BREAKING: September 30, 2017

Kaiser Coach Arnold Martinez resigns amidst conflict and parent confrontation.  Excerpts from his statement:

In late June of 2016 I was hired as the Head Football Coach for Henry J. Kaiser High School. Our program philosophy was to build a long-term sustainable program that treats athletics as an extension of the classroom and overall educational experience of our students. We believed in teaching our players to be great people, students, and athletes, in that order. We believed that winning in the interscholastic athletic arena begins with winning at home, in the community, on campus, in the classroom, in the locker room, in team meetings and at practices. We believed that giving your best in the classroom, being a good teammate, being on time, attending practices, earning a roster spot, earning playing time, wearing the team uniform and being coachable is normal procedure for all teams at all levels. We believed in a football culture of quality, hard work, and standards, where character is the foundation of success.

Due to a series of events throughout the season there were extreme concerns for student, parent and staff safety. There were threats aimed at school staff, school administration and myself. These threats have reached my family, my personal property, and my home. I received a letter at my home threatening my family and me with physical harm. Because of this hostile environment I am formally resigning as Head Football Coach for Kaiser High School. Although I will miss our players, I must prioritize. The emotional, mental, and physical well being of my wife and children are my highest priority.

Source: [HNN] [Letter of Resignation]

September 30, 2017

Kaiser parent arrested for terroristic threatening:

The controversy led to an incident on September 19th in which a parent of a player, Gregory Illuminato Tartamella became violent with Kaiser staff. Tartamella was arrested Friday (Sept 29) on two counts of terroristic threatening and a count of assault 2 from events that evening.  Source: [KHON]


September 22, 2017

Video surfaces of parent / Head Football Coach Arnold Martinez confrontation at Kaiser High School [KITV]


The History:

[Star-Advertiser] September 19, 2017 4:43pm

An altercation at the Kaiser football field requiring police attention led to the school’s decision to cancel the rest of the Cougars’ season.

According to a source high up in the Kaiser administration, an argument between parents and head coach Arnold Martinez began after practice Monday.

“The parents almost punched him and it got really ugly,” the source said. “The parents were irate and there was some pushing and shoving.”

The source said the school has asked for a police presence of six to eight officers for the rest of the week, which concludes with the annual homecoming assembly Friday.

[KHON2] September 19, 2017, 6:07 pm

Officials also announced that the grand opening of the school’s new athletic facilities and renovated track and field will not take place as scheduled Wednesday “as an added safety precaution.”

The department declined to comment further, or give us access to campus.

We received several calls and emails from parents who are disappointed with the decision.

[Hawaii News Now] September 19th 2017, 4:30 pm 

In an email obtained by Hawaii News Now that was distributed internally to faculty and staff members, school administators said that the decision to cancel the remainder of the football season was "due to escalating threats against members of our faculty and staff."

Multiple sources tell Hawaii News Now that there was a second, unspecified altercation involving a parent, but that the incident happened at head coach Arnold Martinez's home, not at the school.

Court records obtained by Hawaii News Now show that Martinez filed for a temporary restraining order last week. It was not immediately clear whether the request for a restraining order was related to the incident.

Posted from 17-Mar-2017

2017 graduation dates

The Hawaii State Department of Education announced its 2017 graduation dates for public and charter schools statewide. About 11,000 students are anticipated to be walking in ceremonies held in May.

(Kaiser, Kalani and Kaimuki graduations will be held off-site at locations other than the school this year.)

Aiea Thurs., May 18 6:00 PM Aloha Stadium
Anuenue Sat., May 20 10:30 AM School Campus
Baldwin Fri., May 19 6:00 PM War Memorial Stadium
Campbell Sun., May 21 5:00 PM Aloha Stadium
Castle Sat., May 20 5:30 PM School Athletic Field
Connections Public Charter School Sat., May 27 6:00 PM Hilo Civic Auditorium
University Laboratory School Fri., May 26 5:30 PM Andrews Outdoor Theatre - UH at Manoa
Farrington Sat., May 20 4:00 PM School Gymnasium
Hakipu'u Learning Center Sat., May 27 5:30 PM Windward Community College-Paliku Theatre
Halau Ku Mana Sat., May 27 9:00 AM Campus
Hana Sat., May 20 3:30 PM School Campus
Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science Fri., May 19 4:00 PM Pahoa Regional Park - Indoor Courts
Hawaii School for the Deaf & the Blind Thurs., May 25 5:30 PM School Campus
Hawaii Technology Academy Wed., May 24 5:00 PM Hawaii Okinawa Center, Legacy Ballroom
Hilo Fri., May 19 6:00 PM Edith Kanakaole Stadium
Honokaa Sat., May 20 10:00 AM Honokaʻa Sports Complex
Kahuku Thurs., May 18 6:00 PM BYUH Cannon Center
Kailua Sat., May 20 6:00 PM School Football Field on Campus
Kaimuki Sat., May 20 5:00 PM Waikiki Shell
Kaiser Fri., May 19 6:30 PM Stan Sheriff Center
Kalaheo Thurs., May 25 6:30 PM Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall
Kalani Tues., May 23 6:30 PM Neal S. Blaisdell Arena
Kamaile Academy Thurs., May 18 5:30 PM School Campus
Kanu o ka 'Aina New Century Public Charter School Fri., May 26 10:00 AM School Campus-Hālau Hoʻokipa
Kapaa Fri., May 19 5:30 PM Kapaa New Town Ball Park
Kapolei Fri., May 19 6:00 PM Kapolei HS Football Staidum
Kau Fri., May 19 5:00 PM School Gymnasium
Kauai Fri., May 19 5:30 PM Vidinha Stadium
Kawaikini Sat., May 20 11:30 AM School Campus
Ke Ana La'ahana Sun., May 28 10:00 AM Kawananakoa Gymnasium
Ke Kula o Ehunuikaimalino Fri., May 19 12:00 PM Minoru Inaba Baseball Field
Ke Kula o Samuel M. Kamakau N/A N/A No Graduation This Year
Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha Learning Center Tues., May 30 4:30 PM School Campus
Keaau Fri., May 19 4:30 PM School Stadium
Kealakehe Sat., May 27 6:00 PM Kealakehe High School Football Field
Kihei Charter School Fri., May 26 5:00 PM Maui Nui Golf Club
King Kekaulike Thurs., May 18 6:00 PM School Stadium
Kohala Sat., May 20 2:00 PM Kamehameha Park - Hisaoka Gymnasium
Konawaena Sat., May 20 9:00 AM Julian Yates Athletic Field
Kua o ka La New Century Public Charter School Wed., May 24 8:30 AM  School Campus
Kula Aupuni Niihau A Kahelelani Aloha Fri., May 19 9.00 AM School Campus
Lahainaluna Sun., May 21 5:00 PM Sue D. Cooley Stadium
Lanai Sat., May 20 2:00 PM School Gymnasium
Laupahoehoe Fri., May 19 6:00 PM School Gymnasium
Leilehua Fri., May 19 6:00 PM School Stadium
Maui Sat., May 20 5:00 PM War Memorial Stadium
McKinley Sun., May 21 5:00 PM School Campus
Mililani Sat., May 13  5:00 PM Aloha Stadium
Moanalua Mon., May 22 5:30 PM Aloha Stadium
Molokai Sat., May 21 4:00 PM School Gymnasium
Myron B. Thompson Academy Fri., May 26 5:30 PM Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall
Nanakuli Sat., May 20 5:00 PM School Stadium
Olomana Tues., May 23 10:30 AM School Campus (HYCF)
Pahoa Sun., May 21 5:30 PM Civic Auditorium (Hilo)
Pearl City Sat., May 20 5:00 PM Aloha Stadium
Radford Fri., May 19 6:00 PM Aloha Stadium
Roosevelt Sat., May 20 6:30 PM RHS Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium
Waiakea Sat., May 20 6:00 PM Edith Kanakaole Stadium
Waialua Sat., May 20 5:00 PM School Athletic Field
Waianae Fri., May 19 6:00 PM WHS Raymond Torii Field
Waimea Fri., May 19 6:00 PM School Front Lawn
Waipahu Thurs., May 18 6:00 PM Neal S. Blaisdell Arena
West Hawaii Explorations Academy Fri., May 19 5:00 PM School Campus

One of the many things I love about Hawaii is its sense of community, including free flu vaccines for all school children whose schools have participated in the past Department of Health program.  Sadly, however, we were just informed by Niu Valley Middle School that the annual shots are on hold this year.  

I will update this information as we learn more.  Meanwhile, parents are encouraged to seek out alternative options.  The Department of Health publishes a list of clinics for adult immunizations.  Parents may want to check with these pharmacies and inquire about keiki vaccines.  Then of course, there's always your child's doctor's office.

So far, there's no word on whether this is a temporary hold or a longer one.  I'm hoping it's the first, but maybe our household ought to check into getting vaccines earlier rather than wait.

Enrollment counts for 2016-2017 were just released at Hawaii DOE:


Regular Education Special Education Grand Pre-K
School Total Total Total Sped RegEd
100 AINA HAINA -16 5 -11 -5 0
108 HAHAIONE -19 -1 -20 3 0
114 KAHALA -5 1 -4 -1 0
116 KAIMUKI MID -8 4 -4 0 0
154 KAISER HI -6 -4 -10 0 0
119 KALANI HI 26 14 40 0 0
155 KAMILOIKI 7 6 13 1 0
127 KOKO HEAD -1 -4 -5 0 0
139 NIU VALLEY MID -3 11 8 0 0
153 WILSON -25 2 -23 -2 0
Regular Education Special Education Grand Pre-K
School Total Total Total Sped RegEd
100 AINA HAINA 447 41 488 4 0
108 HAHAIONE 515 24 539 9 0
114 KAHALA 336 25 361 10 0
116 KAIMUKI MID 919 85 1004 0 0
154 KAISER HI 1049 85 1134 0 0
119 KALANI HI 1217 154 1371 0 0
155 KAMILOIKI 368 42 410 8 0
127 KOKO HEAD 277 29 306 4 0
139 NIU VALLEY MID 827 89 916 0 0
153 WILSON 522 35 557 7 0
Regular Education Special Education Grand Pre-K
School Total Total Total Sped RegEd
100 AINA HAINA 463 36 499 9 0
108 HAHAIONE 534 25 559 6 0
114 KAHALA 341 24 365 11 0
116 KAIMUKI MID 927 81 1008 0 0
154 KAISER HI 1055 89 1144 0 0
119 KALANI HI 1191 140 1331 0 0
155 KAMILOIKI 361 36 397 7 0
127 KOKO HEAD 278 33 311 4 0
139 NIU VALLEY MID 830 78 908 0 0
153 WILSON 547 33 580 9 0


Mirroring the rest of the state, East Oahu public education counts generally held steady with no large changes noted.  The only possible outliers would be Kalani, where special education enrollment increased by nine percent, and Niu Valley, where special education enrollment increased by 14 percent.  I've extracted East Oahu data from two years of spreadsheets and posted it [here], if you're interested in more detail by grade level. 




As the school year starts up in full swing, I'm posting a reminder of the FREE math, science and writing tutors available to public school students.  For math and science, tutors are available live, at the time of contact.  Through the miracles of modern technology, students and tutors can collaborate and communicate via Internet through a number of effective means, including a virtual chalkboard and audio and visual connections.

The Online Learning Academy offers free online math and science tutoring for all Hawaiʻi Department of Education (K-12), community college and UH Mānoa students state-wide. Tutors are available to help with classwork or homework during our hours of operation, Monday to Friday, 1pm to 10pm and Sunday, 5pm to 10pm.

For writing services, students should access the home page on UH's Online Learning Academy (OLA) and make an appointment.  Hours for writing services are Monday through Saturday, 8am through 10pm.

One of my children uses the math tutoring service and really likes it.  His comments have been all positive, but perhaps most importantly, he feels that he learns something and that the tutors guide him to the answer rather than give it to him.

As a parent or educator, it's a relief to know that these services are available.  To access services, go to the University of Hawaii's Online Learning Academy at:

At the end of his Niu Valley Middle School eighth grade year, my son was given the option of applying for AVID at Kaiser High School. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and is a college and career preparedness route students can take.eo avid

AVID's early roots date back to the late 70s. The program got its first classroom debut in 1980 at Clairemont High School in San Diego with the help of a $7,000 grant. Since then, the program has grown dramatically. By its own account, "AVID now impacts more than 1.2 million students in nearly 5,000 schools and 43 postsecondary institutions in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and across 16 other countries/territories. The AVID College Readiness System spans elementary through higher education."

Here in Hawaii, more than a dozen years ago, Campbell High School was the first to offer AVID.  As of 2013,  "there are 117 participating [Hawaii] schools reaching about 11,000 students. Two schools – Campbell High and Washington Middle – are national demonstration sites."

As with most teenagers, there are few things that my son and I agree on.  However, we both agree that AVID is a valuable program; almost all of the skills he learns here will be applicable to real-life scenarios.  Frankly, I'm not sure why this is not offered at Niu Valley Middle School, where I think it would be even more beneficial than at the high school level.

Nationwide, AVID has proven itself as an effective tool for marginal students: those that might consider college if the options were clearly set out before them.  More impressively, the rate of persistence, those still enrolled in college two years later, is in the upper 80 percent range across ethnicities.  This is among a base of AVID students where 75 percent of their parents did not graduate from a college or university.  In study after study, the strongest determinant of college graduation is the education level of the student's parent.  That makes AVID's feat that much more impressive.

While my son does come from a family of college graduates, AVID is still the right fit for him.  It does what I have not been able to: create a structure and plan -- good habits that get repeated by its regularity.  As an example, not only are students asked to bring a three-ring binder, they're actually shown how to use them.  As mundane as this may seem to most of us, in this digital age, the still necessary task of paper handling is not at all apparent to today's youth.

Another area where AVID excels -- at least at Kaiser -- is in painting a picture of the future.  No week goes by that my son doesn't ask at least a few questions about careers or college, or about details no one at this point can determine, such as how much his education will set us back financially.  Importantly, AVID helps him stay focused on who he is and what he would enjoy doing for a living.

AVID participants are assigned one advisor for all four years of high school.  In class, students undergo a binder check to see that all materials have been submitted, a notes check, to see that they remain focused on their studies, and a tutoring submission, to request assistance in subject matter they don't quite grasp.

As a parent, I have only positive things to say about AVID.  Here in Hawaii Kai, it ought to also be rolled out to middle and elementary schools.  For more information about AVID, visit their website at