student choice and accountability, and gets students thinking, writing and talking about their reading.

Grades 6-8 Language Arts curriculum includes:

  • Spelling and Word Study
  • Conventions and Grammar
  • Literary Terms and Analysis
  • Creative Writing
  • Poetry
  • Genre Studies
  • Essay Writing
  • Research Skills
  • Citing Sources
  • Public Speaking

Math Workshop
Math Workshop for grades 6-8 is designed to instill appreciation and build strong connections between Mathematics and its application to problem solving in everyday life. Students work toward mastery of common concepts including:  Number sense and operations, Geometry and spatial sense, measurement, Algebra, and data analysis and probability. Students learn about practical uses for Math in building and design, music theory, cooking, forecasting, budgeting, shopping, travel, and business.

Common FAQs

Are you a structured school? Yes, ROOTS is project-based and the daily curriculum consists of traditional subjects (e.g. math, language arts, social studies, science, art, physical education), as well as current events activities, a variety of electives (cooking, theater, music, jewelry-making, Hawaiiana, for example), visits from expert guest speakers, and numerous community field trips.  Students remain with one main teacher for several years, allowing the teacher and student to form strong relationships and allowing the teacher to nurture the student, regardless of learning style.  Teachers have high expectations academically and artistically for all of our students and they challenge them to do their best.

What subjects do you teach? ROOTS teaches math, language arts, social studies, science, art, physical education, reading, spelling, and phonics as well as a variety of electives or integrated curriculum including cooking, theater, jewelry making, sewing, and technology.

Does ROOTS provide opportunities for art? Yes, ROOTS uses Project-Based learning to instill a better understanding of the lessons to the students.

Are there uniforms? No, students must dress in appropriate attire for school and always have footwear.

How are meals prepared? The parents/guardians must provide one healthy lunch and a snack.

Does Roots welcome parent involvement? Yes. Parent involvement is essential shows the students that people care about their education and we care for each other.

Are there field trips? Project related field trips are integral to the curriculum, and they are scheduled throughout the school year.  Families will be provided with information prior to the field trip days.

Do you have access to computers or other technology? Yes, We have a computer lab which is mainly used by grades 3rd-8th for typing and research.