Terrible school. Who knows what the kids are learning at IPA. The environment is not a friendly one unless you belong to one of the popular cliques. Being a local boy, I felt like an outcast here. I tried to mingle, join in on, or start up conversations with the other parents while waiting to drop off or pick up my son, but it never got anywhere beyond my efforts. But these cliques have no problem talking with each other as they lounge around in the lobby area of the building. I felt the same impersonal vibe coming from many of the teachers and office staff. If I felt this way, imagine how my son felt. I hope the students weren't as prejudice as the parents and school's staff are. No returns for good reason. I couldn't subject myself, but more importantly, my son to this poor treatment again.
I am a satisfied parent AND a happy employee at Island Pacific Academy, so much so that I choose to have both of my children enrolled at this school though I could make a different choice. My oldest child is currently in the secondary (6-12) program but started at IPA in the first grade. My youngest is in the elementary (JK -5) program. I am so impressed with both of my children. The work ethic, curiosity and creativity of my oldest is evident in the work submitted at the current level. While my youngest struggles a bit more with academics, the curiosity, enthusiasm for school and creativity are still intact. While IPA doesn't look like a traditional program with "textbooks" and A-F grading, it shouldn't. Education is changing because our world is changing, so that means the education we knew growing up doesn't rise to meet the challenge of a changing world. It must look different. Every teacher my children have had are exceptional not only in pedagogical practice, but also in the care they have had for my children. As long as I am able, I will keep my children at IPA because it is truly a place that practices what it preaches.
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. This school is an empty box wrapped in pretty paper. I heard about the this school before moving here, how it was the ONLY school to go to because the HI public schools are so terrible. Our teacher was beyond stifling and lacked professionalism. She knew and watched my son be bullied all year by 2 other boys and did NOTHING. When I approached her, she said, "Oh, that's been since day one. They just don't get along." Pushing, hitting, name calling, and mean spirited teasing beyond normal behavior, witnessed at least 2 adults. When I informed the school we would not return, I was told, "That's good. We don't have what he needs here." Further, there are no text books. All class and homework is from a easy teacher link you can pay for at home for $20 and home school your child. Why pay the extra $13,980 in the coming year? To further exagerate the situation, it's Desperate Housewives drama between parents and staff. I have seriously heard, "Did you see what she was wearing?" conversations while dropping my child off. To be fair, some of the families are wonderful people and we have become friends. The school, however, is a waste of time and money.
I find it hard to believe that IPA has top notch students. Most of the students were the staff's children. I had my son enrolled here for a few years and we've finally come to our senses to remove him. What a shame too! All the money put into this school that we couldve put to better use and all the years that we cant get back. He wasnt challenged here and he seemed bored with the type of work he was given. Nothing was done about this even after speaking with his teacher about it. At the end of each school year I would look through his workbooks and find so many incomplete pages, and the pages werent completed in any specific order. It appeared to have been done at random. IMO IPA puts more emphasis in their upper grade levels than they do with their elementary levels. When I think back to when he was (supposedly) tested to get into IPA I remember him being done in a short time. I found that to be unusual considering that other private school's tests took longer. I don't believe they have a real entrance exam. I truly believe they will accept anyone who can squeeze out the $ to pay. As for employees of the school having their children there, it's probably for the enrollment numbers
My daughter is finishing her fifth year at IPA and I continue to be impressed with the quality of her education. I have experience with public schools as well as one of the largest and oldest private schools in the state, and I believe that IPA can hold it's own against the finest schools in Hawaii. IPA isn't perfect, and they're still experiencing some growing pains, but I don't know of a school that isn't, including ones that have been around for 100+ years. Issues that arise are not discounted, but are dealt with earnestly and fairly.
We have had a student at IPA since 2005. We are very happy with the education our child is receiving at IPA! Educating the whole child is very important to us. Our child is not only learning academically but also learning to help others, respect each other and grasp each others differences. IPA students learn not only how to make a difference in their community, state and world but also how to implement the things they have learned. We also like the family atmosphere of IPA. It is a community within the Kapolei community. Volunteer participation is a must in this size of a school and we have over the top parents and grandparents will endlessly give of their time and effort to help. We highly recommend IPA to anyone seeking private school education for their children! We are blessed to have such a wonderful school so close to home!!
My son has attended the school since the doors first opened. We couldn't be happier with the education he is receiving. The schools IB program is a different way of teaching and learning, but I can see that he has such a broader perspective of the world. An IB diploma also gives him a 6% to 10% better chance in getting into ivy league school. I really don't understand the negative comments by other reviewers since our experience has been so different. Yes it is expensive but we find it is worth every penny. I find it amazing that in such a short time how this school academic reputation has grown and is really the only alternative on the West side of the island.
Come this August we will have three children enrolled at IPA and we couldn't be happier. The academics in the middle and high school is both rigorous and engaging. There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving. Teachers are readily available to help in any way. Just the other day, my daughter stayed after school because her English teacher scheduled a optional Skype meeting with his dad ( who is a professor ) to get another perspective on the book "The Prince" by Machiavelli. She said it was amazing! That mix of technology, dedication, innovation and opportunity takes place on a regular basis. Yes, we will have to tighten our belts this year but we view their education as a priority. We have found the best match for our family in this school.
My kids are finishing their seventh year at IPA and we continue to be very pleased with the school. I have always been impressed with the academics. Now that the school is implementing the International Baccalaureate program, I am even more confident that my kids are receiving a state-of-the-art, rigorous education. I have talked to numerous parents whose kids have graduated from IPA who happily report that their kids felt they were amply prepared for college. The performing and visual arts departments are outstanding. IPA places significant value on the arts and encourages the students to be creative and to try new things. Finally, I believe that what sets IPA apart from ANY other school is the focus on values. Our students learn from their first day in Junior Kindergarten, that "whenever you can, HELP!" Not only do our students learn the importance of making a difference in their community, they learn the skills to make it happen. The kids develop a passion and a sense of responsibility to help others and to make a difference. I could not be more grateful for the amazing education and opportunities my kids are receiving at IPA.
They are supposed to be a college prep school but they don't emphasize academics. They even say academics come after morals. I don't know about the upper levels but in the elementary school, they don't seem to teach the basic fundamental skills they need. They attempt to produce a more well rounded student by making them take different languages, computer lab, and music. That sounds great, but the exposure to languages are minimal. They teach 1 language per year, but it's only 1 hr per week which is not enough to even teach the basics. This is at the expense of more important classes such as Math (not a daily class). I was horrified when I found out that my child who is and always has been, a strong reader was assigned books that were 7 levels below what my child truly was. The teacher had my child reading at a late Kindergarten level, when it should've been 2nd grade level books. Math..What can I say about math other than it didn't seem to exist. Worksheets would be sent home occasionally for homework with no clear understanding on how to do the work. We found ourselves teaching our child things that wasn't being taught by the teacher. For $14+grand! IPA stole my money & our time.
We did our research before attending this school, but decided to give this school a try and we are GREATLY disappointed. Our child was NOT challenge academically enough and watched lots of videos, had no real homework. If they did, it was ridiculously easy and pointless. We do not like that our child is NOT getting the academic she deserves for $13,000+ a year. Next year tuition will be 14K! There are high teacher turn overs, teachers are not accountable, you can have 2 different results on the same grade levels depending on the teacher you get. We got lucky and got the good teacher, but my friend was not so lucky. Administration has to be stronger to make sure weak teachers are accountable. I am a parents on the Leeward side and we have very few options when it comes to a private college prep type of schools, so being that IPA is the only few schools out on the Leeward side, we feel we had no other options and gave IPA a chance. Unfortunately for us, we did not find out how much work this school needed and wasted time that we can NOT get back for our child and of course money as well. School has no gym, kids play in a public park across the street and school parking lot.
I am currently a middle school student at IPA. I am very happy with the rigorous classes that the middle school has for us. I'm quite sure that I'm not the only one who likes to constantly be challenged. I, however, see a flaw in the education system. In elementary school, which I started in 3rd grade, is a bit easy, even in 5th grade where they started to teach things that were much more complex than before. But, the transition from 5th to 6th grade is very hard. In 6th grade, there is much, much more homework and overall work. They don't put much emphasis on how much different middle school (6th to 8th grade) is than elementary school. I feel that this should be worked out. Other than that, it's definitely smooth. Even though the transition from elementary school to middle school is tough, I find that as we are slowly moving to high school (I am now in the 8th grade), they are putting a lot of emphasis on how tough high school is and how you must mature, rather than just dumping us into high school and expecting us to do what is well, expected.
Little time is spent teaching the kids anything specific. For example, measurements. Their exposure was just a couple of days worth. Not merely enough for the kids to grasp the concept. We had to supplement our child w/tutoring just to bring our child's math skills up to grade lvl. How could someone who was 2 grade lvls ahead in reading & up to par in math suddenly be behind in both subjects w/the school yr nearly ending?! W/school coming to an end, our child was now a grade lvl or 2 behind their current grade. This was the final straw. We pulled out. Our child is now enrolled in a new school of which our child is flourishing & the tuition is only 1/3 of what IPA charges. I also want to add there was never any real homework. The homework was short (completed in 5 min) & ridiculous (take pics of yourself picking up trash). There were many occasions when I asked my child what they did in school that day & I would be told they watched movies like Lion King or Fantasia. Not worth the price. We feel ripped off, but not so much with the money lost. We were ripped off of the few short years spent there. Those years are irreplaceable. We can never get those back. Just got to move forward.
I cannot believe the tuition for elementary is going up to $14,000! This school has a nice campus and caring teachers but their academics in the elementary school is not that great so I don t know how they can raise the tuition that much. Parents who have been at the school for a long time know that there are some grade levels that know what they are doing and have it together and some that just do whatever they want. Talk to the parents because they know which grades are good. I thought they had a spelling and math program but this year it doesn t seem like I saw any spelling and the math was jumping all over the place. I don t know if standards seem lower because of that new IB thing but the principal doesn t seem to see that there is a problem with the academics and she just brushes it off. I like the teachers and the families that go there but I wish they would do something about their program. They can t use the excuse that it s a new school anymore!
I'm a Senior in the class of 2012 at IPA and I would just like to say IPA is a great school. I haven't attended school here for very long but my experience has been positive. The teachers provide a welcoming environment for students and effectively ensure no student is falling behind. My only complaint is the size of the school. Having such a small school is good in terms of the teacher:student ratio but it doesn't feel like a full school to me. Also, with the school being so small, it lacks a gym, a pool, a large field, and a track. Athletes and PE students need to walk over to Kapolei Park in order to work out which is a setback. Nonetheless, IPA is a good school and more or less prepares students to be active members of the community and leaders.
My family's experience with IPA over the past 7 years has been universally positive. With one graduate who has gone on to a prestigious college and another in the Upper School, the school has exceeded our expectations. Despite a smaller physical facility and lack of formal sports arena, the opportunities for athletics have been wonderful. Academic standards are high; set by high expectations from teachers. The atmosphere has been positive and nurturing. The students appear to be happy and engaged. The educational experience is equivalent to the older, more established private schools in Honolulu and well worth the price.
I'm perplexed by the "former parent" who wrote a review saying the school lacks academic emphasis. The facts suggest otherwise: All students in grades 3-8 take a nationally standardized test each spring, and consistently the AVERAGE scores at all grade levels are 1 to 2 grades above grade level. Upper school SAT scores are equally strong. IPA is well on the way toward becoming an International Baccalaureate World School, only the second in the sate. Anyone who knows IB standards know that they are rigorous. Our graduates have been admitted to selective colleges and universities across the country. Please visit our website to learn more.
I am the parent of two students at the school and am continually impressed on how the school just keeps getting better and better. Communications from my daughters' teachers comes via email for the older one (and I can check her grades on line) and via email and a daily/weekly folder for my younger one. Their website is outstanding with new stories posted almost every day about what kids and teachers throughout the school are up to. Excellent find in Kapolei and great asset to this side of the island.
I am a parent of two elementary students at IPA and both have been there for six years. The academic program is strong and the emphasis on educating the whole child is wonderful. Both of my kids have exceeded beyond my expectations. The school also stresses human values which is a nice addition. I would highly recommend IPA to anyone.
As a parent to two former IPA students in the elementary program for 4 years, I must say the school lacks emphasis on academics. After spending four years at the school, I tried testing my children into other private schools and found they were not up to par in math, science and writing. I had difficulty getting them to pass the entrance exams into other private schools. This really blew me away. I assumed that since I was spending so much money on tuition, they were getting the best education possible. WRONG. Don't make the same mistake.
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