Pa'auilo Elementary & Intermediate School

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Principal's Message

January 25, 2019




Belated Happy New Year!! The second semester is always a busy one and we are always thankful for your support and involvement.


This year is our mid-cycle visit for WASC Accreditation. The team will be visiting our school from January 28-30. They would like to meet with parents to get feedback about how things are going here at Pa‘auilo School. If at all possible, please attend the coffee hour scheduled from 7:15am-8:15am on Wednesday, January 30. Your honest feedback would be greatly appreciated!


Earlier this month we sent out a survey so that we can begin planning for enrollment changes for next year. We have received about half of them back. Please send in the survey as soon as possible so that we can gather projections that are as accurate as possible. If you have children or know friends or neighbors who have children who will be 5 years old by July 31, 2019, please have them contact our office to pick up a kindergarten enrollment packet. Having an accurate count of the number of kindergarteners who live in this area will help me to make decisions regarding the acceptance or denial of students who apply for geographic exceptions (GEs). If your child (ren) is attending Pa‘auilo on a GE and has a sibling who will be entering kindergarten, please follow the procedures for a GE if you want him/her to attend Pa‘auilo as well. The GE window is from January 1-March 1. Please call the office if you have any questions about this. If your child is possibly leaving Pa‘auilo, please note that on the survey so that we can plan accordingly for any decline in our enrollment and for a smooth transition for your child.


If you haven’t already registered for Parent Square, please do. It will allow you to select the method of electronic communication that you prefer. You can choose to receive messages via text, email or using the app.


As a reminder, for safety reasons, please do not drive up the Hau’ola Road after 7:00am when it becomes one way.


Thank you for all that you do to support our school!


Michelle Barber



December 13, 2018




We are quickly approaching the halfway point of the school year, I would like to express how thankful I am for this Pa‘auilo School ohana!


Thank you to all of the parents who participated in parent teacher conferences this year. We met with more than 65% of our families and more have been scheduled outside of that time. If you didn’t have a chance to meet with your child’s teacher during our two scheduled parent conference days, please feel free to contact his/her teacher and set one up. By working together, we can accomplish so much more than we can do alone. Also thank you to all of you who provided us feedback about conferences this year and for giving input into conference dates for next year. We met with teachers, discussed the parent input, and decided to go with the most popular parent request which means that we will request waiver days for conferences next year so that we can hold them on the 2 days before Thanksgiving again. We will keep everyone posted on the progress of that waiver request.


We have also had some changes to Pa‘auilo School staffing recently. Please join me in extending appreciation to Ms. Cheynielle Pacheco who has been the lead substitute teacher in quarter 2 for middle school science classes while Ms. Deluz has been out. Ms. DeLuz will be out on leave for the remainder of this year. In addition, we have had a change of plans with Ms. Hirae’s sabbatical and she will be staying on with us and filling the role as our middle school science teacher for the second semester.


Lastly, I would like to ask your assistance in making sure that your children are here every day on time. We currently have 4% of our students who have already been absent for 15 or more days this school year and are considered chronically absent. We have 10% with 10 or more absences and are in critical danger of becoming chronically absent. We also have another 25% who are on an alert list with 5- 9 absences this school year. Your cooperation in scheduling vacations and appointments outside the school day would be greatly appreciated. If a student leaves before 11:30am it is counted as an absence. Only by working together can we help all students be on the path to college and career readiness.


Thank you for making 2018 a memorable one here at Pa‘auilo!


We build the future, one child at a time!!


I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!


Michelle Barber

Pa‘auilo Elementary and Intermediate School Principal
November 2018



October was lots of fun! In addition to break, we held our first spirit week of the year and ended with our awesome Halloween parade. It was great to see so many students happy and participating in the various activities last month. We look forward to what our Student Council has planned for us next!


We are looking forward to Parent-teacher conferences on November 20-21. Please remember that there will be no school for students during the week of Nov 19-23. Other schools in the state will have school but our teachers have their Professional Development day on Nov 19 and our Honokaa Complex schools have written a waiver for the 2 full conference days rather than dismissing 1 hour early for up to 10 days. Our goal is to have 100% of our families participate in conferences this year. This kind of communication is vital to the team effort that it takes to provide a quality education to our students. Please remember that although this is the one time of year that conferences are formally scheduled, it is important to maintain open communication with your child’s teacher to find out how they are doing and how you can help to reinforce and work with your child at home.  Mahalo to all of you who tried something new with us and signed up for your conferences online.


You all should have received an email or text message inviting you to register for ParentSquare. Please do this as it will allow you to decide how you would like to receive communication from us. You can choose to be informed by email, text or by using the app or any combination of these three methods. We will now be using ParentSquare as our primary mode of communication. It is our hope that this will help all parents, especially the parents who tend to not get written notices from school. If you need help getting registered for ParentSquare, please contact us and we can help! It is one way of helping to keep families informed of events happening at school. It will also be used for us to gather input from parents via polling and to request help from families. You can also like us on FaceBook or follow us on Instagram, or subscribe to your teacher’s webpage on our school website for daily updates of the great things happening here at Pa‘auilo School


I look forward to seeing you at parent conferences next week!


We build the future, one child at a time!!


Michelle Barber




October 2018




I can’t believe that the first quarter is already over. In our efforts to increase communication all parents will be receiving an invitation to our newest platform which is called ParentSquare. It will replace our system for texting parents information that is relevant to your child and grade level allowing maximum two way communication for parents with teachers and administration. There will be instructions for downloading the app which is not a requirement but very user friendly and the ideal way to view messages, and give us feedback. If you haven’t already, please take some time to visit our school website at We are also on Facebook and Instagram and have been posting pictures regularly to keep families in the loop.


Some of our faculty and staff members took on a big project to increase positivity on our campus by brightening up the bathrooms. We painted all of the student bathroom doors with quotes and graphics to remind students about how to be successful in life. We realize that when students are having a tough time, they often end up in the bathrooms and we want to make sure that our positive messages are there too and not just in the classrooms. Students gave input into quotes that were relevant to them and we used that to determine which quotes where on each of the bathroom doors. Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages to see how awesome it looks. You will also be able to check it out during our Blue and White Fair on Saturday, October 27.


Our parking lot is finally complete with the striping that happened during Fall break. Please remember that our parking lot is one way, so please go all the way around the loop when dropping off and picking up students to keep our students safe. Hauola Road up to the school is also one way and no one should be going up that road from 7:00-8:00am and 1:30-2:30pm.


In our efforts to reward good attendance I would like to keep you up to date on how we are doing so far this year. I am concerned that 22% of our students are currently “off track” for attendance, which means that they already have 4 or more absences in the first quarter. Students who continue on that path will likely be “chronically absent” which is defined by the state DOE as absent for 15 or more days in a school year. Last year at this same time 20% were off track and 23% ended up missing 15 or more days during the school year. We have struggled with this for at least the last 3 years and hope to break the trend this year. I encourage you to continue to help us in these efforts by ensuring that your children come to school on time every day and especially in minimizing trips on school days. This past year, 23% of our students were absent for 15 or more days, which is more than twice the state goal of 11%.


Lastly, if you know of anyone who would be willing to help out by providing some entertainment at the Blue and White Fair, please contact our PCNC, Donna Ito-Villafuerte. I hope that you all had a safe and restful Fall Break and I look forward to seeing you soon.


We build the future, one child at a time!!


Michelle Barber




September 2018


Aloha Parents/Guardians/Families of Pa‘auilo Elementary & Intermediate School,


Welcome back to a new school year at Pa‘auilo School! I am so excited about the beginning of this school year. With each year we have the opportunity to make improvements to what we do, to continue what works well, and to discover and try new.


If you haven’t already met the new staff at Pa‘auilo School, I would like to welcome Nicholas “Nick” Abarcar, Caroline Ackerman, Daniella “Dana” Allen, Caroline Difiglio, Haley Jarczynski, Michael “Mike” Jerry, Skye Ombac, Montana Tsubamoto and Arianrhod “Arian” Vannewkirk to our Pa‘auilo ohana. Mr. Abarcar is a Honokaa High graduate who is joining us as our new tech. Ms. Ackerman is part of Teach for America (TFA), comes to us from Virginia and is our 2nd grade teacher. Mrs. Allen comes to us from Oregon and is our new sped preschool teacher. Ms. Difiglio is from Illinios, and is our new kindergarten teacher. Ms. Jarczynski is also part of TFA, comes to us from Maryland and is one of our elementary special education teachers. Mr. Jerry finished his teaching certification from UH Hilo and is our 3rd grade teacher. Ms. Ombac grew up in Hilo, went to college in North Dakota, has returned to Hawaii and is our 4th grade teacher. Mrs. Tsubamoto has lived in Hawaii for the last 25 years in Kau and Keaau and is our school counselor. Mrs. Vannewkirk lives in Honokaa and is also a special education teacher.


We continue to make big efforts to ensure that families know what is going on at school. Some of the ways that we are doing that are: our monthly newsletters, updating our school website often at, updating our Pa‘auilo Elementary and Intermediate School Facebook and Instagram pages, using our School Messenger automated phone calling system, and utilizing the parent/ student portals for middle school parents and students to monitor their grades online. We will be implementing a new parent communication method called ParentSquare. More information about this will be shared shortly. It will allow for 2 way electronic communication and will be especially beneficial for those parents whose children “forget” to take fliers and newsletters home. Please ask if you need help with any of these types of communication and we will be happy to help you get connected.


We continue to encourage you to take an active role in your child’s education. I believe that it is very important that we work together in order to provide your children with the quality education that I am confident they will receive during their years here at Pa‘auilo. We will continue to need your support in making every effort to bring your child to school on time every day. Of course, if they are sick, they should stay home and we ask that you be sure to send a doctor’s note upon their return to school. I also ask that you please make every effort to schedule family trips during non-school days and/or during breaks. School calendars are available on our website and include state approved calendars for 2018-2021.


I am excited about continuing to serve as the principal of such a wonderful school community. I invite you to come and see me whether you have questions or would just like to talk. My door is open. I look forward to working with you as we strive for success at Pa‘auilo Elementary and Intermediate School.


In closing please continue to select Pa‘auilo #43 if you shop at KTA so that we can continue to promote excursions and provide incentives for our students.


One School, One Team, Making a Difference!!

Michelle Barber