comscore Liliuokalani Elementary closes today after 99 years | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Liliuokalani Elementary closes today after 99 years

  • MARY VORSINO / MVORSINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Queen Liliuokalani Elementary kindergarten students wear purple felt caps for their graduation today, the last day for students at the 99-year-old school before it shutters for good. The Board of Education voted in March to close the school with 97 students.
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Queen Liliuokalani Elementary School held its last day for students today before closing for good.

The school, established in 1912, sent children off with an assembly, during which students received special awards, kindergartners participated in a graduation ceremony, and a short skit chronicling the history of the school was performed.

Parents, teachers and administrators said the day was a tough for the close-knit campus where teachers know every child’s name.

"My daughter likes this school," said Aulani Malabey, of her child in kindergarten. "It’s pretty sad."

At the assembly, Principal Raelene Chock told students to "always remember QLS."

"Remember where you came from," she said.

The Board of Education unanimously voted in March to close Liliuokalani because of its small enrollment. The school’s 97 students will attend other area schools in the fall.

The Department of Education has said closing Liliuokalani will save about $530,000 in the coming fiscal year.

Parent Lyle Bullock, who staunchly opposed the school’s closure, said though parents have accepted that the school will close, they’re still angry over how the Department of Education went about closing it.

"Obviously, we have questions," he said. "It’s been really poor communications."

The department is looking at small schools statewide for consolidation to save money. So far, the state has closed two schools — Liliuokalani will make the third — but spared eight others.

 

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