Kanoelani Elementary School

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Learn More. Care More. Be More.
| Craft Fair on Saturday, October 20, 2018 |
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

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.

September 11, 2017

First quarter is now in full swing and the buzz around campus is electric and exciting! Students are busily working hard to set personal academic and behavior goals with the support of their teachers. For academics, teachers are using research-based universal screeners that identify specific next steps for each child. They are effectively differentiating curriculum and instruction to level the playing field for everyone. But it's not just about the intellectual growth, we are all truly dedicated to the development of the whole child. Coupled with our new social emotional learning program, Choose Love, our bucket-filling has risen to new heights. Discipline referrals are at an all time low compared to this time last year. Students are learning how to have COURAGE and use brave breaths to calm situations down and understand each other's perspectives. Please spend some time asking your child about their Choose Love journals and the work they are beginning to do to gain tools to live a successful life.
Every year the entire Kanoelani staff focuses on ONE word that drives our collective efforts and this year our word is COURAGE. In so many ways teachers and staff are working hard to embody that concept with peers, parents, and most importantly, students!!! Teachers are bravely stepping up more and more to provide professional development to our faculty, opening their classrooms for peers visits and challenging themselves by setting high goals for classroom to reach.
With a whole child focus in mind, articulation has begun and kids are anticipating extra classes such as art, music, technology, and PE as well as after school activities like Concert Glee and Aquaponics/Gardening Club. For the first time ever we are including lower grade students in Kanoelani chorus and we will soon get to hear our little ones singing their hearts out!!! Our recess time is now equipped with PE type games that are set up for students to participate in daily. I can't believe how much kids love Sharks and Minnows! In addition to the multitude of activities offered at Kanoelani, we are beginning a brand new Maker-space program that will be open for students across the campus at recess. This is a new journey as we continue to expand our technology and hands-on learning for all! I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings! 

May 25, 2017

What an absolutely AMAZING May Day program!!! I want to bucket fill our very own Mrs. Twinkle Hayashi and Kumu May Balino-Sing who worked so hard to plan and prepare for this phenomenal experience! I was beyond blown away at the variety of cultures represented and the well orchestrated program. I can't believe our sixth graders danced liked that! It took the entire faculty and staff to pull together to ensure that the day went well despite the early morning rain. A World of Music embodied our commitment and dedication to WE > ME. Together we can fly!
Mahalo for everyone who came out to McNight and supported our school efforts. Showcasing our talented Taiko group, JPOs, Twinkle Toes, and Concert Glee was just another example of how connected our school is to the larger community with a commitment to and appreciation for our business partners. Congratulations are also in order to our track team that took third place overall in the annual Pearl City Complex Track Meet. Our students ran their hearts out and gave it 100%. I was such a proud audience member that night and appreciate all who came out to support our runners.
Finally, I wanted to also recognized our new Gardening and Aquaponics Club. Students from grades 2-6 culminated their experiences with oral presentations in front of a panel of judges explaining their personal growth and journey. It was absolutely amazing to hear these "scientists" defining symbioses and sharing their personal aquaponics systems they built.
As the year closes, we have to say farewell to several staff members who will not be returning to Kanoelani next school year. Mrs. Alexa Dela Cruz will be taking some time off for family needs. Ms. Anna Guieb will be moving to Lehua Elementary School and Ms. Jennifer San Nicholas will be relocating to another state. We wish them all the best of luck!!!
Enjoy your summer break and remember to always, always be bucket fillers and not dippers! Know that with growth mindset anything is possible as long as you have GRIT and determination! Best wishes over the summer break and I look forward to seeing you all next school year!!!

Never Give Up

I recently came across Denzel Washington's acceptance speech for winning the Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his portal in his latest movie, Fences (2017). Click here to view. 
Mr. Washington encourages the audience to never give up. If you fall down, get up. I hope you find inspiration from his words in your life to always try your best and failure is okay. We learn and grow from failure. 
As we finish our first week of SBA testing, please continue to practice having a Growth Mindset. Get a good nights rest and eat a healthy breakfast in the morning so you are prepared to put your best foot forward!
"Fall down seven times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So keep moving, keep growing, keep learning." - Denzel Washington, 2017

April 10, 2017

It has been exciting times at Kanoelani as we embarked on a new adventure incorporating "Academies" through our Academy Exploration program for fifth and sixth graders. We have partners, as well as staff, offering classes that are interest based and allows for student choice. Beginning late April, we will have our we will run our very first Academy. HPD and Boy Scouts are among the teachers who will teach our students a variety of engaging activities ties to potential career pathways. The long-term vision is to incorporate several rounds of Academies for upper grade students and expose them to the Academies offered at Pearl City High School.
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-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 with a healthy breakfast and good night's rest.
I want to congratulate our phenomenal Math Club members who represented us so well at the annual Math Olympiad in March as well as our Robotics Team who amazed many of us at the Robofest! Our teams represented us well! I also want to wish our track team good luck as we head into our complex track meet.
Finally, thanks to everyone who helped make our 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!