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Does Hawaii have good school district?

Asked by BayAreaResident, Bay Area, Corpus Christi, TX Wed Jun 27, 2007

which island is good to move in?

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One thing I forgot to mention about HI and standardized testing results --- the standardized tests & test scores for the year ending 2007 recently have been the subject of scrutiny and criticism. This year, the test results were markedly better than last year, going from 35.5 to 60.3 achieving "adequate yearly progress" and meeting standards required by the federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Critics claim that this improvement was a result of dumbing down the testing. DOE officials claim the testing is now more accurate. Interestingly, the results have also indicated an increase in the number of students that are "well below" proficiency. How this will pan out remains to be seen. Read more in the Honolulu Advertiser article, below.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Question #1: Schools? As a mother of a small child, I have researched this question extensively for the island of Oahu ( and particularly, the Honolulu and Kailua areas). As mentioned in the previous answers, there are many good private schools, some of them, already mentioned. These can be quite expensive, from around $5,000 to more than $15,000 annually, for tuition. There are also public schools which have good reputations in the community, with the quality of the reputation generally corresponding to the historical performance on standardized achievement tests by children in that school.
Test scores can be located on the Hawaii Department of Education Website at http://doe.k12.hi.us/. If that link is down, use the one below.

Question #2: Which Island ? Each island has its own character and most people will argue that their island is the best place to live. I have lived on Maui and Oahu, and have spent quite a bit of time on Kauai, as well. I like all the islands, but prefer Oahu because of it has a large city (Honolulu) with greater job opportunites, more to do and more amenities, and the best private schools are located on this island, yet it is still beautiful and you can still find a quiet beach or hike to a waterfall, with a 1/2 hour or less drive -- but I am more of a city person (from San Francisco) than some.
If you have any other questions about the islands, especially Oahu, or if you'd like more particular information about any Oahu community, please don't hestiate to contact me at 808-721-8088 or yvonne@worrall.com.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Hawaii is like any other state. There are great schools, good schools and average schools. Private schools offer many better programs. My favorite is the Wardolf schools, open minded and very creative. Yet truly education starts at home. Example, I met some real nice folks from Taiwan, married couple with 3 kids. They sent their children to public schools in Hawaii. He is a scientist and she is a classical Pianist. Facts are that they taught their children at home first and school was second, the family spoke five languages. This may be extreme, yet they have a leading edge in education while their kids attend public schools in Hawaii.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 29, 2007
Hi Glenn,

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Leslie Taylor
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
I live in Oahu, and my child went through Public, Private, Public Charter, E-school & private (Summer) and back to Public, and I learn its pros and cons first hand. Often, statistics doesn't tell the whole story, as your son or daughter is a unique individual, not "median" statistics, and parents have to see what type of education best suited your child's personality. There are some E-school program (mostly middle/high shcool level electives) by DOE, long-distance course (i.e. John Hopkins for Gifted and Talented), and home-schooling maybe your option from any Hawaiian Islands.

I'm attaching the link to Myron Thompson Academy for anytime, anywhere education as one alternative.

Oahu has most selections (with various price range for private education included), but doesn't mean that's better. There are many things parents can do to fill in the void public education doesn't provide, or further reach out the resource to the world.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 29, 2008
You will want to pay tuition to a private school.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2008
A good place to start school research is http://www.greatschools.net. I'd also make sure that the Realtor you select as a buyer representative knows the school districts well. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2007
Unlike most of United States, in Hawaii your property taxes do not fund public education. In Hawaii, the public education is ran and funded by the State Dept of Education (DOE). The DOE obtains its findings from the state, who received educational funding from the states general excise tax fund.

The benefit to this process is that your Hawaii property taxes are low relative to comparable homes found in the Bay Area (where you say you live). The con however, due to the lack of DOE funding, public education suffers. In fact, this year, due to state budget cuts, public education has lost approximately 17 days of school due to furloughs.

If you are concerned about your child's education and you have the financial means, send you kid to private school.

Kind Regards,
Andrew Meislin
President

Lauhala Mortgage
74-5620 Palani Court; Suite 208
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Phone: (808) 331-0585
Fax: (808) 331-0583
Email: Andrew@LauhalaMortgage.com
Web-Site: http://www.LauhalaMortgage.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 7, 2009
Many families on Oahu found their homes on Leeward area, particularly in or near Oahu's second city of Kapolei. Island Pacific Academy (found 2004) is the answer to those parents who wants college preparatory, private education without daily commute.
Summer is a great time to check out the facility and programs. For those visiting Oahu with future scientists, John Hopkins has Summer Programs for oceanography and Hawaiian volcanoes with boarding program site at HPU (Hawaii Pacific University) campus in Kaneohe.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
The best teachers like to teach at the best schools. Yes, Yale, Harvard, Waimanalo Elementary, Kaiser Adult Alternative, they get the teachers they get based on salary, level of cooperation from adminstrators inluding teaching support staff (the boss), kids behavior (rowdy or not rowdy), funding and so on.
My daughter attended public on the east side of Honolulu through 8th grade and scord in th top 1% of national placment tests in the state and nationally. She is now in private school and we are looking for scholarships (since I'm broke paying for private school). I would say that 1/3 of the child's sucess belongs to the parent (or lack of sucess). She'll go to Stanford, Cornell or some other school so I think I'll sell the car soon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 28, 2008
I went to public school in Kaneohe from K to 12. I remember my social studies teacher at Castle High would tell us China was both in Asia & Europe & thought Germany was in N. Afirca (probably from watching the Rat Patrol). I would often cut class & sneak of to the library and read due to the total jungle of an environment in class. (In my 7th grade class at King Intermediate, kids would even smoke pot & masterbate IN class). There was so much pakalolo smoke in the restrooms at Heeia elementary, I use to think the smell of urine was the same as pot. My dad intructed ESL classes at Kahuku - his stories would put mine to shame. If you send your kids to the typical public school in Hawaii, good luck. If they are willing to be social rejects, they might learn enough to get in to college. Don't believe the "ALL IS WELL" crowd -- they are people who have never been through it all, don't really know what education is, think tough schools build character, or have a vested interest in selling you Hawaii. Think of your kids -- & consider yourself properly warned.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 25, 2008
I first answered this question back in September '07. Here we are ending February '08 and I still believe in our school. There are problems, there are problems everywhere. I was at the principals office today, actually. However, where we fall short in many areas we excell in others. I am so happy for my son who has the ability to blend in a mixed community. I am so proud he will grow up and be educated in an area that thrives on a culture that has endured the test of time. I am thankful for each and every Aunty and Uncle that provide an education that stems from love and caring for each child. I have always believed that education begins at home and I am on top of my son's education, he is tops in his class. Top of the list of how to get your chld a good education in our remote area of the world is parent participation. After all we are our children's first teachers, they learn by watching us. We take pride in their education, they will. Better students equals better scores for the school and better school scores equals more funding. In the meantime as part of the community perhaps we can get together and ask the local businesses to help us with getting those books our schools need.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2008
I am answering this because I have first hand knowledge of the school system in Hawaii with my 12 YO, It really depends on WHERE you live in Hawaii. The farther out from the central areas you live, the more challenged the schools are. Our home is an hour from any of the large towns on the BI and the quality of the education really reflects that. They have a very hard time attracting quality teachers to drive that far on a daily commute. The high school in our district is not the best. I am aware of some classes where books aren't even available and page copies of chapters are passed out instead. It really boils down to what your goals for your child are. My child had a terrific 5tha grade teacher who really shined, but her 6th grade teacher, not so much. More a case of a bad teacher giving good kids bad grades. I was very disappointed and even filed a complaint with the administration.

There are some terrific charter school options available and thats the direction many parents are heading, myself included. Charters can really up the ante, as it were, in your childs educational needs in Hawaii. If you are among those who live closer to town, your choices are substantially better.

There are some very good public schools in the more populated areas and some not so good. Do your research and theres always something to be said for "ask your neighbors!" The private schools in the up country in Waimea are outstanding and merit a look. The charters in Kona area are very good. There are some really good private schools in Hilo also and there is always King Kamehameha in Keaau. KK has a stringent admissions policy however, research.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
Let's make sure we don't make mountains out of mole hills. It needs to be remembered that as far as public shool does in this state goesm there is only one school district for the entire state. So, distinctions between the quality of public schools from island to island is useless. They are all run the same under the same system. Without getting into specifics, I say again, you will want to send your children to a private school where are the parents have a personal investment in the learning of their children. If I did not have the financial resources to do that, I would homeschool them, or frankly not move here. It is that serious an issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 2, 2008
If you love your children, don't school them in Hawaii
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 2, 2008
My family packed up their things and moved to Hawaii ... the Big Island that is. I chose the south end due to affordability and have discovered a group of people from all over the world that have come together to develope an area of beauty and perfection. Ka'u is a place of wonder, history, and mystery. It is also a place where heat and air conditioning are not needed. We have trade winds most days. There are several subdivisions to choose from. There are golf course communities, gated communities, very private just hang loose communities, If you are still in your decision making process perhaps you will consider Ka'u. Please check out my website to learn about our fine area.

In regard to the schools....
I have a son in first grade and feel his education is up to par. Though, there are many problems within the school system, you will have those and other problems anywhere.
Web Reference: http://www.kaucountry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2007
I would start with greatschools.com
Web Reference: http://pamwinterbauer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
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Depending on your family and goals, Oahu offers the most in terms of jobs, schools, nightlife, etc... The largest private schools are Punahou, Iolani, and Kamehameha Schools. In regards to public schools, each neighborhood is different. We have elementary and high school data for each listing in Hawaii. Just click on "neighborhood info" in the property details of any listing on any island that you choose. http://www.prudentiallocations.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2007
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