Letter to Parents August 2022

Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,

Welcome back to everyone, and welcome to all who are new to our school. We hope your summer vacation was both meaningful, refreshing, and rejuvenating for both you and your family. 

Here at Aina Haina Elementary School, our goal is that this will be a year of building meaningful connections with everyone through our school’s continued focus on creating nurturing, supportive, and empowering research-based learning environments.  Equity and empathy continue to be the lenses through which we endeavor to view each student, as we learn their stories and find ways to connect with each of them. We continually work to maximize our students’ academic success by promoting positive behaviours through early interventions and empowering our students through the building of coping and resiliency strategies. We are continuing to implement the Mind Up Social and Emotional Learning curriculum with our students to address our students’ very important social and emotional learning needs.
As one of the very few public elementary schools here in the State of Hawaii to be an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), our mind-set is to follow the IB educational philosophy of inquiry-based learning and international-mindedness. Each grade level continues the implementation and teaching of six thematic transdisciplinary units, which incorporate deep inquiry-based learning strategies that challenge our students to develop higher order thinking skills.  Each grade level does a tremendous job in facilitating our students’ learning within these units.  These units help to build and to develop skills in our students that will ultimately lead to their participation in the culminating activity of the IB PYP, which is the Grade 5 IB Exhibition Project. Our school staff works continually to improve the implementation of the programme at our school.

In accordance with our school vision, providing a well-rounded education for our students continues to be a priority for our school as well.  Students engage in learning at our school by expressing themselves through co-curricular programs, such as, physical education, art, computer science/technology, and drama.  The latest brain research shows that this holistic approach to teaching our students greatly enhances their learning.  We thank our wonderful PTA Board and all the members of School Community Council for their collaborative partnership through their support of our school vison and mission.  Their collective efforts continue to make a huge difference in the learning of our students.

Best wishes to all on an empowering and eventful 2022-2023 school year! 
Warmest Regards,
Brendan Burns, Principal

Letter to Parents May 2021

Message from Principal Burns:

Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,
As we have reached the end of the school year, I would like to thank everyone in our entire school community for your excellent efforts in helping make this a terrific school year in spite of the challenging circumstances due to the pandemic. In accordance with Superintendent’s Kishimoto’s letter, Aina Haina School will be opening next school year in full face-to-face instruction. In following further guidance shared by the Superintendent, the schools in the Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area—including Aina Haina--will also not be offering a full-distance only option for next school year.
As we close out the school year, I would like to congratulate and say a big mahalo to Lori Kuwahara for her many years of service here at Aina Haina. This Friday, May 28th, is her last school day here at Aina Haina as she has decided to retire from the Hawaii Department of Education. We will miss her and we wish her the very best going forward in this new phase in her life.
I wish everybody a safe, healthy, and fantastic summer.
Warmest Regards,
Brendan Burns

Letter to Parents March 2021

Principals Letter March 2021

Letter to Parents October 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,

I would like to express my sincerest thanks to everyone in our school community
for all you are doing to support our students during this global pandemic. During
this challenging time, it has been heart-warming to see everyone’s resilience and
commitment to student learning.

Kaiser Complex Area Superintendent, Dr. Rochelle Mahoe, said in her September
28th letter to families, “It is our goal to slowly and gradually phase in the number of
students returning to campus during the second quarter. It is our intention to start
with kindergarten at the elementary level...” Keeping this in mind, our school plan is
to begin a phased return of students to our campus one grade level at a time in our
school’s blended model during this quarter. This would begin with Kindergarten
group 1 students on Monday, November 16th, and group 2 students on Tuesday,
November 17th. The attached Phased Return to School Timeline shares the specific
dates in which each grade level is expected to return to campus.

The present impact level metrics from the Hawaii Department of Health in the
vicinity of Aina Haina is “yellow”, which puts us in a good position of all areas on
Oahu to begin a phased return of students to campus. Student and staff safety and
well-being are of paramount importance to our school. With the reopening of
tourism on October 15th, our school will continue to monitor the number of Covid-19
cases in our community and adjust this plan accordingly as needed based on this
data. With this phased return of students, we as a school are committed to
following the return to school guidance from the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention, the Hawaii Department of Health, and the Hawaii Department of

Updated information and attachments can be found on our COVID-19 Q&A page.

As there are further updates, we will let you know.

To everyone in our ‘Aina Haina ‘ohana, please stay safe and stay well.

Your Partner in Education,
Brendan P. Burns
August 2022
May 2021
March 2021
October 2020