Kanoelani Elementary School

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Principal Neil Blomberg » Posts


March 6, 2022

It's hard to believe how fast the year has gone by! We are nearing the end of the third quarter, and the learning and growth I see out of the students is exciting to witness. Students have been working throughout the year on their project-based learning units in each grade level, with exciting products and ideas mainly centered around grade-level science standards. Some of our students have been able to go on outdoor field trips recently to explore our island and to take learning outside the classroom.
I have really enjoyed students participating in our virtual PTSA events this school year as well. Recently many families joined Kanoelani in creating a student painting over Zoom video conferencing. We also have our yearly Rainbow Run event coming March 23rd as well. I am proud of our students learning and growth this school year and am excited that we are able to continue offering so many of Kanoelani's traditions as well.
Finally, I want to thank all of our students and families for continuing to show patience during the pandemic surge in January. The school will continue to update you as we work to keep our campus safe.

November 24, 2021

Hello Kanoelani Families,
A big mahalo goes out to all of our families as we continue to work towards a more "normal" school experience for our students. We appreciate your patience and hard work in supporting our health protocols at home and at school. The students have shared that they are really enjoying this in-person school year compared to last year, and we will continue to work hard on our health protocols so that Kanoelani can remain safe.
Our students did a wonderful job participating in our student council-sponsored spirit week, and it was great to see so many children embracing the experience and dressing up. We will continue to offer opportunities for our children to grow in both academics and their social-emotional learning in class and are working towards offering more opportunities for after-school activities this school year.
We plan to bring back our Rainbow Fun Day at the end of December! This event, which will be modified for our health protocols, allows students to have fun activities and games to play with their class to celebrate their academic and behavioral progress. 
I want to close by thanking students, parents, staff, and community members for the continued support to care for Kanoelani Elementary School. Our collective care and hard work are what make Kanoelani a special place.

October 6, 2021

Without a doubt, everyone needs a break right about now and we've all earned one! What a tremendous job we have done as a collective community through this pandemic. I can't bucket fill our staff enough, nor can I commend YOU, parents and families for the efforts we did to keep everyone as safe as possible. 
To shed some light on what goes on behind the scenes I want to share our efforts to ensure a quality education while maintaining CDC and DOH guidelines:
  1. SAFETY- We nearly doubled our staff in the cafeteria to allow for distancing while taking off masks.
  2. STAFFING- We increased and shifted personnel to match the specific needs of students who were either struggling or in need of more supports emotionally.
  3. ACADEMIC SUPPORTS - PERSONAL GOAL SETTING (to address learning loss/acceleration)- We are currently working with each child/class on setting personal academic goals that students/staff track to progress monitor growth for every individual child.
  4. SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SUPPORTS- Our teachers have made Choose Love and social, emotional learning a top priority at our school daily. In addition, our counselors have revised the guidance curriculum to increase peer interaction, teach coping skills, and design new playgroups based on student needs.
  5. STUDENT LEADERSHIP - FUN!- Our student extracurricular activities are slowly being reintroduced with a focus on safety first while balancing the needs to shore up student voices and created student leaders.
Amazing efforts and kudos to every single member of our Kanoelani Community for stepping up in some of the toughest times of our lives. We are living and breathing our mantra- WE > ME!!!! Enjoy your break- you deserve it!!!

September 10, 2021

Thanks so much for your continued support and patience with each other, the staff, and yourselves during these trying times. You are doing an amazing job abiding by all school procedures and keeping our campus as healthy and safe as possible. We are incredibly committed to going above and beyond every single day to continue to ensure your child is safe physically and emotionally. Our faculty and staff have truly stepped up: doing jobs out of the norm, taking extra steps like screening every student, and reminding students constantly about our Wash Up, Arms Up, and Mask Up strategies. 
I strongly believe that with our hearts and spirits in the right place, we CAN and will get through this one day at a time. With our WE > ME mentality, we must lean on each other, communicate regularly, and stand together in unity.
Our dedication to developing the whole child will not waver. We are excited to get students involved in activities such as JPO, Chronicle, and Student Ambassadors and look forward to other ways we can raise student voices and allow them to find their path through this difficult time. Through articulation we allow kids to experience music, coding/computer science, and even a new career exploration class. This year, we strive to have every student build a professional resume before leaving us in sixth grade while exploring possible career/college choices.
So despite the challenges in front of us, Kanoelani remains steadfast in our commitment and resolve to help develop every child into a compassionate leader who can set goals and monitor their own growth. 
Please take some time to stop and breathe. Without taking brave breaths myself on a regular basis, I don't know how I would survive. Take care of yourself FIRST! There's a reason that on plane when the oxygen mask drops they say to put yours on first before helping others. Stay balanced in every way possible and if you need an ear, call any of our staff members for help!

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.
  • Mr. Cy Ohira
  • Mrs. Elaine Shibuya
  • 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!