Waimea Middle School - Home


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Recipient of a Full 6-Year WASC Accreditation: 2014 - 2020


Mission: "Waimea Middle School empowers all students with the skills, values, and cultural understanding 

to successfully navigate high school and beyond.”

I KAIR Core Values: 'Ike * Kaizen * Accountability * Integrity * Respect

September 21, 2017
Important School Events & News - click here.  
For great photos of learning in action and school events - www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool
   Behaviors For Learning - WMS Student Discipline Policy - click here.
WMS Schoolwide Chant & 'Ike Hawai'i Lessons - click here
HIDOE Student Information Privacy - http://bit.ly30ERPAHI 
Exciting Before- & After-School Student Programs - click here

WMS Student Mentoring Program - click here.

Mahalo To Our Legislators & Governor For $16 million STEAM Building under construction! - click here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          School Wellness Policy - click here.
Employment Opportunities click here.


Free Breakfast & Lunch & Free Busing in Waimea area for all WMS students this school year!

After-School Homework Help+ every Tuesday and Thursday, 2:15-3:45 p.m. - Free including snacks and busing in district.
See application below.

Next WMS Local Advisory Panel (LAP) Meeting: 4:30-6:30 p.m., Mon., Oct. 16, 2017. Click here for more info.

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Dates To Save & Join Us - All WMS Families Invited!

WMS 5th Annual IKAIR Fun Run/Walk & Silent Auction - Fri., Sept. 29, 4 p.m.
Tempting auction items & door prizes plus dinner & Bingo - all so support WMS STEAMING Forward!
See Below!

PS: Auction Donations welcome! Please email Patti_Cook@wmpccs.org to coordinate. MAHALO!
All proceeds will help purchase STEAM technology for WMS students.

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Cross Country Practice Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays

Please see Coach Tamaye, the office or click here for more information and to download required family consent and physical exam forms.

First XC Meet (tentatively):
Sat., Sept. 9, 2017 at Kamehameha Schools Kea'au Campus.

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Robotics 2017-2018 SY:

We are stepping up our STEAM teaching and learning this school year!  

This includes offering Robotics both during the school day and after-school, and participating in two tournaments - VEX and First LEGO League.  In fact, WMS will host a VEX tournament here on Sat., Oct. 21, 2017 in Thelma Parker Memorial Gym.  

We need community kokua.  For more details, please click here.  If you would like to get involved, please email teacher Naui_Murphy@wmpccs, or call the school office (887-6090 Ext. 222) and leave a message for her.  

We thank our teacher team, and all of our community partners, who make this cool STEAMy programming possible.  

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After-School K(Arts) and 21st Century Classes!

Please click here for more information or see Auntie Bernie Marsh in the office.

Most classes are filled but 21st Century classes run 7 weeks for 1st Quarter, and new classes will be offered for the 2nd Quarter. Please see Auntie Bernie for details.

We again thank community partners for making these opportunities possible for our students!

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For School Year Calendar, please click here.

For Student Supply List, please click here

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Additional Great News for WMS Families for the 2017-18 SY:  

Free Breakfast, Free Lunch, Free Bus!

We are very excited to welcome students and families for a new school year!  There is much to celebrate.

First – All WMS students this year will enjoy FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH DAILY.  Healthy children doing their best in school requires a nutritious breakfast and lunch.  We encourage all students to take advantage of breakfast and lunch here at school every day. 

Second – All WMS students living in the district will enjoy FREE BUSING DAILY this school year.  Hereʻs why:  We are prioritizing ATTENDANCE EVERY DAY ON TIME and we do not want transportation to stand in the way.  Besides, we have some of the coolest buses and vans in the state!    

Your family is urged to take full advantage of these two initiatives so that, together, we can be even more successful in preparing your child for high school, college/career and life. 

We thank our local school board, Ho’okako’o Corporation, for helping make this possible.  We also thank the Neilan Foundation for our buses and vans. 

If you have questions, please call Mrs. Kiki Kihoi (887-6090 Ext. 224) or email: Kiki_Kihoi@wmpccs.org

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Congratulations WMS - Faculty & Staff! 

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Congratulations WMS Exiting Class of 2021! 

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For a second year, Exiting 8th graders from Waimea Middle School are being awarded with a $1,000 “College Pathway Scholarship” by Waimea resident Dr. Roger Gremminger (4th from left). Students are (L-4) Anuhea Winters, Tayson Hirayama (Class Valedictorian), Violet Stevenson, Cade Arafiles, Maggi Sommerhoff, Katiana LaLonde, Malia Fetsch, Nahenahe Rosario and Kaile Dills with Principal Amy Kendziorski. The scholarships – acknowledging academic achievement – will assist with 
their 9th grade tuition at Parker School, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy or Makua Liana Christian Academy. In addition to these scholarships, Dr. Gremminger is establishing a separate academic incentive program to encourage WMS Exiting 8th grade students attending public high schools to work hard throughout the next four years to become eligible for a scholarship to help with tuition in their first year in college, trade school or other accredited post-secondary educational program.

Congratulations to our Class of 2021 Valedictorian Tayson Hirayama! 
Pictured here with teachers - Mrs. Kara Onaka-Winters and Miss Nau'i Murphy. 

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AN EXTREMELY MEANINGFUL “SNEAK PEEK” TOUR was provided last week for VIP guests State Senator Lorraine Inouye, State Senator Michelle Kidani and State Representative Cindy Evans into our still-under-construction, $16 million 9-classroom STEAM Building.  The group is seen here inspecting a state-of-the-art science lab with members of both WMS school leadership and members and staff of our local school board, Ho'okako'o Corp.  Pictured (L-R) are Dr. Robert K. Masuda (Ho'okako'o Board Member representing Waimea), Rep. Evans, WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski, Sen. Inouye, Joe Uno (Ho'okako'o Board Chair), Sen. Kidani, Dr. Paul Nakayama (also a Ho'okako'o Board Member representing Waimea), David Gibson (Ho'okako'o's Executive Director), Nancy Barry (a Ho'okako'o Board Member), Pat Rice (long time Waimea teacher, counselor, three-time principal & grant coordinator), and Steven Smith and Jay Matsumoto with WMS tech team.  Mahalo to our visiting public policy makers -- first for securing this "gift" to the children and families of Waimea -- and for your insights and assistance to help us continue moving this project forward to be all that it can be for our students!

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May 24, 2017: WMS students talked "live" via satellite phone to the Hokule'a on its final leg home from the worldwide 'Malama Honua' voyage! 

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For many more pictures:  https://sites.google.com/a/wmpccs.org/home/-ike-hawaii/may-day-2012

Also more pictures on Facebook.

The WMS 2017 May Day Royal Court was among the highlights of our May Day Ho'ike!  The court and all 250 students who performed completely outdid themselves with their singing, dancing, chanting, presence and deep pride in their own achievements and aloha for family and school-community!  They were "living" our I KAIR Core values! What an amazing celebration of the school's first 100 years -- and evidence that we're STEAMING FORWARD into a new century of learning and growth!  And deep love for this place and its heritage and traditions.   

Mahalo to everyone who participated and contributed - most notably our teachers and staff, Kumu Hula Lani Isaacs and her halau, and our families and community partners...including Kahilu Theatre and Parker Ranch.  

What a great day for Waimea!  

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Two Terrific Summer 2017 Exploratories - Back-to-Back - Plus Scholarships for HPA Summer School Class! 

Itʻs for all incoming 6th, 7th and 8th grade Big Island students, will include 4 full-day field trips mauka and makai including a day at Hapuna Beach learning water safety and concluding with a beach barbecue, and itʻs only $60 with scholarships available! Applications available in the school school office, via email: summersteam@wmpccs.org, or call 887-7633.

Mahalo to our program partners!

Please click here for application! 

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For complete schedule & downloadable form, go to: www.babystepshawaii.org

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WMS Students Offered One-Class Summer School 2017 Scholarship To HPA 

Pease click here for more information about class choices & to download application.

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Mid-Cycle Accreditation Visit! 

MAHALO to our Visiting Committee - Dr. Steve Shiraki and Ms. Susie Osborne - for a meaningful review of our progress! 

Mahalo, too, to faculty, staff, families and community for supporting schoolwide continuous improvement!  

BACKGROUND:  In 2014, Waimea Middle School earned a six year Accreditation term with a mid-cycle visit scheduled for this school year (2016-17) from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). 

Time flies – and our mid-cycle Visiting Committee were here April 10-11, 2017.  Committee members included Dr. Steve Shiraki from the UH-Manoa, and Ms. Susie Osborne, who is po’o at Kua o Ka La Public Charter School in Puna. 

Accreditation is a significant commitment by the school to “continuous improvement” with detailed collaborative action plans for focus areas identified by the Visiting Committee in 2014.  These action plans map out very specific strategies, professional development, budgets and much more to better support progress for all students.  Our faculty-staff have worked persistently throughout the past three years to fulfill this commitment and have now produced progress reports that document actions, successes and areas that need continued attention.

The Visiting Committee reviewed these reports and, as important, met with school personnel, students and community members and observed classes.  They shared a preliminary overview of findings and now we await more formal feedback from WASC.  

PS: Mahalo to everyone who attended our Local Advisory Panel (LAP) Meeting April 10 too!
And thank you to the 8th grade students and teachers (Miss Murphy and Ms. Bowman) for their presentation on the
NSF PREPARES grant and student trip to Alaska.  Excellent presentation!  
For more about the PREPARES grant, scan further down this page.  

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Please click here for schedule. 

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CONGRATULATIONS to our Na Paniolo Track & Field team 
for bringing home 32 medals this year! 

Special thanks to Coaches Warren Tamaye & Cherise Mundon, 
and all who supported the team including other teachers, staff and families! 
Mahalo, too, to The Neilan Foundation for supporting student athletics. It takes a village!

For meet results, click here please. 

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Congratulations WMS!  

Charter Renewed thru June 30, 2020 (3 years)!

To read more, please click here

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Look who came for a quick sneak peak into our still-under-construction 9-classroom, 

$16 million STEAM building during today's 24th Annual Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival! 

Yes, that's Hawai'i Governor David Ige (in front of the Mala'ai garden sign with pink lei) and his wife in bright pink, Dawn Ige. Welcoming them for the visit -- including an opportunity to see first-hand how the new STEAM building will integrate with the school's open-air Mala'ai Garden "classroom", were, L-R: Ho'okako'o Board Member Paul Nakayama, WMS teacher Mrs. Linda LoBue, Keck's Rich Masuda, WMS' Mrs. Pat Rice, DOH Pubic Health Nurse Sandy Tomiyama, WMS LAP Community Rep Jane Sherwood, WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski, Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Rep. Cindy Evans and Ho'okako'o Board member Robert K. Masuda. Kneeling are L-R: Mrs. Gayle Kamei, a STEM teacher at Waiakea Intermediate, Ms. Connie Hastert, Mala'ai Garden Leader Holly Sargeant Green, Miss Kimberly Kamei and Canada-France-Hawai'i Telescope's Mary Beth Laychak. Gov. Ige was Senate Ways and Means Chair when funding was secured for this major new educational asset for Waimea and worked closely with both Sen. Inouye and Rep. Evans to fund the project. Part of the visit was sharing the school's expanded vision for the building to create a "hub of STEAM teaching and learning" for Waimea. 

Photo courtesy of Tina Benson

What's New:  

Full STEAM Ahead!  

West Hawai'i Today/North Hawai'i News Feature - Friday, Jan. 27, 2017: 


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WMS Students & Teachers In-The-News! 

From Alaskan Permafrost To Sea Level Rise at Spencer Beach:

WMS & Alaska Yup'ik Students Pilot STEM Lessons Together As Global Citizens

Click here for news feature in West Hawai'i Today - Friday, April 7, 2017: 

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This Free Community Meal every Thursday, 4:30-6 p.m. 

St. James' open-air Pavilion 

All Waimea Children and Families Invited - Also Kupuna and Veterans!   
It's for all of us...very informal and delicious! 

Feel free to bring the family or a friend, too. 
There's no obligation other than just coming! No RSVP needed!

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Mahalo nui loa for everyoneʻs support of the Waimea Paniolo II Robotics Team members who traveled to Oʻahu this past weekend (Dec. 2-3) to compete in the State FIRST Lego League Championship. Kaile, Shaelyn, Eito, Minnow, Kayden and Rovi represented our school well demonstrating gracious professionalism, positive engagement, and the ʻike to present to panels of judges and create an autonomous robot while having fun! Though we didnʻt come home with one of the top three spots of the 42 teams that participated, their judging scores showed improvement from the Kealakehe Tournament. They worked hard as a team, encouraging each other even when the robot they named Wooly wasnʻt cooperating:) Weʻll be putting up their "Animal Allies" project poster on a school bulletin board so you can see one component of the competition.

Mahalo also to Hoʻokakoʻo Board Chair Joe Uno for stopping by to meet our team and supplying some much needed mid-competition day energy with lunch. We are also very grateful to have received Kamehameha Schools STEAM grant monies as well as Title 1 funds to support the robotics program and our students who are interested in related fields. Mahalo Pat and Tanya for the financial accounting. Mahalo Mrs. Loo for the yummy travel snack packs. Mahalo to everyone for all the well wishes!

See more photos on Facebook & in the 'Ohana News (click here: Important News).

Also - our WMS Robotics students are participating again in the annual Festival of Charity Trees fundraiser at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Please take your ʻohana to view the wonderful trees and vote for our tree. Our Christmas tree theme this year relates to the FIRST LEGO League Challenge, "Animal Allies," with our team building lego animals.

See if you can identify their creative creatures!

Nauʻi, Tisha and Jade
Waimea Middle Paniolo Robotics Advisors

Photos below taken at the District Finals at Kealakehe.

WMS Robotics Paniolo 1 Team Wins District Championship!

Click here for more information. 

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IMPORTANT EDUCATIONAL NEWS:  Hawai'i's DRAFT Blueprint For Public Education

Gov. David Ige's DRAFT Blueprint For Public Education was released yesterday, Dec. 5, 2016. Please have a look.  

BACKGROUND: On December 15, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA) , a national education law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act and subsequent state waivers for education policy. The passage of ESSA was described by the Wall Street Journal as the “largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter century.”

States were challenged to step up and Gov. Ige has by forming the “Governor’s ESSA Team” to "develop a blue print for Hawai‘i’s public schools that is consistent with ESSA and will maximize opportunities and possibilities for Hawai‘i to transform education.” Hundreds have participated statewide to craft this vision.  To review the draft plan, please click here: 


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Lā Pa’ahana (hard, industrious work) Day for WMS 7th Grade

(This is what Place-Based Learning (PBL) is all about!) 


Having just completed a Social Studies unit on Hawai`i’s sugar industry and how geography and physical environment impact businesses and lifestyle, our 7th graders extended their learning beyond the classroom, text book and internet with our school’s now annual Lā Pa’ahana (hard, industrious work) Day.  On Thurs., Dec. 8, students stepped out of the classroom into our Waimea community to explore its physical environment in relation to spatial geography, business and lifestyle. Students had the opportunity to hear from individuals who make the choice to work in lifestyles dependent on the environment every day.

Mahalo nui to all of the Lā Pa`ahana presenters including Kumu Ku`ulei Keakealani, `Ainahua Florals, Hawaiian Hogs, Hawai’i Island Humane Society, `Aina Hou Veterinary Clinic, Waiki`i Ranch, Parker Ranch and Uncle Ma`ulili Dickson of the Makali`i Voyaging `ohana.

It was a fascinating day offering a wide variety of field trips to learn about careers in businesses connected to the land and this special place.  It really was all about pa’ahana (hard work) and following your heart, and in most instances, there was discussion of post-high school educational requirements. 

Here are a few pictures of students with presenters who shared insights, wisdom and advice - having chosen lives and careers that are connected in many deep ways to the land and environment!

For example, despite thick fog enveloping Waiki'i, about a dozen of our WMS 7th graders participated in an exploratory visit to this historic upcountry Parker Ranch station to learn about career choices and what it takes to be successful at various professions -- in this case, ones that are closely tied to the land and our community's ranching heritage. Special presenters included Uncle Sonny Keakealani, a revered paniolo, his daughter Ku'ulei Keakealani, Alvin Kawamoto and Jesse Ho'opai.

MAHALO to teachers and staff for coordinating this annual exploratory!


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Mahalo to All Families Who Participated in Our Student-Family-Teacher Conferences!


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Thank you K(Arts) Fall 2016 students for terrific K(Arts) Grand Finale performances this week at Kahilu Theatre! Students shared what they've learned in this popular after-school program, including choir, hula, 3-D Stereographic Video, hip hop, art & backstage production!  Also, mahalo to our program partners - Kahilu Theatre Foundation, the Neilan Foundation and Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture & the Arts.  We also thank program coordinators Auntie Bernie Marsh and Auntie Lisa Shattuck and the amazing instructors behind the scenes!  

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Mahalo to everyone who contributed to and attended our STEAMY HALLOWEEN Celebration!  

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Please review this and do everything you can to support Attendance:
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STUDENT SAFETY:  Our back gate entry drive paved during Fall Break.  

Please note that the speed limit on this entry drive continues in effect - 5 mph for the safety of students.

  This improvement is part of the STEAM building construction contract.  Thank you, DOE & Isemoto Contracting!  

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Scholastic Book Fair - A big success!  

Mahalo to all who have helped with this - both students & community volunteers! 

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Oct. 7 was WMS Annual I KAIR Day! 

Students fanned out from campus to participate in numerous community service projects! 

Ōlelo No‘eau (Traditional Hawaiian Proverb):  Ma ka hana ka ‘ike.  In working one learns.  

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Mahalo to all who participated in and contributed to our Centennial kickoff Fun Run & Silent Auction!  

We especially thank donors, volunteers and our faculty-staff for their support!  

It was a great beginning of an exciting year for our school-community leading up to dedication of our new 9-classroom $16 million STEAM building!  

STEAM:  Science * Technology * Engineering * 'Aina/Arts * Mathematics!  

To view a video clip of our "Take a LAP Fun Run/Walk & Silent Auction" - click here: 


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And...yes!  We are welcoming "home" alumni and former teachers-staff as part of our Centennial celebration!


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New This School Year:  Parent Partner Positives! 

Mahalo to families who have attended various back-to-school events.  

To better support your child's success in middle school, and also enjoy rewards, 

please click here or see our Family-Community Outreach Coordinator Amy Kailimai in the office. 

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Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year!  

School hours: 8 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. - M, T, Th, F

8 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. - W

Families are expected to have students at school ready to learn every day on time

wearing a uniform shirt and bringing their AVID Binder w/ Student Planner.


Parents/Guardians are expected to bring their child(ren) to school before the starting bell.  

Students who arrive to school after the tardy bell must report to the office for a pass.  Chronic tardiness may result in disciplinary action.



Only authorized individuals may request early release of a student.  Authorized individuals are parents, legal guardians, and individuals authorized by the parents or legal guardians.

  • Families requesting early release for their student should have the child bring a note signed by the parent/legal guardian stating the date and time for the early release.  The student should bring the note to the office before school  or during recess, not during class time.  If someone other than the parent/legal guardian will be picking up the student,  this should be stated in the note.
  • A call slip or phone call will be sent to the Teacher.  Individuals are not to go to the classroom to get the student. 
  • Please DO NOT call to have your child sent to the office before arriving to pick him/her up. Please allow enough time for you to arrive at the school and for office staff to call your child out of class. We would like for your student miss minimal class time.
  • Upon return from an appointment, a note from the attending physician/dentist, etc., will be required

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WMS 'Full STREAM Ahead Summer Adventure' Ho'ike 

(A concluding presentation for families and friends - Friday, July 1)

Our choir was awesome - singing the Beatles "Hello, Goodbye!" and songs from "Lion King"!  

Mahalo to all our our teacher and staff team - especially singing teacher Mr. Ryan Tan, shown here with 

students.  Mahalo, too, to our many community partners who made this memorable journey of learning possible! 

Go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool for video clips of the students' singing, 
and pictures from throughout the 3 week adventure! 

WMS' 'Full STREAM Ahead!" Summer Adventure - Opening Day Student Assembly.

Savoring the view from atop Pu'u Kehena while learning about the ancient Kohala Field System. 

Day 1 Field Trip for our Summer Adventure Environmental Science Class. 

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Congratulations to our Exiting 8th Graders... 

Waimea Middle School Class of 2020! 

Five Waimea Middle School Exiting 8th Graders Receive ‘College Pathway Scholarships’

Five of Waimea Middle School’s (WMS) Exiting 8th graders are receiving College Pathway Scholarships to assist with transitioning to Parker School or Hawai’i Preparatory Academy for 9th grade. 

Recipients of these new College Pathway Scholarships are Kawehi Bell Kaopuiki, Hunter Kalahiki Arnbrister and Samantha Burgeron, who will be attending Parker School in the fall, and Jaysen Bragado and Dillon DuPont who will be attending HPA come fall. 

Funding these College Pathway Scholarships is Dr. Roger Gremminger of Waimea (center), who has been a volunteer tutor for WMS students for the past two years.  Dr. Gremminger grew up in Wisconsin with seven brothers and sisters on a small family farm of meager means. He attended seminary for nine years which introduced him early to community service.  Four years before completing seminary, he shifted focus to medicine, and, thanks to hard work and the support of his parents and older sister, he was able to go to medical school and achieve his goal of becoming an emergency room physician.

The support he received from his family to pursue higher education, and his early years of involvement in helping others, inspired him to continue giving back to his community even while working as an ER doc. For many years, he dedicated hundreds of hours as a volunteer physician at free clinics to ensure that quality health care was available to many. His “giving back” continues even after retiring to Waimea with tutoring both Waimea Elementary and Middle School students and occasionally helping at the Waimea Elementary School Thrift Shop.

From personal experience, he says he knows that completing high school and pursuing further education in college can open many doors, hence the scholarship’s name. 

"I am most grateful for generous community members like Roger who support our students with their time and talents, making Waimea Middle School an amazing place for students, families and staff to successfully prepare to navigate high school and beyond," said WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski (left).    

Waimea Middle School’s new College Pathway Scholarships are being administered by the school’s Local School Board, Ho’okako’o Corporation. 


Pictured here with Dr. Roger Gremminger and WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski (left) are the first recipients of Dr. Gremminger’s new scholarships (L-R) Kawehi Bell Kaopuiki, Samantha Burgeron, Jaysen Bragado, Dillon DuPont and Hunter Kalahiki Arnbrister. Dr. Gremminger anticipates providing these new College Pathway Scholarships annually for WMS Exiting 8th graders. 

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6th Grade Culture Faire - celebrating a year of learning, growth and pride! 

                                                                       Photo courtesy of Shelby Matsumoto

Saluting our 2016 Waimea Middle School May Day Court!  

See many more pictures and video: www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool

Here's a quickly prepared video of our May Day morning performance by WMS students - prepared by a community friend, Niel Thomas. 

It’s a 429.3 Mb file - here'a a link to watch it on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/805Xraj5URU.\

It begins with a chant and just a photo, then the video kicks in with excerpts from the rest of the program. Enjoy! And mahalo Niel!

Spring 2016 K(Arts) @ Kahilu Theatre 

The Grand Finale was fabulous! See Facebook for lots more pictures! 

For a full video of the K(Arts) evening performance:  



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Congratulations to our Track & Field Athletes & 

Coaches for Bringing Home 52 Medals! 

Mahalo, too, to County Parks & Rec and generous funding partners!  

Click here for more details! 

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Mahalo to our 'Plastics and Our Oceans' Project Students & Partners! 

Please click here for a video clips about the project:  

* University of California - Santa Barbara Plastics Video:  https://youtu.be/YGBpHYLNtRA

* WMS' Plastics Project Video by Ty Stuyvescant:  https://vimeo.com/153850025

These short video news stories convey a glimpse of the meaningful school-community partnerships 
that are enriching student learning, achievement and connection to the 'aina and this special place!  

Waimeaʻs leaders of tomorrow from Waimea Middle School, Parker and HPA with the "Plastics and Our Oceans" project 

gather for one last photo after having shared their new-found wisdom about why Plastics are so very harmful...and what 

WE can do to make it better...concluding a 3+-day immersion in the science and public policy of plastics.

Today was an amazing day for many Waimea middle school students -- from WMS, Parker and HPA! After a wonderful assembly at Kahilu Theatre (above) with 15 students sharing their newly gained knowledge and wisdom about the science and public policy related to Plastics and Our Oceans...the students concluded the program with an art class with artist Dianna from PlasticPollutionCoalition.org...creating this mural: Hold the Foam! The students (below) are "flying" with Dianna like the albatross they met and depicted in the mural.  Again, we mahalo University of California - Santa Barbaraʻs science team and partners including NOAA, UH Marine Scientists, Kokua Foundation, Surfrider Foundation and more including Councilwoman Margaret Wille and Kahilu Theatre. We also thank each of the 15 students for being such fabulous ambassadors for their generation! And to the teachers, family members and staff who supported this program...itʻs all about "the village" doing whatʻs best for our children. 


‘Plastics & Our Ocean’ Student Research Presentation 

10-10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 25 at Kahilu Theatre – Families & Community Invited!

“Plastics and Our Oceans" will be a collaborative presentation by 15 middle school students -- five each from Waimea

 Middle School, Parker School and Hawai’i Preparatory Academy.  This will be the culminating ho'ike (presentation) after

 an intense 3-day hands-on learning experience this weekend on O’ahu with marine scientists 

and public policy makers.  

While on O'ahu, the student research team will visit an albatross nesting colony, 

conduct a beach clean-up and be a part of deciding the future of plastics in Hawai’i. 

This program is a 3-school partnership with the University of California -Santa Barbara, the National Oceanic 

and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), University of Hawai’i marine researchers, Kokua Foundation, Surfrider 

Foundation and others - including Kahilu Theatre Foundation.   

Photo Above - A selfie of the entire group ready to fly to 

Honolulu this morning!  Courtesy of WMS teacher Tina Benson

Our joint WMS-Parker-HPA team of student-researchers began their day in Honolulu with a visit to the State Capitol, 

where the Legislature is in session. They visited with several of these public policy leaders to discuss their research and 

possible proposals regarding "Plastics and Our Oceans" -- 

mahalo to Kailua-Kona Rep. Lowen (shown here) and all who welcomed and spent time sharing their insight and knowledge with our students!

Concluding the day of research about the political policy aspects 

of plastics on Oahu...our students prepare for a short boat ride to 

beautiful Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay, 

which today is a marine research station!

Day 2:  A day of warm sunshine and learning about albatross, monk seals, whale and more...

Wanna guess what our "Plastics and Our Oceans" student-researchers are dissecting?

Itʻs Albatross bolos (vomit) from Midway...they are discovering what birds had ingested 

but could not digest...and not surprising, a lot of it is plastics. 

For a close up look, go to the last picture.

After dissecting Albatross bolos, students watched a short film on the birds and then skyped with the producer...amazing! 

We are grateful for this exceptional learning experience!

* * * * *

* * * * *

Families are essential partners in promoting good attendance because they are responsible for making sure their children get to school every day. Just as parents should focus on how their children are performing academically, they have a responsibility to set expectations for good attendance.               

Here are some recommendations to ensure attendance every day on time:

• Set a regular bed time and morning routine.  Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.

• Don’t let your child stay home unless he/she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.  If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, counselors, administrators or other parents for advice on how to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about school and learning.

• Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up (another child gets sick, car breaks down, etc.). Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.

• Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.  If an appointment is unavoidable, please make it after 12 noon.  


REMINDER:  Families must call before school starts to report absences: 887-6090 Ext. 226. 



* * * * *

Fight The Bite!  Dengue Fever Prevention...

Mahalo to our County’s on-the-ground staff with the State Department of Health for spraying our campus this past Sunday for mosquitoes. We know these men 

and women have been working long hours to “Fight the Bite” and minimize/eliminate the dangers of Dengue Fever to our children and island community. We also 

thank them for agreeing to do it on Sunday to avoid impacting the Saturday Farmers Market!

For more about how to "Fight the Bite" -- go to www.health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001 (Hilo) or 322-4880 (Kona).

If you think you have been infected with Dengue Fever, or know of someone who may have been infected, contact your doctor or a local health clinic and get 

medical care. Hamakua-Kohala Health, with offices in Honoka’a and Kapa’au, provides care year-round regardless of whether or not you have health insurance.

* * * * *

WMS Faculty-Staff and leadership from our school board, Ho'okako'o Corp., gather together to "Celebrate Progress Together" for 2016 National School Choice Week. 

WMS has been a public conversion charter school since 2003 - we did so, not because it's easy, but because it's what's best for our students.  

Being an Accredited public conversion charter school is all about partnerships and we thank our many partners for helping us achieve our mission 

of "empowering all students with the skills, values, and cultural understanding to successfully navigate high school and beyond."

 We're celebrating student growth 
as measured in the 2014-15 Strive HI Performance Report!    
Our students cruised past a number of other Hawai'i middle schools by raising our cumulative points from 158 to 191!  
We also know every single one of us has a great deal of focused work ahead!  
It's all about Continuous Improvement.  
But for now - good work, students & teachers-staff!  
To review WMS 2014-15 Strive HI Performance Report released Oct. 19, 2015, please click here.  
WMS 2015-16 Strive HI report expected by August 2016.  
* * * * *

Congratulations to WMS Students for 1st Semester Achievements!  

Introducing our 1st Semester I KAIR Student Achievement Award Recipients for K(Arts)!  

For more pictures of award recipients for Positives, Athletics, Robotics, Mala'ai and more, 

go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool or see the Jan. 6 newsletter (click here). 

* * * * *

WMS Student One of 10 Nationally To Win Fire Prevention Award For "Taking Action" After Kawaihae Fire! 

Congratulations to WMS 8th Grade Student Kyren Martins!


Great News:  Hawai’i Island Food Bank received a grant to provide a snack pack for all of our middle school students to be distributed just prior to Winter Break.  The snack pack includes a variety of non-perishable foods such as breakfast oatmeal and Craisins, fruit juices, fruit cups and easy-to-heat comfort foods.  Every student will receive the first snack pack in Advisory on Wed., Dec. 16.  The Food Bank plans to continue this snack pack program once a month for the rest of the school year – generally timed to be given to students prior to either long 3-day weekends or school breaks.  MAHALO Hawai'i Island Food Bank staff & donors! 

* * * * *

* * * * *
Mahalo to all ELL & Migrant Education Families and Students who participated in this week's International Night!   

* * * * *
A Great Weekend for WMS Students! 

WMS NA PANIOLO #2 ROBOTICS TEAM – They made us proud Saturday at the 11th Annual Statewide FIRST Lego League Robotics Championships in Honolulu – competing with 41 other teams!  Mahalo students and teacher-advisors Miss Murphy, Ms. Bowman and Miss Gusman.  

Also to Tanya for help with coordinating logistics and payments, and especially to the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, Friends of the Future, 

The Neilan Foundation and other private funders for supporting our Robotics program. 



  * * * * *
Mahalo to all who joined us and to Uncle Sonny Keakealani and Kumu Ku'ulei for sharing!

Mahalo, too, to Kamehameha Schools and Waimea Education Hui for supporting our 'Ike Hawai'i program. 
* * * * *
 Mahalo to all families who participated in Student-Family Conferences! 
Mahalo too, to all the helping hands and hearts made our 8th Grade East Coast Travelers' 

Thanksgiving Imu possible! 
What a remarkable gift to our children and community! MAHALO to all!        

* * * * *
MAHALO to everyone who participated in, and contributed to our 
'Take A LAP' Fun Run Friday! 
* * * * *
"Fight The Bite"

All WMS Families, faculty & staff and Waimea community are urged to "Fight The Bite" 
Learn about Dengue Fever, which is spread by mosquito bites, 
and how and why to protect yourself and your 'ohana - Nov. 30, 2015 - 5 p.m. School Cafeteria.
* * * * *
WMS Na Paniolo #2 Robotics Team 

Wins FIRST Lego League District

Waimea Middle School’s Na Paniolo #2 FIRST Lego League team took top honors at the District Championships at Kealakehe High School Sat., Nov. 14.
This year’s Lego League “mission” is themed “Trash Trek” and students had to create a project related to trash. WMS students researched solid waste issues on Hawai’i Island and chose to focus their attention on e-waste, and cell phones in particular. Their solution was to create an exterior case that allows the owner to easily change out the screen and upgrade the motherboard as needed without having to completely dispose of the unit.
In addition to identifying a trash-related problem and proposing a solution, the Lego League competition also involves creating a robot, and Na Paniolo #2 team’s bot is named “Wall-e.” Teams also had to learn about Lego League’s core values, including teamwork and "Coopertition" – a made up word that involved having fun, embracing the idea that it is better to learn than win, and that everything should be accomplished with teamwork and “gracious professionalism.” All 12 participating teams in the Hawai'i Island district championships underwent interviews with judges on core values as well as their team experience with both their e-waste project and building “Wall-e” robot.
Student members of Na Paniolo #2 who were able to participate in today’s competition include Maile Culp, Kaile Dills, Shaelyn Freitas, Eito Kawakami, Quinnley McQuay, Zoey Pleuss and Jonah Villanueva.
Teacher-coaches for WMS Robotics program are Miss Nau’i Murphy, Ms. Jade Bowman and Miss Tisha Gusman.
Also assisting with team mentorship was former WMS student Joshua Salazar, who is now a high school student at Honoka’a High.
By taking top honors the team has been invited to the state championships Dec. 5, 2015 in Honolulu.
"We want to acknowledge both WMS traveling teams at the district championships as both worked hard and thoughtfully on the FLL "TrashTrek" challenge. We also had other students who were part of the after-school program.
Members of Na Paniolo #1 included Dillon DuPont, Tyler Yamada, Justyse Evangelista, Valerie Andaya, Michaela Branco, Pele Carvalho-Ojeda and Menolly Benedict.
WMS’ Robotics program is funded in part by a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, in partnership with Friends of the Future and Baby Steps to Stronger Big Island Families, coupled with funding from The Neilan Foundation and Ho’okako’o Corp. (WMS’ Local School Board).
Na Paniolo #2 team members will share their robot “Wall-e” and game competition at this coming Friday’s WMS “Take a LAP Fun Run” – from 4 p.m., Nov. 20 in the school cafeteria, to let fellow students and families know more about robotics, which involves all aspects of STEM learning – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It also involves research, writing and public speaking.
FIRST Lego League’s 2015 challenge is an international program that involves more than 233,000 students ages 9-16 from over 80 countries to explore the fascinating world of trash and help clean it up. From collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse, there is more to trash than meets the eye, say Lego League developers.
* * * * *
Please click here for more about the 
10th Annual Ka Moku O Keawe Makahiki Festival - Jan. 16, 2016
* * * * *
Woohoo!  That's former WMS student Sophia Cash - now a 9th grader at Honoka'a High - about to cross the finish line - to come in FIRST in the Girls BIIF Cross Country Championships yesterday (10/24/15) at Kamehameha Schools' in Kea'au!  
To see news story with wonderful quotes by Sophia, and how she surprised everyone including herself but not her coach, click here: 
* * * * *

            If your child brings lunch and needs to warm it up, we will make arrangements for this but they will be asked to then go to the cafeteria to eat. 

* * * * *
Mahalo To Our Students, Instructors, Kahilu Theatre and Other Funders!  
This Semester's Free K(Arts) Grand Finale Performances Were AWESOME!
* * * * *
2nd Quarter Begins: 
* * * * *
* * * * *
MAHALO, too, to all who participated in and contributed to our 
8th Annual Na Paniolo Invitational Cross Country Meet!    
* * * * *

      MAHALO To 6th Grade Families Who Participated in Culminating Celebration of 'Tech Together'                 STEM Science Program

We were honored to welcome the Ka Ula Ana's "Tech Together" -- developed and funded by Partners In Development Foundation -- to introduce our 6th graders to renewable and non-renewable energy technology and related physical science and math concepts.  The program also incorporated Hawaiian cultural concepts of sustainability including conservation and the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). 
The program ran two hours daily for two week in September with a culminating gathering for students, families and friends Sept. 21 in the Cafeteria.  
A very warm MAHALO to Partners In Development Foundation for this new collaboration that's based on Common Core State Standards,  Next Generation Science Standards and traditional cultural knowledge and protocols!  Mahalo, too, to our teachers and staff who facilitated this exciting introduction to STEM teaching and learning!  
* * * * *

 WMS 9-Classroom STEM Building Groundbreaking - Sept. 9, 2015

Mahalo To Everyone Who Came & Contributed!  

It Was A Great Day For All Waimea Students & Our Entire Community!


News Feature - WEST HAWAI'I TODAY - THURS., SEPT. 10, 2015:  http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/new-stem-building-set-construction-waimea-middle

Groundbreaking for our 9-Classroom STEM building was a really G-R-E-A-T DAY for the children & families of Waimea! 
This is a pivotal moment for our students, school and community -- doing what's right for the next generation of Waimea children. 

MAHALO to all who helped make this long time dream come true. 

We also thank all of the construction crew who will make this a safe, inspiring and beautiful learning center for our children.

Please click here for more details!  



WMS 'Ike Hawai'i class led by Kumu Keala Kahuanui and Angela Pastores work with 

students to create ti-lei for some of today's VIP guests. 

                                                                 * * * * *

August 2015

MAHALO To All Who Participated In Open House!    

 No Disruption Of Student Class Time:  WMS will no longer allow calls to classrooms by office staff to convey messages during class time, and also will not call classrooms during the school day to arrange release of a student.  Families must send a note to school in the morning so that student comes to the office to get a pass to give to his/her teacher.  Planning ahead is essential for families.  Why?  To avoid disrupting lessons.    
ALL WMS STUDENTS: Celebrate Your Birthday With a FREE DRESS DAY!  
Students may come to school not 
wearing a school uniform (must 
comply with Dress Code of course), and must first go to the office to see one
the office team to get one of these buttons to wear and a pass to show 
teachers and staff. If birthday falls on 
a weekend or holiday, the student may 
celebrate with a Free Dress Day on the following Monday. Special 
teachers and office staff for making this possible!

* * * * *


Most WMS 2015-'16 Faculty-Staff gathered for a blessing of our new buses and vans today!  Mahalo to all for participating -- and to Kahu Billy Mitchell for your wisdom and deep aloha for our mission, our children and our community!  

* * * * * 


Whoa!  Look What Arrived July 14 At Our School!  

Check out Waimea Middle School’s new buses – fully loaded with state-of-the-art student safety devices including seat belts, student card scanners and audio-video cameras which are connected “live” to the school via wifi.  The buses, along with two new vans, will help the public conversion charter school better serve student transportation needs, afford more educational, athletic and arts field trips, and also save money that can be redirected back into the classroom to support academic achievement by all.  
The buses and vans were donated to the school by The Neilan Foundation after students, faculty and families held a “Take a LAP Fun Run/Walk” fundraiser last school year to launch an Accreditation-driven “We’re Going Places” sustainability  campaign.  Shown here signaling “Whoa!” with Interim Principal Amy Kendziorski (2 nd from right) are (L-R) WMS Head Custodian and Athletics Director Warren Tamaye, office staff members Kiki Kihoi and Bernie Marsh, new bus driver Ray Aina, Susan Fernandez who assisted with procuring the buses, new bus driver Val Brighter, office secretary Michelle Kauhi and Community Liaison Patti Cook. 

For busing application, please click here.  For questions about busing, please call Auntie Kiki Kihoi at 887-6090 Ext. 224.  


* * * * *


* * * * * 

CONGRATULATIONS to our Exiting 8th Graders! 


We gathered June 3 with our families to celebrate another benchmark in our 8th graders lifelong journey of learning -- Exit from Waimea Middle School!  


It's an important milestone but also a new beginning -- for high school and beyond! 


We join our students in thanking our teachers and staff for all they do every day to support student growth and achievement.  We also thank our families


for being  partners in this work...and to our many community partners who help make Waimea Middle School "A Place of Infinite Possibilities!"  


To our Exiting 8th graders and all of our students, now and prior years, as you move forward in life, remember to "live" our WMS I KAIR Core Values every 


day! They will serve you well!

* * * * *

What a fabulous way to culminate our 6th gradeʻs year-long study of ancient civilizations -- our Culture Faire!

                                                                                                                                     * * * * *
                                        WMS May Day - May 22, 2015 
“Malama Honua” – Take Care Of The Earth” was the program theme of our 2015 May Day Celebration that featured our May Day Court!  
Mahalo to all who participated, contributed and attended!  
Photo below taken with the 2015 May Day Court with Waimea community heroes that are featured on our school's HERO WALL and who will be honored during this year's May Day program.  
        To read more about May Day and honoring our heroes, please click here or go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool                 
                Photo below taken at the 2014 evening performance featuring both the WMS May Day Court and, in the foreground, many former court members!  

 * * * * *

Check Out Our Beautiful New WMS Vans! 

WMS is blessed to have received two beautiful brand new vans, and soon, two brand new buses to enhance student learning and activities and also help the school become more financially sustainable. We extend a very warm mahalo to The Neilan Foundation for making this possible!  
* * * * *
Great News:  Our 9-Classroom STEM Building continues to move forward!  

                                    * * * * *
                                 * * * * *
* * * * *
POG use is limited to before and after school, in the same manner that we use cell phones on campus.  If rules are violated, the first infraction will result in confiscation for the day, second for the week with return to parent/guardian, and after that they will be held until the end of the school semester.
                                       * * * * *     

  A very Warm Mahalo To The Ted & Laurie Beneski Foundation     
                 -- And To 7th Grade LA Teacher Tim Beneski

     A New Laptop Coming For Every WMS Student!

What an awesome gift to our students & teachers!  
To learn more about the Beneski Foundation gift of almost $147,000, please click here!  
News Feature in West Hawai'i Today & Hawai'i Tribune-Herald:  http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/waimea-middle-school-gets-147k-donation-computers
            * * * * *    
Congratulations, Students!  For Track & Field meet results, click here
* * * * *

                        Look Who Came To Dinner!  

Mahalo Mayor Kenoi for Sharing Your Mana'o & Honoring Our Volunteer Mentors, Students, Families & Staff.  


  Mayor Kenoi's Important Advice:


DREADd    DREAM BIG, Work Hard & Never Give Up!!



Check out this link to a news feature by Big Island Video News spotlighting WMSʻ recent "Connecting for Success" family night w/ Mayor Billy Kenoi:                        




* * * * *

Big Brothers Big Sisters program coming to Waimea Middle School!

            Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015:  http://media.westhawaiitoday.com/eedition/2015/01/25/index.html

* * * * *

Congratulations to both our WMS boys and girls teams who won the Huki Huki competition at the 2015 Ka Moku O Keawe Makahiki! 


Our 10th K(Arts) Grand Finale at Kahilu Theatre Was AWESOME!
Great work, Students!  And to program instructors, assistants and especially project coordinators Auntie Bernie Marsh & Auntie Lisa Shattuck -- MAHALO!!! 
We also thank our many partners - especially The Neilan Foundation & Kahilu Theatre!!  Click here to view YouTube Videos of "Slam Photography" Projects! 
 * * * * *   
Important Family Updates!
Hawai’i County Police remind everyone of the following NO PARKING AREAS:
1) No Parking is allowed in the lot behind Waimea Senior Center and next to the post office. This lot is reserved from 7:30-8 a.m. Citations will be issued, and a $35 fine imposed. Also,k the gate between this parking area and the schools and library has been locked - this access point is no longer available. 
2) Absolutely No Parking on Mamalahoa Highway (Hwy 190) fronting school near the kindergarten classrooms.  
3)No Parking in the Carter Professional Center lot, both because it’s private property and because dropping off/picking up children here forces them to cross a busy highway without a crosswalk. 
                                * * * * *                                   
News Flash!  WMS 9-Classroom STEM Building Bid Opening December 19!

Yes, we’re very excited that not only did Gov. Neil Abercrombie release the full $14.89 million appropriated by the 2013 and 2014 Legislatures, but DOE Facilities staff have opened bids from 8 contractors and are now reviewing and certifying the low bidder.      

Construction will be challenging for everyone — noisy, dusty and disruptive, but we couldn’t be more thrilled over the prospect of  having 9 REAL Science and Technology Labs to teach students essential 21st century skills and critical thinking!  Mahalo to all who have made this possible - most especially our DOE Facilities partners, our State Legislators and Governor. 

* * * * *




Special thanks to our fun run volunteers & community businesses who supported the event including the silent auction! Mahalo, too, to The Neilan Foundation for underwriting event expenses and contributing to bus purchases, too!  

See great photos on Facebook and check out this video footage taken from a mini-helicopter by Alan Nakagawa:


Also, check out this West Hawai'i Today Front Page News Feature on WMS School Bus Fundraising (9-16-14): 



Click on the following link to a North Hawaiʻi News Feature Story (9/2/14 Edition):  



 * * * * *

Please join us to explore an exciting opportunity for our Waimea children...

Wouldn’t A ‘Boys & Girls Club’ Be Great In Waimea!?
 To read more, see news story or click here:
 * * * * *
* * * * *
New Uniform Shirts Have Arrived!  

(Students may still wear uniform shirts from prior years but not special event or program/activity shirts -- ie, K(Arts), athletics, etc.

Please stop by the school office to pick up shirts...or plan to do so during Gear Up at the end of the month! 

Uniforms are required every day at WMS. 

* * * * *

WMS School Bus Fundraising Project Receives $2,000 

From Windermere Foundation!  Mahalo! 

 Windermere Foundation’s Waimea real estate sales team presented — for a second year —  a $2,000 donation to WMS, thanks to its supportive marketing practices.  Team members here to present the check are (L-R) Kerry Balaam (RS), Harold Clarke (Windermere Partner), Joshua Conklen (RS), WMS parent John Balaam (Broker in Charge), Beth Richardson (Principal Broker), Puakoa Taga (Bookkeeper – hidden a bit), WMS parent Charito Balaam (RS), and Guy LaGuire (RS). Windermere sets aside a percentage of every single real estate transaction to contribute to its community and we sincerely appreciate their support for our school bus fundraising project! 


                                        * * * * * 

The 2013-ʻ14 School Year Is Done! 
Congratulations To All, Especially Our Exiting 8th Graders! 

                                                                   * * * * *

Crew members of the Hokule'a and Hikianali'a wa'a are shown proudly wearing their bright yellow olena-dyed bandana gifts hand-made by Waimea Middle School students and they are holding hand-written notes from students! The wa'a are set to depart Pelekai Bay -- Hilo -- today, Friday, May 30 between 11 a.m. and noon on the first leg of their World Wide Voyage. 
As Papa Mau Piailug always said, "Prepare well and make strong like a mountain for the journey!"
To track the voyage, go to www.Hokulea.com
                                       * * * * *

                      Mahalo To All Who Attended Our WMS Steak Fry Celebration!

                                     Congratulations To The WMS Recipients of
               Student 'Grit' Awards & Faculty-Staff 'Culture of Excellence' Awards

Sponsored by Tom & Gail Gimbel – The Neilan Foundation

WMS Student 'Grit' Award Recipients - May 14, 2014


GRIT is not something new to you or Waimea. In fact, Grit is what Waimea’s paniolo are all about! Loosely defined, Grit is persistence over time to overcome challenges and accomplish big goals.

It’s a legacy that is imbedded both in the Waimea community’s heritage and your school’s Core Values of ‘Ike, Kaizen, Accountability, Integrity and Respect. We are big believers in GRIT as one of the most important character traits for students to be truly successful in school and in life. Our family believes in you and wants to support your success. We invite you to reflect on the current school year – the hard work you have done as a student and the challenges you have faced and overcome – and then enter this essay contest explaining why you deserve a GRIT AWARD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                       With Aloha, Tom and Gail Gimbel, The Neilan Foundation - Click here for more information!

Spring 2014 'Grit' Award Recipients: 

6th Grade:  Jenny Coney, Hillary Connors, Isabella Kilgore & Jermon Thomas

7th Grade:  Breana Arakawa, Cy Chong, Darius Day & Emily Fetsch

8th Grade: Benjamin Paki Akau, John Paul Bala, Lahela Dickens, Maya Gee, Ryan Hooley, Madilyn Jardine, Kaeo Medeiros Kaaekuahiwi, Nakue Olotoa, Kamuela Spencer-Herring & Trayson Tripp-Carvalho




Spring 2014 Award Recipients – Presented May 14, 2014 - Each recipient was awarded a $1,000 unrestricted gift from The Neilan Foundation. 

1)     Student Academic Growth – Some outstanding individuals, be they teachers or other school staff, have a measurable and profound impact on student achievement through their persistence and focus.  Preparing students for a brighter future begins with a solid academic foundation and high expectations for learning and growth.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Student Academic Growth” award demonstrates clear evidence of a dramatic impact on student growth in core academics as a result of his or her work.

Shelby Loo and Sarah Teehee

2)     Teacher Leadership – The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Teacher Leadership” award not only demonstrates exceptional professional practice, but also intentionally shares his or her successes, resources, and struggles with others.  Creating a true “Culture of Excellence” relies on individuals with the courage to open themselves up to share ideas for improving the classroom learning environment.

 Nau'i Murphy and Janice English-Somerville

3)     Personal and Professional Growth – A “Culture of Excellence” is characterized, primarily, by continuous improvement for the organization and for individuals.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Personal and Professional Growth” award embodies continuous improvement through his or her own personal and professional growth; he or she is an open example of learning from experiences, including personal missteps, and continually striving to improve.

  Tanya Malani

4)     Caring and Inspiration – Everyone can think of that adult from their past who has made an extraordinary impact on them by caring and inspiring them to being their best.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Caring and Inspiration” award goes well above and beyond to make connections with students and inspiring them to reach their full potential both today and for the rest of their lives.

  Warren Tamaye and Bernie Marsh

5)     Family and Community Connectivity – To provide the best education possible for students and to create a “Culture of Excellence” that lasts requires resources and connections beyond the schoolhouse walls.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Family and Community Connectivity” award finds countless ways to establish and maintain meaningful connections to the community to benefit students; these connections raise the bar for everyone within the school.

 Pua Case and Patti Cook

* * * * *


WMS Receives 6-Year Accreditation!


$15 Million STEM Building!


At 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, May 5, Waimea Middle School was informed it was receiving 6-year Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)! 

“This represents national recognition of the great work our teachers and staff are doing. It validates the school’s academic and organizational effectiveness in delivering what’s best for students and also being committed to continuous improvement,” said Principal Matt Horne.

“This is perfect timing as it coincides with National Teacher Appreciation Week when we honor teachers for their dedication to children,” said Horne. “Even better, is the fact that this news comes on the heels of last week’s authorization of almost $10 million by the 2014 State Legislature – to be added to the $5 million appropriated in 2013 – to construct our school’s long dreamed of 9-classroom Science-Technology building.”

“We are ecstatic to have the building fully funded and thank our legislators – State Sen. Malama Solomon and Rep. Cindy Evans in particular. We also thank Gov. Neil Abercrombie for recently releasing the first $5M and visiting with us last week and committing to expedite release of this year’s $10M to get construction started as soon as possible,” Horne said.

“Accreditation – coupled with 21st century STEM education classrooms -- puts Waimea Middle School on the map as one of the state’s most progressive and effective public middle schools,” said Horne.

“This is a real milestone in Waimea Middle’s history as a school – congratulations to everyone who was involved.  We couldn’t be happier for the students and families of Waimea,” said Dr. Megan McCorriston on behalf of Ho’okako’o, which is school’s governing board.

 “I couldn’t be happier for the whole community of Waimea; it’s wonderful to have such a great school in our town,” said WMS parent John Balaam.

 Daniel Gomez, another WMS parent who serves as a volunteer member of the school’s Local Advisory Panel, said: “The real testament of what your efforts have already achieved is in more than WASC’s Accreditation…but in the daily and weekly effects seen in kids and families who, like mine, regularly experience the benefits or your life-giving passion! Thanks to each of you for your limitless giving and care towards each of our keiki (including the smallest unseen acts from the many of you behind the scenes who might go unacknowledged).” 

We extend deep gratitude to our entire faculty and staff, every single one of whom has participated in the Accreditation process,” said Horne. “We especially thank our school’s Accreditation Steering Committee that included teacher Nau’i Murphy and school counselor Mary Martinson working with long-time Waimea educator Pat Rice. We also thank our focus group chairs, our volunteer Local Advisory Panel (LAP), our Ho’okako’o Local School Board, and also students, parents and community members who have been deeply involved in our accreditation,” said Horne.

WMS applied for accreditation with the assistance of Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) and Kamehameha Schools. We established eight focus groups tasked with examining all aspects of school life, from curriculum, assessment and governance to student supports and family engagement, to facilities and financial accountability and transparency. These focus groups produced a comprehensive Self Study that identified strengths and challenges. These conclusions were prioritized and four Action Plans developed that commit the school to an accountable course of continuous improvement, said Horne.

HAIS then identified an Accreditation Visiting Team of respected educators to thoroughly review the school and its Self Study and Action Plans.  Visiting Team members in addition to Dr. Shiraki included Ryan Masa, Chief School Officer with the Hawaiian Education Council, Dr. Katina Soares, Vice Principal of Kualapu’u Public Conversion Charter School on Moloka’i, Mollie Sperry, a retired head of school, and Puanani Wilhelm, Education Director for Kua O Ka La Public Charter School.

The Visiting Committee spent three days here in late March conducting an in-depth review that involved observing every teacher in action, as well as interviewing each of the focus groups and also students, families, community members, partners, the school’s administrators and its local school board. The Visiting Team then produced a 57-page report for WASC that included both extensive commendations and recommendations to guide the school’s ongoing improvement process. 

“The Visiting Committee had high praise for WMS as a safe and caring school with strong student supports and family and community involvement. The Visiting Committee also commended our school’s dedicated team of teachers for going above and beyond to fulfill the school’s mission of ‘empowering all students with the skills, values and cultural understanding to successfully navigate high school and beyond’,” said Horne.

“To celebrate these two significant achievements, we are today inviting the entire Waimea school-community to a steak fry next Wed., May 14, from 5-7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.  It’ll be a wonderful celebration to recognize community-wide support for doing what’s best for the children of Waimea. The steak fry is being hosted by a private funder, The Neilan Foundation, which is helping WMS become more sustainable by underwriting cost saving strategies such as converting to photo voltaic and exploring purchase of our own school buses. The steak fry is free to children 14 and under; it’s really free to everyone else but we do suggest a donation and all money raised will go to our new School Bus Fund,” said Horne.

The steak fry also will include presentation of The Neilan Foundation’s new WMS “Grit” Awards for 30 students, and five $1,000 Teacher-Staff “Culture of Excellence” Awards. 

“What a great year it is for the children of Waimea!  We hope the entire community will join us May 14 for a delicious meal and to thank everyone who has made this possible,” said Horne. 


A Very Warm Mahalo to the 2014 State Legislature For Putting Waimea Children First! 


$15 Million Appropriated for WMS' 9-Classroom Science-Technology Building!  Awesome! 

WHT (June 7, 2014) - http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/waimea-middle-school-gets-5m-more-toward-science-building

News Release (June 5, 2014) - http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/governor-releases-87-1-million-for-public-school-improvements/

To read more click here

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Mahalo to everyone who participated in and contributed to a priceless 2014 May Day Celebration! 

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Mahalo To Our Accreditation Visiting Committee! 
Mahalo, too, to our entire school-community for making this a meaningful, collaborative experience! 
To read about preliminary (not final) Commendations and Recommendations of the Visiting Committee, 
and/or to review our Accreditation Self-Study and Action Plans, please click here.  
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Mahalo to All For Joining Us for our "Connecting For Success" Family Dinner & Talk-Story With Mayor Billy Kenoi! 


What a great evening for our WMS students & families, faculty & staff! Mahalo Mahyor Kenoi for sharing your message that we all "Get Chance" 
if we 
Dream BIG, Work Hard, and Never Give Up! 
Mahalo, too, to Hawai'i Community Foundation and all who support our new "Connecting For Success" program including more than 25 volunteer mentors! 
We also thank our program team leaders - 
Suzi Herhold and Lori Ching with support from Principal Matt Horne, Vice Principal Amy Kendziorski and Former Principal Pat Rice!

Photo courtesy of West Hawai'i Today/Brad Ballesteros


To read Carolyn Lucas-Zenk's news feature in West Hawai'i Today (3/14/14), click here:  



To view Big Island Video Newsʻ video news feature, click here: 


To learn more about "Connecting For Success" including what's involved to become a student mentor, 

please click here.  


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Mahalo to 'Cable One' & Kamehameha Schools' 'Aina Ulu Lahui for Your Malaʻai School Garden Work Day Contribution!  
Mahalo, too, to Buttons Lovell for your tireless generosity and pa'ahana for our students and school-community! 
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State House of Representatives Includes $9.89M in Budget 

for WMS 9-Classroom Science-Technology Building!  


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 A Very Warm Mahalo to Hawaiʻi Island Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee Robert Lindsey and Fellow Trustees!
We are deeply grateful to OHA Trustees for again voting to contribute a total of $1.5 million to Hawaiʻiʻs 17 Hawaiian-focused public charter schools including WMS!  We are not sure yet how much this will mean to our students, but last yearʻs contribution was about $27,000 and this is deeply appreciated and will be put to good use!   
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WMS 6th Graders enjoyed tasting Blueberries during our weekly USDA Fresh Fruit & Vegetables sampling to introduce a wide array of fresh produce to the nation's children.  


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                           Mahalo to all who participated in our I KAIR Campus Clean-Up on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service! 


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Waimea Middle School Uses Hokule'a As A Model
             Feature news story on Hawai'i Public Radio by Sherry Bracken - Thurs., Dec. 19, 2013
           Feature news story in North Hawai'i News by Catherine Tarleton - Thurs., Dec. 26, 2013
Hawai'i’s voyaging canoes are a link to the past of those who first settled our islands.  But they’re also a tool for today’s students to learn not just about Hawai'i’s earliest residents but about how to practically apply today’s classwork.  HPR’s Sherry Bracken talked to a navigator about how he’s been working with one Big Island school...click here to hear the full news feature from HPR public radio: 


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At the prestigious NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Regionals held in San Diego Dec. 8, WMS 8th Grader Kelsan Cacoulidis (2nd from right above) placed 2nd in his 12-13 Boys age division, missing 1st Place by only 7 feet!  In all, there are 2,230,000 participants of all ages in this competition and Kelsan was ranked 5th in the nation as of Dec. 9. We are still awaiting final results as other regional competitions are held across the country. What we do know is that the top four high scorers in each of the 10 age divisions from all 32 Team Championship events advance to the Nationals and that these 40 winners – along with one guest each – will travel to the PP&K National Championships that will take place in January at an NFL playoff game. We’ll let you know if Kelsan’s in this group!  Regardless -- Congratulations, Kelsan, for making your family, school and community very proud!
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                                    Mahalo To All Who Attended...and Contributed to Our Sensational
         K(Arts) Grand Finale at Kahilu Theatre!  
For more pictures, see this week's 'Ohana News - click here and scroll down or check us out on Facebook! 
For short video clip of the K(Arts) Grand Finale, check out this link!  
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PLEASE join us for our WMS K(Arts) Grand Finale performance by 80+ students today - Wed., Nov. 20 - on the giant stage at Kahilu Theatre!  Doors open at 5; performance at 5:30 p.m. - it's free and super family-friendly!  Students will be sharing what they've learned in after-school classes in Tahitian, Hip Hop and Kahiko Hula and Chanting, Drama and Musical Performance, Art and Backstage Production!  Hope to see you there!  And MAHALO to Kahilu Theatre Foundation, Ho'okako'o Corp. and private funders as well as the amazing instructors and assistants who make this possible!  
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Congratulations to our Robotics Club - 3rd Place in First Lego League Hawai'i Island Competition November 2013! 

WMS entered two teams in Saturday’s First Lego League  competition in Kona and our “LaVog Runners” took 3rd overall so are the Alternate Team for the State Championships if either of the top two teams is unable to go to Honolulu.  Competition involved an Interview where the team was judged on teamwork and problem solving; then a Research Project related to “Nature’s Fury” — this team invented a volcano-resistant one-piece hooded weatherproof jacket with built-in hard hat, built-in first aid kit, built-in rope and LED lights.  The third part was the actual robots competition. Mahalo to our teachers and former Civil Defense Director Ed Teixeira for supporting this!  

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This is the Island Princess of Lana'i and her escort -- riding in the Keiki Pa'u Unit of the 38th Annual Waimea Paniolo Parade this past Saturday...please look closely at their beautiful pa'u horse lei which were created by WMS students with guidance from a team of dedicated lei makers – Kumu Keali’i Bertelmann, Kumu Keala Kahuinui, Ana Kaho’opi’i, Ku’ulei Keakealani and ‘Ike Hawai’i Resource Teacher Pua Case. To see dozens more photos of Saturday's beautiful parade, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool.  
PS: That's Waimea's 150+-year-old historic Spencer House in the backdrop!  Photo courtesy of Sherman Warner

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Students Learn ’Sense of Place’ Skills To Perpetuate Tradition & Preserve Resources

Connecting Culture To Curriculum             

& Practice To Perpetuation

As the magnificent pa’u units pass by spectators during this Saturday’s 38th Annual Waimea Paniolo Parade, the scene that unfolds will be breathtaking. The fabulous flowing pa’u garments and stunning lei worn by superb horsewomen are the highlight of the parade, and this year will be no exception, especially with Anna Akaka riding as Pa’u Queen, accompanied by her husband, Danny Kaniela Akaka, Jr. But to WMS 6th and 7th grade students -- and 8th, too from lessons learned in previous years -- it will mean so much more. Through a two-week series of rigorous, integrated Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and even Math lessons involving “close reading”, detailed study and note taking, watching documentaries, listening to personal family stories by one of the community’s best storytellers who “lives” the paniolo life, calculating costs involved, and topping it all off with helping to make from scratch four horse lei for the keiki pa’u unit...our students have a much deeper understanding of what they will be seeing. They’ll know both the significance of each pa’u and lei as well as how much effort and expense went into the visual feast for the eyes...and also how important it is to help preserve this tradition and with it -- protect and preserve the natural resources required -- our forests and shorelines. 

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Waimea Middle School's Mission:
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Click here for our WMS 'CONNECTING BEYOND OUR SHORES' Reports by 'Ike Hawai'i Resource Teacher Ms. Case, and Teachers Ms. Haight and Mrs. Foster, as they journeyed to Washington, D.C. and New York...and kept connected to us!  They are now back home but the Unity Ride continues...     
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Mahalo to all who participated in, and contributed to our Expanded Summer School, which concluded today...June 28, 2013 with a Hoike.  
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 Campus Closed: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F except for families dropping off/picking up children and others on school  business.  All visitors to campus must first report to the office to secure a Visitors Pass - No exceptions.


 Emergency Contact Info:  Families must keep the school office informed about phone and mail contact information to ensure that the school is able to reach families quickly.  Questions?  Call the office: 887-6090.

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Introducing our 2012-'13 Schoolwide Theme: 
-- Adapted From "'Ölelo No'eau - Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings" by Mary Kawena Pukui"
And...as shared by Chadd Paishon at the opening day assembly and in Mala’ai:
He wa’a he moku. He moku he wa’a.
Literally – The canoe is an island, the island is a canoe.
Figuratively - Everything you must do to survive on a voyaging canoe — the values you must have, the respect and
compassion for others, the supplies and work ethic necessary for survival—are also essential to living on an island.
Click here to learn more about 'Ike Hawai'i at Waimea Middle School.

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News Flash:    
WMS Becomes
'A Candidate For Accreditation'!
Congratulations To All - This Is A Major Step Forward!  
Click here for more details.
WMS 8th Graders Visit King Kamehameha Statue in Washington, D.C. - May 2011
Brief History of Waimea Middle School:  Why we became a public conversion charter school and what it means to our students and families.

While there was a school for Waimea children going back to the mid 1800s, Waimea School as we know it today began as a one-room school house in 1916 for students in grades K-12.  In the 20th century, it became initially a K-9 school, and then evolved into a K-8 school.  In the year 2000, through faculty, staff and family initiative, the school was split into two schools, and became Waimea Elementary (a P-K-5) and Waimea Middle (a 6th-8th grade) School.    

In 2003, the Waimea Middle school-community voted to become Hawai’i’s first Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS) under a new law passed by the 2002 State Legislature.  Act 2/2002 was created with the support of many educational visionaries in Hawai’i including Kamehameha Schools and the Hawai’i Business Roundtable, who together sought to nurture student achievement by providing public schools — who were willing to embrace change — with greater local control over curriculum and resources through active collaboration that involves and respects all stakeholders. 

Act 2/2002 created the not-for-profit Ho’okako’o Corporation, which works in partnership with the Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools and others.  Ho’okako’o Corp. serves as our “Local School Board.”  DOE continues to fund WMS and is responsible for our facilities though most day-to-day maintenance and repair is funded out of the school’s per pupil allocation from the Legislature.     

Upon becoming a PCCS, WMS conducted a comprehensive Systems and Organizational Audit (SOA), which provided a “road map” for developing an Educational Strategic Plan that was formally adopted by the school-community and guided all decisions.  This plan focused on student achievement, family engagement and community involvement.  Our school governance model is one of respectful collaboration involving all stakeholders — teachers, staff, parents, students and community. 

Beginning in 2011, WMS applied for Accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and after extensive, in-depth collaboration involving all stakeholders, it was awarded a full 6-year Accreditation for 2014-2020.  Accreditation is really a commitment to "continuous improvement."  This requires Action Planning focused on a set of priorities related to student achievement.   For more about Accreditation, click here please.    

Foundational Commitments: 

  • WMS is the middle school of the community – publicly funded, no tuition, accepts all children and provides extensive supports for all, including honors students as well as Special Education, Migrant Education and English Language Learners.
  • WMS is committed to collaborative leadership including all stakeholders, as well as family engagement and community involvement. 
  • WMS abides by DOE collective bargaining agreements with HSTA, HGEA and UPW,  
  • WMS is committed to fiscal and academic accountability:  We conduct annual financial audits and abide by strict procurement, employment and conflict of interest policies.  
  • WMS, with Accreditation, formally embraced a schoolwide Vision and Mission Statement and I KAIR Core Values of 'Ike, Kaizen, Accountability, Integrity and Respect.  

Expanded Learning Opportunities (Free!):
  • Morning Hot Chocolate Club and After-School Homework Help+ (Tutoring):  Transportation provided.  For more info, click here.
  • Robotics Club.  Click here 
  • K(Arts) - Click here
  • Athletics (Volleyball, Basketball, Cross Country, and Track & Field).  Click here.
  • Makahiki Games.  Click here.

Key Partnerships: 

Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School works closely in partnership with the Hawai’i State Department of Education (DOE), the State Public Charter School Commission, Kamehameha Schools and Hawai'i Community Foundation.  Also, WMS is Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  These partnerships require evidence of "continuous improvement" and therefore, substantial data reporting for academic and financial accountability.  This, too, has helped our school better serve all students.  

Many other community partners also support our students and families and we thank all for their generosity and for understanding the important role public education plays in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.  This includes the The Neilan Foundation and Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). We cannot do this alone and we welcome partners and volunteers including mentors!  Please call us! 


More Information:

If you have questions or would like to get involved in supporting student learning, please contact our Principal Amy Kendziorski at 887-6090 or email Amy_Kendziorski@wmpccs.org

To register your child for school, please call our Registrar Lorna "Mas" Muromoto at 887-6090 or email:  Lorna_Muromoto@wmpccs.org 
Perpetuating Waimea Traditions...

2016 May Day Court
2015 May Day Court

2014 May Day Court
2013 May Day Court
2012 May Day Court
2011 May Day Court

2010 May Day Court
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2016 6th Grade Culture Faire culminates a year-long study of ancient civilizations. 

2015 6th Grade Culture Faire 
2014 6th Grade Culture Faire
2013 6th Grade Culture Faire
2012 6th Grade Culture Faire

2010 6th Grade Culture Faire   

8th Grade East Coast Trippers:  Thanks to their own fundraising efforts and help from their families and community friends, WMS 8th grader students may conclude the year with an educational visit to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia to bring alive American History!

The lehua lei mural which encircles the school office was created by students in 2005 as a visual 'Ike Hawai'i cultural reminder
of the diversity within — diversity of skills, learning styles and cultural heritage.  The rocks are symbols of our
kupuna — our elders — our foundation!
Patti Cook,
Feb 24, 2011, 8:16 PM
Patti Cook,
May 17, 2011, 8:24 PM
Patti Cook,
Feb 24, 2011, 8:18 PM
Patti Cook,
Feb 24, 2011, 8:18 PM