This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary School1
Posted December 20, 2013
- a parent
Well, unfortunately what you read about Hawaii public schools are true, and PHK is no different. This has to be one of the worst schools my kids have EVER attended. To start off, there is no security in place on campus. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can freely walk onto the abundance of unsecured entries on campus, no questions asked. What irks me the most about this school is that its apparent that they are just marking off their to-do list of academic goals to reach for the year, regardless of how much or how little your student is understanding. My daughter had one of the "nicest" 5th grade teachers. Sure she's nice, but she easily let her slip right on through the cracks of the school system. My daughter is assigned 5-9 pages of just math homework a night. Her teacher has the students correct their work in class on their own, never to see the homework herself again until test day. Then when it came time for tests, that was the only time the teacher discovered how much she didn't understand. Too little, too late and once again, they just moved on to the next chapter never to touch upon the methods she just failed. No child left behind? PLEASE!!! This school is a joke!
I have so far been very impressed with this school. First, I am always greeted with a smile when going into the front office. Everyone in there is extremely nice and helpful. When I was a kid, each class had 1 teacher to 20-25 students. There were no volunteers or helpers. At PHK, there are many helpers everywhere! The extra hands do so much for these kids. I also love that they let the kids help out as crossing guards (they pay them!) and they let them help out in the cafeteria. I saw one comment where they complained that volunteers didn't have food licenses...I don't know about that, but they wear plastic over their hair and they wear gloves. I love that the kids have a hand in helping the school run. Everyone working together. I went to eat lunch with my son one day and I love the food they serve! I think it is so much better (and healthier) than the cafeteria lunches I had as a kid. There are always going to be "better" schools, not everyone will be happy with this school. It is a very safe school, imo. They take measures to ensure the safety of the kids (why I love all of the volunteers).
There are positive and negative aspects of this school (as with most schools). Overall I think the positive outweighs negative. The teachers here have been wonderful! Very caring and focused on the children. The school does not have art class and the 'specials' (PE, music, library and computer) are all done on one day, rotating every eight days.
Lots of military kids go here so the support is great for parents who are active duty. Teachers are great, attentive and concerned for the kids. I've also witnessed many over the top parents who criticize without putting forth effort themselves. I never feel that school alone is enough, I also follow up at home and ensure my child knows what he is doing. Teachers have a huge issue with rude and disrespectful children. While parents often take the side of their children without knowing the negative behaviors of their child, the true problems begins at home and if parents can't control their children how can teachers or staff? My children are very obedient and know they are at school to learn. I don't blame the teachers for focusing on only those who want to learn, they don't have time to deal with delinquents whose parents don't give enough hoot to get their kid on track.
I have two children attending PHK. Both teachers we have are very caring. My youngest son really loves his teacher and seems to be really liking school more than he did with preschool. My oldest makes really good grades and wants to learn. I think parents need to take responsibility for their children's education also. We work together on homework daily and make sure to read at home. This school has been very good to both of my kids this year.
We are a military family. My child attended PHK for 2 yrs (K and 1st grade from 2010-2012). I was never impressed with this school. I checked out nearby private schools because of my dissatisfaction with PHK, but the tuition was more than we could afford. We moved to Virginia Beach, VA overy summer 2012. I had no idea what LOW quality teaching my child was getting at PHK, until my child started public school in VA. My child was student of the quarter at PHK, & got ALL above ave. grades at PHK. I THOUGHT my child was receiving a satisfactory education. I was terribly wrong! Within the 1st 2 wks of school in VA, my child's teacher notified me that my child is reading BELOW grade level & will need extra help. I am grateful for the extra help, but I am SO ANGRY that my child is behind in school and needs to "catch up" because of poor quality teaching at PHK, and I beleive in most public schools in HI. My child tells me regularly how much more she likes school here, & how her teacher is nicer because she doesn't "yell" like her PHK teacher did. The curriculum appears to be the same in both places; but the VA teacher "teaches", & doesn't just drill mindlessly.
This school is awful. My child only attended a single semester at this school and when they re-zoned I was thrilled. I was given an out for my child without having to apply for a GE. The teacher my child had was devoid of any nurturing instinct and repeatedly yelled during instruction. My child completely regressed after entering this school. Since the new year, and new school has come, we are finally excited about school again.
Reading the latest comments about this school does not do this school justice. Personally I think those rude comments are written by a few who just want to make waves. If you have any issues or problems with any school you need to bring it to their attention so improvements can happen. If you only grumble, you cannot help the situation for your child. Isn't the bottom line your child? It is for me. I get involved and attend Coffee Hours when I can, communicate often and clearly with my teachers and ask even the "silliest" questions for clarification. Every school will have their stumbling blocks and adjustments when there is new administration. Having the vice principal step up to be the principal provides some continuity to the school and my understanding is that the temporary vice principal step forward to help because no one else did. This school shows commitment to the children and I support them 100%. Like I mentioned earlier, get involved with your child's education so you too can understand the school system in Hawaii. It isn't as bad as our friends tell us before we get to Hawaii. They actually do care!
If I could give a negative rating, I would! Everything about this school is awful!!!! Be prepared to work with not only incompetent, unqualified (meaning teachers "teaching" without so much as an Associates degree!) and flat out rude people (VICE PRINCIPAL & SECRETARIES!). This new principal does not know what he is doing, nor does he know how to resolve any legitimate complaint made by a parent. Mainland military families be prepared for an outrageous amount of fundraisers and an insanely long school supply list! Yeah, the uniforms are a plus, but do yourself a favor and avoid this train wreck of a school!!!!
Love this school!!! My son has been going here for 3 years and was so happy to find out my daughter will be here for kindergarten next semester. The teachers are caring and great. Office staff is outstanding. Principal is doing a great job and always has time to talk to parents. Communication between school and parents is top notch!!