My oldest has attended from Kindergarten through 5th grade on a GE (military family with home school Mokapu). My youngest has attended Special Education Pre-school and Pre-K (DOE transfer in Headstart).
This school has a family friendly and community involved atmosphere. The PTA is amazing and there is a great partnership with MALS-24 on MCBH. The Principal and VP are great at listening to and addressing many concerns ASAP. The office staff is hit or miss in terms of friendliness, but they are efficient. All my daughters' teachers have been caring, supportive, and excellent educators. I feel my daughters have received a quality and well-rounded education here (music, art, Hawaiian studies, health, and overall wellness are included in the curriculum). I am confindent that my daughters will transition well into even the best schools on the mainland when we PCS at the end of this school year.
The only reason this is no longer a 5 star school to me is because of the way they handle new IEPs or 504's. I've done the process at Mokapu for my youngest before she became a district placement at Kainalu. The process with Mokapu went very well. The process for my oldest with Kainalu was a fight every step of the way starting with the FSC who tried her best to get me to drop it and to keep me from even scheduling a meeting. Even though my daughter is an EFMP CAT 4 and receives in class accommodations (and we know of children with the same special needs who have IEPs on the mainland), the school refused to give her the protection of an IEP or 504. I will utilize MCBH EFMP reps to help me fight for an IEP or 504 if her current accommodations are not honored.
Overall, this is a great school, and I'm still happy my children go here. However, be aware that if your child develops or is diagnosed with special needs, it can be difficult to get new IEP's or 504's at this school.
This is the best school ever!! So much aloha!! The garden program is amazing...there are so many extracurricular activities for every age even kindergarten. I loved this school. We recently moved to the mainland and my daughter now goes to "a really good school" NOT compared to this school. We miss it terribly. All the people are amazing. The communication between school and parent is top notch. It really is the best school around. Mahalo Kainalu for embracing my entire ohana while we were there...even my little baby who grew up in your campus and in your garden!
This is by far the best school I've ever seen! I find that every staff member here puts the children first. They are always happy and smiling and they stop at nothing to ensure ALL KIDS have exactly what they need to flourish! The school has different events almost weekly that are fun for the whole family and the teachers are just amazing. Every single one of them is wonderful and my kids have progressed so much here & we owe all our thanks to them. Coming from homeschooling we were all nervous about the transition but I cannot imagine ever doing that in another place. There really arent enough great words to describe just how wonderful this school is. There is no other school quite like this one anywhere. The school itself, the staff, the students, the other parents..the HEART here is unlike anything I've ever seen.
My children have attended Kainalu for the past 4 years. Caring teachers surround them, holding the children s well being as the most important aspect of learning. Thru collaboration with ` ina in Schools, each grade level has curricula that relates the garden to food, science, culture, art, story telling, & diet. Other collaborative efforts are Tails of Aloha, Sustainable Coastlines HI, Plastic Free Hawaii, Royal Hawaiian Band, Olelo TV, Special Friends, YMCA, National History Day, Science Fair, Junior Police Officers, Speech Festival, & still more! One favorite assignment is Biography Day, in grade 3, when each student dresses as their favorite historical figure & acts out a life story, which they have researched & written. Students classrooms studies are enhanced with a wide array of field trips to which relate studies to the place they live. Children test into the Gifted program at Kainalu, involving them in film-making, science projects, & National History Day. With this, they have won Olelo film awards, & even travelled to Washington DC, as NHD finalists. Curious? Check out the Kainalu PTA facebook page, & see what the school is up to now!
Our daughter has been at Kainalu Elementary for her entire elementary school career. She will be graduating from the 6th grade in a couple of weeks. We will truly miss this school that has provided so many opportunities for her to learn so much! Kainalu has a wonderful GT program, and our daughter participated in National History Day, Olelo, Robotics, Science Fair, Tech Club, Student Government, and many other after school activities. The teachers really give their all to see that their students thrive. I know this has been the best choice of a school for our daughter because she recently competed with kids from private schools for scholarships, and she won. This says a lot for Kainalu Elementary!
Kainalu Elementary Great for the first 4 years with encouraging and supportive teaching. Wonderful extracurriculars & opportunities for the students to shine & develop confidence. Final 2 years seem bent on destroying all that was gained with badgering, bullying, and repression. A sense of humor, acceptance, & alliance goes a long way in dealing with pre-teens. These qualities promote the continued zest for learning that is fostered in the early years. Why nurture confidence & then destroy it in the end?
My daughter attended Kainalu for Kindergarten and is now in first grade, and we are happy with the school. We're a military family here for three years and researched the few pockets of good public schools in Oahu. We chose to live in Kailua because of this and love Kainalu. My daughter had classes in Hawaiian cultural studies and an after-school program in Mandarin Chinese. She's learning a lot in core subjects and challenged along the way. Her teachers had 10+ and 20+ years of teaching experience and were great partners in learning.
We are a military family and had heard negative reports about Hawaii's public schools. Nothing could be further from the truth at Kainalu. We absolutely love this school. The curriculum is the most challenging our kids (4th and 5th grade) have ever had. We have seen no teaching to standardized tests here - instead they are focused on skills that kids will need in life - critical thinking, reading comprehension, writing, speaking and presentation skills. The teachers are fabulous and obviously dedicated to the kids and the principal is always present at every event, cheering the kids on. I wish our kids had started here in kindergarten and wish they could finish the rest of their elementary years here!