Consolidation of North Shore schools studied - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Consolidation of North Shore schools studied

Thomas Mather Thomas Mather
Carrie Yossa Carrie Yossa
Scott Moore Scott Moore
Randy Moore Randy Moore

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HALEIWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Schools may consolidate on Oahu's North Shore. Haleiwa Elementary, Waialua Elementary and Waialua Intermediate and High are all under capacity.

A new report released Monday takes a look at the potential impacts of closing one of them down.

This is just a study for now and the next step is deciding if this study is good enough to move ahead to a public hearing.

But even if a final decision is far away, many still remain concerned.

Thomas Mather picks up his two daughters from Haleiwa Elementary almost everyday and that's where he feels they should stay.

"I think it's crazy, they're trying to close this school and take our sixth graders and put them in the high school and I got a daughter who's gonna go through puberty with kids that are 17-18 years old that have been through there, that's asking for trouble," Mather said.

He's not alone as most parents at nearby Waialua Elementary feel the same way.

"It would put too many students at one of the elementary schools, like it'll create overcrowding in the classrooms and the school environment," Waialua Elementary parent Carrie Yossa said.

The study takes a look at four options. Closing Haleiwa Elementary or closing Waialua Elementary.

The remaining school would take just kindergarten through 5th grade, while grade six would attend Waialua Intermediate and High School.

The other two alternatives would not shut down any campuses. It would either split attendance evenly or convert one of the elementary schools to a middle school.

"As a school we have over 500 students, so they're concerned about being able to assimilate another 100 or so students with different cultures, coming from being taught different ways, curriculums, different approaches," Waialua Elementary School principal Scott Moore said.

The report says consolidating the schools may save the state around $700,000 a year. But the DOE is taking everything into account before moving ahead.

"What are the educational implications, what are the administrative implications, what are the social implications, what are the facilities implications, what are the financial implications, what does the growth for the area look like," DOE assistant superintendent Randy Moore said.

The BOE doesn't plan to talk about this issue at its regular meeting on Thursday, but they may address it at its next general business meeting, scheduled for June 3rd.

"The State is trying to put a band-aid on something, instead of looking at the long-term solution," Mather said.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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