Accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges to 2019
An International Baccalaureate MYP World School
Situated within the Niu Valley neighborhood, we service the East Honolulu Communities of Kalama Valley, Hawaii Kai, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina, Wailupe Valley, and Waialae Iki. Students also hail from all administrative districts on Oahu. We implement with fidelity, the National Middle School philosophy, the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards, Common Core Standards, and the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme with students in Grades 6 through 8. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges issued a six-year accreditation, with a mid-term visit, to June 30, 2019. On February 23, 2010, the International Baccalaureate Organization fully authorized us to offer the Middle Years Programme (MYP), Years 1-3. The current authorization is through 2014, and an Evaluation Visit is scheduled for December 2013.
Built on farm land, Niu Valley “Intermediate” School was opened in 1955, when Hawaii was a U.S. Territory, and the public schools were under the purview of the City and County of Honolulu. Due to construction delays, the first class of students (Grade 7) was housed at Aina Haina Elementary and Koko Head Elementary Schools. Initial construction was completed in May, 1956 and welcomed the students. The first class, consisting of Grade 7 only, began on the present site in the Fall of 1956. Dedication ceremonies were held on February 16, 1958.
Hawai`i became a state of the United States of America on August 21, 1959. One of the first acts of the new Hawaii Legislature was to place public school education as a state responsibility. This was done in 1960.
Niu Valley “Intermediate” first full year at the present site served only Grade 7 (1956-57) to accommodate construction progress, then grades 7-9 thereafter until 1974. In 1974, Kaiser High opened to include grade 9. Niu Valley serviced grades 7-8, then included an optional grade 6 in 1989. It was then that our school first explored the middle school philosophy and concept. Grade 6 was included if there was sufficient enrollment of one to two classes.
The Honolulu District renamed all “Intermediate” schools as “Middle School” in December 1997, to support the Carnegie Council Report on reforming middle grade education - Adolescent Development's Task Force on Education of Young Adolescents. However, in 1989, Niu Valley was the second school in the State of Hawaii, public or private, to operate as a middle school.
The art sculpture fronting our school on Halemaumau Street is called “Mayan Ruins,” designed by Internationally-acclaimed artist, William Mitchell. The sculptures were completed in 1972. At the time, the technique in sculpture was new; the medium is cast concrete, and sand-blasted into environmental art. Each pillar is covered with intricate designs, having the effect of Mayan or Aztec culture. Artist Mitchell casted the molds in England. Concrete was poured in Hawaii at the Dillingham Base Yard. The blocks were installed and sandblasted on our campus. Local artist Joe Hadley worked with Mitchell.
“Mayan Ruins” was funded through the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, Art in Public Place Program.
Niu Valley Middle School celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2005 with a luau. The second 50 years began with the movement of all Kaiser Complex feeder elementary school Grade 6 students to our school, and quest to become an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School.
From the 50th Anniversary, a new school logo was designed by local artist, and NVMS Art Teacher, Mr. Nicholas Black. In 2006, a ho’oponopono was convened with community kupuna, artist Mr. Black, administration, and guests. The logo used our Hawaiian host culture motif and we desired to be “pono,” and supported by our community. All Kupuna agreed, “Maka`i!”
Per IB MYP requirements, all students were enrolled in the MYP in School Year 2008-09 to demonstrate that NVMS could deliver and sustain this world-class programme. Since 2006, teachers and staff had been preparing by attendance at IB Certification workshops, curriculum planning and pilot testing of units. New to the school was the requirement for Language B, or non-mother tongue language. Japanese and Chinese Mandarin were added to the curriculum. Additionally, all students enroll in Physical Education each year, and one of the Arts (performing or visual).
IB Technology is being learned through the Sciences in each year. Central to IB Technology is the “Design Cycle.” Over the course of three years, students apply the IB Design Cycle in each of the three areas: Information, Materials, and Systems.
In 2013, an IB Report Card was rolled out, along with the standard Department of Education Report Card. “IB Scores” were converted into the American A-F grade marks.
Educational technology include a mobile laptop cart of 25 laptops in each to the following classrooms: Science, Language A (English Language Arts), World Languages and selected Special Education. Full computer laboratory for: Media (2) classrooms and Yearbook. Interactive White Boards are being used in all Mathematics and Humanities classrooms, and selected Special Education classrooms.
A deluxe “Weather Bug” weather station was installed in 2007, courtesy of the school’s fundraising arm/parent support group, the Friends of Niu Valley Middle School. Data from our weather station was used locally as a School Net broadcast on K-FVE. However, weather data, to include a color camera, can be accessed world-wide.