Kanoelani Elementary School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Learn More. Care More. Be More.
| No School May 27 for Memorial Day | Last Day of School May 31 |
Principal Stacie Kunihisa » Principal's Blog

Principal's Blog

Welcome to my blog! I am excited to be using this as a communication tool for our parents, students, teachers, and community members. This blog is intended to serve as a vehicle for informing upcoming events and giving you an opportunity to hear from me. By pressing the Subscribe link (on the right), you will get notifications via e-mail when I update my blog. I look forward to another great school year with you!

Recent Posts

May 23, 2019

This school year has been absolutely "incredible!" Everyone can feel proud of the multitude of accomplishments we have achieved. To cap it all off, our Spring Showcase- "A Time for Music" was unbelievable. When I look at my own children, my desire is to raise well-rounded, well-balanced problem solvers who have heart and passion. The same goes for our Kanoelani students. We collectively believe in developing the whole child and the amount of time and energy that went into this event demonstrates that commitment. Test scores are important but not as valuable as character, heart, and drive!
As we close the year, I want to thank four people who will be leaving our family at the end of the year. Fond farewells go out to:
Janet Andrade, Kindergarten Teacher
Twinkle Hayashi, Music Teacher
Shelly Sumile, Educational Assistant
Julieta Gatdula, Classroom Cleaner
Mrs. Andrade has been a tremendous asset to our Kindergarten team for many years and has been an anchor to the grade level. This year she served as the Grade Level Chairperson and helped lead the team of teachers committed to our youngest students. Mrs. Hayashi has been at Kanoelani for the past three years. She taught music for all grade levels, was the performing arts director, and coordinated all performances both in and out of school. Mrs. Sumile has been at our school for the past five years and is ready to move to a new path in her life. Mrs. Gatdula, an eight-year classroom cleaner has decided to retire and continue business with sewing and alternations. We truly wish all of them luck in the next chapter of their lives.
Finally, I want to remind everyone that although school will soon be out of session, my hope is that our efforts to Choose Love and Bucket Fill continue during the break. Take some time to rest and relax but always remember to find ways to show Courage, Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Compassion in Action. I always have to take brave breaths to keep a smile on my face and my blood pressure down. Please do the same and thanks for your endless support for Kanoelani and your child!

April 26, 2019

What a whirlwind it has been these past few months! Thanks to everyone for truly nurturing such an incredibly stimulating school! As I stop and take a moment to survey the landscape of our school, I see students stepping out of their comfort zone to innovate and create, I see teachers and staff pushing personal limits and inventing new opportunities for kids and I see heart and passion everywhere! Even with just a month of school left we are starting a new Upstanders Club to continue to combat bullying and a brand new Rainbows Recyclers Club that stemmed from students wanting to make a difference. Next year every classroom will have colored bins to sort out recyclables!!!
Here are a few celebrations I'd like to highlight:
  • Lemonade Alley- Awesome job to our Narwolves team! The lemonade was and the goodies that I ate were scrumptious!!!
  • Third place in the Gaming Event
  • JPO Competition- 100%!!! Perfect! Excellent work JPOs!
  • Grace Ann Kaai- Sew a Lei for Memorial Day Honorable Mention
Testing season is in full swing and it is time to apply all of the learning throughout the year. Please help your children in Grades 3-6 prepare for the SmarBalanced Assessment and ensure they get a good night's sleep and a satisfying breakfast. I have so much confidence that we will meet our own school goals and once again exceed state expectations in all tested content areas!!!
Finally, I just want to say a heartfelt mahalo to every single staff member, student, and parent who took time to congratulate me for the Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award. I was beyond surprised and did NOT expect to win. It takes a lot to truly surprise me and boy was I surprised. The award is a symbol of WE>ME!!! I just want to convey clearly that this is THE BEST STAFF in the state of Hawaii and I would venture to say in the United States!!! Thanks for your support, families, because we are truly lucky to have each other!

March 12, 2019

Spring Break is next week! The third quarter has been absolutely "incredible" and I am so proud to share out what's been happening. The new year has been flying by and like superheroes, our staff and students have been learning more and caring more than ever.
First off, let's celebrate our overall FIRST PLACE win at the recent Math Olympiad! Alexander Apio and Kou Hirohata also took home the first place trophy for the Rubix Cube Challenge and the Flash Round respectively. I hear the Math Olympiad team went above and beyond by spending extra hours completing math work at home. Kudos to our team and advisors Mrs. An and Ms. Kang.
(parent of Vy and Andy Tran)
Another huge leap forward for our school are students stepping up to take the lead. I want to recognize Mrs. Tran, parent of Vy Tran, who has been working hard on her own time to follow the dreams of her child. Five students from Ms. Powell's class in grade 5 came up with the idea to work on Lemonade Alley. The kids and parents have been working hard to create an original recipe and they will be selling it at Lemonade Alley on April 20 at Pearlridge -all proceeds will be donated to our school. This student-driven project is helping them work on math, oral communication (they have to do a commercial and perform a song and dance in front of a live audience), graphic design and interviewing skills. Not only is it a real world application but also it is entirely created and led students! Mahalo to the team who are following their passions and extending the learning beyond the school day.
Vy Tran, Rhylie Marques, Kaylie Anne Kasik, Naomi Manmano
One more example of student-led learning is the group of students who just came to my office, took a brave breath and presented their pitch to work with Kokua Foundation. They will start an entire recycling program at our school! This includes bins in all classrooms to help recycle with the primary focus on saving our Corals! The project-based learning that initiated this idea was a focus on how to combat coral bleaching. An amazing pitch from Jenna Liang, Ian Kawamura, and Brennan Nagamine who all had to take a brave breath before walking into my office.
Finally, we just met with Hawthorne CAT (the bulldozer, forklift company) because they wanted to begin a partnership with us. This year along we have been blessed with over $10,000 in monetary contributions from our awesome business partners. Bottom line is, there is a lot going on in the realm of growth, leadership, and passion at Kanoelani for both student AND adults and I can't wait to see what the fourth quarter has in store for us all! 

February 1, 2019

Happy New Year! We are looking forward to second semester in so many ways. Before we look ahead let's take a quick peek back at the end of last year. Thank you to ALL of the participants who entertained us at Kanoelani's Got Talent. It was beyond amazing to see so much talent and heart. Mahalo also for Concert Glee who sang their hearts out at Waipio Shopping Center in December. Let's not forget the successful Book Swap where kids could trade their books for ones they haven't read yet.
Looking ahead, we are anxious and excited about hosting the Choose Love Conference tomorrow, Saturday, February 2nd with close to 400 educators participating. Special thanks to our faculty and staff who are working hard to partner with Ka'elepulu Elementary to host this event. We will be welcoming Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami as well as Complex Area Superintendents Keith Hui and Lanelle Hibbs. Senator Michelle Kidani and Representative Ryan Yamane will be here to support the efforts. The area businesses are donating so many items to support the school and we value these partnerships tremendously. 
Financial Contributors
American Savings Bank
Hope Chapel Pearl West
Community Supporters
Boy Scouts of America Troop 32
Dunkin' Hawaii
Grace Fellowship Church
Heather Nekoba
Kreative Kolors
McDonald's Waipio
Paradise Kettle Corn
Paradise Beverages
Promotions in Paradise
Rachel's Lei Stand
Rokaru Shabu Shabu
Meanwhile, back in the classrooms, teachers and students in grades 3-6 are busily engaging in problem-solving and applying learning to prepare for the Smarter Balanced Assessment which is right around the corner.  Students are setting personal goals and working to show academic growth in this annual assessment. Please watch the calendar for dates and times of testing.
SHARE YOUR VOICE! We really, REALLY want to hear from you as we begin to create our Academic Plan for next year. Please visit the website here and complete the survey before our Read to Me Family Night to get a book fair buck to use at the Scholastic Book Fair. Turn in the last page of the survey to your child's teacher and we will give your child a free buck ($1.00 value)! See you on Friday, February 22!
Continue to Choose Love! 

The month of February is Social and Emotional Learning Awareness Month. Not only should we take care of our bodies by exercising and eating good, but it's also important to make sure our minds are healthy too. Being proactive and taking an initiative in your mental health has proven to reduce anxiety, addiction, and behavioral issues while increasing your physical and emotional well being. 
If you haven't done so yet, check out Choose Love Movement Initiative. You can also download the At Home Choose Love program. 

December 17, 2018

What a first semester it has been!!! A few HUGE celebrations are worthy of noting up front to showcase the hard work of our Community Liaison team and our business partnerships we are working hard to grow:
1) We just WON a $20,000 grant from the Taikai Transition Center Network to build a Lokahi Lounge for our ELL families to access extra supports as they transition
2) Pearl City Shopping Center donated $1,000 to help support school needs
3) Roy Yamaguchi donated $1,000 to help fund a special celebration for our deserving faculty and staff
4) Alexander and Baldwin gave us $1,000 matching funds for the gift bag project that our students worked on
5) American Savings Bank donated 250 blankets for Rainbow Fun Day and over $500 for student projects
6) Tony Group, Pearl Hawaii Federal Credit Union, and Hawaii Community Foundation provided over $500 to the school this month to support learning
7) Home Depot Pearl City donated all of the paint for our mural that will be painted by all students in January
8) Bricks for Kids, American Savings Bank, and Scouts for American came to judge our Shark Tank and provide monetary sponsorships for the kids!
We have been busy at school maintaining the rigor of our academic program and supporting the social-emotional learning through Choose Love and all the while pushing ourselves to learn more, care more, and be more! 
Recently, grades 1-6 have gone through the first round of Academies. This opportunity was provided to introduce students to the Pearl City High School Academies that are offered to support career and college options. We want to support student INTEREST and VOICE and truly give them some options at an early age. From the looks of it, every child had a blast! Kudos to all of our staff who went above and beyond to plan and execute academies.
Finally, if you haven't heard already, private donors gave us $29,000 this year to host a statewide Choose Love conference and we are gearing up to host over 300 educators from across the state. Teachers will be opening up their rooms to showcase both student work and instructional materials as others are coming to find out more about how to help students (and adults) learn to deal with stress, setback, and failure. What an honor to support schools from across the state!
As you head off into this holiday season, continue to BUCKET FILL and remember that you cannot do life alone. WE > ME is not the only foundation of our school, but the foundation of Waipio. Enjoy your break and see you next year!!!

November 20, 2018

Our literary parade was an INCREDIBLE success (for those of you that didn't get to see the administration in all of our glory, we were dressed as the Incredibles)!!! Although that takes some time away from academic instruction, it is a deliberate choice to have events that balance our days. To me, school is about truly developing the whole child, offering lasting memories of fun and friendships and most importantly teaching each other how to deal with personal setbacks, frustration, and disappointment.
The idea of a helicopter parent who protects their child to no end has been around for a long time. But recently I've learned about the concept of a bulldozer parent who clears the path, kicks away any boulders and never lets their child fail. They literally bulldoze people or things that stand in the way of any obstacle that could cause failure or disappointment. We cannot do that. We must let kids fail and figure out how to get back up and persevere. To the end, focus not on the destination but on the journey that we take day in and day out.
Speaking of successful journey, a huge congratulations are in order for our 5th and 6th-grade basketball teams who left their hearts out on the courts. Check out our Instagram to see some amazing plays. A HUGE mahalo goes to our coaches Mr. Joyce, Mr. Ho, and Mr. Arreola who all volunteered hours and hours of their own time preparing for this tournament.
Another huge success has been our staff presentations. Our school team was invented to an i-Ready conference in Seattle and we had the opportunity to share out how our students are setting goals, tracking data, and celebrating academic growth. In addition, we were selected to present at the Schools of the Future Conference for our Choose Love program. Again visit our Instagram to see pictures of the events. At both conferences, our teachers did an excellent job of showcasing our children and the work we do every day. You can be proud of the efforts to develop the whole child that your child's teacher does daily. 
As we head into the holiday season, be thankful for the blessings you have no matter how stressful times can get. Spend time bucket filling each other and yourself. Reflect on your approach to life... let us celebrate failures and setbacks as a community and see them as a chance to get back up and try again.

"Thankfulness is the beginning of happiness."
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and there are many things we can be thankful for. I am thankful that Kanoelani Elementary continues to strive for excellence in each classroom, to grow stronger, and to Choose Love.
Our teachers and staff continue to amaze me by their dedication and love they have for teaching and inspiring our children. I also want to celebrate the incredible support of our parents and community. Helping our children grow and succeed is one of the most important things we can do. This is why I am so grateful for everyone at Kanoelani Elementary and the community members that help support us. Thank you for being such an important part of our children's lives.
During this upcoming holiday season, take the time to celebrate with your friends and family. Bucket fill one another to show your gratitude. 

October 3, 2018

Our scores are in! See our Kanoelani Chronicle for our SBA data in all content areas tested. We exceeded the state expectations and showed growth! We applaud every single family and child who took that test last year and supported the effort to showcase teaching and learning. Our science scores went up once again and we want to recognize Mr. Richard Brian Ogawa, our STEM campus lead for his ongoing support. Speaking of "RB," we want to send him a HUGE SHOUT OUT for being selected as a Hawaii state-level finalist for the 2018 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). 
Another celebration is our invitation to present at an i-Ready national conference in Washington as well as our School of the Future Conference coming up in November. This is a testament to the awesome things occurring across our campus.
Speaking of i-Ready, this academic universal screener helped us once again get baseline data to help drive instruction as well as set classroom and student goals for reading and math. Keep in mind it is only one test and not the end all be all as teachers also rely on classwork, and formative and summative assessments to determine progress. In science, all grade levels are going through intensive training to continue developing real-world project-based learning projects that increase relevancy and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 
As you know, at Kanoelani, it's much more than just a focus on academics. We are passionate and truly dedicated to the development of the whole child. With much trepidation mixed with excitement, we plan to host a statewide Choose Love conference this coming February for teachers and administrators. Can you believe within three weeks of opening, registration filled up completely and we have a waiting list? We will have over 250 educators from across the state including outer islands, charter, public, and private schools. Teachers, district staff, state leadership, and many more will be here ranging from preschool all the way to post-secondary instructions. What a huge honor it will be to showcase the efforts of your children and our staff as we grow one another with grace and love.
Every year, the entire Kanoelani staff focuses on ONE word that drives our collective efforts. This year our word is CHANGE. In so many ways, teachers and staff are working hard to embody that concept with peers, parents, and most importantly, students! Student voice opportunities are increasing and teachers are challenging the status quo to stretch beyond our limits and change right along with this generation of students and their needs.
I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings! 

American Savings Bank initiated their volunteer program, Seeds of Service in 2005. They have donated over 22,000 volunteer service hours!  ASB team members give up their time and talents to schools and community organizations throughout the Hawaiian islands. This year, we were chosen as one of the schools serviced on Oahu. 
Over a 100 volunteers came to our campus on Saturday, September 15th. Volunteers helped beautify our campus by repainting our buildings, sidewalks, and our some of our furniture. Other volunteers helped our teachers complete clerical tasks. We are very grateful for their time and help. 
Thank you to the American Savings Bank Team and Volunteers!!!

September 7, 2018

In light of Hurrican Lane, I had time to stop and reflect on what is truly important, both as a leader and as a mother. I am even more confident in our Choose Love direction for the school community and believe that the way to foster each child's development is through this incredible Social Emotional Learning program. During the potential crisis, we are reminded that what matters the most is how we live our lives and build our relationships. Having courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion is the basis of our mantra: WE > ME.
Speaking of that, did you notice that the Little League baseball team had that on their team jerseys? What a connection that we could all make to the value of doing life together!! Huge congratulations to the team and Hawaii in leading our country to victory!!! On the home front, we too have a lot to celebrate!!
CONGRATULATIONS are in order, because we continue to foster the whole child, and will again have a plethora of opportunities for students to do, both during the day through our Academies model, as well as extra-curricular after school options. Art and Music are taking more of a front seat right next to the increase in our real-world projects that will occur across campus this year. But in the driver's seat, this year will be a focus on Stephanie Harvey's Reading Comprehension strategies. We have committed once again to building strong, passionate readers who are equipped for the ever-shifting job force ahead.
In closing, please continue to have a growth mindset and to take time to bucket fill others!

Gratitude... according to Google it is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” With the passing of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Lane, we should all stop and reflect on all the things we are grateful for. Our social emotional program, Choose Love highlights the power of showing your gratitude for yourself, others and the place around us. Please practice this with yourself and family every day. 
Welcome back to another great school year!!! I hope you were able to relax and recharge this summer. Each year brings positive change and this year is no different. We would like to welcome new and returning staff members to our campus: Ms. Hennen, Ms. Ho, Ms. Roxburgh, Ms. Chung, and Ms. Kenny. Each teacher comes with a wealth of knowledge and we are fortunate to have them at Kanoelani. 
Another positive change you will see on campus is our school's brand. At the heart of any school is an identity. Our school's brand is a way of defining who we are and who we want to be as staff, students, and community members. I am proud to release the brand that our faculty and staff worked on...
Learn More. Care More. Be More.
I hope you agree that at Kanoelani, we not only want to have a rigorous curriculum that challenges our students to learn more but we also want to develop the whole child in being a great citizen. We do this with our social-emotional program, Choose Love as well as Academies. Kanoelani's vision is to grow an innovative community of leaders, risk takers and warm-hearted citizens who empower the best in each other.
As our school continues to grow in mind, we are also growing physically. You may have noticed that in front of F-building there is construction currently underway. This will be the home of a new portable. We are excited about this new space! 
Have a great week of learning and to always remember to bucket fill one another and to have a growth mindset!

May 24, 2018

I was blown away at the recent Sunset Showcase at Waipio Shopping Center! With the backing and support of Alexander and Baldwin, we were able to showcase our incredible student talents and celebrate Choose Love by sharing information and special Mother's day gifts. The Choose Love rocks that were designed and hand painted by our first-grade students were a huge success! Big City Diner and Foodland sang nothing but praises for our roving mini-choir. Combined with McNight, our total profit surpassed the goal we had set for supporting our extracurricular activities.
Speaking of McNight, a huge shout out goes to everyone who joined us there and a special thanks once again to Waipio McDonalds, a steadfast and loyal supporter. Between the two events, we earned over $6,000, meaning that each group can access funding to support our whole child efforts. Mahalo for coming out to this event!!!
Congratulations are also in order to our track team that took fourth place overall in the annual Pearl City Complex Track Meet. Our students ran their hearts out and gave it 100%. So many students stepped up to the track and gave it their all. 
As the year closes, we have to say farewell to several staff members who will not be returning to Kanoelani next year. Ms. Linda Sulvita will be pursuing a brand new and exciting career path, Mr. Leif Abrahamson will be relocating to another state, Ms. Sarita Williams will be taking the year off and Kumu Leialoha Kelekolio will be moving to Barbers Point Elementary. We wish them all the best of luck!!!
Enjoy your summer break and remember to always be bucket fillers and not dippers! Know that with a growth mindset anything is possible as long as you have GRIT and determination! Choose Love as you are faced daily with small and large challenges and be an example for each other. Best wishes over the summer break and I look forward to seeing all of you next year!!!

April 27, 2018

Academies are back!!! We are excited to offer another round of Academies this semester. Fifth- and sixth-grade students have selected their top academy choices, mirrored after interests and based on the Pearl City High School Academy concept. We are thrilled to continue our journey through hands-on, real-world experiences! Our promise is to continue to work with the local businesses from our partnership meeting to invite community members to be part of this endeavor.
On top of Academies, we are gearing up for our annual Smarter Balanced Assessment that will measure the academic growth and gains of our 3rd to 6th graders. Kanoelani teachers have worked hard to ensure students are equipped with strategies for problem-solving and critical thinking. Be sure you are aware of your child's test dates and prep them for a healthy breakfast and a good night's rest. 
I want to congratulate our phenomenal Math Team members who took second place overall at the annual Math Olympiad in March. At the beginning of April, our Robotics Team who amazed many of us at the Robofest! They came home with two-second place trophies and a fourth-place trophy! Congratulations to our JPOs who earned a 100% in the Drill Competition at the annual JPO Competition! Our teams represented us well!!!
I would also like to wish our Track Team good luck today. They will be competing at our complex area track meet at Pearl City High School tonight!
COMING UP! Please join us for our first ever "Sunset Showcase" on May 12 from 4-7 p.m. at the Waipio Shopping Center. We will be showcasing our school talent and will be sharing student creations for an awesome Mother's Day sale. All proceeds will go towards funding the multitude of co-curricular/extracurricular activities we provide at no cost to students. 
Finally, thanks to everyone who helped make our Jog-a-Thon/Bubble Run a huge success. Kids and adults alike were running through the floating pearly orbs while getting fit in a fun way. What a fantastic way to celebrate health and wellness!