Letter to Parents 5/2/2017

Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,

The 5
th grade International Baccalaureate Student Exhibition held on April 28th, 2017, was a great success; our 5th graders exhibited tremendous learning in their group projects that involved higher order thinking skills, collaboration skills through working in a team, effective communication skills through sharing with others about what they learned. Students shared their learnings as pertaining to real-world subjects, such as, ocean pollution, video games, homelessness, allergies, culture, music, art & neuroscience, unhealthy lifestyles, and more. This was our first IB Exhibition now as an authorized IB World School offering the Primary Years Program.

Their presentations of how they turned their passion into action were extremely impressive and creative; this exemplified the power of the IB to enhance their learning. This type of learning is empowering our students in each grade to take their own learning experiences to a higher level. It truly was amazing to see what our students had come with. Kudos goes to our students for their hard work in completing their projects; special thanks also goes to our school staff who provided mentorship to our students, serving as guides and resources to our students during the process of completing the projects. Mahalo especially to our IB Primary Years Coordinator, Trisha Shipman-Lameier, for her excellent efforts. I had the privilege of mentoring an exhibition group this year, and it was a terrific experience in being involved in supporting our students in their learning.

For those who may be considering sending their child to Aina Haina: we continue to accept registrations for Kindergarten for next school year and Geographic Exceptions for some grade levels. If you haven’t done so already, please consider registering your child if you would like to become part of our ‘ohana and the great things that we are doing at our school.


Your Partner in Education,
Brendan Burns, Principal

Letter to Parents 1/23/2017

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Friends,

Aloha and happy new year to everyone in our Aina Haina ‘ohana.

Someone once said: “Those who have no time for health today, will have no health for time tomorrow.” In alignment with this saying, here at Aina Haina, we value the importance of health and wellness for our students. In accordance with this, as we have begun the New Year, we received word that our school was awarded a Wellness Award from the Hawaii Department of Education for our school’s various programs which encompass supporting our students in living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. We were one of only nineteen schools of the fifty-two schools in the Honolulu District to receive this award. Being balanced—which involves achieving personal well-being intellectually, physically, and emotionally—is one of the ten traits of the IB (International Baccalaureate) learner profile.


Congratulations to the Aina Haina Lego Robotics Team for winning Second Place in the State Tournament held on December 3
rd, 2016, at the Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall in the area of Core Values for Team Work. As there were many teams from around the State of Hawaii, this was a great honor and accomplishment.

As the GE application period is upon us, I wanted to mention that we are: Currently accepting geographic exceptions for next year – slots are available for certain grade levels.

Exciting things are in store for 2017 for Aina Haina School as we move forward together with a clear vision and goal to advance our student’s learning.

Your Partner in Education,
Brendan Burns, Principal

Letter to Parents 11/2/2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,

This holiday season, as principal of our school, I am both extremely thankful and grateful for our hard-working teachers and staff, for our parents and community members, and also for the great things that are happening here at Aina Haina which we have witnessed over the past few months.

Here at Aina Haina, we have an outstanding staff, who are committed to working as a team to support our students in their learning. As we know, we offer terrific enrichment programs during the school day, including, K- 5 Drama, Art, Music, Physical Education, and Technology. We are also one of very few elementary schools in Hawaii to offer an outstanding K-5 Japanese Language program as part of our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP).

This October, our Jaguar Jog raised over $77,000, which is a tribute to the great generosity of all of our donors. Words of appreciation cannot express how thankful and grateful we are for this monetary donation to our PTA, which goes toward helping us achieve our school’s vision of educating the whole child; in addition, it helps to foster action through service among our student body by providing training for staff for our IB Programme. Special thanks go to Jaguar Jog chairpersons, Audrey Hirayama and Leslie Watanabe, for their outstanding efforts. Thank you to all who gave to this worthwhile cause of supporting student learning.

Fall Festival also proved to also be a great success as about $7,000 was raised for our school’s library. A big mahalo goes to the Fall Festival Committee for doing a fantastic job in organizing this community event, which showcases our 5
th graders creative dramatic skills. Thank you to everyone who made it possible and for coming out to this wonderful event.

By continuing to work together as a school community in moving forward, great things will continue to happen here at Aina Haina.

I would like to finish by wishing everyone in our Aina Haina ‘ohana, Happy Holidays!

Your Partner in Education,
Brendan P. Burns


Letter to Parents 8/25/2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,

Welcome back to everyone.

We welcome a new staff member for this school year. Carin Doplihar has joined our staff as one of our reading and math intervention teachers. We extend a warm welcome to her in joining our Aina Haina ‘ohana.

As announced previously, Aina Haina is now an International Baccalaureate (IB) Authorized World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP). IB schools exist in 145 countries with more than one million students enrolled in IB programmes worldwide. We are one of only four public elementary schools in Hawaii which offers this terrific programme.

The IB Organization recently shared 10 Reasons why the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is ideal for students based on their research. These reasons were as follows:


    As we are now an authorized IB World School, we look continue building and improving the programme in consistency with having a growth mindset in all we do, which means that here at Aina Haina we emphasize continuous improvement. I strongly commend our staff for their hard work in getting us to this point and beyond.

    In addition to moving forward with our IB programme—in alignment with our school’s academic plan—we continue to provide for our students rigorous and meaningful learning experiences through addressing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with the goal that they will be on track to be ready for college and career. We will continue to work to address the learning levels of all students through our Response to Intervention program. We will advance our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational initiatives and learning within the context of the IB framework. Enhancing a safe, healthy, and orderly environment at our school is one of our top priorities as well. In addition, we continue to emphasize building positive reciprocal relationships with community members to support our students’ academic learning and through fostering our students’ citizenship skills.


    We are looking forward to an empowering and eventful 2016-2017 school year!

    We hope your summer break was both meaningful and refreshing for you and your family.


    Your Partner in Education,
    Brendan Burns, Principal

    AHS is an IB Authorized World School!

    Aina Haina Elementary is an IB Authorized World School!

    Dear Parents, Guardians, Community Members, and Friends,

    We received the exciting and historic news on June 23
    rd, 2016, that our school, Aina Haina Elementary, is now an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Primary Years Programme (PYP). As a result, we have now joined the IB community of schools which span the entire world. Very few elementary schools—of both public and private schools in the entire State of Hawaii—have achieved this international recognition and distinction. Since embarking on our journey to become an IB authorized school in May of 2010, many helping hands have contributed in building this tremendous educational programme for our students which incorporates inquiry and sustainability. First of all, special appreciation and thanks go to our former IB coordinator, Mr. Jon Taguchi, and also to IB coordinator, Mrs. Deanne Yoshioka, for their leadership and support in getting our school to authorization. Secondly, I would like to thank all of our former and current teachers and staff for their tremendous hard work in building the programme; their great efforts helped to teach our students to exhibit the attributes of the IB Learner Profile (Inquirers, Communicators, Caring, Knowledgeable, Balanced, Principled, Reflective, Courageous, Open-minded, and Thinkers). Last but not least, I would like to thank our current and former parents and guardians, our current and former students, as well as the entire Aina Haina community for everyone’s collaborative spirit, your awesome support, and your spectacular efforts. Without each and every one of our school’s stakeholders, we could not have achieved this historic accomplishment. As we enter the 2016-17 school year, we can now celebrate that we are an IB World School. Congratulations to everyone in our Aina Haina ‘Ohana! Go Jaguars!

    Your Partner in Education,
    Brendan Burns, Principal