Postitives: 1. Super involved parent community 2. Strong curriculum in reading and math (see annual scores; also, my 1st grader is writing at a high level already) 3. Higher grades' opportunities for special interests (school music, plays) 4. Gifted programs (including English for 3rd grade and up, and 7th grade math offered to 6th graders who qualify) 5. Concerned teachers who care about our kids and are really trying their best 6. Best playground in the whole state of Hawaii 7. Accepting of diversity and military kids 8. Music Program for all grades paid for by the PTA 9. Fun Nutrition and Gardening classes for all grades through the Aina In Schools program 10. Emphasis on Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, Resourcefulness and Resiliency (the 5 Rs, talked about a lot) Weaknesses: 1. I have several friends who have needed and IEP for their kids. From what I understand, this is a problem throughout Hawaii and is not specific to Aikahi as the budget for these is through DOE. 2. They have computer classes but do not teach typing.
This school is much better when compared to my child's previous school, however the SSC leaves a lot to be desired. She is very confrontational and belittles most of what the parents and other professionals say. I have left every meeting feeling like my child was put on the back burner for another month or 2 while they "gather more information". If your child has special needs and you don't already have an established 504 or IEP, you may want to consider your options elsewhere or prepare for a year long battle. My child had a 504 at our last school on the mainland and there was not this much difficulty. The SSC was actually helpful and tried to accommodate in every way possible for our child. Not the case here. I am giving them 2 stars based on the difficulties we have had with the SSC. Anyone with a special needs child understands how important this is & is heavily considered when choosing a school.
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.