New Teacher Info Center



Aloha Prospective Teachers,

If you have been recently hired to teach at Wai'anae Intermediate School or are considering accepting a position with us, this is your corner of our Web site.
We are located in the Hawaiian Islands on the beautiful Leward Coast on the island of O'ahu .
We are here to share information so that you might make the most educated decision possible about whether or not to join us and to help you find as much information as possible to help ease your transition into our community.

Community|School|Culture Shock|Expenses/Housing|Moving|DOE|Contacts

Wai'anae Community

WIS serves the community of Wai'anae and the adjoining communities of Makaha and Ma'ili. Wai'anae has the largest population of ethnic Hawaiians in Hawaii today. Our communities possess a mixture of urban and rural characteristics. We are located on the west end of the island of O'ahu about one hour by car from downtown Honolulu.

MAP - Zoom out 2 clicks to see our entire attendance area.

Groceries, pharmaceuticals, hardware, and basic government services are available right here in Wai'anae. More extensive shopping comparable to mainland suburban areas is available within a 30-40 minute drive. If you prefer not to drive, we are connected to the rest of the island by a mere $2 fare on what has been rated as the best municipal BUS system in the nation.

Local Merchants - A small selection of local merchants here on the coast.

Business Directory - A comprehensive listing of every business on the coast.

The rugged Wai'anae Mountains provide a looming backdrop for the communities of the Wai'anae Coast and offer adventurous hiking close to home. The coast is also dotted with excellent swimming and surfing beaches and great fishing and diving sites.

What's Outside? - A short introduction to some outdoor recreation opportunities here on the Wai'anae Coast.

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Curriculum and Behavior

Instructional Program

Our school curriculum is based on the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards which are mandated by the Department of Education. We are also in our second year of "restructuring" due to the "No Child Left Behind" act.




The Goal:

Waianae Intermediate School has made every effort to align our curriculum to the Hawaii State Performance Standards and national standards. The State has set their goal for all students to be able to leave high school qualified to do college-level work without remediation. It is our immediate goal to prepare all students to enter Waianae High School or any other high school ready to succeed in their 9 th grade program.


The Learning Environment:

In Waianae’s classrooms, performance standards are ever-present: they are prominently displayed on the wall, as are rubrics and strategies for producing high quality work. Student work that meets those standards is displayed next to them. Teachers keep portfolios of the best lessons they have designed in order to share them with others. Teachers have study groups to analyze and compare student work. Common understanding of quality work and a common curriculum are important to promote learning.

As part of the effort to meet the goals of "No Child Left Behind," WIS has contracted with a private corporation, "America's Choice" for purposes of curriculum overhaul and consultation.

America ’s Choice in Waianae:

In July of 2001, teams from four of the five elementary schools (Ma’ili chose Direct Instruction) and the intermediate school were trained in the orientation to America’s Choice. In turn, these teams trained the other staff members at their schools. Throughout the school year, the teams were sent to various institutes and conferences to be further trained. At WIS, our team consists of the Principal, the Vice-Principals, one Design Coach, two Literacy Coaches, and one Math Coach.


In the school year 2002-2003, the WIS team were further trained in Writer’s and Reader’s Workshop, Math Core Assignments, Standards-driven Curriculum, safety-nets, and other segments of A.C. To help with the implementation of America’s Choice for our staff, Thursday early release of the students was approved by the SCC to allow time for professional development and departmental study groups.


In the school year 2006-2007, the math department will continue to implement the Connected Math Program (CMP) to help students improve their critical thinking and verbal skills. The Literacy Coaches will continue to train students and English teachers in Writer’s Workshop and Reader’s Workshop. The 7 th grade ELA teachers are implementing the Ramp Up to Literacy Program which consists of genre study with a strong emphasis on reading.

To supplement curricular studies, students are expected to read a wide variety of materials based on personal interest. Each student has their own reading log which is reviewed by teachers and they are expected to participate in the "Million Word Campaign."

The Million Word Campaign:


It is the belief of the America’s Choice Reform Model that if a student reads 25 books each year ( one million words), the reading ability of the student will improve. To aid in this quest, Waianae Intermediate has purchased many thousand differentially leveled books and the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. These books can be found in the school library and throughout the campus in English and other classes. The number of books will increase each year.


Here’s how this campaign works: 

  • In the beginning of the school year, each student is tested on the Star Reading program found in the library and English classroom computers. The reading comprehension level of the student is determined by the number of correct responses to a variety of questions. A Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is also given for each student. The ZPD provides an appropriate range of book levels that allows the student to read comfortably and still learn.
  • The student then chooses a book that falls in his/her ZPD range. WIS has purchased books from 1 st grade to 12 th grade levels.
  • The student records his/her reading progress in the reading log provided by the English teacher. This includes the title, author, genre, date read, and the number of pages read.  
  • Students are provided some time during SURFF to read. The student, however, is expected to do much of the reading at home.
  • After completing the book, the student takes a reading test on the Accelerated Reader program found on the computer. A score of 60% correct is required to pass the test. If the score is lower or if a non-AR book is chosen, the student must provide the teacher with some other form of proof that the book was read. This could be an oral discussion, a short book summary, a written report about a favorite character, a literature circle discussion, or other chosen methods.
  • The student then records the book information on the book log form found in the planner and in the homeroom/English class.
  • Other materials that can count toward the 25 Book Campaign include texts and periodicals read in classes (assessments and further details must be provided).
  • At the end of each quarter, teachers will provide the A.C. Design Team with a list of the number of books each student read for the quarter. If the student is meeting the quarterly quota (usually 250,000 words and 1 million words by the end of the year), he/she will be invited to an end-of-the-quarter celebration.
  • The true measure of success will be an improvement in the reading comprehension level of the student. In May, the student will retake the Star Reading test to record his/her progress.
  • Parents, teachers, and all members of the community are encouraged to read and try to meet their own quota of books read. Have your own celebrations with your children.

Our faculty and students are organized into teams to work towards the above goals. Seventh grade teams have two teachers and approximately 60 students. Eighth grade teams have up to four teachers and up to 120 students.



Waianae Intermediate operates on Middle School Concepts. One such concept is core teaming. This program involves grouping students into teams. A Core Team consists of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Math Lab teachers in the 7th grade. In the 8th grade, the Core Team consists of Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies. The teachers in the Core Team meet daily to discuss the concerns and needs of the students in their group. Also, each homeroom teacher serves as the advisor for all students in their homeroom. Core Teams are heterogeneously grouped. That is, students with a wide range of abilities are placed on the Core Teams to reflect real life communities. There are presently 14 teams at Waianae Intermediate, and every student in our school is placed on a team.

In order to achieve a high standard of student behavior across campus we have established uniform behavior expectations. These expectations are referred to collectively as "Rituals and Routines."

Rituals and Routines

Entering the classroom:

      • Walk in quiety before the tardy bell.
      • Sit in assigned seat.
      • Start bellwork or silent reading

Exiting the classroom:

      • Neatly arrange your area.
      • Wait in seat quietly for dismissal by teacher.
      • The teacher will give oral signal to leave class.
      • Walk out quietly

Leaving during class time:

      • During the first 10 minutes of each class, students are not allowed to leave.
      • Student will ask teacher for permission to leave.
      • Student will fill in the appropriate spaces in the Hallway Passport of planner.
      • Teacher will sign the Hallway Passport. (The Passport must be attached to the planner.)
      • Student will show the Hallway Passport to the teacher upon return.

Quieting Ritual:

        • Teacher raises hand.  
        • Freeze.
        • Face the teacher.
        • Raise your hand and stop talking.
        • Wait for instructions.

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Culture Shock and Language

Regardless of your ethnic heritage, lifestyle, political beliefs or education, it is very safe to say that you will probably go through some form of culture shock if you have been raised elsewhere and transplant yourself to Hawaii. Sources of shock include largely cosmetic things like commonly available cuisine to differences that are much harder to grasp such as political culture, linguistic differences, and socially acceptable behavior. Reading up on local culture, history, and geography will probably help most newcomers understand some of the cultural differences (and similarities) but it's much more important to understand that your own personal approach to this adaptation is the most important factor in your adjustment.

Eye of Hawaii offers a few pointers that might make your personal transition a little easier.

One major request we have received from new teachers has been for more up front information on local linguistic differences. Island English is peppered with words from the indigenous Hawaiian Language as well as Pidgin. Picking up a few words before you get off the plane would not be a bad idea.

Hawaiian Language Lessons - This volunteer constructed web site is a great resource for both a simple intro or more serious study of the Hawaiian language. Everyone should check out the Hawaiian Alphabet and if you want a more complete lesson on pronucation visit their Mispronunciation Guide to learn when you're hearing something incorrect. Scroll down for thematic language lessons.

Pidgin English evolved as the various ethnic groups that settled in Hawaii. English vocabulary was supplemented with words from several other languages. Visit OhanaNet's Hawaii Immigration Timeline for a quick overview of the ethnic history of the islands. Extreme Hawaii provides a list and audio pronunciation files of common Pidgin expressions. Be advised though, that Pidgin usage varies from community to community and even person to person and the syntax is probably more confusing to newcomers than the vocabulary.

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Cost of Living and Housing Information

In general, island life is not cheap and you will ease your transition if you accept that fact before you try to set up household here. We are also NOT the most expensive place to live in the country either. Wai'anae is somewhat less expensive than most communities in the state. Consumer goods are usually some what cheaper on O'ahu than the neighbor islands because freight is shipped here first and then reshipped to our neighbors. Don't be afraid to ask for advice or tips from anybody you talk to at the school. Sometimes you might strike up a conversation with somebody who knows somebody who might have a roommate who's moving to Nebraska thereby vacating a furnished home for you.

Check out this chart from Information Please to compare Honolulu with other major cities on key expenses.

If you're frustrated by national apartment search web sites, you might get a better picture of local housing options by visiting an O'ahu based information source.

The Honolulu Advertiser is one of the state's two major newspapers and is a good source for Rental Units.

If you're in a position to buy a home, check out the Honolulu Board of Realators for the most comprehensive list of homes for sale on the island. They also have a search feature for rental properties.

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How do I move to an island?

Okay, this one is a bit of a trick. Breaking it down you have three choices:

If money is an object, you want to do some research and figure out the cost of shipping an item vs. buying it here. The US Postal Service offers better rates (especially on books and media) than its private sector competitors if you ship it on a slow boat but you will need to survive without your stuff for several weeks. For really important stuff that you need immediately, it might be worth it to pay the extra baggage charge and bring it with you on the plane.

Commerical freight lines are the only way to ship a car to Hawaii. Some cars are worth shipping and others aren't . Generally, you can find good buys on used cars on O'ahu but most new car dealers in Hawaii tag a market-specific price increase on their vehicles that far exceeds what it will cost you to ship a new car from the mainland. This is also the only way to get furniture and other household items to Hawaii but you will not find it cost efficient unless you are shipping an entire house (4-5 rooms).

USPS Postage Calculator

Honolulu Freight Service

Matson Shipping Lines

Young Brothers - The only provider for interisland freight service.

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The Hawaii Department of Education serves as one school district for every public school in the state. Their website is rather vast so we are providing a few direct links to some pages of specific interest to new teachers.

Teacher Support and Retention

About Us - FAQ about the DOE.

Hawaii Teacher Standards Board - These are the people that issue your license.

Job Application

Teacher Salary Schedule

Mainland Recruiting Schedule

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For more information about teaching at Wai'anae Intermediate School or any of the schools in the Wai'anae Community please write:
Kim Noveloso, Waianae Complex New Teacher Advisor

For information regarding this web site or its contents please write the webmaster:
Bryan Freiberg, Librarian -- Wai'anae Intermediate School


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