Most prospective homeowners have personal priorities when shopping for a home. While some want a big yard, others seek state-of-the-art appliances to go with a gourmet kitchen. Easy access to public transportation is another major reason buyers may choose a particular home. These days, a growing number of families have a different priority when home shopping — good schools.
Just how do you go about finding the neighborhoods with the best schools? There are generally two approaches: One is to find a home you’re interested in, then research the schools in the neighborhood. Another way is to limit your home search to only those in top-ranked school districts. Your Locations Agent has the ability to search by School District, and can also show you how.
When you find a potential home, check with the school district to determine the specific school you are assigned to (your home school). There may be several schools in the community. For example, in some neighborhoods, like Kaimuki, it is possible for two homes on the same street to be assigned to different elementary schools. A home may be on the border between school districts, and the year the home was built may be a contributing factor in which school you are assigned.
How to determine which Oahu schools are the best quality?
One way is through data — both objective and subjective — gathered from the State of Hawaii. Each year, Honolulu Magazine ranks Hawaii’s public schools using performance and satisfaction data obtained from the State Department of Education. This information consists of Hawaii State Assessment test scores in reading and math plus information obtained from surveys taken by teachers, parents and students.
You may find that the quality of schools may vary even within a school district. For example, a district may have several high-quality elementary schools but a weak middle or high school. Another district may have a strong high school and weak elementary schools.
Using the Honolulu Magazine rankings, certain communities stood out as having stronger schools. These six communities are not listed in any particular order. Listed with each community are their top-ranked elementary schools, followed by the school’s individual ranking in parentheses:
Aina Haina/Kuliouou/Niu Valley/Hawaii Kai
- Aina Haina (7th)
- Koko Head (10th)
Kaimuki/Kahala/Waialae/St. Louis Hts.
- Liholiho (3rd)
- Wilson (6th)
- Hokulani (9th)
- Aliiolani (11th)
- Kahala (13th)
- Manoa (4th)
- Noelani (5th)
- Nuuanu/Puunui/Alewa Heights
- Maemae (8th)
- Mililani Mauka (2nd)
- Mililani Ike (14th)
- Pearl City
- Momilani (1st)
- Pearlridge (12th)
Owning a home in a desirable school district can be beneficial when you choose to someday sell your home. Good schools can increase your home’s resale value.
Your Locations Agent can provide you information on particular schools and school districts, and you can also do your own research by asking family, friends and acquaintances for school recommendations.
The Internet is also a great source for information. www.education.com, www.greatschools.org and www.schoolmatters.com provide some valuable information and reviews on specific schools organized by zip code.