Kanoelani Elementary School

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| Change in Dismissal Time: Wednesday, Dec. 19 school ends at 2:00 pm and Friday, Dec. 21 school ends at 1:15 pm |
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

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!
 
 

April 5, 2018

It's been another busy month at Kanoelani. On March 1st, we held our first ever "Community Connections" business breakfast and hosted over 40 guests from local area businesses. Stronger partnerships are beginning to form as we continue to head towards increasing relevancy in the classrooms! Our student ambassadors greeted the guests and courageously presented information about our school. Picture this... two of our Kindergarten students, microphone in hand, explaining the value and purpose of school programs. It was beyond impressive. Words cannot do the student efforts justice as they took full control of the audience and spoke like mini adults! Kudos to our presenters for the day!
 
That day, business owners were treated to special presentations by Taiko and Concert Glee. Speaking of Concert Glee, HUGE Congratulations are in order to them as they awed and inspired the audience with musical renditions that blew me away at our recent Pearl City Music Festival!!! Not only did they sound wonderful, but they sang meaningful songs directly tied to Choose Love.
 
Choose Love has been working wonders at Kanoelani and we are excited to announce we have been selected to receive funding to host a statewide conference for educators! That means many educators will be visiting our classrooms next year to learn about the impact of this new social-emotional learning program. We are excited to host as the changes in both students and adults have been resounding. 
 
I am honored to be part of a school that focuses on the mental and emotional development of children in addition to the academic growth. In today's society, with social media bombarding us all with opinions and perspectives, it's hard to sometimes make up your own mind and figure out how to live a life of courage and compassion. It is our job collectively to mold and shape the HEARTS and MINDS of these kids. Please take time to bucket fill at home and on the go and STOP to Choose Love every single day. 
 

February 2, 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to the second semester! I hope you are thoroughly enjoying our new student-led school paper. We are so proud of the students running the show behind the scenes of the Chronicle. In line with the direction of our new Superintendent, all schools are continuing their own efforts to increase Student Voice and strengthen School Design. To that end, we are providing more and more opportunities for students to lead their own learning path. Every child sets their own academic and behavior goals as well as reflect on the progress to measure growth in their Rainbow Reflection class structure.
 
Also, a newly designed Student Ambassador program began this month as we cultivate student leadership in a dynamic way allowing for real-world application and problem-solving opportunities. These student ambassadors are already providing school tours for new students and meeting adults with a confident handshake. 
 
The student ambassadors will have a chance to exercise what they have been practicing at our very first Community Connections breakfast. This is our chance to build a bridge between businesses and the ONLY school in Waipio Gentry to offer ways that private and public industries can partner up to transform learning. If you are a business owner or work in our area (or any area), feel free to RSVP at 307-3800 and join us or invite others to attend. We will have students share out easy, no-cost ways that business can get involved with student learning!
 
What: Community Connection Breakfast
When:  Thursday, March 1, 2018
Who: All business owners/managers
Why: To build a mutually beneficial partnership that allows for real-world learning for kids
 
Finally, we are proud to announce we are once again expanding our plethora of extracurricular activity choices to now include Hip Hop Dance. Students in grades 3-6 will be able to practice and showcase their moves at upcoming events. With over 15 clubs available, we hope that every child finds a "home" away from home.
 
 

November 15, 2017

Thank you very much for your partnership with our school and your child's teacher. We value and appreciate your participation in the parent-teacher conferences and were happy to meet so many families at our Choose Love night event. Developing compassion, empathy, and gratitude is just as important as developing a child academically and we are committed to ensuring your child gets a well-rounded education.
 
Aligned with the vision of our new Superintendent, we are continuing to increase student voice and choice. For the second year now, we are excited to bring back our Academy Explorations program. During the week of December 11-15, students (grades 5 and 6) will be able to select an academy explorations class such as "Just Desserts," "Painting by Design," "and Makerspace" to develop their own personal interest and find connections to possible career paths. These offerings align with the Academies offered at Pearl City High School and will help to get kids thinking about their possible career paths.
 
In addition, to extend the chance for student leadership and student's voice, we have a new "Kanoelani Chronicle" that will be created, written, and published by students and sent to all of our families regularly. This will highlight events across campus as well as showcase student work and our new SEL (Social Emotional Learning) program. Stay tuned for this exciting new publication! 
 
Finally, this quarter our Choose Love theme is Gratitude. Students across campus are receiving lessons on the mindfulness of being grateful and ultimately being a BUCKETFILLER!!! Enjoy your Thanksgiving season and continue to Choose Love!
 

Hawaii Principals Lead with Public School Pride

 
In honor of National Principals Month in October, the HIDOE produced an inspiring video of principals who have graduated from the DOE leading their own DOE school with pride! I attended elementary in California, Okinawa and then 4th to 6th grade at Maemae Elementary School. I then went to Aiea Intermediate and High.
 
Attending public school taught me how to relate to so many different types of peers from different cultures, beliefs, and thoughts. The opportunity to learn how to negotiate, compromise and connect allowed me the chance to see life through others eyes. Sometimes parents can inadvertently hurt their child if too much protection and shelter block reality. For me, at Aiea, life was real. Full of challenges, obstacles, and triumphs.
 
Learning how to deal with defeat and setbacks gave me the drive to persevere and battle my way back no matter how hard the situation was. Mrs. Kumasaka, my 11th grade English teacher gave me a very low score on a writing piece and expected more from me than I thought possible. This ultimately led to raising my own personal expectations.
 
As a school principal, I expect nothing but the best for our students, faculty, and families. With that mindset and determination, Kanoelani has flourished with the help and dedication of every single staff member who works day in and day out with the WE > ME heart! We are truly one team and everyday people at Kanoelani choose the right attitude and love each individual for who they are! I am very proud to be apart of this great community!
"It takes a village to raise a child" is a true statement in today's day. Research has shown that parent, family, and community involvement in education correlates to higher academic performances and motivates students. This weekend at our annual Craft Fair, it was evident that we have a strong community and family involvement by all the patrons. Thank you for supporting our teachers and students. 
 
Monies raised by each of the grade levels go directly back to fund activities for your children throughout the school year. Many of the students in each grade level have helped to create the products that were sold or games that you may have played. I hope you had as much fun as I did!

Denzel Washington Speech: Make a Difference

On Saturday, May 9, 2015, Denzel Washington delivered the commencement speech at Dillard University. This video is just a small portion of his speech that he gave that day to 213 graduating students. Mr. Washington emphasizes that you should have dreams with goals. Without goals, a dream will only have disappointment. I hope you will be inspired by Mr. Washington to set goals for yourself and your family.