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Board Unanimously Approves Hawaii ESSA Plan for Submission

The Hawaii Department of Education Board of Education (BOE) unanimously approved the submission of the Hawaii Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA Plan) to the U.S. Department of Education. The plan will be submitted following a 30-day opportunity for Governor David Ige to sign it.

“We appreciate the many meetings and valuable input that led up to today’s Board action,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This decision is one step forward in greatly helping our administrators who are now tasked with implementing the plan in time for the 2017-18 school year, which starts as early as two weeks for some of our schools.”

The ESSA Plan serves as Hawaii’s application for federal funds, providing resources for our schools to support students in achieving equity and excellence. The plan takes advantage of flexibility by leading with the state’s aspirations, goals and plans as described in the Governor’s Blueprint for Public Education and the joint Strategic Plan.

In testimony submitted by Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area administrators, praised the process of developing the plan stating, “Ongoing participation for input and feedback via surveys and face-to-face meetings were provided to learn more about the direction of our Department. We understand that the ESSA plan aligns with our State Strategic Plan and provides overarching guidance while leaving discretion to the schools to determine customized priorities and needs of our community.”

Since January 2016, the Hawaii State Department of Education sought input from educational communities to inform development of the ESSA Plan. Engagement included:

  • 230 meetings to share information and gather feedback with legislative leaders, the Hawaii State Teachers Association, school leaders, the Hawaii State Student Council, and more;
  • 35 presentations and 450 pieces of testimony considered by the BOE; and
  • 458 online survey submissions providing feedback as part of a public comment period.

In his letter of support for the ESSA Plan, Governor Ige noted, “The past year has been unprecedented in the engagement of our statewide community in the development of our education blueprint, strategic plan, and state plan for ESSA. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all teachers, administrators, and community members who submitted testimony and provided input into this plan.”

For more information about the ESSA Plan, click here. To view today’s BOE presentation, click here.

Hawaii Board of Education Names Interim Education Leadership

The Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) today announced its appointment of Keith Hayashi as interim superintendent.  Hayashi is currently the deputy superintendent at the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) until the end of June 30, 2017. In July, he will serve as superintendent for a month-long interim basis.

L to R: Keith Hayashi, Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Amy Kunz. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The interim deputy superintendent during this transition period will be current senior assistant superintendent, Amy Kunz.

“I want to thank Keith and Amy for ensuring continuity of operations through their interim appointments until the new superintendent starts in August,” said BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto. “Both leaders understand the work at hand and will be assisting Dr. Kishimoto as she makes her transition to head the Department.”

Current Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi will end her term on June 30 after serving in the position since 2010. Last month, the BOE announced its selection of Christina Kishimoto, Ed.D.  as the next HIDOE superintendent. Kishimoto’s official start date is Aug. 1, 2017.

Kishimoto is currently transitioning out of her position as superintendent for the Gilbert Public School district in Arizona. She is in Hawaii this week to meet briefly with board members and HIDOE staff.

“I realize this is a critical time and I want to thank Superintendent Matayoshi and her team for bringing me up to speed as we work towards a smooth transition,” stated Kishimoto. “I’m grateful for the time and diligence of all those who want to ensure that I can hit the ground running.”

Hayashi is a former complex area superintendent and has served as principal at Waipahu High School since 2009. In February 2017 he was appointed deputy superintendent. He plans to return to Waipahu High at the conclusion of his interim appointment.

Kunz was appointed in 2011 as assistant superintendent of the office of fiscal services and chief financial officer. In 2014, she was appointed to senior assistant superintendent to oversee the additional offices of information technology services, human resources and school facilities and support services.

Hawaii Board of Education Selects Next Superintendent

The State of Hawaii Board of Education (BOE) is pleased to announce it has selected Christina Kishimoto, Ph.D. as the incoming Superintendent to lead the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE).  After a rigorous search process that spanned several months and 92 applicants, the BOE interviewed two final candidates on May 11, 2017 before making its decision.

“Because both finalists were so highly qualified, it was a difficult decision for the Board,” said BOE Chairperson Lance Mizumoto who led the committee that conducted the search. “In the end, however, we felt that Dr. Kishimoto has the right combination of experience, knowledge, and focus to implement the strategic vision for educational change set forth in the Governor’s Blueprint for Education and the BOE and HIDOE’s newly revised joint strategic plan.  We invite the state to join us in welcoming Dr. Kishimoto with respect, generosity, and warmth.”

Kishimoto signed a three-year contract and will start on August 1, 2017.  She will begin her transition out of her current role as Superintendent of the Gilbert Public Schools (GPS) district in Arizona.

“It is with great excitement and honor that I accept this critical education leadership position for the State of Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Education,” said Kishimoto.  “In partnership with Chairperson Mizumoto, the Board, and Governor David Ige, I look forward to implementing a vision of excellence for all students.  I look forward to working hand in hand with Hawaii’s teachers, leaders, staff, parents, community members, and student leaders to execute on this vision of high quality college, career, and community readiness.”

“We are excited to have someone with a track record of reducing achievement gaps and a commitment to school empowerment to lead our public school system,” stated BOE member and former HIDOE teacher and administrator Patricia Bergin.  “I am confident that Dr. Kishimoto will bring fresh ideas to our system, and her strong family ties to Hawaii and her excitement to embrace the foundational pieces of our system, such as Nā Hopena A‘o, demonstrates that she understands and respects Hawaii’s uniqueness.”

University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Education professor and a member of the advisory group to the search committee Patricia Halagao stated, “I was impressed with Dr. Kishimoto’s focus on school design models that celebrate and sustain our diversity of language and culture. As a former public school teacher and someone who now trains teachers, I also appreciate how Dr. Kishimoto elevates teachers as educational experts and aims to create a system conducive for us to thrive and do what we do best—teach.”

Kishimoto has been the GPS Superintendent since July 2014.  She is recognized nationally as a visionary leader in education for her reform work in school turnaround and portfolio school development. Kishimoto earned a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Connecticut and a doctorate from Columbia University.  In June 2014, she completed two years of board service on the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, an organization focused on student centered practices and policies.

During the selection process, the BOE conducted a thorough background check, which included civil, criminal, financial, and educational verifications. Chairperson Mizumoto added, “In addition, district officials, former Superintendents, and other individuals in the Gilbert district were contacted. Various negative statements made about Dr. Kishimoto were either inconsequential or simply invalid.”

Next month, the BOE will hold a news conference to formally introduce Kishimoto as the new HIDOE superintendent.

Outgoing HIDOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi ends her term on June 30, 2017. The BOE plans to name an interim Superintendent to serve during the transition month of July.

“Congratulations and best wishes to Christina,” said Supt. Matayoshi. “I’m confident she will build on the progress made to improve our public education system, and continue to keep students at the center of all that we do.”

The BOE formulates statewide educational policy and appoints the Superintendent as the chief executive officer of the public school system.  For more information about the Superintendent search and process, please visit the BOE’s website at http://boe.hawaii.gov.

Statement by Governor David Y. Ige:

I welcome Dr. Christina Kishimoto to this important post. While Dr. Kishimoto will lead the effort to remodel our school system, she will need the support of the entire community. Her success will be our success. Together, we can ensure that those closest to our students are empowered to make decisions that provide the basics and add the new skills our children need to prosper in the future.

I commend the Board of Education for its hard work in making this selection. Board members conducted an unbiased search and considered many well-qualified candidates. The success of our students was at the heart of their decision.

Mahalo to Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi who led a reform effort that created a solid foundation upon which we will continue to build and improve.

Hawaii Governor Appoints Darrel Galera to Board of Education

Gov. David Ige has appointed former public school teacher and principal Darrel Galera to the Board of Education.

Darrel Galera was appointed to the Board of Education today.

Darrel Galera was appointed to the Board of Education today.

Galera has a rich background in public education in Hawai‘i. He is the School Leadership Consultant and Coach for the Hawai‘i Center for Instructional Leadership and is currently serving as chairman of the Governor’s ESSA Team (Every Student Succeeds Act).

Galera began his career in education as a social studies teacher at Moanalua High School where he was named Teacher of the Year in 1984. He has also served as principal at Shafter Elementary, S.W. King Intermediate, ‘Aiea Elementary, Moanalua High and Castle High. Galera has been recognized as the Hawai‘i National Distinguished High School Principal of the Year, Central O‘ahu District Principal of the Year and the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program’s Distinguished Teacher, 1989 (Washington, D.C.).

A graduate of Waipahu High School, Galera earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration and bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies at the University of Hawai‘i.

“Darrel has been instrumental in engaging the public all across the state to help build the blueprint for our public school system. His service on the board will help bridge the work of the Board of Education and the ESSA Team,” said Gov. Ige.

“It’s truly an honor and privilege to serve our students and schools. I’m inspired by Governor Ige’s vision and plan for public education in Hawai‘i,” Galera said.

Galera replaces Jim Williams who resigned from the board last month.

Hawaii State BOE Approves Science for the Next Generation

The Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) earlier this week, approved the adoption of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which brings a more engaging and enjoyable approach to learning science.

Photo Credit: Department of Education

Photo Credit: Department of Education

The new standards are interwoven across disciplines, including connections to language arts and mathematics. They set the following student performance expectations:

  • Disciplinary Core Ideas (science specific concepts in the life, earth, engineering and physical sciences),
  • Science and Engineering Practices (the practices of engaging in scientific investigation to answer questions, and engineering design to solve problems),
  • Crosscutting Concepts (conceptual ideas common to all areas of science).

NGSS replaces the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards III for Science.

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) now starts a four-year implementation plan, which will be presented at an upcoming BOE meeting.

“Unlike previous content standards the NGSS is aimed to excite young people about science and engineering,” said Suzanne Mulcahy, assistant superintendent of the office of curriculum, instruction and student support. “The NGSS aligns with our strategic approach to preparing students for life because it effectively connects scientific concepts to careers.”

HIDOE is targeting full implementation of NGSS in school year (SY) 2018-2019 for secondary schools and SY 2019-2020 for elementary schools. HIDOE is moving forward to develop resources, supports, and assessments with teacher input, and collaboration with local education partners including Hawaii P-20, University of Hawaii, regional National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA; as well as national educational organizations including the Council of Chief State School Officers, National Science Teachers Association and Council for State Science Supervisors.​

For more information about NGSS visit http://ngss.nsta.org/.