All Students to Return to Schools Affected by Puna Lava Flow

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today announced students in lower Puna who were reassigned in October 2014 due to the threat of a lava flow will be returning to their original school. Keonepoko Elementary will welcome back students to its campus in Hawaiian Beaches and all public school students in the Kea’au, Ka’u, Pahoa (KKP) complex area will start the 2015-16 school year in their geographically determined schools.

Pahoa High and Intermediate

“We realize that some families whose students were reassigned to another school may not want to return to their geographically determined school,” stated Chad Farias, KKP complex area superintendent. “However, those reassignments were made based on the pending lava flow. Now that the lava has been determined no longer a threat to KKP, students must go back to the school they came from for their education.”

DOE officials added that families may apply for Geographic Exceptions (GE) and follow the guidelines under Chapter 13 should they decide to make a change. KKP schools that experienced a shift in students and staff include: Pahoa Elementary, Pahoa High & Intermediate, Kea’au Elementary, Kea’au Middle, Kea’au High, Keonepoko Elementary, and Mountain View Elementary.

“The Department is currently evaluating staffing needs and determining the appropriate processes to return the maximum number of employees to their pre-lava flow schools,” said Barbara Krieg, the DOE’s assistant superintendent for the Office of Human Resources. “There are a lot of details to be worked out and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our staff during this process.”

Decisions affecting employees will be made in consultation with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers union. Information will be distributed to employees once details are finalized.

Kamehameha Schools Announces Four New Executives

Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong today named four new leaders who will join his executive team in the next few weeks.
Kamehameha SchoolsEach brings strategic and innovative thinking to the leadership team, as well as substantial insight and career experience with Kamehameha’s educational mission and Native Hawaiian and Christian foundations.

The new leaders named today are: Kāʻeo Duarte, Vice President of Community Engagement and Resources; Darrel R. Hoke, Executive Vice President of Administration; Kevin N. Cockett, Vice President of Communications and Chief Communications Officer; and Lauren S. Nahme, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation.

“I am excited about how these new leaders will help transform the work we do, how we collaborate with others, and help drive sustainable impacts for improved Native Hawaiian educational success,” said Wong. “They all have proven leadership abilities, solid values, integrity and passion for our mission, and they will enhance the already resilient and dynamic leadership team we have in place.”

Kā‘eo Duarte, a 10-year KS employee, is promoted to Vice President of Community Engagement and Resources, a new executive position that demonstrates Kamehameha’s commitment to a community-based approach, which includes responding collaboratively to the specific needs of communities.

“The Community Engagement group is probably the most “unique and new” group in KS’ new organizational structure, but its purpose is an old one,” explained Duarte. “It is about engaging and elevating people and place . . . kanaka and ʻāina, and I am the first to admit we have a lot to figure out and even more to do, but I am committed to rolling up my sleeves and working hard.”

Duarte will oversee management of KS resources in nine regions statewide, plus agriculture and conservation land programs, community resource centers and sustainability initiatives. Last year, Duarte was named Senior Director, West Hawaiʻi Region, charged with directing the combined endowment and education efforts in the region for more effective and efficient impact. Duarte has a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S.E. in civil and geological engineering from Princeton University.

Kevin N. Cockett will join Kamehameha Schools in June 2015 as Vice President of Communications and Chief Communications Officer. He is a 23-year veteran of the communications profession, with a strong blend of local and national experience in both corporate and agency settings. Cockett, a 1984 KS graduate, has operated his own communications business since 2011, and was previously a Senior VP at Communications Pacific, Inc., and in public relations for Best Buy Co., Inc.

“It’s a privilege to serve Kamehameha Schools in this capacity,” said Cockett. “I’m excited to join the organization at a time that feels like the dawn of a new era and to work alongside a group of such committed teams and individuals.”

Wong also named Darrel R. Hoke as Executive Vice President of Administration, affirming his extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of how KS’ support infrastructure and processes must enable KS to be a high-performing, mission-driven organization.  “I’m looking forward to moving all groups towards the strategic goal of operating as a high performing Native Hawaiian Organization,” said Hoke, “and building on the foundation established over the years, to ensure that KS is successful in delivering on our Strategic Plan targets in 2020.”

Hoke, a CPA and KS’ Internal Audit director since 2002, brings 27-years of experience in audit, accounting and finance to his new position. He graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude. He will oversee Human Resources, Information Technology, Education Operations and Facilities Development and Support.

Lauren S. Nahme, previously director of Strategic Planning and Implementation, has been named Vice President of Strategy and Innovation. “Lauren brings seasoned expertise and a clear understanding of KS’ visioning and strategic planning processes to the executive team,” confirmed Wong. “She steps into this role already high up on the learning curve and with the ability and confidence to lead our current strategic planning efforts.”

Nahme had an extensive background in finance and banking when she joined KS in 2006 as Controller. In 2010, she transferred to Strategic Planning and Implementation, and has led KS’ planning efforts for SP2020. Nahme is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. “It has been an intense but rewarding experience for our planning team to work with Trustees, Jack and his leaders across the organization to develop KS’ path to 2020,” Nahme explained. “Our direction is clear, commitment is strong, and momentum is building to spur us forward.”

Today’s announcement marks the completion of the first part of Wong’s November 2014 announcement that he would reorganize and streamline his leadership structure to reaffirm education as the primary focus of Kamehameha Schools, and to strengthen the organization’s ability to execute its Strategic Plan 2020.

Kamehameha Schools’ executive structure now includes seven executives reporting directly to CEO Wong: Education, Finance, Administration, Community Engagement and Resources, Communications, Legal, and Strategic Planning and Innovation. Wong expects to name the Executive Vice Presidents for Education and Finance in the next few months.

Vice president profiles:

OHA Provides Funding to Support Na Pua No`eau

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is providing a total of $896,232 to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Na Pua No`eau program, the Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children.

Na Pua No`eau

Na Pua No`eau provides Native Hawaiian students Kindergarten through college with learning opportunities as a University of Hawaiʻi Center. Students have direct access to UH facilities and faculty where they are guided and supported in their educational and career goals. Na Pua No`eau has staff and offices at the University’s campuses on O`ahu, Kaua`i, Maui, Lana`i, Moloka`i, and Hawaiʻi Island.

In 2015, Na Pua No‘eau celebrates its 25th anniversary. Throughout the years, the Center has supported thousands of students in their educational and career goals. In Fall 2013, graduates made up 9% of the Native Hawaiian students enrolled at UH. In Spring 2013, Na Pua No`eau made up 13% of the Native Hawaiian students who graduated from UH.

Along with the enrollment and graduation of Native Hawaiian students, Na Pua No`eau is also committed to creating opportunities and supporting Native Hawaiian students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and health career pathways. In Fall 2013, Na Pua No`eau students made up 11% of the Native Hawaiian students enrolled in STEM fields and 9% of the Native Hawaiian students enrolled in health fields in the UH System.

For information or registration for Na Pua No‘eau, contact representatives on the respective campuses: UH Hilo: (808) 974-7678; UH Manoa: (808) 956-9410; Kaua`i Community College: (808) 241-8387; UH Maui College: (808) 984-3364; Moloka`i Education Center: (808) 553-9993; Lana`i High and Elementary School: (808) 565-9100; University Center West Hawaiʻi: (808) 322-4867.

HPCSN Announces 4th Annual Hawaii Charter School Awardees

Hawaii Public Charter School Network (HPCSN) will honor charter schools and leaders at the 2014-2015 Hawaii Charter Schools Awards, taking place Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Today, HPCSN announced a list of awardees, including:

voyager PCS

Charter School of the Year

  • Voyager Public Charter School, Honolulu, Oahu

Most Improved Charter School

  • Innovations New Century Public Charter Schools, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Creating New Best Practices

  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Kawaikini Public Charter School, Lihue, Kauai

Circle of Teaching Excellence

  • Mary Quijano, Na Wai Ola Public Charter School, Mountain View, Hawaii
  • Heather Nakakura, West Hawaii Explorations Academy, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Kananinohea Makaimoku, Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki Laboratory Public Charter School, Hilo, Hawai‘i

Governing Board Member of the Year

  • Philip Whitesell, PhD, Lanikai Elementary School, Kailua, Oahu

Charter Leader of the Year

  • Jennifer Hiro, Innovations New Century Public Charter Schools, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

“We look forward to celebrating the innovation and achievement that happens every in charter classrooms across Hawaii,” said Lynn Finnegan, Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network.

“This year’s theme, ‘Changing the Education Paradigm,” encompasses what charter schools are all about.  Despite many challenges, charter schools are doing more with less and delivering effective models of education.”

“Through our advocacy and support services, HPCSN works to help schools navigate these challenges, especially those unique to charter schooling in Hawaii, so that charter schools can focus on what they do best, educating students,” Finnegan added.

All awardees above as well as Legislators of the Year and Community Partner of the Year (yet to be selected) will be honored at the 4th Annual Hawaii Charter Schools Awards dinner.  The dinner is open to the public and tickets can be purchased by phone at 808-380-6403 or online at http://2015hawaiicharterschoolsawards.eventbrite.com/.

Keonepoko Elementary School to Reopen – Lava No Longer Immediate Threat

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) will begin the planning process to reopen Keonepoko Elementary School in Hawaiian Beaches now that lava is no longer an immediate threat to the area. The planning will also include addressing all of the adjustments made in October 2014 that affected 1,700 students and 300 employees.

Keonepoko

“Many families were affected by our contingency plans to safeguard access to education and we appreciate their cooperation and understanding through all of it,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We now have a ton of details to work out before making any official announcement on dates or assignments, however it is important to let families and staff know where we stand. The decision to reopen Keonepoko Elementary extends beyond just the facility. We want to be very thoughtful about our approach.”

The decisions affecting employees will be made in consultation with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers union. In upcoming weeks, principals in the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area and DOE administrators will map out a course of action. The DOE is aiming to have details solidified by May to provide families ample time to plan for School Year 2015-16.

In late October 2014, DOE closed Keonepoko Elementary in response to the rapidly advancing lava flow. It was determined then that the lava would be crossing Highway 130. DOE built a temporary facility in the Keaau High lower parking lot and adjusted classroom assignments for students and staff within the complex area.

Recently the lava flow changed in threat status from ‘warning’ to ‘watch.’ Hawaii County Civil Defense has informed the Department that based on the most current information available the lava is no longer headed toward Pahoa.

Complex Area Superintendent Chad Farias stated, “We continue to evaluate what all possible futures might be for the education of children within Puna and are thinking not just about the current situation, but how to provide quality education to all of the families in our area for years to come.”

The DOE will provide more information to its staff and the public once it is available.

 

Hawaii Moon RIDERS Honored at Capital

The House of Representatives today recognized the Iolani School and Kealakehe High School robotics team, known as the Moon RIDERS, for their work on the electrodynamic dust shield lunar project and their partnerships with PISCES, NASA, and Google Lunar Xprize. 

PISCES Executive Director Rob Kelso, Moon RIDERS, and members of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

PISCES Executive Director Rob Kelso, Moon RIDERS, and members of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

In February, the group was selected to take part in an experiment involving electrodynamic dust shield technology that will be conducted on the surface of the moon by the end of 2016. 

Kealakehe teacher Justin Brown, Kealakehe student Moon RIDERS, and Reps. Nicole Lowen and Mark Nakashima.

Kealakehe teacher Justin Brown, Kealakehe student Moon RIDERS, and Reps. Nicole Lowen and Mark Nakashima.

The selected Hawaii students will be mentored by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.  The project came about through an agreement with PISCES and NASA to work on a Hawaii high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) project.

16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest Coming Up

The 16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Center.

Keiki Fest 2015

Designed for children ages 3 to 12, our keiki along with their parents will spend the day exploring a variety of free, hands-on activities addressing environment, fitness, health, mind, nutrition and safety.

Families will have the opportunity to explore more than 30 hands-on learning booths offering activities designed to develop healthy brains, healthy bodies and healthy beings. Activities include:

  • Free bicycle helmets from North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Trauma Team
  • “Glow Monster” hand hygiene education with NHCH
  • Bike safety course by Lex Brodie’s, PATH, South Kohala Traffic Safety and NHCH’s Trauma Team
  • DIY paper volcanoes with Center of the Study of Active Volcanoes
  • Veggie stamp art with Kohala Village Hub
  • Car seat fitting by the Department of Health – Public Health Nursing
  • Collage making art activity with the Waimea Arts Council
  • Many more hands-on activities

Each child will receive a “passport” to track their participation at each learning booth.  A completed “passport” offers keiki the opportunity to choose from a host of activities, such as a turn on the rock climbing wall or bounce house, or receive an airbrush tattoo.   This event’s mission is to bring the schools and communities of North Hawaii together to celebrate the health and safety of our greatest asset, our keiki.  All activities are free.

This year’s Keiki Fest is brought to you by North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) and Tutu’s House. This event supports the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition”.   The umbrella topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition” allows NHCH to touch the numerous health disparities found within the community. The Parker Ranch Center is located at 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway in Kamuela.   For more information and to learn how you can support this hands-on kids’ event, please contact Laurie Edmondson, Community Outreach Coordinator at North Hawaii Community Hospital, at 881-4425 or at Laurie.Edmondson@NHCH.com.

20th Annual Kick Butts Day in Hawaii

Kids in Hawaii will stand up to Big Tobacco on March 18 as they join thousands of young people nationwide for the 20th annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,000 events are planned nationwide for this day of youth activism, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (See below for a list of local events.)

toll of tobaccoOn Kick Butts Day, kids encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free, demand that tobacco companies stop marketing deadly, addictive products to them and encourage elected officials to do more to reduce youth tobacco use.

This year, Kick Butts Day is focusing attention on how the tobacco industry still spends huge sums on marketing and is adopting new strategies to reach young customers. Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year – one million dollars every hour – to market tobacco products. In Hawaii, tobacco companies spend $26.9 million annually on marketing efforts. The industry’s tactics that entice kids include:

  • Splashy ads in magazines with large youth readership, such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine and Rolling Stone.
  • Widespread advertising and price discounts in stores, which make tobacco products appealing and affordable to kids.
  • New, sweet-flavored tobacco products such as small cigars and electronic cigarettes. The latest surveys show that youth use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed.

In addition to organizing events, kids are standing up to the tobacco industry on social media through the #NotAReplacement selfie campaign. The tobacco industry’s own documents reveal that they have long targeted kids as “replacement smokers” for the more than 480,000 people their products kill each year in the United States. Kids are taking selfies to say they’re not a replacement and sharing the photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the #NotAReplacement hashtag. (view the #NotAReplacement selfie gallery)

“On Kick Butts Day, kids stand up and reject Big Tobacco’s manipulative marketing,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We can make the next generation tobacco-free and end the tobacco epidemic for good. Elected officials can help reach that goal by standing with kids and supporting proven strategies to prevent youth tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws and prevention programs.”

Health advocates in Hawaii are urging state leaders to increase the legal sale age for tobacco products to 21 to reduce smoking and save lives. In Hawaii, tobacco use claims 1,400 lives and costs $526 million in health care bills each year. Currently, 10.4 percent of Hawaii’s high school students smoke.

On Kick Butts Day, kids engage in creative events that range from small classroom activities about the harmful ingredients in cigarettes to large rallies at state capitols.

In Hawaii, activities include:

Youth with the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii in Honolulu will hold a major event at the State Capitol to educate and empower their peers to advocate for a bill to raise the tobacco age of sale in the state to 21. Youth will create signs, post to social media, and meet with legislators in support of the bill. Time: 10 AM. Location: 415 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu. Contact: Mary Goldsworthy (509) 710-4298.

Students at Helemano School Age Center in Wahiawa will learn about the dangers of smoking and create a short phrase about staying tobacco-free to display in the youth center’s fence with cups. Time: 3 PM. Location: 327 Kuapale Road, Wahiawa. Contact: Rebecca Staggs (808) 653-0724.

The U.S. Army Hawaii Youth Sports in Honolulu will hold a day of activities for youth to stand up to tobacco, including a fun run, a dance performance to ‘Thriller’ and informational activities. Time: 11:30 AM. Location: 4725 Bougainville Drive, Honolulu. Contact: Brittany Bigham (808) 426-8790.

All events noted above are on March 18. For a full list of Kick Butts Day activities in Hawaii, visit www.kickbuttsday.org/map. Additional information about tobacco, including state-by-state statistics, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.

National Science Foundation Awards UH Hilo $622,175 for STEM Scholarships

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo a $622,175 grant to support the Scholarships for STEM Program (S-STEM), which provides scholarships for academically talented, economically disadvantaged high school seniors who major in one of the following STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines–astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, geology, marine science, mathematics and physics. The application deadline is April 15, 2015.

UH Hilo Moniker

Raina Ivanova, UH Hilo professor of mathematics, principal investigator and director of the program, said, “The S-STEM Program will provide much needed support for our deserving students who have demonstrated academic potential, but due to financial difficulties might not be able to consider a college degree. We are excited to be able to help our talented youth and enable them to pursue meaningful careers in STEM here in Hawaiʻi.”

S-STEM Program details

The S-STEM Program will provide each scholar with a $20,000 scholarship for four years of undergraduate studies (up to $5,000 per year), provided that the student maintains good academic standing and remains a STEM major. The program will also integrate and expand existing educational services for STEM students at UH Hilo.

Students will be selected on the basis of academic potential, motivation and interest in the STEM disciplines, as indicated by their high school GPA, standardized test scores, a letter stating interests and letters of reference.

Academic support services for the program include:

  • Faculty mentoring
  • Peer-tutoring for introductory STEM courses
  • Summer and academic year research support on campus
  • Opportunities for research internships
  • Advising and support to participate in summer research programs at U.S. mainland universities
  • Participation in a newly established freshman STEM course
  • Opportunities to present research in campus-wide, state and regional venues
  • Participation in a community service program in which students will provide math and science tutoring for K–12 students

To apply go to the S-STEM Program website.

Ulu Wini Playground Project Breaks Ground

HOPE Services Hawaii joined residents of Na Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini (The Homes at Ulu Wini) to break ground on a brand-new outdoor playspace at the Ulu Wini housing complex in Kailua-Kona on February 25.

ulu wini blessing

The $180,000 state-of-the-art Miracle Mega Tower is a first for Ulu Wini and was made possible through a donation from the Roberts Foundation. Anne Bailey from the Office of Housing and Community Development was present on behalf the County of Hawaii administration.

“The residents and keiki of Ulu Wini are so excited and grateful to have a beautiful and safe outdoor play structure in their backyard,” said Brandee Menino, Chief Operating Officer of HOPE Services. “We have so much aloha for the Roberts Foundation.”

The 62’ X 52’ Mega Tower will feature four play structures including a heptagon double decker tower and water fountain, spiral and wave slides, a fish bridge, play panels and climbing apparatuses including stairs, risers, ladders and a fossil bluff climbing wall. The play structures, with the exception of the water fountain, will be covered with recycled steel roofing or commercial grade fabric umbrellas.
ulu wini renderingThe Mega Tower playspace allows access to multiple levels and is meant to encourage social inclusion and sensory play.

Volunteers from Lake Mead Christian Academy and residents from Ulu Wini will be assisting NyLawn with construction of the playground, which is expected to be complete by the end of March 2015.

Built in 2013 by the County of Hawaii’s Office of Housing & Community Development and operated by HOPE Services, The Homes at Ulu Wini provides 96 two-bedroom units—23 transitional housing for homeless families, 72 affordable housing dedicated to low-income families and one unit for the resident manager.

Friday – HawaiiCon’s Cosmic Cosplay Ball

This Friday the 13th, HawaiiCon presents the Cosmic Cosplay Ball.

Winners of HawaiiCon’s 2014 Cosplay Contest – photo credit Tyler Murray

Winners of HawaiiCon’s 2014 Cosplay Contest – photo credit Tyler Murray

Cosplay (“costume play”) was coined in 1984 at WorldCon. Fans celebrate their favorite fictional and non-fictional characters through the construction and wearing of costumes.

This all ages event takes place at the Hilo High School Auditorium from 7-10pm. There will be dancing, a silent auction and refreshments, but the highlight will be the costume contest. This contest will bring out the best costume makers of the Big Island to compete for cash and other prizes.

For more information go to www.hawaiicon.com or follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/hawaiicon or @HawaiiCon on Twitter.

Funds from HawaiiCon’s Cosmic Cosplay Ball will help the Performing Arts Learning Center continue to offer quality arts education experiences to East Hawaii keiki. PALC is an after school theatre arts program open to students in grades 7-12. Hundreds of students over the last three decades have found enrichment through working on stage and acting before the public.

Big Island Police Searching for Hilo Girl Missing Since January

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing.

Kyara K. Kalili

Kyara K. Kalili

Kyara K. Kalili was last seen in Hilo on January 9.

She is described as 5-foot-3, 170 pounds with brown eyes and long brown hair with “ehu” highlights.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii Department of Education Strengthening Commitment to Hawaiian Programs

After spending two years to create a strategic path forward for Hawaiian Education, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) shared how it is strengthening its commitment to Hawaiian programs in the public school system.

DOE ReleaseSuperintendent Kathryn Matayoshi today updated the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) on the collaborative groundwork made since BOE acted on two Hawaiian Education policies.

The board and the department initiated and engaged in a number of community stakeholder meetings over 18 months to listen to the concerns and opportunities for improvements before the enactment of revisions to Hawaiian Education policies 2104 and 2105.

Policy 2104 was changed to incorporate the establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Education to support Hawaiian education’s positive impacts on the educational outcomes of all students. Policy 2105 provides students with Hawaiian bicultural and bilingual education; and the development and administration of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Ka Papahana Kaiapuni) curriculum, standards, and formative and summative assessments. The DOE’s Kaiapuni program is offered at 20 schools and educates more than 2,000 students.

“Over the course of the last year, we have engaged with Hawaiian educators, community leaders, parents and supporters to create a stronger Hawaiian education pathway,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “We started this process from the beginning with setting a unified vision and taking the necessary actions that set a clear direction.”

With the recent establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Education, the DOE is now accepting applications for a director. The director will lead the incorporation of Hawaiian knowledge, practices and perspectives in all content areas; oversee and coordinate Hawaiian education programs, projects, and initiatives; and provide organizational leadership for growth of Ka Papahana Kaiapuni.

Many stakeholders, who spent the last year providing input in the strategic mission of the Office and the description of the director position, filled the boardroom. Superintendent Matayoshi thanked the stakeholders including Kamehameha Schools and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for their support.

“There has been a lot of thought and shared commitment by our community partners, Chair Don Horner and board member Cheryl Lupenui to ensure that all of our students receive quality lessons that are uniquely provided through Hawaiian Education,” added Superintendent Matayoshi. “We know there is a lot of work ahead of us to ensure that Hawaii Education is aligned to the Hawaii Common Core standards while incorporating cultural knowledge and understanding.”

Community engagement will remain a priority as the DOE continues to advance Hawaiian Education initiatives while addressing the following challenges:

  • System wide valuing of Hawaiian education for all students
  • Developing a manageable scope and focus for the Office of Hawaiian Education
  • Aligning federal and state accountability requirements for Hawaiian language assessments
  • Limited time and resources to implement policies systems-wide and prepare all students before they graduate

Individuals interested in the position of Director of the Office of Hawaiian Education can apply here. Application deadline is February 20, 2015. For more information about Hawaiian Education, please visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org.

Superintendent Matayoshi also briefed the BOE on the development of a Hawaiian language assessment. The DOE, in partnership with the University of Hawaii-Manoa, has developed a field test for Kaiapuni students that measures progress towards mastery of academic standards that is on par with the Smarter Balanced Assessment given in the English language. The field test in language arts and math for students in grades 3 and 4 enrolled in Ka Papahana Kaiapuni schools will be held this spring. DOE has requested a “double testing” waiver from the U.S. Department of Education that would allow students taking the field test to forego the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Many Kaiapuni parents have chosen to “opt out” of English language statewide assessments. When students opt out it has detrimental effects on the school’s Strive HI results. Strive HI is the DOE’s school accountability and improvement system.

“Hawaii has a unique situation of educating students who learn in an official language of the state,” noted Superintendent Matayoshi, who visited with federal officials on this issue in November 2014. “This is not about translating a test, rather offering a quality assessment in the indigenous language of Hawaii.”

HI-PAL Basketball Results – Hoop Dreams Claim Title

More than 70 youths from 10 teams participated in the HI-PAL “Click It or Ticket” 12-and-under basketball championships this past weekend at Carvalho Park.

My son doing his best to block out against the big boys!

My son doing his best to block out against the big boys!

Hoop Dreams raced past Stray-Kats 49-19 to claim the tournament title. Kaukahi Alameda scored 14 points and Kiaʻi Apele, added 12 to spark the champions. Jamichael Labuanan scored eight to lead the runners-up.

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Members of the championship Hoop Dreams squad included Alameda, Apele, Kilohana Hassenritter, Shesley Martinez, Guyson Ogata, Dominique Pacheco, Keegan Scanlan and Kaupena Yasso.

In the Third Place contest, Waiākea Titans edged Kamehameha Warriors 26-14. Johnacy Mackwelung led the Titans with 14 points. The Warriors were led by Micah Low’s six points.

Others teams participating in the event were the Andrews Hawks, B-Elite, Kaʻu Champs, Keaʻau Chargers Red, Keaʻau Chargers Black and Rise Above.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage and decrease traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaʻii Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts.

Pāhoa Pool Nighttime Swim Program Temporarily Suspended

The new nighttime swim program at the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center is being temporally suspended so the pool may be upgraded to better meet patrons’ needs.

Pahoa Pool

Until further notice, Monday, January 26, will mark the last of the nighttime open-swim sessions offered at the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center. Lighting and other safety enhancements are needed before the pilot program will be reinstated.

In response to swimmers’ requests for longer operating hours, the Department of Parks and Recreation earlier this month started keeping the pool open until 8 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.

Normal operating hours of 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. closure on weekends) will resume at the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center starting Tuesday, January 27.

Information regarding County of Hawai‘i swimming pools is available at www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-aquatics/.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

16-Year-Old Girl Dies in Single-Vehicle Crash

A 16-year-old Pāhala girl died in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday night (January 14) in Pāhala.

She was identified as Leiani Camba-Penera.

Leiani Camba-Penera

Leiani Camba-Penera

Responding to a 9:21 p.m. call, police determined that a 1994 Toyota pickup truck operated by an 18-year-old Nāʻālehu man was traveling south on Route 11, seven-tenths of a mile south of the 41-mile marker, when the driver reportedly fell asleep, ran off the right shoulder and struck a utility pole.

Camba-Penera, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m. Thursday (January 15). An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The driver was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Police believe that speed and drugs may have contributed to this traffic fatality. They have initiated a negligent homicide investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, Ext. 299. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the first traffic fatality this year compared with two at this time last year.

Hawaii Parents Informed of Higher Learning Expectations for Public School Students

Public schools across the state today welcomed back students after a three-week winter break. Students were given a letter to take home to their parents as a reminder of the upcoming spring assessments for English language arts and math.

Click to read letter

Click to read letter

The new assessments, known as Smarter Balanced, are aligned to the Hawaii Common Core standards implemented statewide at the start of the school year. The letter from Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi also included sample exercises explaining how students are being asked deeper questions that require critical thinking.

“New expectations for student learning mean we need new ways to measure how our students are performing,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “These new tests measure not only what students know, but also how well they can apply their knowledge in real-world situations.”

Smarter Balanced assessments will be administered beginning in March to students in grades three through eighth and high school juniors to measure their reading, math, writing, listening, research and thinking skills. Hawaii is a governing member of a multi-state consortium that has worked with teachers, parents and higher education faculty to develop the Smarter Balanced assessments. Over three million students across the consortium participated in the field test last year to ensure questions are valid, reliable and fair for all students.

“While this is a step forward in our plans to raise student achievement, we expect the change to the new test will result in lower scores as compared to previous years,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “However, because it is a new test aligned to new standards, we will not be comparing the results to that of the old test. Results from this year are a new starting point for students.”

The results also benefit teachers. The Smarter Balanced Assessment System offers information during the year to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are thriving and where they need help.

A number of schools held Smarter Balanced parent nights with activities during the fall. The parent letter includes additional assessment examples and tips for helping with homework.

For more information on how the Hawaii State Department of Education is striving higher with new learning standards and assessments, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

HEI Charitable Foundation Donates $30,000 to Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America

Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation has contributed $30,000 to the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation presented a $30,000 capital campaign grant to the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America in support of the organization’s mission to develop leaders for the next generation. Pictured left to right are: Rick Blangiardi (Hawaii News Now), Barry Taniguchi (KTA Super Stores), Colin Kubota (Life Scout), Alan Oshima (Hawaiian Electric), Gabe Lee (American Savings Bank) and Jeff Sulzbach (Aloha Council, BSA). Photo courtesy of Aloha Council, BSA.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation presented a $30,000 capital campaign grant to the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America in support of the organization’s mission to develop leaders for the next generation. Pictured left to right are: Rick Blangiardi (Hawaii News Now), Barry Taniguchi (KTA Super Stores), Colin Kubota (Life Scout), Alan Oshima (Hawaiian Electric), Gabe Lee (American Savings Bank) and Jeff Sulzbach (Aloha Council, BSA). Photo courtesy of Aloha Council, BSA.

The nonprofit organization – which trains and develops youth in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance – will use the HEI Charitable Foundation grant to support its Developing Leaders for Life Capital Campaign. Hawaiian Electric Industries is the parent company of American Savings Bank, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.

“The Aloha Council thanks our partners in the community, the Hawaiian Electric Companies and American Savings Bank. This grant shows their commitment to Scouting in Hawaii and the development of local boys and girls into the next generation of leaders. The grant will provide quality outdoor experiences at camp,” said Jeff Sulzbach, CEO & Scout Executive, Aloha Council, BSA.

The donation announcement was made during the Friends of Scouting Leadership Breakfast, Aloha Council BSA’s annual fund drive kick-off held on Dec. 15, 2014 at the Pacific Club. Keynote speaker Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company, launched the BSA’s 2015 campaign theme “Get Grit” by sharing his personal story of perseverance.

“Having grit, or perseverance, is important whether you’re learning how to build your first campfire or leading a customer centric organization,” said Oshima, who is overseeing the transformation of the state’s largest electricity provider into a value and results-driven energy services utility. “Scouting plays a role in equipping our youth with life lessons and leadership skills so they can persevere in the face of challenges. Hawaiian Electric applauds the Aloha Council’s commitment to positively impact Hawaii’s youth. This is a value we also share, and we are honored to partner with them in their efforts.”

“Camping and the outdoor experience are a key component of the youth scouting program so it is essential that the camp facilities are maintained and enhanced,” added Rich Wacker, president and CEO of American Savings Bank. “This grant will expand and upgrade camp facilities, which in turn will attract more attendance. ASB is proud to support the mission of the Boy Scouts to develop leaders for life.”

The Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 with help from early community leadership support. Today, the organization continues to thrive with more than 12,000 young men and women regularly engaged with nearly 5,000 volunteers on Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii Island and across the Pacific Rim.

For more information about the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America or to make a donation to the organization, visit www.alohacouncilbsa.org.

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Boy Missing Since August

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Keaʻau boy who was reported missing.

Trey Tomlinson

Trey Tomlinson

Trey Tomlinson was last seen in Hilo on August 18.

He is described as Hawaiian, 4-foot-6, 103 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Fire at Waiakea-Uka Gym Causes Change in Venue for Winter Intersession Program

The Winter Intersession Program slated for Hilo’s Stanley Costales Waiākea-Uka Gymnasium will be held at Andrews Gym due to fire damage sustained at Waiākea-Uka Gym.

Waiakea FireOriginal program dates and times will apply to the new venue located within Waiākeawaena Park at 33 West Kawailani Street in Hilo. Open to keiki enrolled in the first through six grades, the winter Intersession classes will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. weekdays starting December 22 and running through January 8, 2015.

The Department of Parks and Recreation regrets any inconvenience caused by the venue change and thanks program participants for their understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Police detectives are investigating a fire at the Waiākea Uka Gym in Hilo.

The fire was reported at approximately 4:30 a.m. Wednesday (December 10). Police and firefighters responded and found the fire concentrated at the northwest corner of the building.

Fire personnel extinguished the flames and estimated the damage to the walls and roof area at $65,000.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time but is being investigated.

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Norbert at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.