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140 Alala Rd
Kailua, HI 96734

(808) 266-7844
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Map of Lanikai Elementary - Public Charter School address.

4 stars
Based on 51 ratings

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June 27, 2013
School is above average for Oahu, similar to other elementary schools in Kailua. After reading the last review I had to submit. We have a different experience. Yes 2 of the teachers mentioned are great and caring (1st & 2nd grade) yes the new director is a HUGE improvement over the last principal, but many students & parents have a different view point of the art "teacher" and that includes my family. Constantly hearing complaints about her yelling at the students, not speaking loud, yelling. Other parents & grandparents have heard her yelling at her classes when on campus and passing her classroom. Some students do not want to go to art because of this and because they have no opportunity to be creative in her class. Quote from my 5th grader "we have to do everything her way, we do not get to be creative." Three of my children have had this experience, they and many of our friends children have had this experience with this individual. I hesitate to call her a teacher because she is not certified to be one. Some of the art the children produce looks good but there is a sameness about it. I appreciate that they have an art program here, just wish someone else was teaching it.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2013
We recently left Lanikai because of a military move. We loved the school. My children both had excellent teachers all three years we were there. Mr. VanDerKamp, Mrs. Villegas, and Mrs. McKay were all excellent! Mr. Noh (principal) is great. He helped start a chess club with a few parents. My 6 year old loved playing chess and thought it was cool to play with the principal. Mr. Noh knows all the kids and knows most of the parents. The art teacher Mrs. Kristy is also amazing. I loved the accessibility of the teachers. They make you feel totally welcome to email or just talk before or after school. I truly felt that they cared for my children. My kids loved the school and I loved the feeling of Ohana. Both kids are ahead of their peers at their new schools. I was so worried that they would be behind due to the reputation of Hawaii schools. I'm so glad we got a G.E. to attend this school. We miss it terribly, our new school doesn't begin to compare.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2013
I LOVE Lanikai Elementary PCS! The school is small and really feels like an Ohana. The new director is amazing and the children are always pushed to think outside the box. That being said there is always need for improvement. Homework is brutal, especially in the upper grades. I would like to see a policy implemented that limits projects and requires no more than 10 mins of homework per grade level. The school is wonderful at encouraging volunteering and has a lot of activities planned by the LSO (PTA). I don't think there is a better elementary school (on the Windward side) that considers the whole child unless you want to pay $10K+ a year.

- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2012
This school is amazing! Left another one to go here it's a great school to go to

- submitted by a community member
November 11, 2012
So tired of the politics at Lanikai. If you are not part of the in crowd, your kids are done for. If your kid is being bullied, forget trying to have anything constructive done for them. It is such a shame that the needs of the children are placed so far downstream of those of the staff and parents. Don't get me wrong. Some of these teachers work darn hard to give the kids every opportunity and benefit that they might have, but there are too many people standing in their way. The haters and the controllers need to fall by the wayside and let those with constructive ideas come forward to propel this potentially talented school forward with the students at the front. I guess we've just given up on it and have decided to take our kids elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2012
One of the teachers I know of there could be more has no degree. Not in anything, not in the subject taught, not in education, none. Some of the substitute teachers they use have not been through the program required for all substitute teachers in the State. Requirements include a college degree and specific coursework relating to teaching as a substitute ( lesson plans, classroom management etc.)

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2012
It really depends on what you're looking for in an elementary school. If you want a school admin. that effectively handles bullying from children and adults alike, this is not the school for you. If your child is shy, quiet, or has any sort of trait that would be considered "different", this may not be a good fit. If community events, school social nights and Extra Curricular are what you like, this IS the school for you. PTSA has some great members, and some not-so-great. If you are not accepted socially, it is a nightmare-but that is true at any school. Teachers vary here. Some are wonderful, and others really need to go. If you can afford the after school activities, they are enjoyable. I don't see favoritism but I do see a lack of consistency with school policy throughout. The new principal has been here for a full year and he is very nice, but reluctant to administer any meaningful consequences for students who need discipline. Academically, my child did well here, but could have done so much more if the teachers were allowed to teach rather than spend time dealing with disruptive behavior in the classroom. Ultimately this was not a good fit for our child and we are leaving.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2012
Lot of favoritism behind the scenes. Teachers entering the one-way school lot going the wrong direction. What kind of EXAMPLE is that? Should also consider ONLY upper class-men for the student council vice president and president positions.... Other than that school is good-ish.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2012
I L-O-V-E- Lanikai Elementary School. We have been at this wonderful school for 2 years. A new admin team was established this year, and the trio have done an outstanding job through out the school. The teachers and parents support eachother, seeing eye to eye on the national standards of scholarly achievements and have teamed together to exceed those expectations. This is the little school that could and CAN. PTSA has done a fantastic job in getting parents and the community members involved and engaged with the school and students. From Hawaiiana, Library, Computers, Music, PE and ART- this is a school that you would be proud to be a part of.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2012
Lanikai PSC is a wonderful elementary school! The families at the school are great and care about their children's education. They volunteer in the classroom as well as at school events. Teachers are committed and dedicated to the kids. The principal is outstanding! He sets such a positive tone for the school. Our kids love the specials (art, music, PE) and we feel fortunate that Lanikai offers them. They also have a wide range of after school activities which our kids have enjoyed. We feel very fortunate that we were accepted as GE into Lanikai and wouldn't want our kids anywhere else!

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2012
Our family has been at Lanikai PCS for four years now. There are so many aspects to consider when looking at schools. Lanikai is a very special school with many opportunities that go beyond the excellent academic focus. It is unusual to find a school that still has a teacher specially trained and teaching the following areas- PE, music, art, library and technology. Our children enjoy the small size of the campus and the Ohana feeling at the school. The new school director is absolutely a phenomenon. Our school is so lucky to have him and his positive presence on campus. Parents are involved volunteering in the classrooms and the PTSA continues to put on amazing events like Math and Science Night and the Concert Under the Stars. We feel fortunate to have our children attending Lanikai PCS.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2012
It's VERY hard to read the negative reviews on here about Lanikai! I usually don't review schools but I had to make sure I wrote one on behalf of Lanikai. I'm a parent of 2 boys who attend Lanikai. My kids are now in 5th & 2nd grade & I'm EXTREMELY happy to be apart of the Lanikai Ohana!! I've NEVER had a bad experience with this school. The students are smart and well behaved. Both of my boys have been blessed to have great teachers for the past 2 years. The teachers are approachable and reachable for any & every concern I have. The principal is so friendly & actually knows our entire family's first names. He gets to know his students & is nice enough to attend birthday parties & events of his students upon request. They DO NOT tolerate bullying!! I've seen first hand how they nip it in the bud quickly. We're a military family & Lanikai is extremely pro military & supportive of the struggles we face with deployments, training schedules and PCS. We just received orders back to CA & I'm SO bummed that we'll have to leave Lanikai. I chose to get involved with the PTSA & these women are phenomenal. They work for FREE & do an amazing job. I love Lanikai Elementary & will miss it dearly

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2011
Lanikai could be a great school if the punk kids could be reined in a bit. The teachers are great, and the new principal seems to really care about the school, but some of the kids really bring it down.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2011
To the woman who blamed the children in waimanalo for bully... Get a grip. My children have been attending lanikai for many years and not one has ever been in any type of trouble, the all get near perfect grades, and are just nice good children. My oldest that has moved on to middle school is doing better than I could have ever imagined. They all have or had GE's to attend Lanikai. The only time they mentioned bullies in the school was in regard to military child.... yet I do not blame ALL military and their up bring. Perhaps the real problems is your lack of aloha.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2011
Severe bullying problem which the principal, teacher, and school counselor where not able to resolve. Politics over the care for the students. Deeply frustrating and disappointing. We where not the only parents who had to resort to taking our child out of the school. Makes you want to occupy the school yard.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2011
For those that complain, complain, complain...I suggest getting involved. Those women in the PTSA and on the committees are not getting paid- they are putting their money where their mouth is, and I guarantee anyone of them would be more than willing to take you under their wing if you kindly asked ; they did me when I was a newby her last year, but I came in with a humble attitude, not a mightier than thou attitude. If you want a better school and you want change, then you need to be a change agent not an agent of negativity and bashing- what good does do anyone? By the way, I am from a military family and I can guarantee it is not the score so military kids that are boosting the overall scores. Have a look at the military scores for school on the bases here- you will see they fair nowhere close to being great. Put that energy to work- in a good way-please.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2011
This school is so hard to be a part of. It is clickish- both parents and teachers. And everyone has a personal agenda. That is why this school is well known in the area for producing the worst math students, so much so that the intermediate school has to work remedially with them. All those many years ago when I was in school, schools centered around the kids not forgot about them. PTSA is run by a group of friends who think they know what is best for everyone and take no consensus from their membership. It is a disappointment that we can not have a student-centered environment. Thank goodness we have so many military kids to pull up our test scores, otherwise we would be in a much sadder state. Here's to hoping that the new principal can come in and get things in order, but that is placing a huge burden on his shoulders before he even starts. Maybe we could coalesce around him and set aside our egos for the better of the children. If not now, when?

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2011
It is almost ironic. We moved our children to this school when we moved to Hawaii and had done a ton of research before we arrived. We know that no school is perfect, but I am amazed at how much control a few of the teachers have over the school. Certain teachers require their elementary students halfway through the year to address them as 'Dr.' instead of the Mrs. that they had become accustomed to. And some teachers with tenure are so stuck in their ways that the educational style seems not to have progressed since they taught 3rd grade in the 80s. This is a good school for Hawaii, but anywhere else it would be considered substandard. Many of the parents are no better than the teachers. Most stand around before and after school stirring the pot instead of doing something creative for the kids. The school needs to be built for and around the students, not the ancillary adults.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2010
Love this school with small class size and peaceful setting. Yes, we are currently without a principle but the value here is really the teachers not the principle....the teachers are simply a cut above and both my kids have gone from kindergarten all the way up so i know them all!!! I love that we the parents get an active voice since this is a charter school. Bottom line: my kids love to go to school and are reading 3 -4 years above grade level, understand what it means to be a community contributor and the importance of education...what more could you want?

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2010
Very happy here. We have all three children enrolled and love the school. I love the parental involvement.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2010
So far I am very happy with this school. My daughter has a really great teacher and absolutely LOVES this school. The parent involvement is wonderful! I am very happy that I decided to go with this school - my daughter is learning and bringing some pretty cool stuff home - she loves the friends she's made, loves her teacher and likes all of her fun classes.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2010
Glad we left. We took our kids out of the school last year due to poor instruction and constant drama. Last week the principal resigned. Now no one is steering this last ship.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2010
I am highly impressed with the teaching staff and leadership. A tight ship that has ensured a safe, nurturing and accountable exemplary staff is the obvious product of vigilance and focus on what is at the very heart of what our school system should be about- the children served. Sometimes a country road is well worth the journey to finds the treasures not often seen on the road most traveled. This school will breeze through a seamless leadeship trasiton on the shoulders of already inplace objectives and visions, great adminstration mentorships, the support of caring parents and a stellar porfessional staff.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2010
Where has the morale of the school gone? We have enjoyed several wonderful years of education at Lanikai, our school of district, but the morale deterioration that started with the administration's foray into juvenile politics has only been exacerbated by the power play between teachers and the administration. It is a shame that this school year ushered in a time when the children are being used openly as pawns by the teachers to fend off attacks by the admin. We are being forced to shop elsewhere for an education for our son. Such a shame since the school had such promise a few years back.

- submitted by a parent
January 01, 2010
I've watched the school for years. It has had some hard times as it transitioned from regular to public charter school, and it has come out on top. For the fifth year it has been nominated for the state's highest honors in education: A Hawaii Distinguished School and a nominee for the state's Blue Ribbon Schools Award. Academically it is among the top performers; expectations for all students are high; children are safe and happy; and the parent community is active and supportive. One-third of the students live in the school's assigned district; for two-thirds, Lanikai is a school of choice.

- submitted by a community member
October 17, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2009
Great kids, great families, great teachers, great administration. Everyone knows each other!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
school pride- caring- teachers - with great teaching skills - parental involvement - military involvement - children are safe - clean, comfortable learning environment.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 03, 2009
Lanikai is a terrific little schoo(330 students)l near the beach that has great teachers and caring, involved parents. Last night we did a Family math Night and over 200 people showed up!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
Great family and community involvement. All of my kids went there and now I love substitute teaching there. There's good energy at the school!

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
Finding a group of teachers and staff who devote themselves as comnpletely to students as these ones do is like finding a tiny piko shell on a huge beach. The teachers provide not only instruction, but a truly safe, caring environment where all students feel accepted and acknowledged. The feedback from tests and homework has helped me work with my son and daughter to keep them up to speed. The last thing about Lanikai that I cherish is how it reflects the community I live in. There is a really high level of participation in activities by teachers and parents, and it adds a whole other dimension to the experience of having our kids at Lanikai

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 25, 2009
Lanikai is a wonderful school. Teachers are kind and caring and provide a supportive learning environment for their students. The administration is accessible and works hard to make Lanikai a wonderful place for children, parents, faculty and staff. You could not find a better place in Hawaii for your children than Lanikai. See for yourself; visit the campus, happy kids engaged in active learning activities. However, there are a few old-timers , certain teachers who lack some professionalism. They are unhappy (resistant to change, not open to new and improved educational ideas) and spread their negativity to all who will listen namely parents. They are unhappy that the administration requires them to follow state standards, use a school wide assessment system, and produce lesson plans. But as a parent, I am glad the administration has the students educational well being as their top priority. Its apparent in the high test scores!

- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2009
I am so impressed with Lanikai PCS's leadership under Mr. David Sauceda. He entered Lanikai 3 years ago when Mr. Birkett left after being worn down by some disgruntled parents & a small handful of teachers and staff with their own personal agenda against his initiatives. He took over Lanikai during a difficult time and he has made several positive changes in personnel and the philosophy of the school. He continues to work tirelessly with the Lanikai School Board, teachers, staff, parents, and the community to create a long-term view for the school in this new millenium. Do not believe the negative comments entered here. They are half-truths and not entirely accurate. They are not a true picture of our creative, positive school. Sometimes change is difficult for people, but it is also necessary to improve and move forward to make it a better place. Thanks for your courage David!

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2009
We were so happy when our first child was accepted at Lanikai PCS. IT fit us so perfectly, even the new principal.Our 2nd child followed 2 years later and the school seemed to be thriving. Then Fred Birkett left. The three years we've endured under the new principal's leadership have demoralized us. We've tried valiantly to help the school and moral from the downward spiral it is on. Finally, in May 2009, the fight has left us. The teachers are unhappy, the curriculum has no flow between grades, the school feels more like it is run by a totalitarian government. I don't want my children taught by a miserable, bullied, trapped teacher. The school was touted as encouraging heavy parental input. I guess if you want to go in and gripe to the school sign, it will listen to you... but that's as far as you'll get. So we are leaving...

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2009
I went out of my way to ensure my children attended Lanikai when we moved here. I knew that there were changes coming as the highly rated principal was leaving. His leadership as well as the phenomenal staff and parents created the well deserved high ratings of Great Schools. Since our arrival I have watched as politics and drama have taken over. There seems to be a dictatorship. Unilateral decisions seem to be made that completely undermine the concept of a Charter school. Teachers seem to be shuffled around according to who cooperated the most with the principal, leaving no consistency to the teaching staff. Teacher moral seems low.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2009
Lanikai School was very highly rated by the state and by parents up until July 2007, when Mr. Birkett, the principal left the school. Since May 2008, we have seen many beloved teachers and staff removed by the new principal, and an atmosphere of mistrust and even intimidation. There have been some discipline problems that are not being addressed because the teachers can not count on the new principal to back them up. There are still many excellent dedicated teachers, and active, involved parents, as well as a phenomenal PTA, but the current atmosphere at the school is eroding the morale of the teachers, parents, and the students.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2009
The parent involvement is outstanding. Communication could use work, but with the number of families and extended helpers... everyone tries to make this the best school for their child(ren). Only downside are those who are vocal with complaints or ideas, but not able to help when given the chance. We were on a waiting list to get in and are honored to have that chance. Go Lanikai!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2009
I would not recommend Lanikai to anyone. High teacher turn over, poor curriculum, excessive days off and the worst principal I ever encountered. My son was constantly bullied. Admin's suggestion- take karate lessons. There is no wonder why there are so many families leaving. So sad for once a great school.

- submitted by a parent
February 25, 2009
This is a wonderful school, great teachers who love and actually support your children in all aspects that the child is trying to achieve. I am very grateful to all the staff from the principle to the lunch bunch.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
January 12, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
December 05, 2008
Lanikai Public Charter School Elementary has some really outstanding dedicated teachers, hard working students and a lot of involved parents. It is a great school but is undergoing much upheaval with the new principal and staff. Unfortunately it has seen better times.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2008
I have a 4th and 6th grader at Lanikai, this is our 3rd year at this school. I am so so so happy with the quality of education at Lanikai. I am equally impressed with the teachers and staff, the school is run very organized and the children are all very happy. Ohana is not just a word at Lanikai, School pride is very high at this school. The special education department is amazing, Mrs cockett goes to batt for her sped children and is always looking out for them and what is in their best interest! We are very happy with this School and think it is the best on the Island, even better then most private schools!

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 06, 2008
Lanikai rocks! My son has had a phenomenal education for the three years he's been there, 4th - 6th. He just got accepted to the top three private schools in Hawaii precisely because of the fantastic education he got at Lanikai. The sense of community is great and the kids are wonderful. Go Lanikai!

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2007
We are thrilled to be at Lanikai Elementary. The teachers and staff are wonderful. They truly go out of their way to assist and make you feel welcome. Parental participation is outstanding. My children are so happy here.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2007
I really love Lanikai School. The only downfall I see is the change in leadership. I think Lanikai School lost an excellent principal when Mr. Birkett left.

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2007
I have a child that is in 6th grade this year, and I have to say I had higher expectations for her education. I was also dissappointed to hear that the school board was not able to work with the principal in such a way that was beneficial to the school community. We are a military family that rely on word of mouth to help in our decision making process if we are unable to visit the community before moving. I was really excited about the principal at this school and felt that he had some great changes in store. Unfortunatley, the staff did not have the forsight to see the good he could do. I would not recommend Lanikai to anyone at this point. They are loosing a great opportunity for change and that is unfortunate. This is the problem with Hawaii's public schools, they are not willing to change.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2007
I have a kindergartner and a 3rd grader. We are finishing our first school year and are pleased. The environment at the school is wonderful and fosters great learning. There is always something for the kids to look forward to. You can not find a happier place to learn!

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2006
As a parent I've been very impressed with the staff, the theachers, the principal and the other parents. This has been an excellent experience in learning and in life for my second grader as well as the rest of my family being a part of the Lanikai School Ohana.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
August 23, 2005
Lanikai elementary is what a school should be. Exellent leadership, great teachers, incredible parent involvement, a very dynamic Parent-Teacher association. Visit the school's website website here www.lanikaielementary.com

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2005
Lanikai has an extended curriculum for the children of K-6th grade. This school has a high level of parent and community involvement. The teacher's have all been A++++++ and we are happy with our children's progress.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2004
This was a wonderful experience for both me and my 1st grade son. The range and diversity of learning tools, materials and subjects are outstanding. Parent participation is totally exceptional, the PTA is strong and motivated and there seems to be a wide-felt family spirit among faculty, staff and students. A+ and Hana Hou to Lanikai!

- submitted by a parent
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Lanikai Elementary - Public Charter School
140 Alala Rd, Kailua, HI  96734
(808) 266-7844
Last modified Lanikai Elementary - Public Charter School is a Charter school. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Lanikai Elementary - Public Charter School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 57 reviews. Top