The Department of Education has proposed redrawing the attendance boundaries of Koko Head Elementary and Hahaione Elementary, in order to keep the schools open, and take those numbers from Aina Haina Elementary, which is now over enrollment. While the proposal presented at a public meeting a couple of weeks ago was enthusiastically supported by parents who wanted to keep both schools open, the most recent discussion was criticized by some Kuliouou parents.
DOE earlier had said any students now enrolled would be grandfathered, and exceptions could be made for siblings.
Calvin Nomiyama, Kaiser complex-area superintendent, told parents he understood the concerns and agreed change wasn't going to be easy. But, he added, the shift would benefit students across the complex. "Do we want to shut down high-performing schools?" he asked parents. "I wouldn't be here if times weren't so hard. From where I sit, I have this tough call to make."
The consolidations discussion is part of a statewide review of small schools to cut costs. So far, the state has closed two schools but spared six others on the possible closure list, including the two high-performing schools in Hawaii Kai, Koko Head and Hahaione.
It certainly is never easy to try and please everybody! Stay tuned for the DOE decision.
Barbara Abe, Realtor