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| May 28: Last Day of School for Students |
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!
 

Posts

April 22, 2021

We are beyond thrilled to share many celebrations on our campus despite the daily challenges of this pandemic. As we all finish the school year strong with unity, patience, and serenity, we want to focus on what we are grateful for as a school community:
  1. KUDOs to Ms. Jenna Oskey for being named the 2020-2021 Milken Teacher of Promise for the state of Hawaii. This is a HUGE accomplishment and one that we all can be proud of for our entire faculty.
  2. Hats off to our business partners all named and highlighted on our WE>ME wall of fame. So many community members pulled through this year to help fund unanticipated costs due to the shutdown.
  3. Mahalo to our incredible PTSA for the years and years of service. Due to the pandemic, unfortunately, they are, for now, disbanding since so much of what they do is large in-person events. We are so thankful for all they have done throughout the years. 
Finally- as we head towards the last month of school, we are gearing up to have one celebration with the students. In place of the usual PTSA sponsored Jog-a-Thon, the school will host a Rainbow Run to give students a chance to blow off some steam, get some exercise, AND have something to look forward to before the end of the year.
 
We will be accepting donations of small pre-packaged food items to share with the students for that day. Stay tuned and look out for that upcoming event!
 
For our awesome sixth graders, we will also be having a celebratory drive by in May. This will give our students a chance to dress up, say one last farewell to the school, and take a photo with the administration. Details and information forthcoming.
 
Let's finish strong Kanoelani Ohana! I am beyond proud to be part of such a positive and resilient community and truly believe in WE>ME!!!

March 10, 2021

What a crazy, unpredictable school year this has been for all of us! I know I keep saying this but I must say it again- thank you SO MUCH for continuing to stay together (Unity) and for having Patience and Serenity with each other and yourself (these are hard times for everyone!). I recently shared with the staff to just focus on the things we can control and take brave breaths daily to deal with the things outside of our control. 
 
Let's stop and take a quick moment to reflect. We have never, ever experienced a pandemic like this during our lifetime and I must say we are all doing pretty good! I do want to applaud our entire community for the collective courage we have used to get through three-quarters of school! Wow! Our teachers and staff have been trying their best to balance the needs of their students and the needs of their own families. Parents, you have done an excellent job working with the school and teachers, and navigating technology to figure things out one day at a time.
 
To our students- CONGRATULATIONS for figuring things out as best as you could! You have shown your teachers and your parents' grit, perseverance, and commitment as you logged on daily and completed work that sometimes you did on your own. From me to you kids- GREAT JOB!
 
Finally, as we head towards the 4th quarter, please know we are trying our best to adjust where we can so that we can meet each child right where they are at. Please work with your teacher as we follow this increased "ramp up" in-person learning schedule.
 
March 22- everyone returns in blended mode (what we are on currently)
 
March 29-
Grades K-1 all students on the blended mode SHIFT to come daily
 
Grades 2-6 students on blended mode stay in the same mode
 
Feel free to fill out this form if you want to share your thoughts, opinions, or questions about this "ramp up" in-person learning schedule. 
 
 

February 18, 2021

A HUGE mahalo goes out to our staff, students, AND YOU parents who worked hard to help us make this opening as smooth and successful as possible! We have done an outstanding job collectively putting mitigation safeguards in place that allow for our students to get back to some sense of stability. We completely understand that we are not back to "normal" and we continue to find creative ways to address the myriad of learners we have: in person, at home blended, and 100% online.
 
Through it all, we were able to take some time to pause and thank the incredible businesses who have reached out, extended help, and even provided funding for our school. "Praise our Partners" was our chance to highlight companies and "give back." We were able to present them with plagues that were added to our new WE>ME Legacy Wall. Check it out! You will see the names of those who have partnered with our school displayed proudly.
 
Choose Love has been critical during this time for us all. The social-emotional well-being of both students and adults truly will serve as the foundation for the future. This includes you, parents! If you need support in any way or an ear to listen, please reach out and contact anyone at our school. We are here for you too! 
 
Teachers and counselors are working hard to build community, connect students, and provide positive coping strategies for all. The stress that we all face every day, requires many brave breaths daily. Please know as we continue to teach and learn in this blended mode, we remain 100% committed to providing the best education possible.

October 2, 2019

As we come to the close of the first quarter, I want to express my deepest gratitude for the entire community working to raise our children of Waipio. We hosted a Business Breakfast to make community connections earlier this month and had over 60 businesses represented. Many of them will be partnering with us to offer authentic academies and real-world project-based learning experiences. We cannot do this job of raising the community alone and I can't wait to see what these relationships bring.
 
On another note, I want to pause a bit and share my own thoughts about the upcoming trip I will be taking to Washington DC over the Fall Break. As principal representing the State of Hawaii, I am beyond humbled and blessed to go as a team leader of Kanoelani. We are a special place with warm hearts and bucket filling attitudes. One of our new parents recently shared he knows that we work things out through words and connections instead of fists and anger. Even as adults and even in your homes we MUST CHOOSE LOVE and have courageous conversations filled with grace and compassion. We MUST strive high to set lofty goals and hold each other accountable and we MUST simply care more and be more.
 
I am excited to greet all 49 other principals and receive a Golden Bell that perpetually represents ALL of our hard work. This trip is for every teacher that stays far beyond a workday, every custodian that goes that extra mile to keep our campus safe and clean and every staff member who chooses to wake up each day and handle so many emotions, challenges, and situations on a daily basis that inevitably happens with 800 kids daily.
 
On your end, I ask that you take some time to look into the Choose Love program home component and make just one change before the holiday season that will positively impact your home. These small ripples will add to our momentum and shift the dynamics of Hawaii one day at a time. I want to end by proudly sharing that we are taking a team of teachers and students to present at the upcoming Schools of the Future Conference and showcase our efforts to merge project-based learning with Compassion in Action. PBL + SEL = WHOLE CHILD! Enjoy your Fall Break!

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. 
 

December 3, 2020

Second-quarter of this unique year is quickly coming to a close and I wanted to take a moment to have us pause and reflect on the sometimes seemingly insurmountable situations we collectively overcame. 2020 was not an easy year for anyone. Our worlds were flipped upside down as we all navigated COVID at home, at work, and in our society. It has been a pandemic focused challenge! Yet through it all, the biggest bucket filler I could possibly give is our ability to persevere. Mr. Kunihisa often reminds me that one's character is revealed during adversity and not during smooth sailing. With that in mind, I do want to say how proud I am of our Kanoelani character. To our entire faculty and staff and to you parents and students, I want to say THANK YOU for showing unity, patience, and serenity as best as we could.
 
As we watch the numbers carefully, we are planning a reopening back to a blended mode of learning. After all of our families had time to discuss and select whether to return to school in person or "opt-in" to a full distance mode for the entire second semester, we began planning our schedule. The finalized calendar and daily schedule will be shared to all families prior to the Winter Break. Please note that we worked tirelessly to ensure that all safety measures are in place to protect everyone as much as possible.
 
I have never been as reassured or inspired as I have been observing our collective responses to this year. Our teachers pulled together and provided the best education they could; our families so willingly donated food to those who were in need and helped fund new computers for our teachers; our students stepped up to the plate and showed up online and finally, our incredible custodial and office staff worked day in and day out to keep operations running and our campus sanitized daily! Mahalo for your support during 2020 and here's to a prosperous 2021!
 

November 6, 2020

Thank you so much for joining us at our annual Pumpkin Carving and first-ever Literary Drive-By Parade! What a much-needed break from the uphill climb of this pandemic. I couldn't stop cracking up watching our custodial staff dance to the tunes as we greeted all of the smiling faces! We all need to remember to stop and take a breath and most importantly, find time to LAUGH!!!
 
Reopening for Second Semester
As we head towards reopening our school (contingent upon the numbers staying low enough to open in January) we have several next steps for you. 
  1. Read the Parent Letter sent on November 2 via Seesaw and posted on our website
  2. Read through the FAQs about the second semester
  3. Join us for our Virtual Coffee Hours on November 12 or 18 at 8:00 am or 4:00 pm (info will repeat so need to only attend one if you are interested).
    1. Sign up to register for access to the meeting online by click here
    2. Receive the link to our virtual meeting the day before the scheduled coffee hour
    3. Come prepared with your questions or add them online in advance
  4. By November 20, 2020, please be sure to fill out our family decision (one survey per child) indicating whether you plan to send your child to school or keep them at home in a distance learning mode. Click here to view the survey.
We have worked tirelessly to ensure our campus is as safe as it possibly can be. We are fully stocked with PPEs (and extra for kids who need to use), have all of our sanitization procedures in place and health systems to ensure everyone stays healthy. Everything is set except for final decisions on calendar and schedules as this will shift according to the numbers on campus. For example, there is a big difference in appropriate structures if 200 students plan to stay home versus 20 total. Our goal is to confirm the final count in late November and get all information about the second semester to all families in December before Winter Break.
 
So in short, we need to hear from all of you! Please fill out the survey and share your decisions so that we can ensure our systems are best suited for our community needs! Mahalo for your patience and understanding as we work hard to plan for a return to school.

October 2, 2020

What a COVID crazy year this has been so far! I truly appreciate our collective efforts to practice Unity, Patience, and Serenity ("UPS" as in delivering instruction like our mail service). It looks like both the Complex Area Superintendent, as well as the Board of Education, feel strongly that public schools, in general, are not ready to open classrooms for all students in light of the continued concerns about the virus. To be honest, we are struggling with balancing reopening with safety during these delicate times. Through our recent parent survey, even our community is split almost down the middle about the timing of reopening.
 
What I ask is that we all give space and grace to each other and ourselves. We WILL get through this! Trust that we are doing the very best to stabilize our students, our families, and the school. Our hearts and minds are working overtime to continue to support students to ultimately Learn More, Care More, and Be More even during these challenging times.
 
In the second quarter, we will be increasing our counseling services, opening up new interest-based "fun" groups and finding creative ways to connect kids and families. Our focus will be on how to help kids socialize, find fun in other times besides during the school day, and possibly make some new friends. We will have a Drive-By Parade soon to see all of our students in person, host Parent Coffee Hours virtually (even though I don't drink coffee, I'll have some tea with you), and continue to communicate updates regularly. 
 
Please be sure to participate in our Family Challenges and find the silver linings behind each cloud that passes your way. Enjoy your break! We all deserve some down time.

September 14, 2020

Aloha Families of Kanoelani!!! 
 
What a crazy school year this has been so far with all of the twists and turns and unpredictable bends in the road. One thing will remain constant, and I read somewhere recently that this is actually a good thing. The only constant is CHANGE. Part of the good news is with a pandemic and in unstable health times, it is critical that the information changes, which ultimately reflects growth and development. So, although it can be very trying, our collective mindset is crucial. I choose to approach each twist and turn as a step closer to getting kids back in school full time! Practicing good hygiene and focusing on keeping each other healthy is imperative to getting back to a semblance of what was. 
 
Our attitude and approach to every day, every situation, and every moment will help continue to shape our community. My main message to all of you is short: our staff is going above and beyond and there is NO DOUBT about that. Every single person employed at Kanoelani is going that extra distance to deliver the best possible education. Teachers are staying up way past their bedtimes. Custodians are cleaning double time and the office staff are fielding calls about how to log on and troubleshoot. Please know that we are ALL committed to continuing to provide our excellent educational services for your child. Bottom line- WE GOT THIS!
 
Please continue to have Unity- with your child's teacher and your own family. Practice Patience- step away from the computer if you feel your blood boiling and take a breath before you speak, write, or even think negative thoughts. Now is NOT the time to be bucket dippers. And whatever it takes, have Serenity and stay calm even when you feel you might lose it. We are excited to bring you family challenges while we are in the Stay at Home order to give your family a fun task to do at home. 
 
If you need ANY help at all - please call us. Speak to one of our counselors or administrators if you just need someone to talk to or need some advice.
 
Counselors:
  • Mr. Cy Ohira
  • Mrs. Elaine Shibuya
Administrators:
  • Mrs. Stacie Kunihisa, Principal
  • Mr. Neil Blomberg, Vice Principal
  • Mrs. Lisa Tominaga, Vice Principal
Office Phone Number: 307-3800

July 2, 2020

Hi families of Kanoelani,

This is Principal Kunihisa with updates about our reopening. First of all, rest assured that we have been working very hard to ensure a smooth and safe reopening of school for your children. Thank you for your continued patience and willingness to practice UPS - Unity, Patience, and Serenity as a community and we plan carefully.

The first day of school for all students, except Kindergarten, will be on August 5th, Wednesday. We have a Waiver Day on August 4th so the student start date is on Wednesday. For the first 9 days of school, we will have half days of school ending at 11:30 AM. 

Our school will be on a Hybrid schedule. This means all students in Grades K-2 will come to school daily. In addition, any special education and English Language Learners in grades Grade K-6 will also come daily. Grades 3-6 will be on a rotational schedule. 

I wanted to inform you that we will be mailing out our school calendar and school supply list by next Friday, July 10th. This information will also be posted on our website and social media. Included in this mailing and posting will be the rotational schedule for upper grades.

Our top priority is keeping everyone on campus safe.  We will be expecting students to come to school with their own face coverings, to practice social distancing, and healthy hygiene. Please continue to practice these at home and in the community. COVID will always be around so our goal is to minimize the risk for everyone. 

Finally, please mark your calendars for a virtual Open House to hear about our daily practices and learn how we will reopen safely. There will be a link to our virtual open house on July 23 at 10 am and repeated at 6 pm.  

Any new or incoming Kindergarten parents we will also be hosting a Welcome to Kanoelani meeting August 3 virtual meeting at 10 am and 6 pm.  


These virtual meetings repeat so you only need to attend one session. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

May 27, 2020

Good afternoon Kanoelani Ohana!

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 28, we will be having a Rainbows Drive-Bye. This will be a very special chance for your child to say “Goodbye” to our school and see some familiar faces. Please stay in your car at all times and drive by slowly and carefully. Grades Preschool-2 will be from 9:00 - 10:00 am and Grade 3-6 will be from 10:00 - 11:00 am.

6th graders! This is your final goodbye, please follow your teachers’ instructions and be ready with your name and teachers’ name on your dashboard when you drive in. Look for your surprise by our marquee tomorrow when you arrive. If you want to come back and take a picture by the sign please do so anytime next week from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Be sure if you do stop by, you practice social distancing.

School supply pick up and drop off will be held from June 1 - 5.  f your child’s last name is:

A-D =  Monday, June 1

E-K = Tuesday, June 2

L-P = Wednesday, June 3

Q-Z = Thursday, June 4. 

Make-ups = Friday, June 5 

Please note the times each day are from 8:00 - 10:00 am and 2:00 - 4:00 pm to accommodate our families.   

Finally report cards will be mailed out sometime next week so please expect them in your mailbox along with a copy of our final Chronicle. Know that as information comes out I will be contacting you over the summer with updates about our reopening for next year. Practice Unity, Patience, and Serenity as we head into a “new normal” for school and for life. Enjoy our summer break! 

May 19, 2020

Good Evening Kanoelani Families.  We have two important announcements for you.

 First of all, I want to personally thank you for being so patient with the major shift in schooling during this time. I will be honest, its been a steep learning curve for all of us and we really appreciate your partnership. As the school year ends, we would like to provide an opportunity for drop off and pick up of all school supplies. During the week of June 1- 5 we will have a systemic process that will be efficient and safe. Times will be designated according to the student's last name to support parents of multiple children. Please look for a letter home describing details regarding the week of June 1-5. On our website click on “School Pick Up Procedures” to obtain the schedule.  

In addition, we’ll be having a Rainbows Drive-By to close the school year. This will be a very special chance for your child to say “Goodbye” to our school and get closure by seeing some familiar faces.  Also in the mail going home you should find the flyer about the Rainbows Drive-By. On our website, you can click  “Rainbows Drive By” to obtain that schedule. 

This message will be posted on our website so if you missed anything you can use it for reference. Have a great ending of the school year. Until we meet again practice Unity, Patience, and Serenity. 

Aloha!



April 24, 2020

Aloha Students and Families of Kanoelani,

I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits as we cope with this COVID-19 virus pandemic.  Late last Friday State Superintendent, Dr. Kishimoto announced the continuation of distance learning/packets through the rest of the school year which ends on May 28, 2020.  Though our buildings and campus remains closed, learning will continue.

You should’ve received your child’s 3rd quarter report card in the mail.  Your child’s year grade will be determined on their performance on all standards they have learned so far.  All teachers and staff continue to work diligently to provide enrichment opportunities for our students.  Our staff will continue to check in with your child(ren) as the school year progresses.

Please remember to check our school website and Instagram account regularly.  Join us there to see some cool school updates.  We will also continue to send out voicemail blasts with updates and new information.  If you haven’t been receiving the phone messages or if we don’t have your updated phone number or address; please call the office at (808) 307-3800 or email us through our school website. 

Beginning next Monday, and every Monday after that, we will begin handing out K registration packets.  This is ONLY for incoming K students.  If you need one or know someone who needs to register for Kindergarten for the next school year, please stay in your car and come to pick up a registration packet from 10-12 on any Monday.  If you need one mailed to you because you cannot come during that time, please contact our front office.  We will not be working on registration for all other grade levels just yet.  

On another note – we need to identify all the families either not returning to Kanoelani Elementary next year or for sixth graders, those not planning to attend Highlands intermediate.  Your child’s teacher will be reaching out to you next week to find out if you plan to return.  Feel free to reach out and share that information.

Finally - We are aware that our families are going through a lot of strain.  If your child is in need of assistance socially or emotionally please call and let us know, or notify your teacher, as our counselors are available for consultation. 

Our school plans to send home school supplies and yearbooks right after the school year officially ends.  More information to come.  Please stay healthy and safe.  We will get through this together.  Remember to stay united, stay patient have serenity during this challenging time.

Enjoy your weekend. 

April 2, 2020

Dear Kanoelani Families –

Hi everyone, sharing some new information today. Our efforts from our school team have been centered around three guiding principals: UPS – like a delivery system, Unity, Patience, and Serenity and we are using that as a reminder for ourselves personally as well. 

Unity – thank you for working so well with your child’s teacher who should already be in contact with you. Stay connected as we move forward.

Patience - We are in this together – you are not alone.  Teachers are trying new things and grade levels may look a bit different due to age appropriateness.  Do what you can to help at home but don’t feel like you have to do it all. 

Serenity – Stay calm.  We will now transition from enrichment activities to next week a focus more on essential skills. Per contract negotiations, teachers cannot grade work moving forward but they do want to provide work that is essential to the grade level. We will have online learning and packets printed.  The information will be on the same concepts but will look different. Please know you do NOT have to do both. Also, even if your child is working online, feel free to come next Monday to pick up a packet if you want. Packet handout will be every Monday from 10-12 in our school parking lot.  

We cannot foresee what is to come in May but our goal is to have students continue to practice what they know and build on that with these essential skills. As a reminder – if you need to get in touch with the administration for any reason, you can call or text Mr. Blomberg at 341-2006 or email us through the school website.

Until I talk to you again, UPS – Unity, Patience, Serenity. 

March 27, 2020

Aloha Kanoelani Ohana - this is Principal Kunihisa with a new update regarding enrichment learning opportunities for the week of March 30 - April 3.  

As stated in Superintendent Kishimoto’s March 24 letter to parents/guardians, “school facilities will be closed to students until at least April 30 and traditional in-school instruction is on hold until schools reopen.”  Students are expected to remain home through April 30. 

Kanoelani Elementary will provide continued student enrichment opportunities during this time.  Parents can access pdf copies of student work activities on our school website: kanoelani.org and can download and print.  Please note - these will not be graded and students will not be turning in any activities. Also - the state expectation is to have this ready by next week but because we have such an incredible team, they have it ready for you to see today.

For those of you who do not have internet access and would like a hard copy instead, pick up will be available from 10-12 on Monday, March 30 in the school parking lot.  There is a video of how we will be distributing activities on our website. If you are not able to view it, just show up between 10-12 next Monday.

We will be updating our website regularly so feel free to check back for the latest information as teachers continue to plan and update.  Please be patient with your child’s teacher and give them grace as they are planning and configuring learning with limited training in online learning. They are doing their very best. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us and we hope to work through this together.  On behalf of Kanoelani Elementary, please remember our UPS mantra- Unity, Patience, and Serenity. 

Finally, WE > ME!