Statewide Community Meetings on Improving Public Education

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and Board of Education (BOE) have scheduled a series of community meetings to provide updates on plans to better public education.  These meetings are part of the ongoing outreach effort in the updating of the Strategic Plan.

Student Success

Student success is at the core of the DOE/BOE Strategic Plan, which sets targets for progress tied to three goals. Earlier this year, the DOE/BOE embarked on a review and extension of the plan.

“We have sought input from students, teachers, school leaders, parents, employers and community members and their feedback is an important component as we move forward,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.  “Additionally, we are reviewing our student data, and the output of the Governor’s team on the Every Student Succeeds Act. Based on the collective feedback, we will develop new strategies to support student success.”

“A lot of work has been done and we want to share this information with our school communities and education stakeholders,” added BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto.  “We encourage anyone interested in public education to attend our meetings to learn about our efforts.”

Staff from DOE will be collecting community members’ perspectives on the draft Strategic Plan priorities, which will also be used to inform the Plan’s review and extension.

The Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Team is also sharing information about new opportunities under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Hawaii’s state plan for ESSA will be informed by the Strategic Plan.

For more information about the Strategic Plan or ESSA, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Hawai‘i Island

AUG. 3, 2016 BOE Community Meeting at Kanu o ka ʻĀina Learning ʻOhana,
Hālau Hoʻolako Building, ʻOluʻOlu Room. Address: 65-1043 Hiʻiaka Street, Waimea.
5-6:30 p.m.
AUG. 17, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Kealakehe High School.
Address: 74-5000 Puohulihuli St, Kailua-Kona. 4:30-6:30 p.m.
AUG. 24, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Waiakea High School.
Address: 155 W Kawili Street, Hilo. 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Kaua‘i

AUG. 24, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.
Address: 4431 Nuhou Street, Lihue. 4:30-6:30 p.m.
SEPT. 14, 2016 Board of Education Community Meeting, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.
Address: 4431 Nuhou Street, Lihue. 5-6:30 p.m.

O‘ahu

AUG. 2, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor
AUG. 10, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Kalani High School.
Address: 4680 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu. 6-8 p.m.
AUG. 16, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor
AUG. 22, 2016 Board of Education community meeting, Kailua High School library.
Address: 451 Ulumanu Drive, Kailua. 5-6:30 p.m. (tentative)
AUG. 31, 2016 Board of Education community meeting, Manoa or Liliha public library.
5-6:30 p.m. (tentative)
SEPT. 6, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor
SEPT. 7, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Castle High School.
Address: 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe. 6-8 p.m.
SEPT. 14, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Moanalua High School.
Address: 2825 Ala Ilima Street, Honolulu. 6-8 p.m.
SEPT. 15, 2016 Board of Education community meeting, Waianae Public Library.
Address: 85-625 Farrington Hwy, Waianae. 5-6:30 p.m.
SEPT. 20, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor

Maui

AUG. 8, 2016 BOE Community Meeting at the Baldwin High School Library.
Address: 1650 Ka‘ahumanu Hwy, Wailuku.
5-6:30 pm (tentative)
SEPT. 7, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Maui High School.
Address: 660 Lono Avenue, Kahului. 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Moloka‘i

AUG. 27, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Moloka‘i High School.
Address: 2140 Farrington Avenue, Ho’olehua. 1-3 p.m.

 

Hawaii Department of Education Advises on Heat Safety

With the new school year beginning Aug. 1, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) reminds schools and parents about health guidance on preventing heat illness.

Portable ACs installed as temporary supplemental cooling in some of Hawaii's hottest classrooms.

Portable ACs installed as temporary supplemental cooling in some of Hawaii’s hottest classrooms.

“We have been working hard to cool classrooms across the state, however, with increased heat and humidity, it’s important to revisit tips on preventing heat exhaustion,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “In addressing heat concerns, we met with Principals to discuss options of moving students to cooler areas of their campuses if necessary.”

Next week, letters from HIDOE and the Department of Health will be sent home to parents providing health recommendations, which include helping students prepare for hot days.

A year ago, high temperatures prompted HIDOE to post Heat-Related Guidelines in all classrooms and school offices. Those guidelines are also posted on the Department’s website.

Meanwhile, HIDOE’s heat abatement efforts have resulted in more than 400 portable classrooms with heat reflective materials, 139 classrooms installed with ceiling fans, 109 classrooms equipped with portable ACs, and upgrades to electrical systems at schools across the state.

Work towards the Governor’s goal of installing air conditioning units in 1,000 classrooms is also ongoing. Learn more about the ongoing heat abatement projects.

Robotics and STEM Events Receive Funding From Hawaiian Electric

sgcAs part of its 2016 second quarter contributions, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have donated $20,000 to the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium for the:

  • Pan Pacific VEX (high school) and VEX IQ (elementary and middle school) Championships, Oct. 7-9 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus Kekuhaupio Gym. Initiated in 2008 as a means to have Hawaii teams participate in an international robotics tournament, the Pan Pacific VEX has hosted more than 100 teams from China, Taiwan, the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, growing to become at one time the second largest VEX tournament in the world. The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ support will help to reinstate the Pan Pacific VEX Championship which has not been held for the past two years.
  • Astronaut Lacy Veach Day of Discovery, Oct. 29 at Punahou School. The event honors the late Astronaut Charles Lacy Veach who considered Honolulu his home, and promotes interest in science and technology among educators, students and their families. The 2016 event will include hands-on workshops, displays and a VEX IQ qualifying robotics tournament involving 18 school teams. Hawaiian Electric is a founding sponsor of the event that was first held in 2002. Company employees continue to actively participate in providing workshops, a display and volunteers at the event.
  • 2016-17 Hawaiian Electric Companies Hawaii State High School and Middle School VEX Championships, featuring the high school event on Jan. 5, 2017 at Keaau High School on Hawaii Island, and the middle school event on Jan. 7, 2017 at Stevenson Middle School on Oahu. In these team-based games, first held in 2013, students must design, build and control their robots to participate in various skills challenges that demonstrate their grasp of STEM concepts. The event will qualify teams to participate in the 2017 Worlds VEX Championships.

To date in 2016, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have provided more than $60,000 in corporate contributions to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning and enrichment programs for Hawaii students and educators, including math and science bowls, engineering and science fairs, education summits, robotic programs, and STEM projects and events.

Company employees also volunteer countless hours to provide student mentoring as well as staffing at robotic tournaments, science, engineering and math fairs, and other related events. Hawaiian Electric has supported STEM programs and initiatives in Hawaii for more than 30 years and contributed more than $1 million during that time.

Gov. Ige Supports Foster Youth and Resource Caregivers with Bill Signing

During the 2016 legislative session, Department of Human Services (DHS) advocated alongside the community for two bills that expand the opportunities for young people to discover who they are through education and experiences, supported by people who care for them. On June 29, Governor David Ige signed into law these two pieces of legislation.

Gov. Ige stands beside young people, legislators, community members, DHS staff and other state employees after signing HB2350 and SB2878 into law.

Gov. Ige stands beside young people, legislators, community members, DHS staff and other state employees after signing HB2350 and SB2878 into law.

In a bill signing ceremony, Gov. Ige first signed House Bill 2350 into law as Act 133. This law supports resource caregivers, giving them more discretion to allow youth to participate in activities that will help them grow, learn, and thrive. Additionally, Gov. Ige signed Senate Bill 2878 into law as Act 134. This law extends the application period for former foster youth to access higher education benefits to age 26 and supports Imua Kākou, helping ease the transition for foster youth to adulthood.

The two laws brought together the community, DHS, and the very young people whose lives are impacted by the bills to work with legislators and stress the importance of these supports. The legislature’s passage and governor’s signing of these laws demonstrate the power of these young people and our government’s commitment to supporting them. The two laws represent shared commitment across the community and the three State of Hawai‘i branches of government, which was displayed in each branch’s presence at the bill signing ceremony.

Early Registration Fee for Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Extended

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is extending the discounted early-registration fee for its 4th Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp that returns to Hilo July 26-29.

Yagi

Parents who have not yet signed up their keiki may still take advantage of the reduced $60 per-child entry fee that was to have expired July 13.   New registrations will be accepted up until the first day of camp July 26.

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, county gyms, and online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/.

Please make checks payable to the “County Director of Finance” and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

The Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former UH-Hilo men’s basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years. Open to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the camp will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts, which feature new flooring.

A team of coaches will instruct and supervise campers as they practice agility, ball-handling and other drills during morning skill sessions.
Following a lunch break, players will showcase what they’ve learned by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day. Special awards will be presented to outstanding participants at the close of the four-day camp.

FREE to First 120 Children – ‘Aha Pai’ea Keiki Sports Challenge at UH Hilo

The annual ‘Aha Pai’ea Keiki Sports Challenge is slated for Saturday, August 27 at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo Athletic complex.
Keiki Challenge at UHH
Hosted by the UH Hilo Vulcan Athletic Department and the Vulcan Booster Club, the challenge runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. It is FREE and limited to first 120 children 7-12 years old to register. Lunch, beverages and a t-shirt will be provided.

Registration forms are available by clicking on link below, emailing vulcansathletics@gmail.com or calling Vulcan Booster Club ‘Aha Pai’ea Coordinator Ed Torrison at 808-987-3215.

Through the course of the day, participants need to be prepared for vigorous physical activity and should bring a water bottle, running shoes and wear comfortable attire. Various activities are scheduled in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

For more information call 808-987-3215.

Registration form

Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Adds Another School

This past school year, poʻokula Kāhealani Naeʻole-Wong announced a new redesign to its campus outreach department to equip and align the campus’ fourth kula (school), Hālau Kupukupu, with the structure needed to ensure critical alignment with Kūhanauna (SP2020).

One of the program's courses, called Kinder-gardeners, lets kindergarten aged keiki explore the power of observation as they plan, plant, and harvest a māla (garden).

One of the program’s courses, called Kinder-gardeners, lets kindergarten aged keiki explore the power of observation as they plan, plant, and harvest a māla (garden).

The changes were made in order to enhance the campus’ ability to:

  • Incubate innovation for model 21st century Hawaiian learning environments,
  • Provide a system of support and engagement for the campus, ‘ohana, and community, and
  • Emerge as a strong partner to meet identified campus, regional and Network of Native Hawaiian School goals.

Kupukupu means “to sprout or grow” as leaves, blossoms, knowledge and ideas. As such, Hālau Kupukupu offers a number of dynamic Hawaiian culture-based landscape of educational opportunities that inspire young learners as they sprout, grow and mature into good and industrious learners and the next generation of ‘ōiwi leaders who will steward the future.

Karen Hayashida, Hauʻoli Motta and Rochelle Yamashita of Hālau Kupukupu.

Karen Hayashida, Hauʻoli Motta and Rochelle Yamashita of Hālau Kupukupu.

One of Hālau Kupukupu’s largest and most visible undertakings is the campus’ Summer Innovations Academy, currently in its second year. Hālau Kupukupu Innovations Academy built upon the foundation laid by the school’s previous summer school program, Kula Kauwela, with exciting and innovative programs.

Hālau Kupukupu nurtures a sense of exploration and wonder with dynamic, ʻāina and culture-based learning activities.

Hālau Kupukupu nurtures a sense of exploration and wonder with dynamic, ʻāina and culture-based learning activities.

The Summer Innovations Academy offers incredible learning opportunities where students explore and celebrate the resources and wonders of Moku O Keawe. Through exciting intersections of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM), haumāna and kumu learn and grow together in robust educational experiences that ignite passion for learning, curiosity, innovative thinking, and deeper aloha for our ʻāina, lāhui, and world.

Leading Hālau Kupukupu is Joy “Hau‘oli” Motta, who serves as po‘okumu for the kula.

“Our summer program is focused on guiding learners through rigorous and engaging ʻŌiwi STEAM inquiries while applying Hawaiian thinking in transformative ways,” shares Motta.

“Our haumāna aren’t just in the classroom. They are exploring the wonderful natural living laboratory of our ʻāina and working alongside practitioners, environmental scientists and engineers and industry leaders to innovate and design possible solutions to relevant challenges that impact our ʻāina and community.”

Motta, who had served as the campus outreach project coordinator over the past two years, will now have kuleana for the planning, integration, design, implementation, and evaluation of key educational programming and strategies which achieve the learner and community-building objectives of Hālau Kupukupu for KS Hawaiʻi and the broader Kūhanauna.

In this capacity, she also serves as KS Hawaiʻi’s point of contact for the Network of Native Hawaiian Schools and the broader Hawaiʻi Island region.

The realignment also shifted key staff into important support roles for this work.

Rochelle Yamashita supports Hālau Kupukupu as its Learning and Innovations Officer. In this role, Yamashita provides leadership support in program design, implementation, and assessment of learning needs including K-12, adult and educator growth and development.

Karen Hayashida serves as Hālau Kupukupu’s Manager of Support Services, where she continues to develop, establish, and oversee cross-functional systems and processes for all Hālau Kupukupu programmatic support and operations.

In addition to the Summer Innovations Academy, Hālau Kupukupu will help to develop new programming that will support campus’ continued growth in Hawaiian cultural perspectives. The school will also continue to support and sustain the positive momentum of the Kumuola Marine Science Education Center project and other extended learning opportunities with the campus’ valued community partners.

Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act Conference Draws Over a Thousand Participants

Gov. David Ige and the Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Team hosted more than a thousand participants at the team’s first public conference today.

Governor Ige ProfileThe governor and ESSA Team invited students, teachers, principals, parents, education, business and community leaders as well as other interested stakeholders to the one-day summit at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The conference offered opportunities to learn about ESSA and current best practices from inspiring thought leaders, policy experts and education leaders.

Participants also had the opportunity to engage in a variety of forums on key education topics and issues, as well as collaborate with others on innovative possibilities for a future-focused education system in Hawai‘i.

“As other states begin to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, they are looking to Hawai‘i as Gov. Ige gives every citizen a voice to help determine the future of their education system. The Governor’s ESSA Summit is a first step for Hawai‘i’s students, principals, parents and teachers to accelerate education innovation in every classroom,” said Stephen Parker, Legislative Director, National Governors Association.

The ESSA Team hoped the summit lead to a shared vision for Hawai‘i’s public education, a deeper understanding of ESSA and a wide range of ideas and possibilities for a future focused public education system. The team also collected valuable input and feedback for preliminary design ideas as the team creates a blueprint for Hawai‘i’s education system.


AGENDA:

7:00     Registration

7:50     Opening

8:00     Welcome by Jade Raquel, Grade 11, McKinley High School

8:05     Welcome Message – DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi

8:10     Welcome Message –  BOE Chairperson Lance Mizumoto

8:15     ESSA Presentation –  U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Peter Oppenheim, Education Policy Director, and Lindsay Fryer, Education Policy

Counsel

8:25     Summit Keynote – Governor David Ige

8:55     Summit Keynote – Ken Kay, EdLeader 21

9:55     ESSA Presentation – Lee Posey, National Conference of State Legislatures

10:10   BREAK

10:30   Concurrent Session #1 (choice of breakout session)

11:25   Concurrent Session #2 (choice of breakout session)

12:20   LUNCH

12:50   Concurrent Session #3 – Listening and Learning Session – collecting input and feedback

2:45     ESSA Message – Stephen Parker, National Governors Association

3:05     Closing Message –  First Lady Dawn Ige

3:20     EVALUATION AND CLOSING

Neighbor Island Town Hall Meetings to Hear About ESSA

Senator Michelle Kidani (Dist. 18 – Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia), Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, will travel to three neighbor islands next week for a series of public Town Hall meetings to discuss new Federal education legislation.

Senator Michelle Kidani

Senator Michelle Kidani

When fully implemented, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will affect the way teachers, students and campus leadership interact and conduct public school instruction.

“It’s important that the public understand and have some input about how schools are educating our youngsters,” Senator Kidani said.  “I have invited education policy expert Lee Posey from the National Conference of State Legislatures to be a guest speaker at our Town Hall sessions.  I’ve heard her presentations, and they provide an excellent overview of ESSA and how the new law can benefit the state.”

As Education Chair, Senator Kidani is a member of Governor David Ige’s ESSA Team that has scheduled a public forum this weekend at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.  Lee Posey will also be a presenter at this Saturday’s forum before proceeding to the neighbor island venues next week. Posey is a Federal Affairs Counsel with the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

She conducts NCSL lobbying activities on education, representing state positions and concerns to Congress and the Administration, and was NCSL’s chief lobbyist on Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization.  Ms. Posey has been at NCSL since 1999 and her experience includes work on a wide variety of issues including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), federal childcare grants, child welfare, child support, food and nutrition programs, agriculture, and rural development.

The neighbor island Town Hall sessions are jointly sponsored by the Hawai‘i State Senate and the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association (HSTA).  Senator Kidani’s colleagues from the respective Senate districts will join her for the presentations, including Senate President Ronald Kouchi from Kaua`i, Senator Lorraine Inouye from Hilo, and Senators Rosalyn Baker and Gilbert Keith-Agaran from Maui.  Others may join the sessions as their schedules allow.

The Town Hall sessions are all open to the public at no charge at the following locations:

  • Monday, July 11 – Hawai‘i Island, Hilo High School, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 12 – Maui, Baldwin High School, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 13 – Kaua`i, Kapa`a High School, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

For additional information, contact Senator Kidani at senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov or HSTA at mhiga@hsta.org

 

Zonta Hilo Awards $2,500 to Young Women Pursing Higher Education

The Zonta Club of Hilo presented $2,500 in scholarships and awards to five outstanding Hawaii Island young women at the club’s June monthly business meeting. Three high school seniors were recognized for the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) award and two University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) students were awarded nursing scholarships.

 “Zonta Club of Hilo service chair Julie Tulang with the club’s 2016 nursing scholarship winner Poki‘i Balaz, club president Tonya Ozone and YWPA 2016 award recipients Makena Wagner, Zoi Nakamura and Cassidy Kelii.”

“Zonta Club of Hilo service chair Julie Tulang with the club’s 2016 nursing scholarship winner Poki‘i Balaz, club president Tonya Ozone and YWPA 2016 award recipients Makena Wagner, Zoi Nakamura and Cassidy Kelii.”

The YWPA award recognizes young women committed to volunteering, who demonstrate leadership skills and are dedicated to empowering women and girls. Applicants are asked to reflect on their volunteer work and problems limiting advancement of the status of women in their community and worldwide.

  • Makena Wagner, a senior at Kamehameha High School, received the first place $500 YWPA award. “Finding ways to give back is not just good for self-esteem, but it leaves one wanting to do more,” said Wagner, who will be attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
  • Waiakea High School junior Zoi Nakamura was second place for YWPA and received $400. “I’ve set my mind on completing a course of study that’s based on service; that’s why I chose the Public Service Academy at school,” said Nakamura.
  • Third place for YWPA and $300 went to Cassidy Kelii, a senior at Kamehameha High School. Kelii will pursue a degree in political science on the mainland and said she will return to Hawaii to practice law. Kelii is president of an all-girl construction club.
  • Kealohaku‘ualohaku‘upoki‘i “Poki‘i” Balaz, who is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice at UH Hilo, received the club’s $1,000 nursing scholarship. Balaz said taking care of her parents inspired her to specialize in geriatric care. Balaz earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from UH Manoa and Master of Science in nursing from Oklahoma City University.
  • Carola Geitner, a junior pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing at UH Hilo, was second place for the nursing scholarship and received a $300 cash award. Geitner, who was responsible for the health and well-being of her younger sister at the age of seven, says the sense of caring and desire to look after people and their health fueled her interest in wanting to become a nurse.

About Zonta Club of Hilo
The Zonta Club of Hilo was founded in 1950 and is part of Zonta International, a global organization whose mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. To learn more about the club’s service projects, special events, advocacy efforts and scholarship opportunities, visit zontahilo.org. Facebook // Instagram @ZontaHIlo

BISAC Summer Jam 2016 – Saturday, July 30

BISAC Summer Jam 2016

Two UH Hilo Student-Athletes Recognized as All-American Scholars

Two University of Hawai’i at Hilo student-athletes were recognized as Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholars as announced on Tuesday, July 5.
vulcan golfers

Earning the honors were freshman Shantel Antonio (Hilo, Hawai’i/Kamehameha-Hawai’i) and sophomore Andi Igawa (Hilo, Hawai’i/Waiakea).

A total of 830 women’s collegiate golfers were recognized with this prestigious honor. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.

About the Women’s Golf Coaches Association
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women’s collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents nearly 600 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent

Farm to School Initiative Asks Farmers to Submit Bids

The Farm to School Initiative is seeking qualified farmers and vendors to submit bids to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to various Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) schools statewide.  Local farmers are encouraged to submit their bids by July 13.  The invitation for bids (IFB) can be found at http://spo3.hawaii.gov/notices/notices/ifb-d17-005.

Farm to foodSpearheaded by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, the HIDOE and Department of Agriculture are working collaboratively on the Initiative.  The goal is to address the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our school cafeterias.  The Initiative also aims to systematically increase State purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with their food through the use of products from the local agricultural community.

“With Hawaii importing about 85 percent of our food, the Farm to School Initiative is one way we are working towards becoming food sustainable in our state,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui.  “While supporting local farmers and our economy, we are also feeding our students with locally-grown fresh fruit and vegetables.”

HIDOE has 256 public schools and its School Food Services Branch feeds approximately 100,000 students and staff each day.

“We’ve made it a priority to purchase local produce, however, our options have been limited,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are hopeful that this initiative will allow for more locally-based products to be used in our schools’ food services while keeping costs reasonable.”

“We encourage local farmers to participate in this program,” said Scott Enright, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “One of the challenges farmers face is the uncertainty of supply and demand and this program will help farmers plan and grow their crops with the knowledge that there will be a market for their produce.  In addition, keiki will be able to grow up with an appreciation of locally grown fruits and vegetables.”

Across the nation, farm to school programs are reconnecting students to a better understanding of the food system and where their food comes from.  Farm to school programs introduce students to healthier eating habits and help them become familiar with new vegetables and fruits that they and their families will then be more willing to incorporate into their own diets.

In April, the Farm to School Initiative gathered information from farmers and ranchers as well as hosted a mixer to inform them on how to become a qualified vendor with the State.  Those events, including the IFB, culminates with the Farm to School Initiative Pilot Project, which is expected to begin in 2017.

Hawaii Representative Asks Attorney General to Investigate School Air Conditioning Bids

Contractors bids so high that project delayed and students to suffer

As summer heats up and public schools prepare to begin Aug. 1, plans to spend $100 million to cool off 1,000 classrooms have been delayed due to the outrageously high bids from contractors to install air conditioning.

Rep. Matthew LoPresti

Rep. Matthew LoPresti

Rep. Matthew LoPresti has asked the Attorney General to investigate if there is a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers by artificially inflating bids for profit at the expense of school children – who will suffer through yet another unbearably hot summer in stifling classrooms.

“We cannot just wait for another round of bids and hope they are reasonable,” said Rep. Matthew LoPresti. “Classrooms in my district and across the state will soon be too hot for students to learn and teachers to teach. We must find a way to get this project moving forward.

“At the same time, the bids for the work came in so high that it is possible contractors who know the state is hard pressed to get this work done conspired to submit bids much higher than reasonable to make unreasonable profits.”

This past session the Legislature approved more than $100 million to add air conditioning to 1,000 classrooms by the end of the year and Gov. David Ige has been working with the state Department of Education and private companies to get the work done.

The DOE now says the project must be either delayed due to the high bids or far fewer classrooms then expected will be cooled.  As an example, the DOE said the bid for one photovoltaic-powered air conditioning project with an estimated cost of $20,000 came in more than $100,000.

LoPresti said there have also been complaints from contractors that the bid specifications for a $20,000 project were up to 100 pages long and that makes submitting a bid expensive and complicated.

“I would like the DOE to take a look at the bidding process and simplify the documents if possible,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of why these bids are so high. Whatever the reason, we need to fix it.”

The cool schools project now is being pushed back with bidding reopened with the new fiscal year which begins July 1, 2016.

“If contractors are gouging the state at a time of great need in our schools and the students have to suffer because of this, the Attorney General must find them and prosecute to the full extent of the law,” LoPresti said. “The public deserves answers as to why bids are coming in suspiciously high and we cannot just sit by and accept this.”

As part of his “Cool Schools 4 Ewa” initiative, LoPresti is reaching out to the public to create a hui of professional volunteers willing and able to contribute to the heat abatement effort by donating their time and labor to help the DOE cool classrooms at realistic and reasonable costs.

LoPresti urges those able to install PV or PV AC systems to contact his office so he can help organize and facilitate those willing to step up and help our keiki to move beyond those who would rather profiteer from their suffering.

Backpack Drive for Children Who Cannot Afford Them

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is proud to participate again in a backpack drive for children who cannot afford to buy them. As in previous years, all police stations around the island will double as drop-off points for persons interested in helping children in need. Backpacks may be dropped off between now and August 30.

Backpack1

Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawaiʻi. The donated backpacks will be distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.

This is the eighth consecutive year the Police Department has worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawaiʻi (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry).

Hope Services Hawaiʻi provides a continuum of homeless and transitional programs from outreach to emergency shelters, including permanent supportive housing placements.

New Findings Show Promising Trends in Hawaii Student Health Behaviors

Today the Hawaii State Department of Health, Department of Education (HIDOE), and University of Hawaii released high school data from the 2015 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the state and all four counties. The YRBS is a bi-annual survey that regularly monitors the health risk behaviors of public, non-charter school students statewide. Over 12,000 Hawaii students in grades 6 through 12 participated in the 2015 survey.

Click to see results

Click to see results

Topics covered in the survey include unintentional injuries and violence; tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and physical inactivity. The survey also monitors the percentages of students affected by obesity and asthma.

“The results reflect our recent initiatives to raise the bar at all levels in education,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The downward trend of students engaging in risky behaviors and an increase in healthy choices is testament to the work done by our schools and the commitment of our students to strive higher.”

The 2015 YRBS results show trends towards less-risky behaviors in many important areas, and highlight needed improvements in others:

Physical fighting continues to decline, with 15 percent of high school students reporting that they were in a fight at least once during the 12 months before the survey. Bullying has stayed relatively steady, with 1 in 5 high school students reporting that they were bullied on school property during the same time period.

Consistent with objectives outlined in the State’s Physical Activity and Nutrition Plan, many YRBS indicators suggest an increase in youth behaviors that support healthy lifestyles. Only 13 percent of high school students report drinking at least one can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop at least once per day, compared to 23 percent in 2007. The survey does not cover drinking other types of beverages with added sugar such as sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks (other than 100 percent fruit juice) or sweetened tea and coffee. The proportion of high school students meeting physical activity recommendations remains steady, with 20 percent achieving the national recommendation of at least 60 minutes per day on each of the seven days before the survey. However, sedentary time continues to increase, with 2 in 5 high school students spending three hours or more per day playing video games or using a computer for non-school purposes.

Alcohol use has declined among Hawaii’s youth, with 1 in 4 high school students reporting that they drank alcohol within the 30 days before the survey. Similarly, we continue to see steady declines in smoking; 90 percent of Hawaii’s high school students do not smoke cigarettes. However, many have tried using electronic smoking devices, with 1 in 4 reporting that they currently use electronic smoking devices.

“This data shows that we are improving as a state in many areas,” said Director of Health Virginia Pressler. “However, the sharp rise in the use of electronic cigarettes reminds us of the importance of continually monitoring student behavior. We will continue to work in partnership with HIDOE to ensure that our programs and interventions target these emerging issues.”

One area that remains a concern is adolescent mental health. In 2015, 29.5 percent of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row at least once in their lifetime. Rates of attempted suicide over the past 12 months has steadily decreased since 1993, but remain unacceptably high at 11 percent.

Survey procedures protect students’ privacy by allowing for anonymous and voluntary participation. The data is gathered from students in public high schools across the State of Hawaii. In a change from the previous years’ survey administration, parents were offered the opportunity to “opt-out,” rather than requiring a form to “opt-in” to the process. This resulted in a 30 to 40 percent increase in response rate, providing a more comprehensive picture of student behavior across the state and all four counties.

The Hawaii YRBS is part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National YRBS survey results were also released today by CDC. For a comparison of Hawaii’s data to national rates, please visit http://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Default.aspx.

For more information on the Hawaii YRBS, visit http://apps.hidoe.k12.hi.us/research/Pages/YRBS.aspx.

The full survey report, including more detailed data reports by county, gender, grade and race/ethnicity, and the survey questionnaires are available at the www.hawaiihealthmatters.org.

Honor the Dads in Your Life at the 18th Annual Celebrate Father’s Day Event

The Hawai‘i Coalition for Dads and the State Commission on Fatherhood will celebrate the important role fathers play in their children’s everyday lives on Saturday, June 18 at Windward Mall.  The two organizations invite all Hawai‘i fathers and their families to join them at the 18th Annual Celebrate Father’s Day event.

fathers day 2016

Families who attend this free event will enjoy a Father-Child Look-Alike Contest, live entertainment featuring “Cousin Flippa” from Hawaii Five-0, and family-friendly activities. Contestants in the Father-Child Look-Alike Contest – a highlight every year – will vie for prizes like a Nintendo WiiU, Weber tabletop Grill, and gift cards from Local Motion, Sports Authority and local movie theaters.

An increasing body of evidence indicates that children are more likely to thrive with the support, guidance, and nurturing of both parents. Yet, many children across the country are growing up without fathers.  As a result, they may lack appropriate male role models and face greater risks of health, emotional, educational, and behavioral problems during their developmental years. The National Fatherhood Initiative reports that children and families function much better with an active, involved, and responsible father in their lives.

Father-Child Look-a-Like Contest entry forms and rules are available at the Fatherhood Commission’s website. Get more information about the Hawai‘i Coalition for Dads and the State Commission on Fatherhood at the Commission’s website.

Pauahi Foundation Offering Science Camps Scholarships

Science Camps of America is back for another summer and the Pauahi Foundation wants to help Hawaii Island students get to camp. The initial deadline to apply for a full scholarship has been extended to Monday, June 13. The 10-day overnight camp gives teens entering grades 8 through 12 the opportunity to explore the environmental diversity that Hawaii Island has to offer from beaches to rainforests and mountaintops.
science camp
“Hawaii Island is such an amazing place geographically, climatically and culturally,” states Science Camps Executive Director Michael Richards. “The best place to learn about the natural world is outdoors, and this compelled me to create a camp for teens to experience science in ‘nature’s greatest laboratory.’”

Camp home base is at the Pahala Plantation Cottages in Ka‘u. Some of the destinations include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Mauna Kea Visitor Center, Mauna Loa Climate Observatory, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach and many more.

The first camp session, Land and Sea, will be held June 29 to July 8 and focus on Hawaii’s ocean, forests, mountains and volcanoes. Campers will explore Hawaii’s unique flora and fauna and learn how events in the natural world affect every living creature, including humans.

The second session, Air and Space, will be held July 9 to 18 and focus on astronomy, space exploration and climate. Campers will gain a better understanding of climate change and the creation and use of alternative energy to help address global warming.

The Pauahi Foundation scholarship is for Hawaii Island residents ages 13 to 17. Preference is given to those of Native Hawaiian ancestry. To apply, visit www.pauahi.org/scholarships/science-camps-of-america/.

To extend this experience to more local teens, Science Camps offers a limited amount of partial scholarships based on financial need through the Science Camp of America Scholarship Fund. Other scholarship opportunities are still available. Contributions from the public to the Science Camp of America Scholarship Fund are welcome. To learn more about and register for Science Camps of America, visit SciCamp.org.

Kahilu Theatre Presents the Smash Hit Musical – GREASE

On Friday, June 17, at 7pm, Saturday, June 18, at 7pm, and Sunday, June 19, at 4pm, Kahilu Theatre presents the full production of GREASE (the Musical) with the Kahilu Theatre Youth Troupe.

grease logoTravel back in time to 1959 with Rydell High’s senior class, as the duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and the gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies” in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoke the look and sound of the 1950’s in this rollicking Kahilu Produced musical.

Head “greaser” Danny Zuko, and good girl Sandy Dumbrowski, try to relive the romance of their “Summer Nights,” as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through classics such as “Greased Lightning,” “Summer Nights,” “We Go Together,” and “You’re the One that I Want,” recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley.

With an eight-year run on Broadway, and two subsequent revivals, along with innumerable school and community productions, GREASE is among the world’s most popular musicals, and the Kahilu Youth Troupe is sure to delight audiences!

GREASE is directed by Beth Dunnington, with musical direction by Phil Kadet, choreography by Dr. Angela Alforque, costumes by Maia Tarnas, and vocal coaching by HPAF Artistic Director Val Underwood. Kahilu Theatre enjoys artistic collaboration with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in this production.

Grease Rehearsal

The cast of GREASE includes P.T. Mahoney, Angela Mihelich, Noelani Anderson, Seraphim Benoist, Grace Bostock, Leilani Bostock, Sienna Byrne, Colby Camero, Michael Chu, Simon Dunlap, Sean Dunnington, Deb Goodwin, Daniel Gregg, Ryan Hooley, Hunter Kalahiki, Anna McFarland, Michelangelo McPeek, Walker McMullin, Sofia Ribeiro, Kat Rose Sullivan, Cameron Supplee, Grace Todd, and Alianna West.

The Kahilu Theatre doors open at 6pm for the Friday and Saturday performances and at 3pm for the Sunday performance. There will also be food and beverages available for sale. The Waimea Schools Art Exhibit will be showing in the Kohala Gallery.

GREASE follows the 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee and Godspell, both directed by Grease director Beth Dunnington, as the third annual Kahilu Youth Production in two decades.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship from Roy and Frances Simperman, Tim Bostock and Melanie Holt, Regan and Shoshana Matsumura, Zaheva and David Knowles, Bob and Donna Povich, Duncan Dempster, Mimi and Brian Kerley, and Bob and Nancy Male.

Tickets are $33 / $27 / $22 / $16 and available for purchase online at http://www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

One Week Left on Public Education Survey – Offer Your Input on Hawaii’s Education Future

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is reminding the public that they have one more week to submit input on a plan for student success. HIDOE and the Board of Education (BOE) are currently reviewing their joint Strategic Plan for the next three years. The community’s input is needed to support student aspirations in our public schools.

Join the Conversation

Feedback is being sought through a survey posted at hiqualityed.tumblr.com. Some of the questions participants can expect include:

  • Given your understanding of HIDOE’s vision, mission, and values, how would you define “student success”?
  • What innovative practices, programs, or approaches best prepare students to become college, career, and community ready?
  • What promising practices, programs, or approaches could specifically support struggling students in setting and reaching their college, career, and community ready goals?
  • What school or community programs or efforts effectively support students in achieving their college, career, and community goals?

“In the past three weeks, we have received more than 730 completed surveys providing input on what the education experience should look like for our public school students, and we’re looking for more feedback before the May 31 deadline,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This is an important opportunity for teachers, parents, students and community members to share their thoughts and make an impact on thousands of students.”

HIDOE is also taking into account the passage of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which provides more flexibility to states to direct their own education strategies to support state goals, while keeping several federal requirements tied to funding in place. Since January, HIDOE has been providing ESSA analysis and information to the Governor, the BOE, the Legislature, educators and the public.

For more information and to take the survey, click here; to join the conversation on social media use #HIQualityEd.