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Principal Neil Blomberg » 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!


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. 


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!

March 21, 2020

Good afternoon families and staff of Kanoelani,
As of Sat March 21 2020 and until further notice the DOE projects students to return to school on April 7. By March 30 we will be posting free resources on our website for student enrichment activities - these will not introduce new units of study and can be viewed and downloaded from our website on that date. Any activities done at home during this time, prior to the April 7th return will not be monitored or graded as they are solely for enrichment. If you do not have access to a computer and would like a packet of the enrichment activities or If you have questions please call the school office on Monday, March 23 or Tuesday, March 24 between the hours or 8-11am.
The DOE is also offering Grab and go Breakfast and Lunch starting next Wed. The closest pick up for our area will be at August Ahrens Elementary School. This is meant for any children under the age of 18 who may be lacking food for any reason. Please see our website for more details under news and announcements.
Finally, join me and watch my daily video clips made just for you called Parent Pointers every day while we are not in session. You can find the first two - Routines and 7:1 on our website, Instagram or Twitter account. Tune in on Monday to hear the next one! Feel free to share the videos with your children and families and use them as a talking point to navigate during these challenging times.
Most importantly please take care of yourself and Choose Love.

March 12, 2020

Happy Spring Break Kanoelani Families!!!
I truly believe a break will be good for us all. With the Coronavirus impact, there is a lot of uneasiness and uncertainty in the air. I can't believe the depth of the reaction that is happening across our state and nation. During these times, it is absolutely imperative to remain calm as a community and continue to simply practice good hygiene. Recently, we reviewed with our entire school community how to wash hands properly and shared tips and tricks to staying healthy.
Despite the virus, we are moving forward with an optimistic attitude of what's to come. Our recent grand opening of the Lokahi Lounge was a huge success, with so many potential possibilities for our school. Not only did all of the financial contributors attend, but Spectrum came to donate a ton of computers and tablets for our students! Great things continue to happen for our kids.
Speaking of great things, I thoroughly enjoyed our Concert Glee singing their hearts out at the annual Pearl City Complex Music Festival last month and had a blast watching our soccer team play against Aliiolani Elementary School. I can't wait to watch the second match in May against their soccer team. Also, this week we will be participating in the annual Math Olympiad led by fifth and sixth-grade teachers as well as Pearl City High School aspiring educators. 
Finally, we are excitedly anticipating the upcoming Kanoelani's Got Talent that will showcase the incredible talent of our students! The winners will be able to enter Brown Bags to Stardom and since Bruno Mars came from Hawaii, why can't one of our students be the next Bruno? With our collective efforts and the WE is greater than ME mentality I know we can cultivate our next generation to lead us to greatness.
Thanks for being an example for your child and remaining calm and optimistic with us over the break and into the fourth quarter!

February 7, 2020

Happy New Year! It's been just about a month since we've returned from Winter Break and there's so much to share already! First of all, our entire school (including all of our students) are about to release a #schoolchallenge online. Stay tuned for this truly EPIC video. If you aren't following us already - be sure to see our Twitter and Instagram accounts and follow us today!
Although 2020 just began, we are actively planning for the next school year and we want to hear your voice! As we gear up for the next school year we want to share some highlights:
1) YOU CAN EARN A BOOK FAIR BUCK to be used at our book fair by filling out our survey: Click HERE
2) We are requesting an extra Waiver Day for SY 2020-2021 to cover Youth First Aide Mental Health training on August 4- so if it is approved, we will start school with students one day later than the DOE calendar shows.
On another note, right before the break, we applied for three innovation grants and we were awarded not one, not two, but ALL THREE! Which means over $25,000 going directly to your child's education. The areas we will be working on improving are coding/drama, news on the move, and academies. Congratulations to our team of teachers- Mrs. Mata, Ms. Apao, and Mr. Ogawa who worked hard to secure this additional funding.
Speaking of awesome stuff- YOU CAN WATCH US LIVE every Monday morning. Our Kanoelani Rainbow News can be found online on our website or by clicking HERE to the weekly links. Find out what clubs are doing, what sports are starting and to hear the latest news. We even feature students of the week and classrooms in action.
Finally, as we reflect on some tragedies that have come our way recently, we are reminded of the true importance and value of Choose Love and its concepts. Take time daily to stop and fill someone's bucket sincerely and forgive someone that's been on your mind today. You never know what tomorrow brings- good or bad- so make each day count!

December 17, 2019

Happy Holidays!!!
I wanted to open with a recent tweet I made regarding Courage, one of our themes in our Choose Love movement. 
Did you know? The root of the word courage is cor- (like CORE beliefs) - the Latin word for heart. In on e of its earliest forms, the word courage meant "to speak one's mind by telling one's heart. How much moral courage do you have? The easiest thing to do is follow the crowd." 
As we head into the holiday season and into the New Year, this is a time for reflection and goal setting. We reflect daily on how effectively we are serving this community and your child. Besides equipping every child with academic knowledge and skills, we are truly committed to building character, perseverance and grit. Part of our job collectively is to allow children to fail, allow children to struggle and allow children to make their own decisions and face natural consequences. At school, we are in essence "substitute parents," or "in loco parentis." 
A few tips to remember as we raise these kids together and we have some time to reflect and set goals at school and at home:
1. 7 to 1 rule. For every negative comment (especially during a conflict with your child or anyone else for that matter), there MUST be 7 positives. This works like magic in the classrooms and honestly in homes as well! What is your ration? (Compassion in Action)
2. Kids NEED clear and consistent boundaries. As much as we want to love kids and give them what they want to ensure they are happy, a big part of providing structure is very clear expectations and consistent, respectful consequences. Are you setting clear boundaries? (Courage)
3. Strongest muscle in your body? Everyone has the most powerful weapon that an destroy a child- a tongue. Words cut deeply and can last a lifetime. Word are either bucket fillers or dippers. What is your percentage?
Choose Love is truly impacting not only our school but our Waipio community and its because of OUR effort. WE > ME - thank you for a being a part of our commitment! Enjoy your break and continue to bucket fill others in your thoughts, actions, and words.
P.S.- If you're not already following us- keep up with the exciting things going on at school on Instagram and on Twitter!
Instagram: kanoelanielementaryschool
Twitter: @staciekunihisa

November 1, 2019

If you didn't have a chance to swing by and visit the launch of the "Stuck on Aloha" book release late October let me paint a picture for you. Imagine incredible community leaders Like Senator Breene Harimoto, who is battling cancer and Boy Scouts Troop 75, who teach how to deal with adversities, sitting alongside our three students proudly signing books. The community came out in droves to show their love and support for the book contributors under a giant white canopy with leis, balloons, and incredible entertainment! It was a sight to see.
Sebastian, Jaycee, and Owen courageously shared their own story of perseverance and grit in this book and I couldn't be prouder. They shed light on the incredible work of everyone in our school and our Choose Love program so please be proud of your child and our entire staff. The book will hit Amazon soon and represents our efforts.
The ability to hit failures and setbacks and truly bounce back is a skill that we must continue to cultivate. At our school we try to strike a "balance" between academic knowledge and critical thinking/problem-solving skills with "soft skills" -how we treat each other, handle stress and tolerate differences. In short, we value both the IQ of your child as much as the EQ. (Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient)
In addition to this "balance," we are working hard to continue to increase student voice and choice. Around the corner is our first round of "Pre-Academies." Aligned to Pearl City High School's Academy structure we are offering classes like Sewing, Coding, and Basic Foreign Languages. Partners such as Island Tumblers Gymnastics and UH West Oahu will be coming in to teach classes to increase relevancy and engagement.
I want to thank our families for coming out to support our annual Craft Fair- this was our most successful one yet! Kudos to our teachers and staff who volunteered their time to make this day possible. Thank you also for all who attended our Pumpkin Carving night and had a chance to show your carving skills! 
Special thanks to our business partner American Savings Bank for choosing us to be apart of their Kids Curling Clinic (see November Chronicle for details). Our business partnerships are an integral part of the education of the whole child, and we are grateful for their help.
Finally, a huge congratulations to the Pearl City Complex and our very own Mr. Ogawa for being three of the four winners of the PAEMST award!

August 30, 2019

Welcome back to school! I'm wondering if you heard about the exciting celebration we had at our Welcome Back assembly, complete with some staff members dancing, not me of course!!! If they have I was dancing, don't believe them! Seriously though, it was such an amazing time celebrating the return to Kanoelani in such a fun way. Some of our special guests including Miss Asia 2019, Camille Yano, who is also a proud Kanoelani alumni; the recently crowned Miss Aloha 2020, Tiffany Ducaycay; and Junior Miss Hawaii Cosmos 2019, Alexis Bugarin. What a treat it was to hear some words of wisdom from a graduate of Kanoelani sharing her ideas around our word of the year... Commitment!
We are ramping up to provide another year full of bucket filling and choosing love. To that end, we selected a movie that emulates our deep commitment, Toy Story 4. As demonstrated by Woody, we are in this journey together and promise to always practice courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion in action.
At the end of August, we will begin a new system across campus called W.I.N., "What I Need." We will focus on giving students more voice and choice in their learning as well as provide extra time for revisiting concepts that need attention. Services school wide will be deliberately planned so that each child can work on what they need.
Finally, just as a heads up, we have many community and business partners knocking at our door to help us out! Early September, we will be hosting a Community Connections breakfast and so far we have close to 50 people planning to attend. Stay tuned to hear more about how our local businesses and community organizations will be supporting your child's journey.

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! 

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!!!