MANA WAHINE Coming to UH Hilo Performing Arts Center

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center (PAC) presents the Okareka Dance Company of New Zealand‘s all-female production MANA WAHINE, on Tuesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Their performance combines dance, theatre and film to tell the true life story of Te Aokapurangi, a young maiden from Rotorua. Captured in battle by a tribe from the far north, she returns many years later to single-handedly save her people from slaughter, as well as experiences within their own lives.

“MANA WAHINE is a vision of strength that empowers women around the world, and above all, a rich fusion of choreography, music, tikanga, Maori and performance practices, video projections, lighting and performance design . . . enriched and enlivened by the dancing of five powerhouse performers,” wrote Raewyn Whyte of Theatreview Magazine in New Zealand.

Tickets are reserved seating and priced at $25 General, $20 Discount and $12 UH Hilo/Hawaiʻi CC students (with a valid student ID) and children, up to age 17, pre-sale, and $30, $25 and $17 at the door. Tickets are available by calling the UH Hilo Box Office at 932-7490, Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., or ordering online at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.

Hospice of Hilo to Offer Presentation for Professionals

Hospice of Hilo will be offering a free presentation for community professionals serving those whose lives are affected by loss  “Grief Touches Everyone.” Participants will meet at Hospice of Hilo’s Community Room located at 1011 Waiānuenue Ave in Hilo, on Wednesday, October 25, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Facilitated by Hospice of Hilo bereavement counselors, participants will learn about common responses to loss, and how grief can affect adults and children emotionally, cognitively, physically, socially and spiritually. An overview of the organization’s free community Bereavement Services will also be provided.

The workshop is highly recommended for teachers, counselors, case managers, social workers, and caregivers.“ This well organized and informative workshop is a good introduction to grief and the resources that can help,” said a past participant.

To register or for further information contact: Anjali Kala at 961-7306 or email anjalik@hospiceofhilo.org. Please RSVP no later than October 24th.

UH Hilo Interns Join Scientists on Marine Research Expedition

Two interns from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Option Program (MOP) have recently returned from a 25-day expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, where they took part in the 2017 Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) cruise conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

School of bigeye trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) and a NMFS PIFSC CRED diver conducting fish counts at Swains Island, American Samoa, as part of the Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (Pacific RAMP). NOAA photo by Ben Ruttenburg of NMFS SEFSC.

UH Hilo’s Roseanna (Rosie) Lee and Keelee Martin were joined by UH Mānoa MOP intern Colton Johnson aboard the Research Vessel Hi’ialakai on the journey to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM), where they worked alongside regular NOAA divers as full members of survey crews, conducting Rapid Ecological Assessments (REAs) of reef fish, corals and non-coral invertebrates. Their work was guided by NOAA scientists and researchers from Papahānaumokuākea, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research and UH Hilo.

The survey crews visited Lehua, French Frigate Shoals, Laysan Island, Lisianski Island, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Midway Atoll and Kure Atoll within Papahānaumokuākea to conduct their various activities. The results of their research will help scientists gain a better understanding of the health of coral reef ecosystems throughout the archipelago.

Martin worked on the benthic (sea floor) team that counted, measured and assessed the health of the coral reefs, which are home to over 7,000 marine species. She said the experience made her a better diver, scientist and team player.

“This was a humbling and gratifying opportunity that allowed me to work in an area few people will ever see alongside acclaimed scientists mentoring me the whole way through,” Martin said.

Lee was assigned to the fish survey team, whose work included identifying, counting, and sizing fish for set intervals of time and taking photographs of their habitat. She is now a far more confident researcher and scientific diver.

“The kind of experience you get by jumping into the field and actually getting to do the same work as the established scientists you are working with is a learning experience you can’t get any other way,” Lee said.

Their work drew praise from the scientific leads on their respective teams, who both predicted amazing futures for the interns. REA fish team head Jason Leonard said Lee and Johnson “both performed at very high levels of professionalism and overcame obstacles.” Benthic team leader Stephen Matadobra said of Martin “her excitement and enthusiasm to be in the Monument and collect data gave the team a positive mood every morning.”

Martin, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science, a minor in English and a MOP certificate, wants to become a science writer. Lee, a senior, seeking a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and a MOP certificate, is still considering her career path.

The UH Hilo internships are made possible through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the NOAA PMNM Division and are available to MOP students who complete the two-week field SCUBA diving course QUEST (Quantitative Underwater Ecological Surveying Techniques). The agreement provides funding to hire up to four students each year to work on the RAMP cruises. Lisa Parr, Instructor of Marine Science, MOP Site Coordinator at UH Hilo, and Principal Investigator on the MOA says the research opportunities the program provides to work with established scientists on important research prepares the students well for careers in marine science.

“Our partnership with NOAA provides an invaluable opportunity for our students, who consistently receive outstanding reviews for their performance on the cruises, and we’re extremely proud of how well they represent UH Hilo, the Marine Option Program, and QUEST,” Parr said.

Additional information on the RAMP cruises is available at
https://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/pacific_ramp.php. For more information on the UH Hilo internships with NOAA email lparr@hawaii.edu.

Bank of Hawaii Foundation Grants $100,000 for PBS Hawai’i’s HIKI NO

Bank of Hawaii Foundation, an early backer of PBS Hawai‘i’s award-winning HIKI NŌ statewide student digital media initiative, has renewed its support with a $100,000 grant.

HIKI NŌ, primarily an education program, encourages students to hone progressive “real world” learning skills. These skills are showcased in a weekly on-air and online newscast, in which students meet national PBS professional journalism standards.

“Kudos to Leslie Wilcox and PBS Hawai‘i for championing HIKI NŌ and helping students from all islands to develop skills in a digital world,” said Peter S. Ho, Chairman, President and CEO of Bank of Hawaii. “HIKI NŌ students tell the stories of their communities with a voice and perspective that is powerful and authentic.”

Bank of Hawaii Foundation’s support dates back to the launch of HIKI NŌ in 2011. Since then, HIKI NŌ schools have become digital media stand-outs at local and national competitions.

At no cost to schools, HIKI NŌ serves 90 public, private and charter schools across the Islands, middle and high schools. Under the guidance of teachers, participating students create their stories of their communities after school hours. The Hawaii State Department of Education is considering making HIKI NŌ an official elective course in public schools.

Says PBS Hawai‘i Director of Learning Initiatives Robert Pennybacker: “Bank of Hawaii Foundation has helped open career paths to students by enabling them to gain the ability to problem-solve, persevere and meet deadlines with quality digital media work.”

Live Stream with Bernie Sanders at UH Hilo – Proposed Legislation to Make Tuition Free

Tomorrow, Tuesday October 10th, the University of Hawaii Hilo registered group Global Hope, will be showing a nation-wide streaming of Bernie Sanders proposed legislation to make public colleges and universities tuition free.

The presentation will be at 7:00pm at University of Hawaii Hilo in UCB 100.

Many in Hawaii support Bernie Sanders and will be interested in this proposal.

Commentary – Were Pahoa High and Intermediate Lunch Times Shortened Because of a Fight?

Yesterday, KHON2 News ran a news story about Pahoa’s lunches being shortened.

…Changes to the lunch program at a Hawaii island school prompted parents to reach out to us, saying their kids are being rushed to eat.

Their kids go to Pahoa High and Intermediate School, which recently started a pilot lunch program.
High school students eat during the normal 30-minute lunch break, but intermediate school students eat during recess, which is just 15 minutes long…

I received the following message on Wednesday indicating that this change in policy may have stemmed from a fight on campus… but didn’t discuss it further with the person sending me the information until tonight:

Aloha Damon, I wanted to bring something to your attention that maybe you could do some investigative reporting. Apparently Pahoa High and Intermediate administration has decided to have Intermediate student only eat lunch during first recess which is 15 minutes while the high school eats during regular lunch which is 30 minutes. When I complained to the principal she stated it was due to decreasing tardys to class during lunch time. An insider told me they did it because of a fight that occurred between a Intermediate kid and a high schooler.

When discussing this with friends on Facebook, one person posted a picture from the Pahoa Cafeteria:

My kids say they don’t even bother eating when this is what they are serving at Pahoa. ~VW

“This was what they call Baja fish taco SMH. This was on Wednesday when we went to school for student of the month luncheon I was In Shock when he came to the table with this…Home lunches from now on!!!” said Valerie Walsh.

Got Baja Fish Taco? I don’t know if I could swallow this in 15 minutes… less yet an hour!!!

UH Statement on Coach Chris Naeole’s Departure

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Football Offensive Line Coach Chris Naeole and the university have decided to part ways, UH Athletic Director David Matlin announced today.

Chris Naeole

“I want to thank Chris for his hard work and dedication to our football program,” said Head Coach Nick Rolovich. “He was critical in holding this program together in the transition from Coach Chow to myself. We wish him well in his future, and we will meet this challenge head on, because that is the Warrior way.”

Athletics Director Matlin says Naeole has had a tremendous impact on the program.
“Chris will be missed and he will always be a member of our Rainbow Warrior ʻohana,” said Matlin

Naeole spent the last four-plus years on the UH football staff, three under former head coach Norm Chow and the last one-plus under Rolovich. He also served as interim head coach after Chow’s departure.

Hawaii Department of Education Announces New Leadership Appointments

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) continues to fill top leadership positions with the following interim and permanent appointments:

L to R: Rodney Luke, Clayton Kaninau

  • Rodney Luke, interim assistant superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance
  • Clayton Kaninau, acting complex area superintendent, Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area

“I greatly appreciate having these experienced educators on my team,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “These latest appointees play a critical role in ensuring that we are engaging in targeted work at all levels of the department around the Implementation Plan’s three high impact strategies – school design, student voice and teacher collaboration.”

Rodney Luke will serve as Interim Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance, effective Oct. 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. Luke has been the Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area Superintendent since 2012. He started with the department in 1991 and has worked as a principal, vice-principal and teacher.

Clayton Kaninau will serve as Acting Complex Area Superintendent for the Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area during the period of Luke’s interim appointment. Kaninau was previously on assignment as Complex Area Academic Officer. He is a former Principal of Kauluwela Elementary School and has worked in a variety of education roles in the department since 1985.

Maunakea Speaker Series – The Growth and Evolution of Maunakea, a Geologic Story of Sibling Rivalry

The next scheduled program in the Maunakea Speaker Series will be held Tuesday, October 17th from 7 pm to 8 pm at UH Hilo Science & Technology Building (STB) Room # 108.

Is Maunakea volcano the tallest volcano in the world? Or is there another side of the story? Ken will unravel what we know about the growth and evolution of Maunakea volcano and its complicated relationship with its nearby siblings Kohala and Maunaloa.

Dr. Ken Hon is Professor of Geology and Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Ken is an enthusiastic instructor of courses including Physical Geology, Volcanoes and Earthquakes, Geology of the Hawaiian Islands, Mineralogy, Petrology, Volcanology, and Remote Sensing; with his research focusing on these same topics.

The Maunakea Speaker Series is free and open to the public. On-campus parking is open and available without charge after 4:00 pm.

For more information, visit malamamaunakea.org or call 808-933-0734

NBA Stars Help Open a Newly Refurbished Computer Lab for Students

Stevenson Middle School and the L.A. Clippers Foundation dedicated a newly refurbished computer lab earlier today before students, teachers and special guests, along with members of the L.A. Clippers Foundation and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan also joined the dedication ceremony with a special appearance by the team’s mascot, Chuck the Condor.

Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers with students on new computers in the Stevenson Middle School lab.

“Our students are so thankful for the wonderful generosity of the L.A. Clippers Foundation. The new computers will provide technology access to more students,” said Principal Linell Dilwith. “We want to thank the Hawaii Tourism Authority for connecting us with the L.A. Clippers Foundation, and a big mahalo to the foundation and Denise Booth for their hard work in making this new computer lab a reality.”

The Clippers’ mascot, Chuck the Condor, tries his hand (or wing?) on the ukulele with students.

Stevenson Middle received a donation of nearly $40,000 in computer equipment from the L.A. Clippers Foundation, including 30 HP ProDesk desktops, two Canon wireless printers and a 55-inch television for instruction. In addition to converting the classroom into a computer lab, the donation will also provide a new central air conditioning unit for the room.

“These are not just computers,” said Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the L.A. Clippers, “they’re windows to the world that I hope make learning fun. That’s really what we want to do. We want to make coming to school a better experience for students.”

Students, Gillian Zucker, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, VP Sonja Samsonas and Principal Linell Dilwith untie the official maile lei opening Stevenson Middle’s refurbished computer lab.

The computer lab will be accessible to all students for the school’s digital and online programs. Stevenson’s Media/Photography Club will be housed in the new lab and will use the equipment to produce the student newsletter and document school activities. Coincidentally, the computer lab happens to have a special room number — 213 — which corresponds to Chuck the Condor’s jersey number and LA’s area code.

Hawaii Department of Health Awarded $361K in Funding for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Efforts

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Children with Special Health Needs Branch has been awarded $361,956 in cooperative agreement funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Hawaii Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (HI-CLPPP).

The federal funding will support the state’s efforts to reduce lead exposure and lead poisoning for Hawaii children under the age of six. Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health; increase the risks for damage to the brain and nervous system; slow growth and development; and result in learning, behavioral, hearing and speech problems. Young children are at the highest risk for lead exposure because they engage in more hand-to-mouth activity, and a child’s developing nervous system is more susceptible to the effects of lead.

“Early screening and testing to identify and prevent lead exposure in young children helps ensure the healthy development of our keiki,” said Dr. Patricia Heu, chief of the DOH Children with Special Health Needs Branch. “This new funding will improve our processes to identify lead-exposed children and link their families with services to find and remove the source of lead. This will help to protect that child and other children in the family from further exposure.”

According to DOH data from 2011 to 2015, nearly 60,000 children under the age of six in Hawaii were tested for lead. Of those tested, 1,700 children (about 3 percent) had elevated blood lead levels.

“Recent research shows that there is no safe blood lead level in children.” said Danette Wong Tomiyasu, Health Resources Administration deputy director. “Keeping our keiki safe from lead hazards and lead poisoning requires collaborative efforts between our state programs, healthcare professionals, and our community. The department is committed to working with these groups to promote the healthy development of young children and to support their future success in school and life.”

The cooperative agreement funding will enable DOH to address the complex problem of childhood lead poisoning using a collaborative approach with state and community partners. The department’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office, Indoor and Radiological Health Branch/Lead-Based Paint Program, and Public Health Nursing Branch are working together with the Children with Special Health Needs Branch to implement the HI-CLPPP program.

HI-CLPPP’s purpose is to reduce lead exposure and lead poisoning for children under the age of six through strengthening blood lead level testing, surveillance, prevention, and processes to identify lead-exposed children and link them to services. Strategies and activities under the new grant will include:

  • Updating guidelines for blood lead testing.
  • Implementing a new lead database as a public health management tool.
  • Education and outreach to communities and providers.
  • Coordinating with other agencies, partners and stakeholders serving children to ensure that a comprehensive system of identification, referral, services and follow-up is in place for lead-exposed children.

Sources of lead exposure for children may include lead in paint or paint dust in houses built before 1978 when lead-based paint in housing was banned. Children may also be exposed to lead by family members who work with or have hobbies that involve contact with lead such as auto repair, welding, construction and home renovation. Other sources of lead may include fishing sinkers, jewelry, toys, glazed pottery and folk medicine made in foreign countries.

Being aware of the sources of lead and taking precautions can help protect young children from the serious effects of lead poisoning. Families can ask their doctor to test their child for lead, even if the child seems healthy. Families living in homes built before 1978 should keep children’s play areas free of paint chips and dust and take extra precaution when doing home renovation to prevent the spread of lead dust. Family members who work with lead are advised to keep work clothes and shoes away from children.

More information can be found at the department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention website at http://health.hawaii.gov/cshcn/leadpp/.

Pahoa Scholars Feast Fundraiser Update – Scholarships Available

This past Saturday, on September 30th, hundreds gathered to support the Pahoa Schools Booster Club and Scholarship Fund on the grounds of Sacred Heart Church. Following this past weekend’s successful event, the organization has announced that $5,000 will be available for the Class of
2018 scholarship awards.

The Pahoa High School Girls’ Volleyball Team joined the Boys of Youth Challenge and dozens of community volunteers in creating and delivering an awesome Vegan Lasagna and Ribeye Steak meal to over 350 hungry supporters.

Our most heart-felt thanks to everyone, including the generous contributions from Island Natural Foods, Malama Market, Tin Shack Bakery, Kalani Honua, Ning’s Thai Cuisine, Stratos Pizzeria, Black Rock Café, Pahoa Auto Parts, Paul’s Repair, Boogie Woogie Pizza, Sustainable Island Products and Bananarama Bakery.

Under the leadership of organizers Mark Hinshaw, Nancy J Kramer CPA, Aaron Ferreira and Aunty Madie Greene, a good time was had by all!

The original Scholarship Endowment was established by the family of former Hawai’i County Council Member Richard G Edwards after his passing. As a former Puna Lion’s Club member, his family chose the Lion’s Club to administer the scholarship over the years.

This past year, responsibility was passed on to Mainstreet-Pahoa Associations’s Pahoa Schools Booster Club, under the financial guidance of Nancy J Kramer CPA. The initial endowment that was transferred to the Booster Club was $21,000 and thanks to the generous contributions this year by Kaleos Bar and Grill of $5,000 and the new Puna Kai Shopping Center of $5000, the current Endowment sits at $31,000. The current 2020 goal is $50,000.

Class of 2018 Scholarships also received significant contributions. Puna Geothermal Ventures provided of $1,000, local businessman Vernon Lindsey and Lava Shack $500. Former Pahoa High School Guidance Counselor Nancy Seifers has stepped up to create the “Aunty Nancy” Scholarship of $1,000.

This year’s work on the selection process, amounts to be awarded, and application tools will begin in November. The intention of the Pahoa Booster Club is to distribute the awards among all three area schools, HAAS, Kua O Ka La and Pahoa High School, to graduating Seniors with B average or better grades, who are choosing to continue their education at a university or community college.

The Class of 2018 specific award amounts and criteria for each award will be announced when the application materials are made available at the end of the year. All three schools are encouraged to participate in the application process.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information on contributing to the Scholarship Fund should contact us at PahoaBoosterClub@gmail.com or call 965-7110.

We are most encouraged at the success of this year’s event and we are already in the planning stages for next year’s Scholars Feast, the last Saturday of September in 2018.

I mua Pahoa!

UH Campuses – Graduation and Recruitment Continue to Improve as Overall Enrollment Declines

Enrollment at the University of Hawaiʻi’s 10 campuses dropped slightly in fall 2017 to 51,674 total students, a decrease of 1,746 students, or 3.3 percent compared to fall 2016.

UH West Oʻahu is up 4.9 percent to 3,082 students, continuing the trend that began in 2012 when the school moved to its Kapolei campus. UH West Oʻahu was recently recognized as the fastest growing public baccalaureate campus in the nation. Windward Community College enrollment remained unchanged, while the other eight campuses experienced varying declines.

The overall decline was no surprise, as UH continues to graduate more students on time while competing for students with a tight local labor market experiencing extraordinarily low unemployment. University leadership remains committed to reversing the enrollment declines through a proactive enrollment management program informed by statewide data and analysis.

“We need to continue our great work increasing timely graduation of students while building greater successes in our recruitment, retention and transfer programs,” said UH President David Lassner. “There are a number of positives in this fall’s data, but it is just a start.”

For the full story, including the fall enrollment numbers, go to UH News at: http://www.hawaii.edu/news/2017/10/03/graduation-recruitment-improves-as-enrollment-declines/

Mālama Park Baseball Field in Pana‘ewa Closed for Repairs

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces Mālama Park baseball field will be closed beginning October 16, 2017 for repairs to the infield.

Parks Maintenance crews will be conducting the repairs and estimate six to eight weeks for all repairs to be complete.

The football field at the park will remain open during this time.

For more information please call Darrell Yamamoto at 961-8740.

Hawaii Department of Health Awarded $3.5 Million to Support Families Through Home Visiting Program

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has been awarded $3,510,137 in federal funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the state’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. The funds will provide voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy, and to parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.

“Home visiting services help to ensure our keiki and their families have a healthier start,” said Matthew Shim, DOH Family Health Services Division Chief. “This federal funding will allow the state to continue to provide this important service to expecting mothers and families during a critical time in their child’s development.”

The MIECHV Program serves about 850 Hawaii families each year with more than 10,000 home visits conducted statewide annually. Families are screened for eligibility in birthing hospitals, or families may contact MIECHV contracted providers online at www.yourohana.org to determine their eligibility. Services assist mothers through pregnancy and post-delivery, providing support to mothers learning to breastfeed and care for their baby’s health and early development through no-cost home visiting educational supports. Parents receive counseling to acquire knowledge and understanding of child development milestones and positive parenting techniques. Assistance is also offered to help families to set goals for the future, continue their education, and find employment and child care solutions.

During federal fiscal year 2016, 93.9 percent of pregnant women enrolled in the program accessed prenatal care before the end of their second trimester. Prenatal care is essential for ensuring the safe birth of a healthy baby. Pregnant women enrolled in the program also reported breastfeeding their infants for an average of 24.6 weeks or for the first 6 months of life as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the families enrolled in the program received counseling on the results of the child’s developmental screenings, and parents spent more time in adult education programs to move toward economic self-sufficiency by furthering their education.

“The MIECHV Program helps parents and caregivers connect with services and resources and improve the skills they need to support their families’ well-being and provide the best opportunities for their children,” said HRSA Associate Administrator for Maternal and Child Health Michael Lu, M.D., M.S., M.P.H. “In these voluntary programs, trained nurses, social workers, early childhood educators, or other trained professionals meet regularly with expectant parents or families with young children in their homes, building strong, positive relationships with families who want and need support.”

Administered by HRSA, in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the MIECHV Program gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. Funded through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 through FY 2017, the MIECHV Program is also addressing HHS’ clinical priorities such as the opioid crisis, serious mental illness, and childhood obesity. Nationwide, $342 million in funding was awarded to 55 states, territories, and nonprofit organizations.

For more information on HRSA’s Home Visiting Program, visit http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/homevisiting.

For a list of all state and county awardees, visit https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting/fy17-home-visiting-awards.

Parker School to Host Color Stampede Fun Run

Parker School invites the community to come get splashed at the 18th Annual George Heneghan Fun Run and Color Stampede on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

The starting line at last year’s Color Stampede and Fun Run at Parker School

At the color stampede, participants are splashed with different colored powder throughout the race which takes place on Parker School’s lower school campus and in the surrounding neighborhood. This event is open to the public and consists of a 1K Keiki Run which starts at 7:30 a.m. for kids ages 11 and under, followed by a 5K Fun Run/Walk at 8:00 a.m.

“We enjoy providing our community with a fun, healthy event in Waimea with the hope that our school’s athletic department can inspire others to stay active,” says Nicole Vedelli, Athletic Director at Parker School. “It is always a fun colorful event and everyone leaves happy and a little healthier too!”

This community event was established in 1999 in memory of Hawaii architect George Heneghan, an accomplished athlete, teacher and Parker cross country and track coach from 1992 to 1998.
All proceeds from the run will go to support Parker School’s athletics program.

The entry fee is $30 for adults and $25 for kids 11 and under. Register by October 16 to be guaranteed a race kit. Race kit includes a t-shirt, glasses, bracelet, color packet and a beaded necklace. Medals will be awarded to first place overall male and female finishers in the 5K run and 1K run, and first place finishers in each age category.

Parker extends special thanks to this year’s generous Heneghan Fun Run sponsors Big Island Running Company, Five Mountain Fitness, Mamane Bakery, and Ironman Triathlon.
For more information or to download a registration form, please visit www.parkerschoolhawaii.org, email nvedelli@parkerschoolhawaii.org, or call 808-885-7933 ext. 7106.

Collaborative Effort to Reduce Truancy Launched on Kauai – Truancy Court

The Fifth Circuit Court, in partnership with numerous Kauai agencies and organizations, has launched Truancy Court Collaboration, a pilot project to improve school attendance and family engagement.

A similar program at an Oahu intermediate school produced a 91 percent daily school attendance rate in 2016-17, up about 40 percent from 2015-16.

“We are very excited about this program and grateful to our partners for helping us to introduce Truancy Court Collaboration on Kauai,” said Judge Edmund D. Acoba of the Fifth Circuit’s Family Court. “We believe that this can be achieved by addressing the hardships and barriers that students and their families face through the use of positive, meaningful interventions which are culturally sensitive, and employ place-based community connections through education, engagement, and enforcement.”

Since January, Juvenile Client and Family Services (JCFS) has been working collaboratively with the Department of Education’s District Superintendent Bill Arakaki, Waimea High School Principal Mahina Anguay, Waimea Canyon Principal Melissa Speetjens, and representatives from the Department of Education’s Mokihana program, Department of Health, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Attorney General’s Office, Hale Kipa Student Attendance Support Service, Liliuokalani Trust, and the Kauai Police Department.

“This student-centered collaboration is designed to build consistent school attendance, which is critical for student achievement, graduation, and a fulfilling career,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “By encouraging family engagement, rewarding positive behavior, empowering students and holding them responsible, we give students the tools to make good choices and achieve their full potential.

“I’m grateful to Judge Acoba and all of the partners for participating in Family Court’s mission to offer a place of healing,” he said.

“The unwavering mission of Queen Liliuokalani — to ensure the well-being of Hawaiian children and ohana — is the guiding light for our work at Liliuokalani Trust,” said Systems Liaison Edralyn Caberto. “Therefore, we are very excited about the opportunity to partner with the Fifth Circuit Family Court and community stakeholders in developing innovative strategies to enhance our youths’ opportunities to succeed educationally and to thus build pathways to thriving lives.”

The need to reverse truancy is highlighted in a University of Hawaii study, which reported that up to 89 percent of Hawaii inmates said they were truants.

The West Kauai School Complex was selected to participate in this pilot program based on its strong interest in addressing truancy problems in its area.

In August, JCFS staff, Judge Acoba, Hale Kipa, Deputy Attorney General Russell Goo, and representatives from Liliuokalani Trust presented the Truancy Court Collaboration Pilot Project at Waimea Canyon’s disciplinary assembly for the eighth-graders’ parents. JCFS and Hale Kipa then made similar presentations to the sixth- and seventh-graders’ parents. The final presentation was made at Waimea High School’s open house.

Attendees learned that the DOE will identify students from the 2016-2017 school year who accumulated 15 or more absences. If the absences continue this year, the DOE will contact the family. If the DOE’s efforts to intervene are unsuccessful, a referral will be made to Hale Kipa to contact the family and do home visits. If Hale Kipa’s intervention efforts are also unsuccessful, then a referral will be made to JCFSB and a probation officer will speak to the family about court intervention if the barriers are not addressed. As a last resort, a petition will be filed and the family will have to appear in Family Court. DOE, Hale Kipa, and JCFSB will continue to collaborate to keep students on track once a referral is made to Family Court.

“The goal is to provide early assistance to families that addresses barriers to attending school or classes without having to file a petition in Family Court and requiring the student and parents to appear due to truancy,” said Judge Acoba.

If the pilot project proves effective, the hope is to eventually expand it to all the middle and high schools on Kauai.

Tomorrow – Mainstreet Pahoa Associations Scholars Feast

Stop Flu at School Clinic Information Now Available – Free Flu Shots Available

The list of schools participating in this year’s school-located flu vaccination program, Stop Flu at School, is available on the Hawaii Department of Health’s (DOH) website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/about-us/programs/stop-flu-at-school/. DOH will hold flu vaccination clinics in 167 public schools statewide from Nov. 1 through Dec. 21, 2017.

To sign up for the free flu shots available to their children, parents or guardians should complete and sign provided consent forms, and return them to schools by the deadline, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.

Information packets and vaccination consent forms will be distributed to parents through participating schools in early October. A fillable, electronic version of the consent form can be found online at https://vaxonlinereg.doh.hawaii.gov, and non-English translations of the consent form packet are available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/about-us/programs/stop-flu-at-school/.

This marks the eleventh year of the Stop Flu at School program. Since 2007, nearly 600,000 flu vaccinations have been administered at more than 300 public, private, and charter schools statewide through this voluntary program. The annual program, which provides flu vaccinations to school-age children at no cost to Hawaii families, is supported by federal funds and private contributions, resulting in a massive statewide coordination effort involving volunteers and local partnerships. Program costs have previously totaled approximately $2 million per year.

This year, the department anticipates vaccinating 35,000 public school students through the program. Flu vaccination of students at school is an effective strategy for reducing the spread of influenza in our communities and protecting those at risk of serious illness.

For more information about Stop Flu at School, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/about-us/programs/stop-flu-at-school/ or call Aloha United Way’s information and referral service at 2-1-1.

Hawaii Public School Students See Double-Digit Gains on AP Exams

Hawaii’s public school students continue to show growth on the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) Exams.

In a report released today, Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) students who were tested last May show double-digit increases in the number of exam takers, exams taken and scores of 3 or higher.

2015-16 2016-17 % Change
# of Exam Takers 5,958 6,599 +10.8 percentage points
# of Exams Taken 8,972 9,903 +10.4 percentage points
Students scoring 3, 4 or 5 3,634 4,178 +15 percentage points

“The year-over-year growth the department has shown on AP Exams since 2007 is promising, and demonstrates that our students are developing a better understanding of the advantages that the AP Program provides to prepare for college,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The number of students who are scoring 3 or higher on these exams, which has gone up by 15 percentage points since last year, shows that more students are getting the resources they need to gain college credit through this exam. My vision is to have all students take at least one AP level course or Early College course as part of their high school curriculum. Congratulations to our students and their families, teachers and school leaders on these fantastic results.”

Approximately 11 percent of the Hawaii public school students who took an AP exam in SY 2016-17 earned an AP Scholar Award. At eight HIDOE high schools, 11 students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. Additional highlights from the College Board results include:

  • 717 students at 37 HIDOE schools have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP Exams.
  • 134 students at 25 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
  • 131 students at 24 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
  • 433 students at 36 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores of 3 or higher.

For the first time in Hawaii, the AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate were awarded to students at HIDOE schools. The AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate are reported to colleges and universities as AP Scholar Awards and appear in Scholar Roster reports. The AP Capstone Diploma is granted to students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing. The AP Seminar and Research Certificate is granted to students who earn scores of 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research. Schools need to apply to College Board to become an AP Capstone school. Currently, Kalani, Mililani, Roosevelt, and Waiakea high schools are certified.

Through 38 different college-level courses and exams, AP Program provides students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams are aligned with the same high standards expected by college faculty at some of the nation’s leading liberal arts and research institutions. More than 3,800 colleges and universities annually receive AP scores. Most four-year colleges in the U.S. provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying exam scores.

For more information about the AP Exam and HIDOE results, click here.