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.
IPA has an extremely high teacher turnover rate. I found that the teachers were unqualified or lacked the commitment to the school. Many were military who just up and left. Some only hired based on their relationships to others on the faculty and staff. My children were given minimal homework, lacked basic writing skills and math skills. The school doesn't use text books. It lacks structure in it's academics. To much "out of the box" teaching.
In my opinion, teachers & staff have made great effort in involving the parents in their child's education at IPA. I'm pleased with all the e-mail announcements and knowing what's going on even when I can't get involved as much as I'd like due to my work schedule. So I really appreciate the "head up" on everything by volunteer parents, staff, and the teachers who spend the time sending out the notices, etc.
We are very pleased with IPA. We are now trying to get our other children enrolled. We have had 2 years to compare IPA Middle to Kapolei Middle, as we have a child in each. The level of commitment from the teachers, scope of learning, and general learning environment is far better at IPA. We highly reccomend this school.
My children are in their second year at IPA, and I have finally found a school that we feel very comfortable with, after the public school system and one other small private school that ended up being too small for our needs. I'm very pleased with the facility, the equipment in the computer labs, science labs, and art rooms; the teachers are very decicated and the faculty will bend over backwards to meet the needs of parents and kids. This is the school that I would like to see my children finish all the way through to senior in High School.
IPA is an exceptional school with caring teachers, challenging curriculum, and offers a sound alternative to the overwhelmed public school system in Kapolei or a long commute to the Honolulu private schools. Despite being less than six years old, it succeeded in obtaining full accreditation and is close to being the second Oahu school that will offer an International Baccalaureate curriculum. In its first graduating class (2011), every senior was accepted to at least 2-3 collleges/universities, a testament to the academic accomplishment, community service, and athletics at this ILH Division II School. Despite not having the large endowment and history of the large private schools, IPA has provided a safe haven for children who are serious about their education and parents who believe in their children. It doesn't have all the "bells and whistles" found at the larger schools but it has everything I want in a private school environment. And my child will be better for the experience.
Though i am a former student, i really loved IPA. because it was a small school, the teachers were able to give more attention to individual students. I learned so much while i was there and kids there end up doing things far more advanced than what average public school kids their age learn. IPA is working hard to expand the school (at least that's what i think) and to give students more challenges. I go to public school now and i really miss IPA. The teachers were friendly and getting help was easy. The school provided a safe friendly environment that you can not find at any other schools. The school was like a big family. i recommend this school to all students who wish for school to be more fun, and for parents who want their students to achieve goals the students, or the parents themselves never would have imagined them to.
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