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    August 2016
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Community Voices Sought for Input on Public Education Plans

Since April, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Board of Education’s (BOE) has engaged the community as it reviews its joint Strategic Plan. BOE members have hosted meetings in Waimea (Hawaii Island) and Wailuku, and the public has more opportunities to provide feedback at upcoming community meetings on Oahu, Kauai and Molokai.

A group brainstorms ideas during the Maui Community Meeting on Aug. 8.  Photo: Department of Education

A group brainstorms ideas during the Maui Community Meeting on Aug. 8. Photo: Department of Education

“It is important for us to dialogue with members of all sectors of our communities as we work on strategies towards achieving student success,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Education affects all of us, that’s why we appreciate the public input provided so far and urge others to attend the few meetings we have left before finalizing plans that will set the direction for public education in the upcoming years.”

The public has the remaining opportunities to lend their voice at the following community meetings:

  • Aug. 22: Kailua High School College and Career Center, 451 Ulumanu Drive
  • Aug. 31: Manoa Public Library, 2716 Woodlawn Drive
  • Sept. 1: Kaunakakai Elementary School, 30 Ailoa Street
  • Sept. 14: Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, 4431 Nuhou Street
  • Sept. 15: Waianae Public Library, 85-625 Farrington Highway

All meetings will be held from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Storyline Consulting, a third-party facilitator, brought in to ensure the objective report of community input, reported on the first phase of HIDOE’s community outreach, which included 108 focus groups on six islands and 1,429 online survey responses. The Phase I report noted the following emerging themes as community-based descriptors of student success:

  • Giving back to the community, environment, and world;
  • Discovering and pursuing passions so students can reach their full potential;
  • Demonstrating strong academic and soft skills, and showing an ability to think critically, solve problems, and apply knowledge to new situations or contexts;
  • Being prepared for life after high school, including setting clear goals and developing short-term and long-term engagement in learning;
  • Exhibiting strength, confidence, and resilience in their every day lives and being generally healthy and happy; and
  • Gaining a strong sense of cultural understanding and appreciation for Hawaii.

For more information, view the digital and print reports.

The Department and BOE are updating the description of student success, and strategies for school and community innovation, professional development, leadership and more. A draft plan will be presented to the BOE in mid-October, and final plan will be presented to the BOE in December.

“Since we embarked on community engagement in April, we have received tremendous amounts of valuable information that will help us craft a Strategic Plan that meets the ever-changing needs of our students and community,” said Tammi Chun, assistant superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance. “The process has been two-fold as we’re also using the feedback from the community to help us with our state plan in response to the new federal education law, ESSA, that is required to receive federal funds.”

HIDOE continues to monitor the national changes for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and has offered feedback to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) on how the rules and timelines will impact Hawaii.  The Department took issue with the draft regulations appearing to be more prescriptive than what is described in the spirit of the law. HIDOE anticipates submitting the state’s plan for ESSA funding on the USED’s March 6, 2017 deadline.

For more information about the Strategic Plan and HIDOE’s ESSA efforts, click here; to join the conversation on social media use #HIQualityEd.

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