Award Year: 2014

Ernest Bowen deSilva Elementary School

278 Ainako Avenue
Hilo, HI, 96720-1604

(808) 974-4855

Mr. Dennis O'Brien, Principal at time of Nomination

Choice School


School Website


"The E.B. deSilva School teachers, administration, parents, students, staff, and community share the responsibility to promote life-long learning and excellence."

Student Demographics
  • White: 11%
  • Hispanic: 9%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 27%
  • Asian: 26%
  • Two or more races: 27%
  • ELL: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
E.B. de Silva Elementary School

E.B. de Silva Elementary School

There are several reasons why E.B. deSilva Elementary School in Hilo, Hawaii is considered a school of choice by most Hilo area families. Parents are part of the school's Parent-School-Community Compact, by which they agree to give maximum support to their students and teachers. Sixty years of excellence in education fosters great faith in this school's award winning faculty. Parental support is also evident in the tireless efforts of deSilva’s PTA. The PTA is instrumental in providing necessary resources to each classroom, supporting long-range projects, such as upgrades to technology inventory, and providing funds enabling each student to participate equally in school excursions and special events. The dedication of the faculty enables students to continuously meet/exceeds NCLB targets. Even though deSilva is close to 90% meets/exceeds in ELA and Math for its general population, the school is particularly pleased by the fact that over 80% of its disadvantaged subgroup also meets/exceeds AYPs. This success is in large part due to deSilva’s School-Home partnership, focused use of differentiated instruction, inclusion of IDEA students, and a support system that places a trained tutor in classroom as part of the school's Response To Intervention. A key factor in deSilva’s long-standing success is the "can-do" attitude of the classroom teachers. The teachers are never heard congratulating themselves on their sterling efforts. Instead, they employ the Kaizen principle of always seeking new ways to support the continuous improvement of school services with the goal of enabling each of child to succeed.