Hawaii State Department of Education Announces Historic Sustainable Energy Program

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is embarking on a multiyear effort to harness sustainable energy and modernize campuses while expanding real-world educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

DOE ReleaseYesterday, the DOE announced it has selected Chevron Energy Solutions to help lead implementation of the five-year sustainable energy program, to be called Ka Hei.

The name Ka Hei comes from a specific type of snare used by the Hawaiian god Maui to capture the sun, according to Hawaiian tradition. The DOE’s Hawaiian Language Immersion Program educational specialists provided the name for this ambitious program.

Ka Hei will include the installation of sustainable energy generation equipment in all public schools statewide, positioning the DOE among the state’s foremost environmental stewards.

Another meaning of Ka Hei is, “to absorb as knowledge or skill.” As an extension of facility upgrades, Ka Hei will feature educational opportunities to engage students and staff in energy awareness and STEM. Components of the program include living laboratories, energy conservation hands-on learning, green energy simulators, STEM career exposure and student school contests. Students will receive real-time data on clean energy systems, creating relevant lessons about real-world scenarios.

Educational, environmental and financial benefits of Ka Hei will extend well beyond the five-year plan. The initiative will help boost student achievement in STEM while enhancing the financial stability of the DOE through the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and other sustainability projects.

“Ka Hei offers exciting opportunities on a number of levels, from educating our students about a multitude of energy components and workforce opportunities to strengthening communities and partnerships in the state’s energy sustainability goals,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Additionally, Ka Hei is a critical pillar of the DOE’s Strategic Plan to enhance learning opportunities in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We look forward to our partnership with Chevron Energy Solutions in shaping curricula for our schools and collaboration with our utility companies in exploring all that this program has to offer.”

Speaking at a press conference today at Kaimuki High, one of several DOE campuses currently powered partly by rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, Matayoshi reinforced the DOE’s commitment to Hawaii’s sustainable future. In 2011, the DOE began a pilot program to install PV systems at four Oahu high schools. The pilot expanded a year later to include 28 more schools on Oahu, and all 15 on Kauai. Building on the success of the pilot, which now includes a total of 47 schools on Oahu and Kauai, the DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services is rolling out the Ka Hei program.

Ka Hei Phase I will begin implementation of renewable energy integration at three schools – one each on Maui, Hawaii Island and Oahu. As schools become more self sufficient, they can add additional value to the integrated electric grid of the future. The DOE will be a pioneer among the nation’s school districts by demonstrating the commitment and capability to becoming self-reliant for energy needs.

Brian Kealoha, regional manager for Chevron Energy Solutions, said, “Ka Hei is a comprehensive program that goes well beyond a traditional facilities improvement project but rather, focuses on driving broad-based impacts and results for the Department of Education and the communities which it serves.”

The DOE and Chevron Energy Solutions are working with Hawaiian Electric Company to find solutions to anticipated limitations on distributed generation on some neighborhood circuits.

“Hawaiian Electric Company is at the cutting edge of integrating utility-scale and customer-sited renewable energy generation and our collaboration with the Department of Education and Chevron Energy Solutions is key to ensuring that our future generations understand and act upon the importance of energy sustainability in our island state,” said Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Dick Rosenblum.

The overarching goals for Ka Hei are:

· Reduce energy consumption and cost at all 255 DOE schools;
· Build a diverse portfolio of new, clean, and on-site energy generation;
· Implement aggressive energy efficiency and conservation measures including demand response;
· Support the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative goals and the DOE’s goal of 90 percent clean energy by 2040; and
· Leverage this transformation to create educational opportunities and stimulate the economy through employment of local expertise and labor.

Kaimuki High administrators today demonstrated the school’s data dashboard showing real-time feeds of its energy system. Kaimuki High, in partnership with the Office of Naval Research, will integrate renewable energy efforts into its curriculum beginning fall 2014 with the debut of a STEM Academy. Kaimuki’s STEM Academy is part of the school’s Wall-to-Wall Academies, featuring college-style classes providing personalized education as well as college and career preparation for students. The STEM Academy will focus on the engineering design process.

“Kaimuki High is not only doing its share to heighten the awareness of energy efficiency and sustainability but we are also raising the bar of student learning in STEM subjects and career pathways,” said Wade Araki, principal. “We are very excited about expanding our pilot efforts and the department’s partnerships going forward to shape our curriculum into real-world application.”

New DOE Website Makes School Growth Data Transparent to Public

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to make available to parents, students and the broader Hawaii community a public version of the Hawaii Growth Model data visualization website.

This interactive website allows users to click among multiple data streams comparing the state’s Complex Areas, schools and student groups, generating bubble charts that plot how those groups are faring according to two key yardsticks: Proficiency and Growth.

lets get started

“The launch of the public Hawaii Growth Model data visualization website is an exciting step in the Department’s journey to provide better information about school performance, in timely, easy-to-access, user-friendly ways,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “The ability to visualize growth data in context with how a school or Complex is performing in relation to others over time is critical to building understanding and collaborative action.”

Explore our website at HawaiiPublicSchools.org for key information about this powerful new tool:

· An overview of the Growth Model, with a navigation video of the Growth Model website;
· Frequently Asked Questions about the Growth Model.
In addition to viewing student growth data by school and Complex Area, users can drill down into rich data sets and view:

· School performance on the Strive HI Index
· Median growth percentiles
· Student proficiency
· Performance among student groups
Since summer 2013, DOE teachers and key staff have been using a private version of the Growth Model website to analyze student achievement data that helps inform instruction and guide school initiatives. The staff website is protected by federal and DOE regulations from being released publicly. Users of the public Growth Model website cannot view data for populations of fewer than 20 students.

By making comprehensive data sets easily sortable and searchable, the Growth Model website supports all three goals of the Department’s Strategic Plan: Student Success, Staff Success, and Successful Systems of Support.

Explore the Hawaii Growth Model website here: http://growthmodel.hawaiipublicschools.org

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. To learn more about the Department, its goals and vision for success, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

40 Students Get Food Poisoning at Oahu Elementary School

The Hawaii State Departments of Education (DOE) and Health (DOH) are conducting an investigation to determine what caused several Waipahu Elementary students to become ill today shortly after lunch.

DOE Release

About 40 students were identified as being sick with symptoms that may indicate food poisoning starting at about 1:15 p.m. Affected students were treated on campus by Emergency Medical Services personnel and transported to area hospitals for further evaluation.

The DOE will be providing temperature logs and a sample lunch to DOH officials for analysis. Officials will also investigate outside factors such as any food students and staff may have brought to the campus, or whether anyone came to school sick. Nearly 1,150 students attend Waipahu Elementary.

Meals served at Hawaii’s public schools adhere to strict state and federal food safety guidelines.

“The safety and wellbeing of our students are paramount,” said School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our food services branch is collaborating with state health officials to pinpoint the source of today’s outbreak. We thank parents for their patience and we wish all students a speedy recovery.”

Parents who observe their child showing symptoms of being sick are asked to contact his or her doctor and notify the school.

 

Hawaii State Department of Education Announces Oahu Bus Vendors for 2014-15 School Year

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) has taken another major step in the overhaul of its student transportation system. Before the Board of Education (BOE) Finance and Infrastructure Committee meeting today, the DOE announced that Roberts Hawaii and Ground Transport, Inc. were selected as Oahu bus vendors for the following school year, 2014-15.

DOE Release

The contracts are among major reform efforts underway since December 2012 to meet recommendations by the State Office of the Auditor and the DOE’s transportation consultant, Management Partnership Services (MPS) to make fundamental changes to the bus procurement process.

Contracts were awarded to Roberts Hawaii School Bus and Ground Transport, Inc. on November 27 following a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that began in July 2013. The RFP was divided into seven clusters, and 305 school bus routes on the island of Oahu, with Roberts receiving 181 routes, and Ground the other 124.

The awards were based on best value, which considers cost and quality. In all, the combined award amount for the two companies was nearly $21 million for 2014-15. The RFP incorporated a completely revised contract performance management process that will result in more effective oversight of operations and transportation expenditures.

The DOE’s bus transportation reform efforts, known collectively as the “Get on Board” program, is a multi-year, multi-phased effort to transform how the DOE delivers transportation services to its students. The initiative resulted from a comprehensive study by MPS commissioned after 100 bus routes were eliminated in June 2012 due to rising contract costs and budget cuts. MPS determined that a fundamental overhaul of the DOE’s Student Transportation Services Branch was needed, including changes to contracting practice to encourage competitive pricing, clarify expectation and improve contract management.

“Get on Board” officially launched earlier this school year when bus service was restored to as many as 1,000 students at 32 schools in the Aiea, Moanalua, Pearl City, Radford and Waipahu High complex areas. Last month, the second phase of “Get on Board” got underway with service reinstated to 200 students from August Ahrens Elementary, Highlands Intermediate, Pearl City High and Waipahu High. It was during the program’s second phase that the use of Transfinder’s RoutefinderPro computerized software was used to optimize stop times and route directions in a portion of the service area.

The report also noted Hawaii’s unique geography and relatively closed market as additional constraints to the procurement system. Specifically, MPS recommended the DOE pilot a revised business model, “Get on Board” for 2013, and execute a revised competitive procurement process for contracts in the 2014-15 school year. Another MPS recommendation led to the signing of two State Senate bills by Gov. Neil Abercrombie that gave the DOE more flexibility in how it awards bus contracts.

“The reforms in the delivery of student transportation services are key contributors to enhancing the educational experiences of our students,” said Raymond L’Heureux, assistant superintendent for the DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services. “The RFP process is an example of how the DOE continues to focus on innovations and technologies that will allow us to deliver our services in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”

The DOE’s school bus transportation system serves more than 35,000 students annually through 700 buses operated by 12 contractors on five islands: Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii Island.

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Hawaii’s public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Hawaii Sex Education Program to be Reviewed

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) will be placing Pono Choices implementation on hold as it conducts another review of the pilot curriculum. Pono Choices is a medically accurate teen pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention program funded by the federal Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) and developed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa Center on Disability Studies (CDS).

DOE ReleaseLeila Hayashida, DOE’s Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support stated, “Recent concerns over the department’s sexual education curriculum have resulted in misstatements and misunderstandings about the learning that takes place in the classroom. Pono Choices is a pilot curriculum and is one of seven DOE approved curricula for schools to use for sexual health education. We recently asked the CDS to address public concerns about the curriculum’s descriptions of healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships.”

Following the 2013 fall semester, Pono Choices curriculum implementation will be placed on hold while the CDS addresses concerns and the DOE completes another review process.

“We look forward to the review process as this will provide us with the opportunity to address any concerns the department may have with the curriculum” said Kelly Roberts, Ph.D., principal investigator for Pono Choices. “Our goal is to have a positive impact, reducing teen pregnancy and preventing STIs, through the use of medically accurate and evidence-based curricula. We appreciate the parents who attended our informational sessions and provided valuable feedback while obtaining answers to their questions regarding the curriculum.”

During the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, 12 DOE schools chose to implement the Pono Choices curriculum as a part of sexual health education. Each school held parent informational sessions prior to use. Eight other DOE schools are scheduled to receive training this school year. These 20 DOE schools, if implementing sexual health education prior to finalization of the second DOE review of Pono Choices, will need to select and use another curriculum.

Sexual Health Education is taught in middle schools and is focused on the short-and long-term effects and consequences of sexual activity, such as an unintended pregnancy or STIs. All DOE approved Sex Education courses are in compliance with the Board of Education’s abstinence-based sex education Policy 2110. For any course or lesson that is considered “controversial,” parents have the option of opting-out their child. This is in compliance with DOE regulation 2210.

 

Statement by Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Matayoshi on Senate Bill 1

Hawaii State Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi today made the following statement to address the rising discussion over the DOE’s role in the current special session regarding Senate Bill 1:

DOE Release“It has come to our attention that statements are being made before the Legislature claiming to represent the State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) and what is taught in our public schools.

“For the record, the DOE does not have marriage as a lesson in its curriculum. The DOE and its public schools remain committed to teaching all students regardless of their home situation. We understand that our students come from a variety of backgrounds, whether the adult caregivers in their lives are married, single, in a civil union, a grandparent, foster parents or incarcerated parents, are divorced, or divorced and remarried. Whatever the case may be, we support, care for and educate all children to help them fulfill their potential. We teach students how to treat each other with respect and aloha. We hope that all adults can share in the responsibility as a community of living aloha.

“The DOE is also equally committed to providing a safe and enjoyable learning atmosphere for students, families and educators and promoting a sense of belonging and acceptance for all in our school communities.”

Hawaii Department of Education Revises Graduation Rates After Learning of Data Errors

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today reported revised high school graduation rate results. The data changes affect the statewide graduation rate percentage, graduation rates for 37 high schools and the status of 11 schools in the Strive HI Performance System.

The Strive HI Performance System is designed to measure and understand school performance and progress and help tailor rewards, supports and interventions for improvement.

Following an internal review of 2012 graduation rate data initially reported in August, the DOE identified a programming omission that incorrectly coded outcomes for 205 students. The DOE immediately corrected the data and notified affected schools.

“Learning of data errors, particularly this late in the year, is frustrating, complicates communication with school faculties and communities, and disrupts improvement efforts,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “There is no excuse for these errors. We have notified affected schools and I have directed a number of internal actions designed to ensure the accuracy and transparency of our data processes.”

Specifically, the DOE is implementing quality assurance processes to ensure the integrity of data collection and use.

“The Strive HI Performance System transforms the way we look at the performance of our schools so we can have a deeper understanding of their progress and what’s needed to improve,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “Our complex area superintendents, principals and teachers are using the Strive HI data to have meaningful conversations and take action to improve student outcomes.”

Under the Strive HI Performance System, schools earn points based on achievement, growth, readiness and achievement gap measures. In combination with additional factors, schools are classified into one of the following five steps: Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone.

For most of the 37 high schools with corrected graduation rates, there are minor changes to their Index score and no changes to their Strive HI classification. The updated Strive HI Performance Systems Results are posted at HawaiiPublicSchools.org. The corrections to the statewide graduation rate are:

Graduation Rates

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. To learn more about the Department, its goals and vision for success, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.​

Nevada School Shooting Prompts Hawaii Department of Education to Ramp Up School Safety Drills

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) this week is ramping up its school safety drills in partnership with the Honolulu Police Department (HPD). Beginning this week, DOE and HPD will conduct safety drills at several high schools on Oahu.
DOE Release
“While these drills were planned for some time, we recognize that the tragedy that took place at a Nevada school this morning reinforces the need for continued diligence in ensuring our schools are prepared for emergency situations,” noted Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We extend heartfelt sympathies to the school community in Nevada and the families who have lost their loved ones.”

In addition to the HPD emergency drill partnership, the DOE conducts annual training for all security personnel with continued research into security best practices and the latest technology. Last year, the DOE’s Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness Branch teamed up with HPD to address heightened concerns over active shooters following incidents on mainland school campuses.

“We appreciate the partnership with HPD and thank our school communities for their understanding of upcoming emergency drills at our schools,” stated Matayoshi.

Hawaii State Department of Education Recognizes 2013 Employee and Team of the Year

Yesterday, the Hawaii State Department of Education presented its Employee of the Year award to Donna Therrien, a former district support teacher whose educator effectiveness training has served as a model for the state.

The 2013 DOE Team of the Year, the Kaala Food Services team, includes​ Arleen Asato, Derna Duarte, Pearla Kesolei, Kaiulani Kinoshita, Susie Lee and Georgette Ralar.

The 2013 DOE Team of the Year, the Kaala Food Services team, includes​ Arleen Asato, Derna Duarte, Pearla Kesolei, Kaiulani Kinoshita, Susie Lee and Georgette Ralar.

The Kaala Food Services Team took the DOE’s Team of the Year award for its dedication to shaping positive student behaviors and serving nutritious meals.

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe and Hawaii State Board of Education member Amy Asselbaye honored four employees and team nominees at the DOE Incentive and Service Awards held at the state Capitol auditorium.

The program recognizes employees who have made special and continued contributions to improve the quality and effectiveness of Hawaii’s public school system.

“The dedication and professionalism of these exemplary employees inspire all of us to always strive high to do our very best for Hawaii’s students and their families,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “They have played critical roles in our ongoing transformation aimed at ensuring all students are equipped to succeed in college and careers.”

In the 2012-13 school year, Therrien took it upon herself to provide educator effectiveness training for teachers in all 16 schools in the Castle-Kahuku complex area. Her professional development sessions covered all key components of the teacher observation protocol and helped participants implement strategies to boost student achievement.

Donna Therrien

Donna Therrien

Therrien has also assisted in the DOE’s transition to the Common Core State Standards. She rewrote the English language arts Common Core shifts with detailed instructional strategies to help educators.  Capturing best practices from kindergarten to grade 12, Therrien inspired teachers with videos, lessons and student work captured in Hawaii’s public schools. A National Board Certified teacher, Therrien also mentored candidates pursuing Board certification by providing feedback on written portfolios, videotaping and reviewing lessons.

Outside of work, she serves as a board member of the Aikahi Elementary School Community Council, where she continues to share resources and solutions to improve student achievement. Therrien is currently working as an administrator at Hawaii Technology Academy Public Charter School.

The six-member Kaala Food Services Team works seamlessly to provide meals to some 450 students, 75 staff members as well as children enrolled in the Head Start Program.

The team, whose members include are Arleen Asato, Derna Duarte, Pearla Kesolei, Kaiulani Kinoshita, Susie Lee and Georgette Ralar, helps engage parents and support student achievement with their involvement in over 38 community activities, including an evening Read Aloud Program.

For the past three school years, the team has provided new food experiences to students through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. About 85 percent of Kaala students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and nutritious meals are critical to meet student’s basic needs and prepare them to learn.

The Kaala Food Services team also plays a key role toward improving facilities through the School Safety Committee and the Annual School Inspection Program.

Therrien and the Kaala Food Services team will represent the DOE in the annual Governor’s Award for Distinguished State Service in October.

Today’s event also recognized the outstanding efforts of others within the Department.

Sustained Superior Performance Award

  • Susan Harper, Curriculum Coordinator and Success for All Facilitator, Makawao Elementary, Maui District.
  • Catherine L. Kaide, School Food Service Manager, Hilo Union Elementary, Hawaii District.
  • Daralyn Ramos, Personnel Regional Officer Clerk, Central District Office, Office of Human Resources.

Team Excellence Award of Merit

  • Makawao Elementary Cafeteria Staff, Maui District:  Stephanie Bayne, Sandra Calasa, Tiffany Calasa, Kwi Ae Esquibel, Phyllis Freitas, Antoinette Robinson, Nancy Shimabukuro, Ashley Waipa.
  • School Administrative Services Assistant Academy Team, Office of Fiscal Services: Cindi Akuna, Curtis Chang, Adele Chong, Kevin Drake, Erin Ebisuya, Earlyne Harada, Scott Jeffrey, Miki Kamimura, Tammy Keller, Lynn Kitaoka, Karie Klein, Rie Kodama, Gail Morimoto, Gail Nakaahiki, Elden Nakamura, Frances Pitzer, May Price, Lawrence Suan, Coleen Tanaka, Adri Wilson, Tracy Yoshikane.
  • Waianae Complex Student Services Coordinators, Oahu District:  Kelly Kalinowsky, Grace Lorenzo, Kathy Mitchell, Gail Nakao, Mary Stamps, Mariko Thompson, and Kristy Wagatsuma.

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the 10th largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and serves more than 183,000 students. Hawaii’s public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Nine Schools Receive Adjustments to Strive HI Performance System Results

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today issued adjustments to Strive HI Performance System results for nine schools. The revisions were made after further analysis of the system’s criteria.

“The Department continues to fine tune its process to ensure schools receive timely, accurate information to assist with their improvement efforts,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We appreciate schools’ patience and collaboration during the transition to the new Strive HI Performance System, which provides us all with more comprehensive information to understand schools’ performance and progress.”

The Strive HI Performance System is the DOE’s new school accountability and improvement system approved in May by the U.S. Department of Education. It replaces many requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) with multiple measures of success to meet the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators and schools. Schools earn points based on achievement, growth, readiness and achievement gap measures. In combination with several automatic classification factors, these points determine a school’s classification into one of five steps: Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone.

The adjustments made to the nine schools were based on the following reasons:

1. Chronic Absenteeism: The Department incorporated new chronic absenteeism data for elementary charter schools that had been previously excluded.
2. Graduation rule: The Department corrected an error whereby high schools were classified as Priority schools based on only two years of graduation rate data when the rules require three years of data.
3. Change in number of Focus Schools: Changes in the number of schools classified as Focus and Priority allowed for one school to move up from Focus into Continuous Improvement status.

Below is a summary of the adjustments:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

More information about the Strive HI Performance System can be found at HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

On Tuesday, the DOE recognized 14 top-performing schools for exceptional achievement with awards ranging from $20,000 to $95,000. These schools were “recognition” schools – those demonstrating the highest progress towards raising student achievement, graduation rates, and closing the achievement gap.

14 Hawaii Public Schools Rewarded With $1 Million for Exceptional Achievement

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today rewarded 14 public schools with $1 million for exceptional achievement as part of the state’s new Strive HI Performance System.

DOE Release

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Don Horner, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and other state officials attended a ceremony at Red Hill Elementary – one of the top-performing schools – to present individual awards ranging from $20,000 to $95,000.

“These exemplary educators, staff, students and their families share a belief and commitment to always Strive HI,” said Governor Abercrombie. “I applaud their resilience and dedication to provide the very best opportunities to all children.”

“We are excited to provide well-deserved recognition and support to help schools continue to excel in preparing students for college and careers,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “To get to this point is not easy. Yet these principals and teachers have shown what is possible through a unified effort, hard work and dedication.”

Strive HI, the state’s redesigned school accountability and performance system, measures key success indicators and provides rewards to “Recognition” schools – those demonstrating the highest progress toward raising student achievement, graduation rates, and closing the achievement gap.

Notably, more than half, or nine of the state’s 14 “Recognition” schools are Title I, meaning they overcame challenges associated with serving a large number of disadvantaged children from low-income families. Red Hill Elementary is one of the Title I schools that worked with its community to focus on intervention programs for student success.

“Our hardworking teachers’ dedication and commitment to our students are why we are able to celebrate today,” said Red Hill Elementary Principal Mona Smoot. “These funds will play a critical role in allowing schools such as ours to continue to focus on student success and to align our school to common core state standards.”

Award funds must support initiatives to sustain success such as professional development, investments in technology, musical instruments, science lab and equipment, among other improvement strategies.

The 14 “Recognition” schools and their awards are:

Highest Performance and High Progress ($95,000 each)

· Ahuimanu Elementary
· Red Hill Elementary
· Waters of Life Public Charter School

Highest Performance ($75,000 each)

· E.B. de Silva Elementary
· Hickam Elementary
· Hokulani Elementary
· Lanakila Elementary
· Liholiho Elementary
· Manoa Elementary
· Maunaloa Elementary
· Palisades Elementary
· Pearl Ridge Elementary
Highest Progress ($20,000)

· Kalihi Uka Elementary
· Konawaena Elementary
About the Strive HI Performance System

The federal government in May approved the Strive HI Performance System to replace outdated aspects of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Under NCLB, schools were graded on whether students met escalating annual reading and math benchmarks, known as Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP. In that system, AYP status was a single indicator and crude instrument that led directly to a series of strict, escalating consequences.In contrast, the Strive HI Performance System serves as more of a diagnostic tool to understand and support a school’s performance and progress on multiple, research-based indicators, including reading, math and science scores, achievement growth and gaps, chronic absenteeism, graduation rates, college readiness and enrollment.

The inaugural Strive HI Awards were held last spring, when 32 schools received nearly $1 million to further improvement efforts.

The Strive HI Performance System goals are aligned with the Hawaii State Board and Department of Education’s 2011-18 Strategic Plan. For school-by-school results and more information, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Strive HI Awards criteria

“Recognition” schools are limited to no more than five percent of all Hawaii public schools.

· High-performing school criteria:

- Meet or exceed annual targets for all student groups.

- Graduation rates in top 10 percent of all high schools.

- Current year achievement gap rate less than 30 percent.

· High-progress school criteria:

- Increases of 15 percent or higher of all students’ proficiency over three years.
- Highest increases in grad rates (top 10 percent of schools with increase of 10 percent over three years).
- Reduction of achievement gap rate between high-needs and non-high needs students by 10 percent or more over three years.

 

Majority of Hawaii’s Class of 2013 Did Not Meet ACT’s College-Readiness Benchmarks

The ACT early today released the results of the graduating Class of 2013’s performance on its college-readiness exam. A record 5,345 Hawaii students in both public and private schools took the ACT test in spring 2012, representing a 75 percent increase from the Class of 2010. However, results show a majority of Hawaii’s Class of 2013, similar to the rest of the nation, did not meet the test’s college-readiness benchmarks. The data reinforces the importance of the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) focus on supporting all students for success after high school.

The 5,345 Hawaii students, most of whom took the ACT as juniors in 2012 and graduated this past spring, represent about 40 percent of the Class of 2013 – the biggest group of students ever to take the ACT in Hawaii. Kaiser High graduate Jason Cheng, a Harvard University freshman this fall, was the only Hawaii student to earn a perfect score of 36 among those included in the results released today.

“The good news is the high number of students challenging themselves with the college rigor of the ACT Test,” said DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “We look forward to improving our results as we continue our focus on college and career readiness.”

Acknowledging a need to boost college and career readiness among graduates, the DOE has already taken steps to better prepare students by introducing the following new initiatives in 2013:

· Strive HI Performance System: For the first time, the DOE is holding schools accountable for achievement, growth, achievement gaps, and college and career readiness. As a part of the Strive HI Performance System, the DOE administers the ACT EXPLORE exam to all students in grades 8 and 9, the ACT Plan exam in grade 10, and the ACT Test in grade 11. Based on local research, a composite score of 19 on the ACT exam indicates readiness for entry-level courses in the University of Hawaii System. The eleventh-grade results from the spring 2013 administration, included in the recently released Strive HI results, show that 34 percent of students met a composite score of 19 or higher. ACT scores being reported today are part of the last round of exams taken before the DOE began administering the ACT as part of the Strive HI Performance System.

· Common Core State Standards (CCSS): For the first time this school year, all teachers are implementing the Common Core State Standards. The new standards are a set of consistent, high-quality academic standards that clearly define the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each school year in order to be on track for success.
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each exam is graded on a scale of 1-36, and a student’s single composite score is the average of the four test scores. In each of the four subjects, ACT sets a college-readiness benchmark — the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college course. The benchmarks are set based on national level data. Hawaii graduates who tested as juniors in the spring of 2012 posted a statewide average composite mark of 20.1. The national average composite score was 20.9. In each benchmark area, Hawaii students also posted lower ACT scores than their national peers. The figures below represent the percentage of students who met benchmark scores by subject:

ACT Performance

“The drop in ACT scores for Hawaii students should not be interpreted as a decline in student learning or readiness,” said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education. “The state results were impacted by the change in the composition of test takers included in the report. As a result, this year’s data should be viewed as a new baseline against which future years can be compared.”

For more information about the DOE, log on to HawaiiPublicSchools.org. Additional ACT information is available at act.org/readiness/2013.

Department of Education Tackling Inefficiencies as Part of Education Transformation

As public schools begin a new year, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) will keep part of its focus on investigating inefficiencies to enhance operations statewide. Today, the DOE revealed a new analysis aimed at improving development of school facilities.
DOE Release

A review of the DOE’s Facilities Development Branch (FDB) was presented before the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) Audit Committee. The analysis is based on the DOE/BOE strategic plan to locate and correct inefficiencies as directed by Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

The review on FDB analyzed processes and controls related to specific construction, repair and maintenance activities against leading industry practices. It noted a number of findings and made recommendations for improvement.

“There is always an on-going need for improving or building additional facilities to support our students, and we need to make the best use of our capital improvement dollars. That’s why we commissioned a thorough review to help us better manage projects as we go forward,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The findings of this review clearly indicate that outdated policies and procedures are prolonging many projects. Our department will work with all interested stakeholders to correct long-term challenges and address the recommendations.”

According to the report, “Inefficiencies in capital planning, construction building, and construction management limit FDB’s ability to maximize use of its biennium budget to repair, maintain, and construct new school facilities throughout the state.”

Other findings include:· FDB does not sufficiently leverage technology to streamline the project and construction management process.
· Lack of effective communication within FDB leading to setbacks.
· Insufficient master planning. “Our Strategic Plan has three major components: Student Achievement; Staff Development and Systems of Support improvements,” stated BOE Chairman Don Horner. “This latest audit is part of the overall Plan to make much needed long-term and systemic improvements in how to more effectively and efficiently build and repairs our schools in the future.”

Superintendent Matayoshi directed the DOE’s Internal Audit Office (IA) to assist in the scope to perform a Process and Internal Controls Review of FDB and to administer the procurement of those services. Following a request for proposal, Deloitte & Touche LLP was contracted in June 2011. The company summed up its findings and recommendations before the BOE Audit Committee today.

In February, IA presented its audit of the DOE’s food services program. Its review focused on the design and operating effectiveness of existing control procedures. The DOE has since taken corrective action based on the recommendations of that review.

Independent of all other departments within the DOE, the IA reports directly to the Superintendent and the BOE Audit Committee. IA reports quarterly on the status of audits and recommendations.

Last year, an audit of the DOE student bus transportation services surfaced a number of inefficiencies in contract procedures and fiscal mismanagement. Several changes have been made based on recommendations of that audit. The DOE also began this school year with its Get On Board initiative,a multi-year, multi-faceted commitment to reform its public school student bus transportation system. For more information about Get on Board, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

A copy of the DOE’s Construction Process and Internal Controls Review report is available here.

Reports presented before the BOE can also be found at HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

Press Conference Tomorrow on the HAAS School Bus Issue

Hawaii Department of Education will no longer allow *HAAS* charter school children to ride on their school buses.  Sixty students from Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science are affected by this DOE decision.
Students at HAAS Rally for Mazie Hirono

Students at HAAS Rally for Mazie Hirono

DOE informed HAAS Principal Steve Hirakami of the decision today, Friday, Aug. 2.
Ten of those displaced children are special needs students, and one of them is a federally protected McKinney-Vento student.
Attend a 1 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 4 press conference at HAAS, 15-1397 Homestead Road, for more details. Or, contact HAAS principal Steve Hirakami via cell at (808)640-7901.

 

Hawaii Student Scores Perfect on ACT Test

Roosevelt High senior Gillian M. Desmond is the only Hawaii student to score a perfect 36 score on the ACT test this past year. More than a million students nationwide take the college readiness assessment test annually, with only about one-tenth of 1 percent earning a top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2012, only 781 of more than 1.66 million students earned the composite score of 36. Gillan’s feat comes one year after Jason Cheng, then a junior at Kaiser High, earned the top composite score in the 2012 ACT.

ACT Test
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT’s optional Writing Test, whose score is reported separately and not included within the ACT composite score. ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges, and exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

Gillian is a product of the Roosevelt Complex of schools: Nuuanu Elementary, Kawananakoa Middle and Roosevelt. She is also a member of the Roosevelt Marching and Symphonic Band, and holds a grade point average of 4.4. Gillian also received the highest score possible of 5, on each of three Advanced Placement exams: Chemistry, Statistics and English. She is the daughter of Richard and Beverly Desmond of Hawaii Kai and is considering studying math or science at Stanford, USC, Caltech or UH-Manoa.

“We at Roosevelt High School are very proud of Gillian, who exemplifies the high bar we set for our Roughriders,” said Roosevelt Principal Jeanette Uyeda. “We hope that all students will follow her example of discipline, hard work, and perseverance, which have no doubt contributed to this amazing accomplishment. We extend our sincerest congratulations to Gillian and her parents.”

In a letter to Gillian recognizing her extraordinary achievement, ACT CEO Jon Whitmore said, “While test scores are just one of the many criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

For the first time in 2013, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) administered the test to all middle and high school students statewide in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11.

“By 2018, Hawaii will rank 10th in the nation in jobs requiring postsecondary degrees,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are setting a high bar for achievement and delivering optimal tools and resources to accelerate our students’ path toward college and career readiness. All high school graduates must complete a rigorous course of study and be prepared to successfully pursue their dreams, aspirations and goals.”

The DOE is aggressively addressing key statewide goals and strategies outlined in the BOE/DOE Strategic Plan. The ACT College and Career Readiness System helps to generate measurable and baseline data to ensure all students are gaining the academic skills they need to succeed on the K-12 pathway and throughout their lives.

For more information about the Department of Education, log on to www.HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Hawaii State Department of Education Cleared from High-Risk Status in Race to the Top Grant

DOE Release

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) this morning received notification from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) that its Race to the Top (RTTT) grant is no longer considered “high-risk” and is in good standing.

“This is great news that validates the good work that’s been done by the teachers, educational leaders and our community partners,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The transformation of our public schools is in full swing. We are staying the course in our mission to ensure all students graduate from our public schools prepared for college and careers.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie today informing him of the USDOE’s acknowledgement of the major progress that Hawaii has and continues to make.

“The commitment made by the Hawaii State Department of Education to get to where it is today speaks for itself and I congratulate all of those involved for a job well done,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “It is clear that transformation in our education system is taking place at all levels from the Board of Education meeting room to the classroom.”

In August 2010, the USDOE awarded Hawaii with a four-year $75 million RTTT grant. Hawaii was placed on high-risk status in December 2011. The DOE spent two years making significant progress, which later led to the removal of high-risk status in two of its Assurance Areas, including B (Standards and Assessments) and C (Data Systems). Until today, the high-risk status remained in Assurance Areas A (System Alignment and Performance Monitoring), D (Great Teachers, Great Leaders), and E (Turning Around Persistently Low-Achieving Schools).

In February 2013, the DOE received recognition for a number of major accomplishments and was also praised for implementing important reforms, including programs to support educator effectiveness. Today’s announcement of total removal of high-risk allows Hawaii to continue its RTTT reform efforts through September 2014 when the grant officially ends.

Key improvement areas in the DOE’s transformation efforts include:
· Aligned state, complex area and school planning and monitoring. This allows for a cohesive system at all levels focused on shared goals for students. From the strategic plan to the school’s academic plans and evaluations of educators, administrators and teachers are tracking students to ensure all graduate college and career ready.
· Worked with union partners to formalize new evaluation systems for teachers and principals.
· Improved communication both internally and externally. Earlier this month, the DOE launched its new website and is in the process of establishing an intranet service for staff that allows for increased exchange of information. The DOE also provided clarity of roles, responsibilities, and vision both within our system and in the community.
The 2013-14 school year begins Aug. 5. The DOE remains firm in its strategic goals in setting targets for multiple progress indicators that show progress towards student achievement.

For more information about Race to the Top, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

Pahoa and Keaau Elementary Schools Selected for Pilot Project – Every Student and Teacher to Receive Tablet or Laptop

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce the eight school-applicants that have been selected for the Common Core Digital Curriculum Pilot Project (CCDC) in the upcoming 2013-14 school year.

Laptops and PadsThe eight schools were selected based on their technological readiness, commitment to integrating technology in the classroom and readiness to implement a large schoolwide project. The schools are:

  • Keaau Elementary
  • Mililani Mauka Elementary
  • Mililani Waena Elementary
  • Moanalua Middle
  • Nanaikapono Elementary
  • Nanakuli Elementary
  • Nanakuli Intermediate and High
  • Pahoa Elementary

The CCDC pilot aims to support schools’ implementation of new digital curricula aligned with the Common Core State Standards, which are new learning standards for English language arts and math. The eight schools will receive a tablet or laptop for every student and teacher, as well as new curriculum and training on Google Apps for Education. Following teacher training, Keaau and Pahoa elementary schools will be the first to receive their devices during the first semester. The remaining schools will receive their devices in early 2014.

“The introduction of both the CCDC along with the Common Core State Standards in our schools helps set a high standard for student achievement, and pushes our efforts even further in preparing our students for post-secondary success,” stated State Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

The Common Core Digital Curriculum Pilot Project builds on the successful work of a handful of Hawaii schools that are using devices. At Keaau Elementary, which has been providing devices to students for two years, there has been a significant difference in the classroom dynamics due to digital devices.

“The use of digital devices in our school has been a tremendous help in accelerating our students’ love of learning, which translates into higher test scores and better attendance,” said Keaau Elementary Principal Chad Keone Farias. “We’ve surpassed the state average in math and are on par with the state average in reading, which is a huge improvement over the last few years.”

Data collected from the first phase of the initiative will include student and teacher use, formative assessments and student engagement. The CCDC project takes advantage of ongoing DOE efforts to introduce new technology for learning and expand the DOE’s broadband infrastructure while bringing 21st century learning to the classroom. It also supports the goals outlined in the 2011-2018 DOE and Board of Education Strategic Plan. The 2013 Legislature appropriated $8 million to this pilot effort.

“We appreciate Governor Abercrombie and the Legislature’s support in our efforts and congratulate the schools that took the initiative to apply for this important pilot program,” said BOE Chair Don Horner.

To learn more about the Department’s Strategic Plan for student success please visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org.

 

Department of Education Rolling out “Get on Board” Initiative

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is rolling out the first phase of its “Get on Board” initiative, a multi-year, multi-faceted commitment to reform its public school student bus transportation system. The initiative kicks off on the first day of school, Monday, August 5, and will serve as many as 1,000 students at 30 schools who use buses in the Aiea, Moanalua, Pearl City, Radford and Waipahu High complex areas.

School Bus Hawaii
The first phase will reflect routes from last year and includes route restoration to Aiea Heights, Halawa Heights and Waikele Elementary School attendance areas. One of the more significant features of the Get on Board initiative is the use of a technology solution that includes routing software, GPS tracking on the buses, and an updated and contemporary contracting and procurement process. The DOE is planning to implement Get on Board at all Oahu schools by 2014-2015, and then statewide the following school year.

“The pilot areas for Get on Board were strategically chosen by what makes the most fiscal sense, to the department, our bus contractors and taxpayers,” said Ray L’Heureux, assistant superintendent, DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services. “There is a large amount of riders in these areas – enough to give us important data on ridership we need to move forward with our reform efforts.”

In June 2012, the DOE announced more than 100 bus routes were being eliminated statewide due to rising costs and a loss of funding. Since then, the DOE has streamlined services and restored a number of the routes, and also contracted Management Partnership Services (MPS) to conduct a study of Hawaii’s student bus transportation system. Earlier this month, Gov. Abercrombie signed into law two Senate bills that give the DOE more flexibility in how it awards its bus contracts. These changes, as detailed in the MPS report, are being implemented with Request for Proposals being finalized this month for the 2014-15 school year.

In addition, the DOE has developed a number of communications protocols between bus vendors, schools, parents and students to ensure the most efficient level of service.

Parents can register their children for bus ridership at their schools. Letters to public school parents are being mailed this week regarding bus registration requirements. The department has established a Get on Board Call Center at 206-7936, or via e-mail at getonboard@hawaiidoe.org. Additional updates can also be found on the DOE’s new website at http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/BeyondTheClassroom/Transportation/Pages/Home.aspx.

U.S. DOE Approves Hawaii’s New School Accountability and Improvement System – Strive HI Performance System

Strive HI Performance System replaces components of federal NCLB requirements

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is pleased to announce it has received federal approval today for a new Strive HI Performance System designed to ensure all students graduate college- and career-ready. The redesigned school accountability and improvement system approved by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) replaces many of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) with multiple measures of success to meet the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators and schools.

“Approval to move forward with the Strive HI Performance System validates our strategic direction and allows us to build on Hawaii’s successes,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “With the new system, we are more focused on college- and career-readiness, rewarding high-performing schools and customizing support to students, educators and schools with strategies proven in the Zones of School Innovation.”

After winning a Race to the Top grant in 2010, HIDOE established two Zones of School Innovation (ZSI) that targeted support for struggling schools in rural or remote, hard-to-staff areas serving the largest population of native Hawaiian and economically-disadvantaged students in the state.

The Strive HI Performance System is a culmination of work by Hawaii educators, parents, community groups, and higher education. It replaces NCLB’s most ineffective and outdated components with meaningful benchmarks aligned with goals of the HIDOE/Board of Education State Strategic Plan:

NCLB

The Strive HI Performance System not only reflects the State Strategic Plan, it aligns and connects with state education policies and initiatives including Common Core State Standards, updated assessments, more rigorous diploma and graduation requirements, successful school improvement strategies in the ZSI and robust teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.

“We are proud of the work happening at every level of Hawaii’s public education system to prepare students for real-world demands and provide better data, tools and support to students, educators and schools,” Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe noted. “Now, with the approval of the Strive HI Performance System, we’ve unlocked the potential of all these efforts to work together in a coherent way to support success.”

HIDOE will host a webinar on May 28, 2013 to provide more information about the new system.

Webinar: Overview of Strive HI Performance System: Hawaii’s new school accountability and improvement system
Date: May 28, 2013
Time: 9 – 10 am HST
Register now: https://hvln.webex.com/hvln/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=733937907
event password: striveHI
HIDOE will work closely with Complex Area Superintendents and principals this summer to ensure school leaders and educators are positioned for successful implementation of the Strive HI Performance System in the coming school year.

For more information, visit HIDOE’s new Strive HI Performance System webpage at www.hawaiidoe.org/strivehisystem.

 

More Hawaii Public School Students Ready for College, Class of 2012 Data Show

More Hawaii public school students from the Class of 2012 enrolled in college compared to the previous year’s graduates, and they were better prepared for mathematics and English courses, new figures show.

DOE ReleaseThe new College and Career Readiness Indicators reports, released today by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education and the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE), demonstrate improvements by public school students at every step of the college-readiness pipeline. Among the highlights:

· The percentage of students taking Advanced Placement exams increased to 24 percent.
· College enrollment among graduates increased from 53 percent to 54 percent.
· The percentage of students who enrolled in a University of Hawaii campus in college-level math (24 percent) and college-level English (42 percent) both increased by four percentage points over the class of 2011.
· The percentage of students requiring remedial classes dropped to 31 percent in English and remained at 36 percent for math.

“This new data is very encouraging, and the upward trend in college-going rates is a positive sign for our students and the state’s economic outlook,” said DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our culture around using data for improvement has changed considerably. The College and Career Readiness Indicators reports provide school administrators and educators with a diverse set of data that will help inform critical decision-making to ensure our graduates are ready to enter college and compete in a global workforce. The improvements on all of the indicators reflect our ongoing statewide reforms and we expect continued improvement over time.”

A number of high schools made significant, double-digit percentage gains in college-going rates over a two-year period. Kapaa High on Kauai increased its rate by 13 percentage points, to 59 percent for the class of 2012 compared to 46 percent for the Class of 2010. Farrington High’s rate rose by 12 percentage points, to 48 percent from 36 percent, and rates for Pahoa and Baldwin high schools jumped 11 percent over the same two-year period.

“The College and Career Readiness Indicators reports are an important tool to measure the college readiness of our public high school students, and to gauge progress on their assessments and college remediation rates. This information is invaluable to the Hawaii P-20 goal of 55 percent of working age adults having a 2- or 4-year college degree by 2025,” said Karen Lee, executive director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. “We are very pleased to see college-going rates and college preparation increase over the past three years.”

The College and Career Readiness Indicators (CCRI) reports are an annual collaboration between the Hawaii State Department of Education and the University of Hawaii, coordinated by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, to present information on how well Hawaii public school graduates are prepared for college. Hawaii’s CCRI reports are continuously recognized by national organizations, including the Education Sector, the Data Quality Campaign, Achieve, and the National Governors Association, as a leading example of both collaboration among K-12 and higher education and for providing useful information on college readiness. The full reports can be found at: http://www.p20hawaii.org/CCRI2012

Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, the Hawaii State Department of Education and the University of Hawaii System works to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve college and career success. Hawaii P-20’s partners share a sense of urgency about the need to improve Hawaii’s educational outcomes in an increasingly global economy, and have established a goal of 55% of Hawaii’s working age adults having a 2- or 4-year college degree by 2025. For more information, visit http://www.p20hawaii.org.

The Hawaii State Department of Education’s mission states: We serve our community by developing the academic achievement, character, and social-emotional well-being of our students to the fullest potential. We work with partners, families and communities to ensure that all students reach their aspirations from early learning through college, career and citizenship. For more information, visit www.hawaiidoe.org.