Our School History

The Past…

KealakeheSchool was erected in 1969. Named for the area in which it is located, KealakeheSchool is appropriately matched to the location. “Ala” or “keala” means “the path, road or highway; also, “ke’e” means “crooked or winding.” So, Kealakehe is “winding road.”
It was planned as a “different” school due to the circular classroom cluster building design. The first buildings included the cafeteria, the library, and buildings D and E. In 1970-71 portable classrooms 1, 2, and 3 were installed, and at approximately the same time, the administration building and building F were added.

Except for KailuaSchool, Kona schools were generally small and scattered. In general, there was strong feeling in the community that a bigger and more modern school was needed. Mr. Peter Kawahara served as the school’s first principal at a time when the Kona area’s population experienced tremendous growth. By 1982, it was the largest elementary school in West Hawaii.

In 1986, the school was split into two separate schools due to the large enrollment of over 1400 students. Kealakehe Elementary, located on the original campus, includes kindergarten to grade 5. A new school, Kealakehe Intermediate was established just below the elementary school and provides for grades 6 to 8. At that time, Ms. Mae Yamasaki was appointed principal of the elementary, which served a student population of approximately 740 students.

The Present….

On the slopes of Hualalai, overlooking KailuaBay on the KonaCoast,

KealakeheElementary School is home to 1080 students in pre-K to

Grade 5 from a wide range of ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Bilinsky, Inc has been designated the restructuring provider. Best practices continue as part of the school’s literacy efforts. These elements include a daily two hour literacy block incorporating Readers and Writers Workshops as well as a half hour skills block in Gr. K-2; the Million Words Reading Campaign; and the

Principal’s Book of the Month. GO Math and enVisions are curriculum  used during the Math block.

The Leadership Team includes the principal,academic coaches, Special Education department chair, ELL leadteacher and the restructuring provider. The team meets twice a month to plan and discuss implementation and staff development.

The ILT (Instructional Leadership Team) meets regularly to guide the
implementation of the school’s SMART goals.

Many programs are implemented to meet special student needs such
as Special Education Inclusion and Gifted and Talented clusters in

regular education classrooms; full time ELL teacher and
paraprofessional assistance for second language learners; Waterford

Early Reading Project; Reading Intervention/Reading Recovery
program for at-risk learners; and Imagine Learning. Primary School

Adjustment Program (PSAP) assists with the transition of primary
students. The school supports three Special Education Preschool

Inclusion Programs. A partnership with Headstart is located on site.

Schoolwide and home access to computer programs such as KidBizz,

EducationCity, MobyMath, and BrainPop increase opportunities for
students to develop proficiency in reading and math. Grades 3, 4 and 5
implement AVID Elementary.

Kealakehe Elementary is a member of the Kealakehe Complex. The

Complex works toward K-12 articulation at several levels. Transitions
between elementary and intermediate and intermediate and high
school occur successfully. Each school has an Instructional

Leadership Team. AVID is present in all schools.

The Kealakehe C.A.R.E…Cooperation, Acceptance, Responsibility
and Enjoyment – part of the Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), is a
program designed to enhance student behaviors throughout the
school. Staff members are recognized for supporting students
through the CARE KUMU program. The annual May Song Fest is a
culminating event on the last day of school, showcasing all students
celebrating our cultural diversity.