Some of the teachers are excellent, others are ok. The school is conservative, focus is on performance rather than on critical thinking. No art classes - unless you're willing to pay. The school is considered an "excellent" school, but compared to schools in Australia and New Zealand (and lot of places in Asia and Europe) I would not rate Noelani better than fair to average, but compared to other Hawaiian schools, Noelani is not too bad at all.
I'm researching preschools for my daughter, who will be 3 next September. We're not sure whether we will go private or public.
It is a very good school if you want your children to be nurtured and educated and enjoy learning! My daughter joined the school mid year in Gr 1 and her teacher was terrific!! She made sure my daughter has a smooth transition and yet required her to excel. The 2nd grade teacher whom she met was joyful and very friendly. The Gifted program also broadens the learning prospective for the students. The admistrative staffs are extremely friendly and supportive. I was impressed by how fast the email response I got from the admin staffs! This is indeed a school I would like to continue having my kids in--within the valley of the Manoa, the misty valley. Thank you Noelani!!
My son attended this school from kindergarten through fifth grade, and I was continually amazed at the amount of learning that happened in the classroom. All of his teachers excelled at incorporating solid foundational knowledge with fun, hands-on projects, along with tons of field trips and extracurricular classes. The school is cohesive, caring, and extremely well-run, though teachers do expect an age-appropriate level of self-control and focus from the students. They also distribute grades based on the quality of work produced and the effort put into the work. Both of these factors breed dissatisfaction from a small but vocal group of parents. The vast majority of parents, however, are deeply grateful for the excellent education this school provides.
My daughter transferred to Noelani mid-year. I found her teacher as well as the teachers for the special classes to be very caring for this special situation. She was welcomed right away and the students included her too. We moved from NYC and she had a much richer experience at Noelani than at catholic preschool and public k and first grade in Manhattan! While there are always things that could be improved I found that the administration, PTA and principal encouraged parent involvement and were open to discussion and feedback and genuinly putting childrens' interests first. This was not an easy school year having the furlough Fridays implemented after school start but I found the teachers and administration did their best given the situation. They managed to keep the special classes (art, music, PE, computers, Hawaiian)! We are very happy to continue at Noelani and look forward to next
I attended Noelani and then fed into one of the private schools on the island. I loved it! The school did a great job of preparing me for higher education!! I was provided many outlets for my energy and imagination. The work level was not difficult and I had a lot of time for extracurricular activities.
It's good if you want your kids to have to suffer to the severe world of disciplie..... But I feel that this school is much to strict, encourages students not to ask questions and not to have imagination.
We concur with the last reviewer about the lack of variety in the classroom. We also agree that while there may be some caring teachers at Noelani, the overall atmosphere is one of severity, and conformity. We had a very disappointing year with our bright, inquisitive, creative, talented intelligent child, who will now either be home-schooled or attend a private school which we can afford.
I have two children enrolled in Noelani, my fourth grade son (with some Special Ed issues) and my third grade daughter. We just recently moved from the Washington, DC suburbs where the school have a great repuation. I say categorically that my wife and I have been more pleased with Noelani than we were in Northern Virginia. The teachers and adminstrators and principal have all treated us as members of the family and welcomed our input. The academics here have been quite good, as have the PE, Hawaiiana and technology programs. My wife, my children and I all love our school.
As you can see from the SAT scores for Noelani, this is a high-achieving school. But how do they get children to perform for these tests? They treat them like laboratory rats. The children are drilled in basic curriculum math and writing to an obsessive degree. At 6th grade, children do an average of seven hours homework a night leading up to SAT tests. So when you see high SAT scores, realise that behind them is high-pressure cramming, little of variety in the classroom, zero visual art, pitiful music classes and a lack of the joy of learning. There are some caring teachers at Noelani but the general atmosphere is one of severity, dullness and conformity. Questioning and thinking for oneself is not encouraged. There is also troubling racial segregation - noticed by all 'other' groups at the school - which seems to be fed by every level of school.
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