Officials try to dispel fears of looming school closure - News

Full story: Honolulu Star-Bulletin

State education leaders sought last night to reassure worried parents and children of a small Windward school facing closure that no decision has been made to shut down the century-old campus.
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Chris Runyon

Hauula, HI

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Jan 16, 2009
 

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Aloha,
My child attents Kaaawa. During the meeting last night, it was brought to the attention of all that some of the issues that were on the list for the closure of Kaaawa were not true statements: 1)Children using Kam Hyw for tsumani evacuation; there is a entrance from the backroads that is used the highway is not, 2)There are only 5 parking stalls; yes there are only 5 marked stalls, but there is a graveled area that is for faculty parking, and for parents parking to bring in keiki, and big events the field is used, 3)it would cost $5 million dollars to fix septic system; many cost efficient, and water saving techniques would cost far less this quote is outrageous, and 4)Hallow tiled two-story building is only permanent structure; there are no two story buildings on campus.
Now for the other issues. What school on the coast is not prone to flooding, Kahuku High School is underwater when the buildings at Kaaawa are dry. Laie and Hau'ula are in flood and tsnumai zones. Kaaawa is on a two lane highway on a blind curve; as is Hau'ula, as is Laie. 1/3 or more of the the quare footage in the existing facilities require replacement; several time the community of Kaaawa was told by Clayton Hee, and Colleen Myer that Linda Lingle has made funds available for the school upkeep (what happened to the new library and office that was promised, where are those funds). The school upkeep was not the responsiblity of the community who pays big taxes (for our unchanged country homes), but yet still comes together, to put in windows in the fourth grade class and paint the school. Kaaawa is an inventory site, but was there not skeletal remains found under Kalakaua yet that road is still driven on every day by thousands of people who do not even live here? Kaaawa school is a portable school, why has this not been changed? There are 4 classrooms that are in a cinderblock building, the rest are portable.
None of the facilities could be replaced as is if they were destroyed by a tsunami. Can anything be replaced as is after a tsunami? What is this clause even about? It seems as if the BOE is reaching here.
Now the main thing the education of the children of Kaaawa. The keikis, the staff and the teachers of Kaaawa have worked hard to be above standard, why should they be sent to schools who have not?
Kaaawa is a tight knit community, the school is the heart, if the school is removed, it would be a travisty. It will make things very difficult for or keikis who feel same at their second home, Kaaawa Elementary.
Is this really about the keikis or is this about the state relinquishing 3.7 acres to the highest bidder? 3.7 acres across the street from the ocean, with mountain views would make the state a pretty penny.
KEEP THE COUNTRY, COUNTRY
NO CONSOLIDATION OF COUNTRY SCHOOLS
Chris Runyon
Kaaawa
Translator

Honolulu, HI

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#2
Jan 16, 2009
 

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To Chris Runyon:
You keep at it. It is totally unconscionable that the DOE is considering closure of a high performing school in rural Oahu when there are URBAN schools lower on the list.

"Country" schools are more valuable and essential as community hubs than schools in the city, regardless of neighborhood. The DOE does not distinguish rural vs urban because all schools fall under one single school district. There is no consideration of individual community needs--no thought about why one school like Kaaawa might be more valuable than another small school like Aina Haina.

Please also bring to your fellow parents the idea of becoming a public charter school. There are MANY open slots for so-called "conversion" charter schools. Such schools are run by a local school board made up of parents, educators and community members--and operate independent of the Dept. of Education and the Board of Education. Funding comes in the form of a lump operating sum based on the number of students. Currently, public charter schools receive about $7,400 per student. Most schools supplement their resources by establishing a 501(c)(3) foundation to receive donationa and grants.

If the DOE tries to close you down, become a public charter school may be the best hope of keeping Kaaawa open.

Find out more at hcsao.org

Good luck to you and your children.
Translator
Translator

Honolulu, HI

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#3
Jan 16, 2009
 

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ps If you have a high proportion of Hawaiian and Free and Reduced Lunch families, there are other revenue streams to support the school. Kamehameha Schools has a partnership with many public charters, and there is access to federal programs.

Also, the DOE spreads out-and-out lies about teachers losing retirement, etc. at public charter schools. Staff are all mainly public employees (except contractors and vendors), and cannot be discriminated against employees because of where they work.
local girl

San Leandro, CA

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#4
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Yes, we feel for those kids and families that have kids that go to that school but look at it realistically, it's costing the state monies. Also, to do the fix up/repairs is it worth it such a small school? Like they say, if it costs more to fix something that maybe it's time to switch or buy a new one. I think it's more for the sake of convenience, that it is near. it's not like they will have to travel to the other side of the island to go to another school,then it wouldn't make sense. If we continue to fund these small enrollment schools that need monies to run and repair that is less monies overall for the school system and again, we are lacking. We fall further and further behind mainland and private schools.
Translator

Honolulu, HI

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#6
Jan 16, 2009
 

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local girl wrote:
Yes, we feel for those kids and families that have kids that go to that school but look at it realistically, it's costing the state monies. Also, to do the fix up/repairs is it worth it such a small school? Like they say, if it costs more to fix something that maybe it's time to switch or buy a new one. I think it's more for the sake of convenience, that it is near. it's not like they will have to travel to the other side of the island to go to another school,then it wouldn't make sense. If we continue to fund these small enrollment schools that need monies to run and repair that is less monies overall for the school system and again, we are lacking. We fall further and further behind mainland and private schools.
"Realistically", education is NOT about money. It is not about "convenience" either. It is about the dismantling of a good school that is a clear community asset in a rural setting.

You exemplify exactly the problem with DOE style thinking: Money can only be saved at the school level by cutting elements that touch students and families; cuts to the bureaucratic structure are off the table.

Shame.
Translator

Honolulu, HI

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#7
Jan 16, 2009
 

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And BTW, the DOE has $14,000 per student avaiable, yet the Weighted Student Formula only gives $4,500 per student as its base.

Where is the rest of it ($9,000+) going???

Shame.

Since: Jul 08

Honolulu, HI

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#8
Jan 16, 2009
 

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I can understand safety hazards, and i can understand the parents concern regarding the schools grading system that rates schools. As far as enrollment have the home-schoolers been accounted for? If those kids have to transfer is adequate school bus going to be provided? It should also be at no cost (subsidized)since the closure of one school should free up funds for maintaining the other and also be used for school repairs to the one taking on the load. Come on DOE start spending money on our kids (the future). Parent's now are already biting the bullet. The teachers should be transferred too.
Public School Watcher

Honolulu, HI

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Jan 16, 2009
 

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Translator wrote:
To Chris Runyon:
You keep at it. It is totally unconscionable that the DOE is considering closure of a high performing school in rural Oahu when there are URBAN schools lower on the list.
"Country" schools are more valuable and essential as community hubs than schools in the city, regardless of neighborhood. The DOE does not distinguish rural vs urban because all schools fall under one single school district. There is no consideration of individual community needs--no thought about why one school like Kaaawa might be more valuable than another small school like Aina Haina.
Please also bring to your fellow parents the idea of becoming a public charter school. There are MANY open slots for so-called "conversion" charter schools. Such schools are run by a local school board made up of parents, educators and community members--and operate independent of the Dept. of Education and the Board of Education. Funding comes in the form of a lump operating sum based on the number of students. Currently, public charter schools receive about $7,400 per student. Most schools supplement their resources by establishing a 501(c)(3) foundation to receive donationa and grants.
If the DOE tries to close you down, become a public charter school may be the best hope of keeping Kaaawa open.
Find out more at hcsao.org
Good luck to you and your children.
Translator
High performing, seriously? We are not talking about Momilani, Aina Hina, or Noelani here. Maybe they are okay performing, but high? What is your definition of high performing?

Let's look here. I can understand why Aina Hina and Noelani rank high due to demographics and is located in areas where poverty isn't an issue.

But let's look at Momilani where the commnity is old and small. I heard that over 75% of their enrollment are on GE. And under federal mandate, they can only accept transfers from students from schools that did not meet NCLB rules.

That means they are taking struggling students and making them perform. That is what I call high performing. Please don't use the word "high" so loosely.

They are doing okay at Kaawa, but they are not a high performing school.
FedUp

Pearl City, HI

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#10
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Translator wrote:
<quoted text>"Realistically ", education is NOT about money. It is not about "convenience" either. It is about the dismantling of a good school that is a clear community asset in a rural setting.
You exemplify exactly the problem with DOE style thinking: Money can only be saved at the school level by cutting elements that touch students and families; cuts to the bureaucratic structure are off the table.
Shame.
I would take your comments more seriously, Translator, if you hadn't been such an ardent defender of that notorious online troll named "alice" a year ago in these local forums.
pffft

Honolulu, HI

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#11
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Public School Watcher wrote:
<quoted text>
Let's look here. I can understand why Aina Hina and Noelani rank high due to demographics and is located in areas where poverty isn't an issue.
But let's look at Momilani where the commnity is old and small. I heard that over 75% of their enrollment are on GE. And under federal mandate, they can only accept transfers from students from schools that did not meet NCLB rules.
That means they are taking struggling students and making them perform. That is what I call high performing. Please don't use the word "high" so loosely.
Don't give Momilani so much credit. I looked up their demographics. It's not like every struggling child is trying to get in. They have 1% SpEd kids and 2.5% ESL. 10% Free or Reduced Lunch status. 88% attended preschool.

Contrast that to Kaaawa. 11% SpEd, 3% ESL, 59% are Free/reduced lunch, 46% attended Preschool. There's a large contrast in the ethnic breakdown too.

Most of Momilani's GEs have some stake in the community, i.e., g'parents live there, faculty's children, etc. I'd give Kaaawa more credit in educating their children than Momilani. Momilani is NOT working miracles.
Laie Resident

Honolulu, HI

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#12
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Chris Runyon wrote:
Aloha,
My child attents Kaaawa. During the meeting last night, it was brought to the attention of all that some of the issues that were on the list for the closure of Kaaawa were not true statements: 1)Children using Kam Hyw for tsumani evacuation; there is a entrance from the backroads that is used the highway is not, 2)There are only 5 parking stalls; yes there are only 5 marked stalls, but there is a graveled area that is for faculty parking, and for parents parking to bring in keiki, and big events the field is used, 3)it would cost $5 million dollars to fix septic system; many cost efficient, and water saving techniques would cost far less this quote is outrageous, and 4)Hallow tiled two-story building is only permanent structure; there are no two story buildings on campus.
Now for the other issues. What school on the coast is not prone to flooding, Kahuku High School is underwater when the buildings at Kaaawa are dry. Laie and Hau'ula are in flood and tsnumai zones. Kaaawa is on a two lane highway on a blind curve; as is Hau'ula, as is Laie. 1/3 or more of the the quare footage in the existing facilities require replacement; several time the community of Kaaawa was told by Clayton Hee, and Colleen Myer that Linda Lingle has made funds available for the school upkeep (what happened to the new library and office that was promised, where are those funds). The school upkeep was not the responsiblity of the community who pays big taxes (for our unchanged country homes), but yet still comes together, to put in windows in the fourth grade class and paint the school. Kaaawa is an inventory site, but was there not skeletal remains found under Kalakaua yet that road is still driven on every day by thousands of people who do not even live here? Kaaawa school is a portable school, why has this not been changed? There are 4 classrooms that are in a cinderblock building, the rest are portable.
None of the facilities could be replaced as is if they were destroyed by a tsunami. Can anything be replaced as is after a tsunami? What is this clause even about? It seems as if the BOE is reaching here.
Now the main thing the education of the children of Kaaawa. The keikis, the staff and the teachers of Kaaawa have worked hard to be above standard, why should they be sent to schools who have not?
Kaaawa is a tight knit community, the school is the heart, if the school is removed, it would be a travisty. It will make things very difficult for or keikis who feel same at their second home, Kaaawa Elementary.
Is this really about the keikis or is this about the state relinquishing 3.7 acres to the highest bidder? 3.7 acres across the street from the ocean, with mountain views would make the state a pretty penny.
KEEP THE COUNTRY, COUNTRY
NO CONSOLIDATION OF COUNTRY SCHOOLS
Chris Runyon
Kaaawa
If the state can sell it and make a big profit, I call that genius! It's not like Kaawa is in the top 10 in Public School test scores.

Sell off the land, let the kids go down the road, and let the teachers be displaced and relocated. What is the big deal here. If this school tested in the top 5, then you may have a real issue here. Wow, they may hit their benchmarks by 2014? seriously? Is that true? Wow, they may be proficient in 5-6 years? And this is a so-called high performing school?

In tough economic times, this is what happens. If you don't like it, you can send you kid to a private school and dish out hella bucks.
Laie Resident

Honolulu, HI

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#13
Jan 16, 2009
 

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pffft wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't give Momilani so much credit. I looked up their demographics. It's not like every struggling child is trying to get in. They have 1% SpEd kids and 2.5% ESL. 10% Free or Reduced Lunch status. 88% attended preschool.
Contrast that to Kaaawa. 11% SpEd, 3% ESL, 59% are Free/reduced lunch, 46% attended Preschool. There's a large contrast in the ethnic breakdown too.
Most of Momilani's GEs have some stake in the community, i.e., g'parents live there, faculty's children, etc. I'd give Kaaawa more credit in educating their children than Momilani. Momilani is NOT working miracles.
Let's see, multiple time Blue Ribbon Award Winner. Ranked #1 for all public school in Hawaii on multiple occasions. High amount of kids test into private schools. No other elementary school sends their kids to Punahou and Iolani yearly. Highest overall HSA test scores in the past 6-8 years (except 1 year). Waiting list for kids to get into the school at kindergarten since many people want this great free education for their children.

And that is the comparison you want to make? Eh, nice one!

What are you going to say next, Kaawa is more impressive than Punahou or Iolani since they get free lunches, have poverty, and kave kids that did not attend kindergarten?

You just strengthened the argument to shut down the school, haha.
Translator

Honolulu, HI

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#14
Jan 16, 2009
 

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FedUp wrote:
<quoted text>
I would take your comments more seriously, Translator, if you hadn't been such an ardent defender of that notorious online troll named "alice" a year ago in these local forums.
I'll keep that in mind.
Translator

Honolulu, HI

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#15
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Laie Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
Let's see, multiple time Blue Ribbon Award Winner. Ranked #1 for all public school in Hawaii on multiple occasions. High amount of kids test into private schools. No other elementary school sends their kids to Punahou and Iolani yearly. Highest overall HSA test scores in the past 6-8 years (except 1 year). Waiting list for kids to get into the school at kindergarten since many people want this great free education for their children.
And that is the comparison you want to make? Eh, nice one!
What are you going to say next, Kaawa is more impressive than Punahou or Iolani since they get free lunches, have poverty, and kave kids that did not attend kindergarten?
You just strengthened the argument to shut down the school, haha.
You know about demographics, and about schools...Do you work in education?

Why do you have such disdain for the families and children in Kaaawa.

Please retire.
Translator

Honolulu, HI

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#16
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Laie Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
If the state can sell it and make a big profit, I call that genius! It's not like Kaawa is in the top 10 in Public School test scores.
Sell off the land, let the kids go down the road, and let the teachers be displaced and relocated. What is the big deal here. If this school tested in the top 5, then you may have a real issue here. Wow, they may hit their benchmarks by 2014? seriously? Is that true? Wow, they may be proficient in 5-6 years? And this is a so-called high performing school?
In tough economic times, this is what happens. If you don't like it, you can send you kid to a private school and dish out hella bucks.
The DOE probably has it in their head to do just that--sell vacant land for a profit. Such a motivation! It seems you DO work in the DOE, don't you?
alice

Maunaloa, HI

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#17
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Well I went to school in rural North Dakota. Check the ND scores against the DOE. Then cry in yer beer. DOE has ripped this state off. For their annual $2.5 billion budget they still do not produce much despite falling enrollment.
Laie Resident

Honolulu, HI

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#18
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Translator wrote:
<quoted text>You know about demographics, and about schools...Do you work in education?
Why do you have such disdain for the families and children in Kaaawa.
Please retire.
I would retire, but then I'd have nothing to do like yourself, LOL!

I have no disdain for anyone. I just tell it like it is. And to compare Momilani to Kaaawa is ridiculous. You are trying to compare the top public school in the island to a mediocre school at best. If pointing that out strike a nerve, then poke, poke, poke, sucka!
pffft

Honolulu, HI

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#19
Jan 16, 2009
 

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Laie Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
Let's see, multiple time Blue Ribbon Award Winner. Ranked #1 for all public school in Hawaii on multiple occasions. High amount of kids test into private schools. No other elementary school sends their kids to Punahou and Iolani yearly. Highest overall HSA test scores in the past 6-8 years (except 1 year). Waiting list for kids to get into the school at kindergarten since many people want this great free education for their children.
And that is the comparison you want to make? Eh, nice one!
What are you going to say next, Kaawa is more impressive than Punahou or Iolani since they get free lunches, have poverty, and kave kids that did not attend kindergarten?
You just strengthened the argument to shut down the school, haha.
Wow, you completely missed my point. I'll say it in simpler terms: Kaaawa does better with what it has than Momilani. I'd expect percentages in the mid to high 90s at Momilani, Noelani, Aina Haina, Manoa and Wailupe Valley.

Your comment about those private schools does not warrant a response.
Duh

Honolulu, HI

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Jan 16, 2009
 

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pffft wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow, you completely missed my point. I'll say it in simpler terms: Kaaawa does better with what it has than Momilani. I'd expect percentages in the mid to high 90s at Momilani, Noelani, Aina Haina, Manoa and Wailupe Valley.
Your comment about those private schools does not warrant a response.
Um how can u prove this? I think Momilani, Noelani, and Aina Hina does wonderful with what it has.
alice

Maunaloa, HI

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Jan 16, 2009
 

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alice wrote:
Well I went to school in rural North Dakota. Check the ND scores against the DOE. Then cry in yer beer. DOE has ripped this state off. For their annual $2.5 billion budget they still do not produce much despite falling enrollment.
Very true

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