DOE Releases Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is announcing its policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Copies of the policy are available at public schools.

Children from households with income at or below the following levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals:

INCOME CHART: Effective from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

INCOME CHART: Effective from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out one application and return it to the school where the child is enrolled or complete an online application via ezmealapp.com. Applications for the current school year (2014-2015) are now being accepted. The application information will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials.

For DOE officials to determine eligibility, households receiving SNAP or TANF must list the child’s name, date of birth, grade, school code and their SNAP or TANF case number and the signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list: 1) the names of everyone in the household; 2) the amount of income received by each person, how often the income is received and the source of the income; 3) the name and social security number of either parent/guardian who is the primary wage earner or the adult household member who signs the form or the word “none” if neither adult household member has a social security number; and 4) the signature of an adult household member.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, the DOE will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the reviewing official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request for a hearing on the decision in writing to:

Name of Hearing Official: Glenna Owens, SFA Director
Address: 1106 Koko Head Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816

Phone Number: (808) 733-8414 or toll-free 1-800-441-4845

In certain cases foster children are also eligible for school meal benefits. If a household has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for them, the household should contact the school for more information.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Report Shows Access Learning Pilot Enhances Teaching and Student Learning

A first-year report on the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) Access Learning pilot presented to the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) today shows the initiative is helping to reduce burden on teachers, increase student engagement and responsibility, and improve parents’ support of public schools.

Click to view the report

Click to view the report

Last year, the DOE unveiled Access Learning, a pilot project to study the impact of technology and digital curricular resources on teaching and learning, at eight schools. This initiative takes advantage of ongoing Department efforts such as new technology for learning while addressing challenges facing our public schools. Access Learning does not focus on the device, rather on how technology can be a tool to support teachers’ efforts to personalize instruction and engage students.

Monanalua Middle School Principal Lisa Nagamine told the BOE, “Access Learning has enhanced the collaborative learning environment of our school.”

Moanalua Middle is one of the eight Access Learning schools that has incorporated technology for learning at all levels within its campus, not just the student level.

“The dedication and commitment by the school leaders, staff, and students allowed us to see the full potential of this initiative and its impact on student learning,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We appreciate their input and based on the positive results, hope to increase access to digital learning in all schools in the near future.”

Information and data collected from the eight Access Learning schools from October 2013 through April 2014 revealed:

  • Teachers use computers in a wide variety of ways to improve job performance and teaching – and that usage has increased since an initial survey was done last fall.
  • Teachers believe access to technology will benefit English language learners and special education students.
  • Students reported having positive experiences with the program. More than 90 percent of students surveyed say laptops make schoolwork more interesting and better prepare them for the future.
  • Students reported computers help them to be more organized and finish work more quickly and with better quality. Access to technology also made assignments a lot more fun by creating blogs, slideshows, movie trailers, and usage of other media.
  • Laptops allowed for better peer collaboration during project work and completing homework.
  • Parents believe computers help students gain a better insight into the happenings of the classroom and learn essential skills to compete globally.

“The 1-to-1 laptop program has improved education opportunities for students,” noted one parent. “The school has finally caught up with private schools.”

“I have seen increased student engagement in classwork because their computer allows them to have a ‘voice’ at the same time as everyone else. Less students are distracted or off task. (This) has allowed students to work more collaboratively in and out of the classroom setting,” one teacher reported.

The 2013 Legislature appropriated $8.2 million to the DOE for the pilot, which funded computers for teachers and students, technical support, professional development, and also helped offset curriculum and implementation expenses. In addition to Moanalua Middle, Access Learning pilot schools include Keaau Elementary and Pahoa Elementary, Mililani Mauka Elementary, Mililani Waena Elementary, Nanaikapono Elementary, Nanakuli Elementary, and Nanakuli Intermediate and High.

Pilot schools received devices for every student and teacher equipped with Hawaii Common Core-aligned digital curriculum for English Language Arts. The DOE partnered with county police departments to safeguard the computers, all of which are equipped with advanced security tracking software. As a result, the schools reported a combined theft and loss rate of only six computers (less than 1 percent).

Due to funding requirements, the Department was given a very short window to implement the initiative and the report noted those challenges. Teachers expressed frustration with limited time for professional development sessions. View the full report here.

During the past legislative session, DOE requested funding for ongoing Access Learning technical assistance and professional development. The budget request was denied; however, DOE officials worked with and received approval from the BOE to expend funding to continue technical assistance for the pilot schools through FY15. The funding request to the BOE will provide customized professional development for schools, overall and school specific program evaluation for formative purposes, and support for project management. For more information about the program, see the DOE’s Access Learning page.

Educator Effectiveness System to See Changes in School Year 2014-15

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is announcing several major changes to the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) to take effect in the upcoming school year.

DOE ReleaseThe changes reflect the DOE’s commitment to reduce burden on teachers and administrators, and are designed to simplify the EES, streamline its components and differentiate the approach for teachers based on need.

Last Fall, an EES Joint Committee was developed specifically to review the EES. The Committee includes the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), teachers, principals, administrators, technical experts and Complex Area and state staff, who met regularly throughout the past school year. The Joint Committee met with DOE leaders this week and the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Government Association (HGEA) to review proposed changes to the EES, which were sent to Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi on Friday, June 6.

“The Department will continue to collaborate with educators to further improve the EES, these changes are just the beginning to refining this system and ultimately, elevating student achievement,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “We appreciate the work of the Joint Committee, and all of the feedback from our principals and teachers to guide us on what best practices work in our schools. We will continue to convene feedback groups and plan a formal review and feedback process for the following school year.”

“The HSTA is pleased that the DOE has committed to improve the EES,” said HSTA President Wil Okabe. “The EES Joint Committee of HSTA and DOE members has collaboratively worked together throughout this process to assess the system and provide the Superintendent with recommendations that reflect input and concerns from all stakeholders. Our goal is to make sure that every child in Hawaii has access to great public schools and teachers. We look forward to continuing to work with the DOE to improve an evaluation system that improves the practice of teaching and student learning to produce real results.”

Based on lessons learned and feedback gathered from schools, the Department is implementing a series of 18 changes for school year 2014-15, including:

  • Differentiating the number of required classroom observations based on need from twice annually to 0 for highly effective teachers; 1 or more for effective teachers, and 2 or more for marginal, unsatisfactory, or beginning teachers. Overall this means approximately 9,000 fewer classroom observations, reducing the observation workload by almost 50 percent.
  • Providing the approximately 1,800 teachers rated highly effective in SY13-14 the option to carryover their rating in lieu of repeating the evaluation.
  • Reducing the administration of the Tripod Student Survey from twice to once annually, eliminating the survey for grades K-2, and eliminating the demographic questions from the survey. Overall this means approximately 11,700 fewer survey administrations, or a 63 percent reduction in administered surveys.
  • Reducing, for most teachers, the number of required Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) from two to one annually. Overall, this means approximately 12,400 fewer required SLOs.
  • Removing the student survey as an independent component with a stand-alone rating and embedding it as subcomponent under Core Professionalism.
  • Providing flexibility within Working Portfolio and SLOs, particularly for non-classroom teachers, to reflect job duties.
  • Improving Student Growth Percentile (SGP) to replace a percentile ranking of teachers with anchors in criterion and building in a margin of error.

Principal Linell Dilwith of Stevenson Middle said, “These EES changes will make the work at the school level more manageable and ensure that we are focused on quality, not quantity. I am glad the Superintendent listened to the voices in the field.”

HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira stated, “We are encouraged by the changes proposed by the EES Joint Committee and the opportunity for the HGEA Unit 6 Board to submit recommendations to the Superintendent. We look forward to continuing to work with the department to implement changes that will ensure the workload of principals and vice principals is manageable. Addressing the educational officers’ need for adequate systemic supports with their increasing responsibilities has been and continues to be an important issue for the HGEA.”

Some areas of future improvement include a possible cycling of evaluations; reducing the weight of the SGP and improvements to the methods and technology used to collect, store, and report information. The Department is also exploring improvements to simplify, streamline, and differentiate the implementation of the other 6 Priority Strategies.

The EES began in the school year 2011-12 as a pilot in 18 schools, and then expanded to 81 schools in the 2012-13 school year. As the EES was implemented in schools, the Department solicited feedback from a variety of sources developed specifically for EES feedback, including a Teacher Leader Workgroup, Joint Committee, Technical Advisory Group and Principal Workgroup.

To learn more about the EES, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

New Leadership Principal Group Will Help Shape Education Priorities

After a recruitment and selection process of nearly two months, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is announcing a new Deputy Superintendent’s Principal Roundtable for the upcoming 2014-15 school year.

DOE ReleaseThe Roundtable is designed to engage with principals directly to improve communication, garner feedback, develop collaborative solutions to critical challenges, and identify individuals for future complex area, state and national leadership positions and opportunities.

Twenty-six individuals, including all members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) Unit 6 Board of Directors and 14 additional sitting principals from four major islands, representing a diverse mix of schools and principal experience, have been named to the Roundtable. See the list of SY2014-15 Roundtable members below.

“As a former principal who knows firsthand about the challenges our principals face each day, we are committed to a thoughtful process of selecting school leaders for this Roundtable,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “We value their feedback and their dedication to their schools, communities as we continue to transform public education.”

HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira stated, “We are encouraged by this additional opportunity for our principals to provide feedback from the field. With this critical information, we hope to create solutions that will transition into meaningful change to positively impact the everyday work of the principals and vice principals. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to support these efforts.”

The opportunity to be part of the Roundtable was first shared with DOE principals in April. The Department received nearly 40 nominations from principals, Complex Area Superintendents, and the HGEA.

Roundtable members will meet over the summer to establish priorities. All DOE principals will be informed of the work of the Roundtable and given an opportunity to give further feedback.

“I’m looking forward to helping with finding solutions for our school leaders,” said Fred Murphy, principal, Mililani High School. “We hope to set priorities moving forward, and to help principals be as creative and dynamic as they can be at their institutions.”

The 26 Roundtable members for School Year 2014-2015 are:

  1. Lorelei Aiwohi, Kalakaua Middle School (Honolulu District, Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani)
  2. Wade Araki, Kaimuki High (Honolulu District, Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt)
  3. Duwayne Abe, Salt Lake Elementary (Central District, Aiea-Moanalua-Radford)
  4. Bert Carter, Ka‘ewai Elementary (Honolulu District, Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani)*
  5. John Costales, Kalama Intermediate (Maui District, Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui)*
  6. Patricia Dang, Kapalama Elementary (Honolulu District, Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani)*
  7. Gary Davidson, Molokai Middle School (Maui District, Hana-Lahainaluna-Lanai-Molokai)
  8. Chad Farias, Kea‘au Elementary (Hawaii District, Kau-Keaau-Pahoa)*
  9. Shelley Ferrara, Mauka Lani Elementary (Leeward District, Campbell-Kapolei)
  10. Daniel Hamada, Kapaa High (Kauai)
  11. Debra Hatada, Ka‘imiloa Elementary (Leeward District, Campbell-Kapolei)*
  12. Disa Hauge, Waianae High School (Leeward District, Nanakuli-Waianae)
  13. Keith Hayashi, Waipahu High (Leeward District, Pearl City-Waipahu)
  14. Francine Honda, Kailua High School (Windward District, Kailua-Kalaheo)*
  15. Kelcy Koga, Waiakea High School (Hawaii District, Hilo-Waiakea)*
  16. Naomi Matsuzaki, Kahalu‘u Elementary (Windward District, Castle-Kahuku)*
  17. Wilfred Murakami, Kealakehe High (West Hawaii)
  18. Fred Murphy, Mililani High School (Central District, Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua
  19. Deborah Nekomoto, Kapunahala Elementary (Windward District, Castle-Kahuku)
  20. Irene Puuohau, Hawaii Government Employees Association
  21. Fred Rose, Eleele Elementary (Kauai)*
  22. Janette Snelling, Kohala High School (West Hawaii)
  23. James Sunday, Radford High School (Central District, Aiea-Moanalua-Radford)*
  24. Brett Tanaka, Office of Curriculum Instruction, Student Support*
  25. David Tanuvasa, (Vice Principal) Waipahu High School (Leeward District, Pearl City-Waipahu)*
  26. Keoni Wilhelm, Mokapu Elementary (Windward District, Kailua-Kalaheo)

*Member of HGEA Unit 6 Board of Directors

Hawaii Public School Students Continue to Increase Readiness for College and Careers

A greater number of Hawaii public school students are getting a head start on higher education by earning college credits while in high school and taking advanced placement courses, according to a new College and Career Readiness Indicators report.

DOE ReleaseThe report, released today by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education and the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE), indicates improvements by public school students at every step of the college-readiness pipeline.Among the highlights:

  • The percentage of students enrolled in dual credit courses (earning college credit while in high school) increased by 7.7 points to 723 students from 671 students. Waipahu High School showed the biggest gain with 65 students participating in dual credit, up from 23 students a year ago.
  • Advanced Placement exam participation increased to 27 percent from 24 percent.
  • The percentage of students who enrolled in a University of Hawaii campus in college-level math rose to 26.7 percent from 24 percent, while the percentage of students requiring remedial math classes dropped to 32 percent from 36 percent.
  • The college enrollment rate remained steady at 54 percent. Enrollment in four-year post-secondary institutions increased by two percentage points over two-year institutions. The report now also accounts for college enrollment numbers at Hawaii Pacific University, in addition to the University of Hawaii.
  • The top five college enrollment rates by high schools were Kalani (78 percent), Mililani (71 percent), Roosevelt (70 percent), Moanalua (68 percent) and Kalaheo (65 percent).
  • Of the high school graduates who enrolled in postsecondary education in the first fall semester following graduation, 70 percent attended one of the University of Hawaii’s 10 campuses.
  • Hawaii’s class of 2013 graduates are attending college in every state in the nation and the District of Columbia, with the exception of South Dakota and Vermont.

Despite progress in many areas, the data reveals many students are graduating from high school without college- and career-ready skills. One-third of DOE graduates who enroll at the University of Hawaii take remedial courses in math or English. Outcomes are even worse for those who took less than Algebra 2 in high school.

“This report provides more evidence that there is much work to be done to help students transition to college-level studies,” said DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “At the center of our Strategic Plan is the focus on improving teaching and learning in every classroom. The report shows we are making progress and our educators, students and communities deserve to be commended for those successes.”

“The information provided by the annual College and Career Readiness Indicators reports is essential to gauge the readiness of Hawaii’s students as they transition from high school to post-secondary education,” said Karen Lee, executive director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. “Using this data, educators and school administrators can identify strategies that are most effective in preparing students for college and the workforce.”

“To achieve Hawaii’s education goal of 55 percent of working age adults having a 2- or 4-year college degree by 2025, students must be prepared early, and this data helps us understand what it takes to prepare students and help them to succeed,” Lee added. “We are very pleased to see increases in college preparation over the past four 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 between K-12 and higher education and for providing useful information on college readiness. The full reports can be found at:

http://www.p20hawaii.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness-indicators-reports/2013-ccri-data/

Arbitration Award Aligns with DOE Goals in Raising the Bar in School Leadership

An arbitration panel has issued an award for educational officers of the State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) who are members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) bargaining unit 06. The decision, announced April 21, affects DOE school principals and other educational officers.

DOE Release“Our principals do tremendous work in leading their schools towards student and staff success, as seen in recent student achievement gains,” said School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are pleased that the arbitration has concluded and we can move forward in supporting our educators to prepare students for college and careers.”

“I want to thank all those who were involved in the various stages of the negotiation and arbitration process,” added Matayoshi.

Major highlights of the arbitration award include:

  • Annual across-the-board salary raises of 4.5 percent for four years, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017.
  • A 90-day vacation cap that is consistent with other 12-month educational officers and other 12-month employees.
  • Establishes a rewards and recognition program (RRP) for the last two years. A joint committee of DOE and HGEA representatives led by an outside professional facilitator will determine how to best reward and recognize educational officers based on their performance evaluation rating. The details, criteria and procedures of the RRP will be decided through the committee’s work. The RRP will be able to distribute $200,000 for the 2015-2016 school year and $200,000 in 2016-2017.

In December 2012, HGEA and the DOE agreed to principal performance evaluations on a new Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA). These evaluations are being conducted in all 255 DOE public schools.

CESSA was designed to support and improve principal effectiveness, thereby boosting teacher and student performance. This is aligned with Goals 1 and 2 of the Department’s Strategic Plan. The DOE and HGEA worked together to provide school principals with guidelines, training and support in advance of successful CESSA implementation in the 2013-14 school year.

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.