All Students to Return to Schools Affected by Puna Lava Flow

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today announced students in lower Puna who were reassigned in October 2014 due to the threat of a lava flow will be returning to their original school. Keonepoko Elementary will welcome back students to its campus in Hawaiian Beaches and all public school students in the Kea’au, Ka’u, Pahoa (KKP) complex area will start the 2015-16 school year in their geographically determined schools.

Pahoa High and Intermediate

“We realize that some families whose students were reassigned to another school may not want to return to their geographically determined school,” stated Chad Farias, KKP complex area superintendent. “However, those reassignments were made based on the pending lava flow. Now that the lava has been determined no longer a threat to KKP, students must go back to the school they came from for their education.”

DOE officials added that families may apply for Geographic Exceptions (GE) and follow the guidelines under Chapter 13 should they decide to make a change. KKP schools that experienced a shift in students and staff include: Pahoa Elementary, Pahoa High & Intermediate, Kea’au Elementary, Kea’au Middle, Kea’au High, Keonepoko Elementary, and Mountain View Elementary.

“The Department is currently evaluating staffing needs and determining the appropriate processes to return the maximum number of employees to their pre-lava flow schools,” said Barbara Krieg, the DOE’s assistant superintendent for the Office of Human Resources. “There are a lot of details to be worked out and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our staff during this process.”

Decisions affecting employees will be made in consultation with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers union. Information will be distributed to employees once details are finalized.

Pahoa Elementary, Intermediate and High Schools 2nd Annual Ho’ike

The Pahoa Elementary, Intermediate, and High Schools are having their 2nd Annual Ho’ike this weekend and the public is invited to come and participate:

Inaugural Prevent Bullying Rally Held at Pahoa Elementary… Pictures

Pahoa Elementary was 1 of only 2 schools in the entire state that had an “Inaugural Aloha Rally  to Prevent Bullying”.  It was  held this evening in the schools cafeteria.

There was plenty of assistance on hand for those needing parking.

11 year old Richard Hatori manned the upper parking lot

11 year old Richard Hatori manned the upper parking lot

Koliah Hatori, 11 and Trey Guerra, 13 man the crosswalks

Koliah Hatori (10) and Trey Guerra (13) man the crosswalks

Vice Principal, Catherine McPherson oversees the action

Vice Principal, Catherine McPherson oversees the action

Inside the cafeteria people filed in for a night of fun.

Principal Marilyn Quaccia signs people in

Principal Marilyn Quaccia signs people in

Audience listens intently

Audience listens intently

There were many people involved in making this event turn out to be a great success.

Couldn't do it without them

Couldn't do it without them

Sue Labrantz, Big Island Anti Bullying Coalition (purple and teal mumu)

Sue Labrantz, Big Island Anti Bullying Coalition (purple and teal muu muu)

Throughout the school you will see pledge cards placed all over that read:


A video was played that featured 20/20 stories as well as other information on bullying.


Different grade levels performed skits about bullying.



A good time was had by all and I hope the kids learned a thing or two about bullying.


Click on pictures below for a larger view: