This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Kahala Elementary School1
Posted December 27, 2013
- a parent
Bullying is allowed at this school. I have gone repeatedly to the principal but her attitude is "boys will be boys" and she said 'her hands are tied because bullying is common among children". My 9 year old has suffered and she has implied he doesn't help the situation. To make matters worse, the teachers do not seem to know how to teach without a textbook. My previous school had project based learning and active rubrics developed constantly. The teachers here do not teach without a textbook to guide them and rubrics are rarely applied. One teacher said they are used to only smart kids and another teacher said their principal has stated that since the kids are smart, don't worry about differentiating. Another teacher is constantly on her facebook during class time and all the kids know this but nothing is done. This school is riding on its past glory but enough teachers are complaining about this new principal and the environment is no longer friendly or academically striving.
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!