Lot of hype. No substance. It looks like the school staff has been posting positive reviews to offset the actual reviews. Doesn't surprise me much. These are not the people you want educating your children.
Aikahi is an outstanding school. My daughter is challenged and enjoys going to school. The teachers are inspiring and knowledgeable! The administration team is friendly and supportive. One of the best schools is Hawaii!
We are military family whose kids attended kindergarten. So military friendly and very understanding to the kids who have parents deployed or have frequent travel. Mrs. Hansen was an amazing teacher for my kids. We since moved to the mainland and they were either at or above reading and math levels as the other kids in their school. Very positive Hawaii public school experience!
The teachers continually tell me that my children are not their responsibility. They have no safety concerns whatsoever. They have first year teachers who are not informed about safety and procedure. One teacher said this exactly: "I checked with the office and they said I don't have to know where your child is when they leave my room". Do not send your children to this school until these teachers are better trained and take accountability for the safety of the children. I'm disgusted that any school would openly admit that they don't care what happens to your children.
We came from the mainland fully aware of the challenges of finding good education at public schools in Hawaii. This is our third year at Aikahi and are very pleased. We are happy with the new principal. There is also a new vice principal. This position didn't exist before. Our kids have had some very good teachers. Another recent addition is a music teacher that has really inspired our kids. I like the strong sense of community at Aikahi. Parents are very involved, which is probably one the major reasons for Aikahi doing so well compared to other public schools. The PTA is doing some really good things. In regard to some old comments below, there were a number of anti-bulling efforts implemented in the last year. I believe things are better now.
My son has attended Aikahi for 4 years. One of the best things about the school is the size. I love the small environment and that everyone knows everyone. All the teachers and staff get to know the kids and parents personally. Most of the parents also try to get involved in many of the programs and really create a sense of community. I have been very happy with the school and my son has thrived! Aikahi is one of the best schools in Hawaii.
This principal is definitely pointing Aikahi in the right direction. She's not perfect but who is. I'm glad we chose Aikahi for our kids.
New principal much better. PTA has good leadership. Parents need to be more involved. It's the same parents volunteering every year.
The new principal is just what the school needed to excel. She has a clear vision and is already moving the school in a positive direction. Excellent teachers, supportive PTA, and hard working students
My child has gone to this school for 3 years. The teachers are fair and the kids work and play well together. My child is happy here and motivated to learn.
This school is so over rated! Yes, many teachers are excellent but without an excellent environment to thrive in it's difficult for all involved. Bullying is bad. (and no. Bullying isn't everywhere if nipped in the bud immediately!) Mama drama even worse. And the extra programs offered are for after school only when many kids are off doing their sports. And if you are not a member of the PTSA, forget involvement, cuz the group is very clicky. We bit the bullet and switched to private school.
Aikahi is simply stated top-notch. Yes, Hawaii public education is lacking in various ways when compared to the mainland, which is why Aikahi sets itself apart from other public schools by offering a tremendous, unique, and diverse after-school enrichment program. Parents who do not get involved with volunteering regularly, PTSA, helping with school events, etc. seem to be the unhappy ones. Your child's educational experience is in large part what YOU as parents make of it with your involvement. Bullying can happen anywhere. It is NOT a bigger problem at this school relative to any other school in Hawaii, quite the contrary. Those that choose to homeschool, so be it....you are missing out on a valuable, irreplaceable, real-world social, cultural and educational experience in this wonderful community. VERY military-friendly school with some fantastic teachers and volunteers. I, as so many others, am PROUD to be an Aikahi parent!
I searched out the best school we could find when moving here with the military. We jumped through hoops to get our kids into Aikahi. It was a mistake. The bottom line is that the principal tolerates and protects bullies, and the academics are far behind a basic public school in the rural south. I know 3 separate families, 4 including my own, who now home school their children because Aikahi Elementary failed them. Teachers there seem nice and work hard, but bullies ruin the atmosphere for learning and no one does anything meaningful to stop it. Even with multiple investigations the only outcome was lip service, and in so many words, blaming the victims. Subsequently, these 4 families had their children in counseling to deal with the bullying, but the bullies were not only tolerated, but unaffected by the school s response. Academically, we found the curriculum quite unremarkable, particularly in math (Everyday Math with few supplements), history (none that I saw), and science. The gifted program was challenging in Language Arts. On the positive side, your child will learn hula and the kids enjoyed art and the cool playground, if they are not being bullied on it.
We are a military family and have been on-island for 6 months. We specifically rented a home within this school district based on everything we read. Aikahi seemed like top-notch school. And it is. However, I do think that a lot of the information floating around out there is dated. Aikahi likes to tout the fact that it was a Blue Ribbon School. This is a great accomplishment to be sure, but it should be noted that since this was awarded the school's principle has changed. I am very pleased with my children's teachers, however, the principle Ms. Kong leaves a lot to be desired. I walk my children to school, volunteer regularly, and have lunch with them about twice a month. Since the school year began (6 months ago) I have seen her TWICE on an ordinary day (walking the hall). She is never outside in the morning to greet the children, I've never seen her in the cafeteria, and have yet to witness her saying your typical "Bye, have a good night and don't forget to do your homework". I have been to the two coffees she has held (one about the academic software the students use, and one about next year's budget). I worry that her lack of leadership will pull this school down.
My son attended Aikahi from Kindergarten - 2nd grade. We absolutely LOVED it. Yes...the principal is a bit scatterbrained, but the teachers and PTSA is fantastic! If we move back to Hawaii, we would definitely consider coming back to Aikahi. VERY MILITARY FRIENDLY!
We chose to pull our children from this school. There was a fairly minor incident on the playground, that could have turned into one of those magical teaching moments if the principal knew anything! The woman has all the right degrees and zero ability to implement any of it. She actually said several things to me that would raise the eyebrows of her superiors, at the very least!!! She made disparaging remarks about children that witnessed the incident, she said one thing then another about one subject, she even made inappropriate threats. This school has so much potential! Most of the teachers are very dedicated and are the kind of teacher you always hope your child will have. The facilities are beautiful and the children are a wonderful mix of locals and military. The reputation this school earned under the leadership of a fantastic principal is what keeps their rating high. Once the current principal gets finished she may ruin the whole school. She has weakened the morale of the teachers to a staggering level - they know they cannot count on her for the administrative support they need!
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