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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Dueling Petitions as HSTA Targets Principal of Kapaa Middle School
By News Release @ 5:36 PM :: 4758 Views :: Education K-12

Petition: Remove Principal Nathan Aiwohi (299 signatures as of May 28, 2013)

We, the undersigned current and former students, teachers, parents, and friends of Kapa`a Middle School petition the Kaua`i District Superintendent Bill Arakaki, State Department of Education Superintendent Katharine Matayoshi, and Hawai`i State Board of Education to remove Mr. Nathan Aiwohi from his position as principal of Kapa`a Middle School, effective immediately.

Since being principal of Kapa`a Middle School, there has been a steady decrease in school enrollment, while the resident population has grown. A once vibrant Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is no longer in existence. There has been a steady exit of experienced teachers each year. It is a fact that there are more complaints and grievances being investigated and pursued at Kapaa Middle School than all other public schools on Kaua`i combined this school year. Many students have low regard for the principal and his dictatorial, authoritarian leadership style. Even with heavily funded Edison Learning as school consultants for the past five years, math scores are below No Child Left Behind (NCLB) targets. Under NCLB, the school has been in “restructuring” for the past five years.

Despite numerous attempts by parents and community members to work in collaboration and to support corrective improvement action with the Principal and Superintendent, the same problems continue to exist.

We, the undersigned, as taxpayers and citizens, demand that action be taken immediately.

Petition: Support the integrity of Principal Nathan Aiwohi  (331 signature as of May 28, 2013)

We, the undersigned current and former students, employees, parents, and community supporters/friends of Kapa`a Middle School petition the Complex Area Superintendent William Arakaki, State Superintendent Katherine Matayoshi, and Hawai`i Board of Education to continue the support of the integrity and leadership of Principal Nathan E. `Aiwohi at Kapa`a Middle School.

In an effort to support Principal `Aiwohi during recent personal attacks on the internet, we would like to correct some of the misinformation that his "anonymous" accusers have posted on the "ipetitions.com" website with the following facts:

  1. All three Kaua`i middle schools have experienced a dramatic decrease in enrollment over the last decade, not just Kapa`a Middle School.
  2. Kapa`a Middle School benefited from a vibrant PTSA up and through its leadership in School Year 2008-2009.  Since then, the subsequent KMS PTSA officers were either led by or attacked by a group of disgruntled parents who were entirely focused on their own personal agendas to terminate specific employees rather than focus energies towards the needs of all KMS students.
  3. Over the last six years that KMS has been "In Status" and then "Restructuring," it has achieved the greatest academic achievement in the school's history.  Mr. `Aiwohi garnered the support of educational consultants and school's leadership teams to raise the Reading scores in sy05-06 from 40% of students proficient to 75% of students proficient in sy11-12.  Likewise, he facilitated the school's efforts to raise the Math scores from 20% of the students proficient to 56% of the students proficient.  Furthermore, in the last two years, KMS was one of a dozen schools in the state that has received the Dept of Education's recognized Continuous Growth Award.  All of this evidence can be found at the school website: http://www.kapaams.k12.hi.us
  4. Along with academics, the KMS administration and staff have raised the behavior expectations and interventions for all students.  As a result, the school is experiencing the best behavior reports in its history.  Over the last 6 years, the school's average assault rate has moved from an average of 12 assaults per quarter to less than 1 assault per quarter.
  5. Although the actual complaints at any school is strictly confidential, we know that Mr. `Aiwohi holds his employees in high respect, but also with high expectations.  Most of the current staff has risen to the challenge of increasing professionalism on campus, and have demonstrated their commitment to collectively continue to move the school forward.  Improving the academia at Kapa`a Middle School requires group effort but sadly when individuals are resistant to making the necessary personal changes to improve the quality of education, we have obstacles such as the aforementioned petition which impedes work.

Whenever Principal Nathan E. `Aiwohi is asked to what he attributes the school's success in recent years, he credits and shares his appreciation for his dedicated staff, parents, community and business volunteers, educational supports at the district level, state level, educational consultants, and most of all, the hard working students.

KGI: State investigating complaint against Kapaa principal -- Nathan Aiwohi remains on leave

“The Department of Education is currently investigating an alleged complaint against Principal Aiwohi, who has been on leave since April 17,” Bill Arakaki, the Kauai Complex Area Superintendent, wrote in an email….

As of Thursday, the online petition asking for Aiwohi’s removal had 292 signatures, while the online petition in support of Aiwohi had 327.

Aiwohi served as a teacher at KMS from 1997 to 1999, and has acted as principal since 2007.

Arakaki said Kapaa Middle School earned the Continuous Improvement Award for the Distinguished Schools Program in 2011–12 and 2012–13. To achieve this, schools must show 10 percent or more growth in reading and math during a five-year span. He also said enrollment at KMS has dropped slightly, from 633 in the 2011–12 school year, to 632 this year.

Similar: HSTA Lawsuit against Laupahoehoe Charter School Dismissed

2008: HSTA and Keith T Amano vs DoE, Aiwohi (page 14)

Related: DoE Sidelines HSA Test, Dumps No Child Left Behind

Star-Adv May 29, 2013: Petitions reveal conflict involving Kapaa principal

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