Pa'auilo Elementary & Intermediate School

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Principal's Message

March 15, 2017




Although February was a short month, it was a very busy one here at Pa‘auilo.


Our 4th  and 8th graders completed their second attempt on the Science portion of the Hawaii State Assessment this month. While some students have already shown proficiency on this assessment, we still have quite a while to go for them to continue to grow in this area. They will have one more opportunity to show what they have learned later on this year.


We celebrated Valentine’s Day together with a fun filled activity period and started off March with lots of fun dressing up and celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday!


Many students have had the opportunity to go on excursions to extend their learning out in the community and more are planned. On March 7, our K-5 students went to Laupahoehoe school to see the Hawaii Opera Theater perform Hansel and Gretel. I have heard many positive responses about it and am thankful that Laupahoehoe School invited our students to participate with them.


We would also like to remind you that Paa‘uilo School partners with Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union to provide deposit days right here at school. The Children’s Savings Project is a partnership between Pa‘auilo School the University of Hawaii and Manoa and Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union to help promote the importance of savings and thrift to our youth. Please come to the office if you would like more information.


We will be looking for parent representatives for our School Community Council a 2-year term beginning next school year. We will be sending out a nomination form shortly. Please contact the office if you would be willing to serve or if you know of a parent who you would like to nominate. We hope to hold elections in April.


I can’t believe spring break is almost here! Please enjoy the time with your families. Let’s work together make our 4th quarter a great one!!


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

Michelle Barber






February 9, 2017




Happy New Year!! I hope that you all had a restful and rejuvenating break and that your children had a great first month back at school. I am thankful to have had the break to spend with family and friends! The second semester is always a busy one because we continue to make use of every instructional minute of this school year while working on plans for next year as well. January flew by and I can't believe that February is already here.


Attached to this newsletter is a survey to help us begin planning for enrollment changes for next year. 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, 2017, 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 a student 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. Although GEs are often submitted through out the year, the official 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.


We would like to thank Chelsea Yagong for her service as our Parent and Community Network Coordinator(PCNC) for the first semester. She has decided to move on from Pa‘auilo School. We would like to welome Donna Ito-Villafuerte as our new PCNC for the remainder of this year.


I would like to give a shout out to many of our students who did very well on their Star Assessments in December. 33 students scored higher than the 60th percentile on their Star Reading Assessment and 61 students scored higher than the 60th percentile on their Star Math Assessment! We also saw lots of growth! 61 students grew more than 50 points on their Star Reading Assessment and 44 students grew more than 50 points on their Star Math Assessment! Students who fell into any of these categories received award certificates at our recognition assemblies last month.


Lastly, I would like to let you know that we will be starting a new tradition at Pa‘auilo School. We will begin each week together as we do a morning protocol on Monday Mornings below the covered play court. If you have time to come and join us, we would love to have you. Next month, we will publish the chant that No‘eau Peralto wrote for us. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact me. My door is always open!


Thank you for all that you do to support our school our students!
Michelle Barber, Principal



December 6, 2016




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!


Bingo Night was lots of fun and we look forward to more parent activities such as this. Mahalo to those who supported our book fair as well! We will look forward to another book fair in the spring.


Thank you to all of the parents who participated in parent teacher conferences this year. We heard a lot of positive feedback about the conference format. 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 much more than we can each do alone.


Next semester will bring some changes to Pa‘auilo School. We will welcome Ms. Heppe as our new 3rd grade teacher and thank Mrs. Hinokawa Mrs. Miranda, and Mrs. Haunga for teaching our third grade students in the first semester. Ms. Heppe graduated from San Diego State University and will be returning to Hawaii where she used to work as a dolphin trainer and as the Island Youth Coordinator of an anti-tobacco program. Please join me as we offer a warm Pa‘auilo welcome. Mrs. Hinokawa will still be on campus as our Student Services Coordinator and will also be taking on some Curriculum Coordinator responsibilities.


Lastly, I would like to ask your assistance in making sure that your children are here every day on time. We currently have 9% of our students who have already been absent for 10 more more days this school year and are in critical danger of being considered chronically absent. We also have another 26% 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. Only by working together can we help all students be on the path to college and career readiness.


Thank you for making 2016 a memorable one here at Pa‘auilo!


I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

Michelle Barber




November 4, 2016




I can’t believe I have already been at Pa‘auilo for 2 months. Time sure is flying by. Beginning this month, please look forward to monthly newsletters to help further open the lines of communication between home and school.


This month will bring many days off for your children. In addition to Election Day, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving, all of the Honoka‘a complex schools including Pa‘auilo School will be having one of our professional development days on November 21, so there will be no school for students. Our parent-teacher conferences will be set up differently this year as well. Instead of students getting released early for 2 weeks, we will be holding all conferences on November 22-23. There will be no school for students on those 2 days. Pa‘auilo School, Honoka‘a High School, and Waimea Elementary will be on the same schedule, meaning that students will have the whole week of Thanksgiving off.


Parent-teacher conferences are essential to communicate about the progress of your child. This kind of communication is vital to the team effort that it takes to provide a quality education to our children. 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 throughout the year to find out how they are doing and how you can help to reinforce and work with your child at home. Please send back your conference form right away so that we can schedule conferences that will work for all involved.


While you are on campus, we will also be asking all parents to participate in a brief online survey. Please be sure to fill it out while you are here.  The PTSA will be holding a book fair as well. Now that there are very few bookstores on the island, we hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to buy some books and build the love of reading for your child.


Last month we received our Strive HI results. There were several changes to this report this year. One change is that there is no overall score and schools are not “ranked”. We did get data to help work on our school improvement efforts. A new piece of information that we got was the fact that 17% of our students were chronically absent, meaning that they were absent for 15 or more days last school year. Even more concerning is that 22% of our elementary students were chronically absent. Absenteeism is one of the indicators of high school and college graduation rates as well as overall success in school. We need your help in making sure that your child is in school, on time every day. Please make appointments afterschool or on non-school days and plan trips during school breaks rather than during the school year.  I am confident that if we work together, we can reduce these numbers and increase the success of our students in school.


Thank you to all of you who have come by to meet me in the last 2 months. I look forward to getting to know more of you as the year goes on.


Michelle Barber, Principal



August 9, 2016


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


I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all of you. My name is Michelle Barber and I will be the new principal of Pa‘auilo Elementary and Intermediate School. I come with 21 years of experience in education as an elementary school teacher, computer teacher, technology coordinator, math coach, data analysis coordinator, district resource teacher, and vice principal. Most recently, I served as the principal at Ha‘aheo Elementary School in Hilo for the last 3 years.


For those of you who don’t know me, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I am a proud graduate of Honoka‘a High School, got my Bachelor’s degree from California State University: Fullerton, my Elementary Education Teaching Certificate from the University of Hawaii: Hilo, and completed my Educational Administration coursework at the University of Hawaii: Manoa. I spent most of my teaching career in the Hamakua area teaching at Honoka‘a Elementary, Waimea Elementary, and Pa‘auilo Schools. Both of my daughters are also graduates of Honoka‘a High School and attended Pa‘auilo School for their intermediate years.


I will begin my new appointment at Pa‘auilo School on September 1. The main reason for my September start date is because I unexpectedly had to fly to the mainland to be with my daughter as we welcomed my new granddaughter who came into the world a few weeks early. I knew that I was going to be out for part of August so we decided that both schools would have a smoother transition if we waited until September 1. In order to help with this transition, I will be attending the Pa‘auilo School Open House on August 18 and look forward to meeting you there.


I am excited about serving as the principal of such a wonderful school community and look forward to “coming home.” 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. I invite you to come and meet me whether you have questions or would just like to talk. My door is open and I invite you to take an active role in your child’s education. I look forward to meeting you and working with you as we strive for success at Pa‘auilo Elementary and Intermediate School.


Let’s make this a great year!!


            Michelle Barber

            Pa‘auilo Elementary and Intermediate School Principal