Clearly the few parents who posted negative reviews of this school have had personal problens with either a teacher or the principal. This school is amazing!! Both my husband and I attended private schools and decided to wait to put our children in private school until after attending Kahala Elementary because this school is so fantastic. The teachers we have had have been outstanding- very nurturing and strong academically. The school has a very strong PTO which pays for Drama, Art, Music and Technology. The kids also receive PE and Hawaiian Studies. If a parent does not see evidence of this then not only are you not involved in what your child does on a weekly basis but you have also clearly not gone to the school to meet and spend time with any of these fine teachers. There are garden club events, band, hula, drama events and Ohana nights. Get involved and meet the teachers and spend time with the wonderful principal who is always available to discuss any concerns. We absolutely love this school!!!!
I am writing this review because 2 years ago I was a parent moving from the mainland and the single most important decision in where to move was based on education for my children. I relied heavily on the Great School website in making my decision. We got a house specifically for Kahala to be our school and I sent my 2nd and 5th grader there. I found myself extremely frustrated with the school and moved my daughter after half of the year. My daughters teacher at the time we left mid-year had missed close to 60 days of school. I was a fixture in the principles office regarding both my children and was originally told things would be taken care of but I soon came to realize that the principle would tell me one thing and behave completely differently and basically do nothing. My son experienced bullying which was treated as if that's just how kids act. I am thrown by the review which states that they have art, music and drama because my child brought home zero art the entire year and part of the reason I picked the school is they say they have robotics, and art which they had neither. When I pulled my daughter out the principle told me she would be doing the same thing.
Parents from Japan -- do not bring your children to this school. The principal pretends to be nice as long as there is no problem. When there's a problem, she doesn't deal with it. Even the teachers have told us about this and they don't like her either. I have two children at this school. One of my children is in grade 4. His teacher updates her facebook throughout the day during class time. A group of us parents have checked and she does this every day. The principal knows and does nothing. The teacher assigns pages and pages of homework but doesn't help because she's too busy on her personal face book.
I have had three of my children attend Kahala. One of my children still attends and my older kids are in private school. Kahala really prepared my children for middle school. The school has faced many challenges, (different principals, teacher turnover) but I see many things changing for the better. They have a new principal who is friendly and always willing to listen and help. The teachers are dedicated and I like the academic focus. The school has PE, art, music, drama, and an after school band program. There are several other after school programs my child have attended - karate, art, Mandarin, hula, etc. What's great is that my children can be in these programs while at A Plus. The PTO is more than just about fund raising - the family nights are great and attended by everyone. Our family has loved being a part of this school.
I am pretty sure the last reviewer is drinking the cool-aid. Here is the real scoop. We moved from a wonderful public school in California. I spent over 2 months trying to find the best option here. This school looked great on paper. This was the worst school. There was no soul to it. No sounds of laughter, no smiling faces. At pick-up most parents just complained about the school.Not to mention that our teacher was always calling in a sub. I contacted the school board and they were also surprised to hear how badly things were being handled. Mid year we moved as did several other families. Because this was a 10 on paper and reviewed great, we moved to Kahala for this school and sadly it was a bad choice. We are now at a private school and paying dearly, I am still disappointed. My 3rd. grader is learning what they were teaching in 1st grade back in California. Oh, and forget the art, music and extras I hope this helps and I wish that people would be more honest in their opinions, for many of us who don't know we really rely on the comments. and for those who say we need to be more involved with the school to get more out of it, you are not seeing things clearly. I am involved!
We have just enrolled our 2nd child at Kahala. We are really pleased with the sense of community in this school. There are regular events outside school and these are well-attended by familiar faces. Students, parents, teachers and volunteers set up a small garden before summer, so the kids can learn about growing things and to beautify the school. Academically, the school is fine, and we are pleased with progress and scores. The AR program is excellent, and there is also a great online Math program they can practice at home. Many of the teachers are extremely dedicated and really put in hard work with the kids. The A+ and Parks and Rec activities are fantastic, and the kids have lots of after-school activities to choose from. There is a school band for 3-5th grade. The new principal is very involved and receptive to parents concerns. We love Kahala!
When I used to attend the school years back, I remember having a principal who never seemed to help parents and often ask us all, as families, to speak with the counselor, who was also very manipulative with dominating personal ideas into other's concerns, to solve any issues. Some teachers I've seen were amazingly keen in helping students, but there were always a few who have never worked like "professionals" and made fun of students' work ethics without offering help. Despite the fact, as a student at the school, I enjoyed the academic program as well as the structure of their everyday schedule. The school's after school program, at the time, was very enjoyable (one of the ways I made good friends) and the recreational center located minutes away from the establishment was a place where students were able to relax and feel comfortable.
Kahala is a great school. Most of the teachers are extremely dedicated and work very hard. The school has had a couple of prinipals over the past few years that have either retired or left due to health reasons. A new prinicpal is on board and she has big plans for the upcoming school year. Kahala is a great school and a wonderful neighborhood.
My daughter loves this school! We found the school to be very focused on the academic side, which is great, but there are also a great range of after-school activities which balance this out, and the kids love their computer lab time too. My daughter takes the after school hula class, which is taught by one of the kindergarten teachers, and I liked that her teacher integrated small science projects into class activities, like growing a plant for Mothers Day. We think this is a great school!
My children love this school and the principal is very receptive to parent's concerns. Most of the teachers are dedicated.
We love this school! I have two boys, one in kindergarden and the other in 2nd grade. So far, i love the teachers that my older boy had. For my younger son, at first i really didn't like the teacher. She was known for not teaching the kids, but my son is doing great in her class. Anyways, as for all the bad things said about the school, it has really changed since the new principle came along. As for other schools, like Wilson, they have great teacher and parent participation. But Kahala is better in academics.
Kahala is a great school. Teachers are excellent and staffs are wonderful.
I just really like Kahala because it is fun and exciting. I have been to Kahala from kindergaten and now I'm in fourth grade. Not one of the years in Kahala I didn't like it. They even have AR.
I have two children in this school now. I am not a teacher. I used to rave and love to talk about this school. The teachers are great, dedicated and really interested in providing the kids with an excellent education. Which I do believe they have received. The 'new' principle has both teachers and parents in an uproar. I'm pulling my kids out in 2007/08. He is ineffective, lacks follow up/follow thru and I do not want to follow, his leadership, or rather lack of. I do not want to be part of a system that is unstable and in which I have no confidence. Parent involvement was huge but I've seen it decline, no one wants to work with him! Too bad one person has this much negative power and yet is still around. I think they call that job security and tenure, right?
The principle, who started 8/2002, by our experience has been completely ineffective on a practical, day to day level. The school has been recognized as a 'Blue Ribbon School', but in the trenches, he is notably passive in problem solving. The teachers so far have been compassionate and effective but issues that require administrative attention go without resolution.
The curriculum is well rounded, it has some really wonderful teachers, and it seems to do well each year that the elementary schools are rated. It has, however, a relatively new principle (around 2 years) who is an overall weak, do-nothing, kinda nice guy.
The school is great and SOME of the teachers are really awesome. It's the younger teachers that do want the children to learn . For the School they do have a new Principle which got transfer from another school. The problem is that he is more concern with music for the kids cause he is a band teacher. He does not like to put his foot down on anything cause he wants to be the teacher good side which is wrong. I think he should put his foot down when a parent has a complaint about a teacher. I feel that the principle should get a critic review from the parents.
I went to this school from my kindergarten until 4th grade years (I am now in college). I loved it dearly. I actually lived in Waikiki, but my parents wanted me to go to this school. All of my teachers worked hard for a level of excellence, and the administration and teachers were all loving. I had strong, positive relationships with four out of my five teachers. The academic programs are superb, and they have different levels. I cannot speak about recent levels of extracurricular studies. It is (statistically speaking) one of the best schools on Oahu, too.
My son had problem with teacher from first grade. I hope he will meet right teacher for next year because my first son had great teacher from fist grade and now he is really like to study and having fun.
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