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    June 2019
    S M T W T F S
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More Hawaii Teachers Obtain Certification

The Hawai‘i Department of Education announces that 56 teachers were honored Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, for earning or renewing their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. Educators who earn this certification have demonstrated that they meet the highest standards for teaching, and must be up-to-date with the latest strategies and best practices in education.

Hawaii is ranked 11th in the nation for percentage of National Board Certified Teachers. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto addressed the teachers at the 2018 Hawai‘i National Board Certified Teacher Ceremony hosted by the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association and Kamehameha Schools at the Hawai‘i State Capitol Auditorium.

“We are proud of these teachers for their efforts to elevate their profession and provide enhanced learning opportunities for Hawai‘i’s students,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Earning this certification is no easy task and I commend them for taking on this additional workload and responsibility. Congratulations to these teachers, their families and schools on this remarkable accomplishment.”

Hawai‘i is ranked 11th in the nation for percentage of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), and boasts one of the fastest growing populations of NBCTs. There are currently 625 teachers who earned their certification.

“In 2017, The Aloha state added 56 new NBCTs reflecting a 10 percent jump in their total,”added NBCT president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Peggy Brookins. This means more students across your state being taught by teachers who prove they teach to the highest standards. Every student deserves to be taught by an accomplished teacher.”

The NBCT certification is a rigorous process that can take anywhere between one to three years and involves applicants submitting comprehensive portfolio. The renewal process is just as demanding and requires teachers to show professional growth.

Tracey Idica, teacher at Aiea High School and HSTA NBCT network affiliate, shared, “This is how teachers are taking back their profession. Doctors can become Board Certified, accountants can become CPAs, and now teachers can become NBCTs. It’s a voluntary process but its the way we can show the community that we are accomplished teachers.”

The following teachers earned their certification in 2017:

  • Jennifer Ainoa, Molokai Middle
  • Lori Cabalar, Keaau Elementary
  • Jane Cariaga, Pahoa Elementary
  • Tanya Cobbin, Waipahu High
  • Patricia Contee, Salt Lake Elementary
  • Chris Cordell, Hawaii Technology Academy
  • Alexander Cyran, Keaau Middle
  • Jill Harai, Iliahi Elementary
  • Danielle Hartwick, Makawao Elementary
  • Liane Ibara, Palolo Elementary
  • Michael Ibara, Puuhale Elementary
  • Cheryl Iwasaki, Helemano Elementary
  • Qurratulay Joy, Makawao Elementary
  • Mara Kaizawa-Miyata, McKinley High
  • Naomi Kamauoha, Palolo Elementary
  • Dawn Kanoho, Momilani Elementary
  • Kellee Kelly, Keaau Elementary
  • Samantha Kodama, Kaimuki Middle
  • Laurel Latimer, Makawao Elementary
  • Christine Layton, Hawaii Technology Academy
  • Jamie Letreta, Holomua Elementary
  • Erin Medeiros, Kauai High
  • Elaine Medina, Makaha Elementary
  • Nikki Morishige, Waiahole Elementary
  • Cheryl Motoyama, Red Hill Elementary
  • Lisa Nakama, Kaneohe Elementary
  • Shanna Nakamura, Aliiolani Elementary
  • Laura Obuhanych, Holomua Elementary
  • Lisa Oka, Wahiawa Elementary
  • Elizabeth Okamoto, Webling Elementary
  • Sonia Orlando, Waianae Elementary
  • Sandra Oshiro, Momilani Elementary
  • Robyn Panem, Keaau Elementary
  • Suzanne Reed, Ahuimanu Elementary
  • Tamie Richardson, Kaimiloa Elementary
  • Catherine Ritti, Farrington High
  • Jennifer Sarpi, Campbell High
  • Mari Sato, Enchanted Lake Elementary
  • Sheena Shimose, Leihoku Elementary
  • Jessica Sleeper, Kamaile Academy
  • Aysha Spencer, Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary
  • Hannibal Starbuck, Baldwin High
  • Stefanie Sweeney, Waikiki Elementary
  • Jamie Takamura, Red Hill Elementary
  • Jennifer Valenzuela, Lahainaluna High
  • Maile Viela, Waihee Elementary
  • Lynn Wakahiro, Momilani Elementary
  • Amanda Watson, Kailua Intermediate
  • Elizabeth Williams, Campbell High
  • Jill Yamasawa, Kapolei Middle

For more information about the certification and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, click here.

New School Lunch Online Payment System

PC: Department of Education

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) is in the process of transitioning to Harris School Solutions (eTrition) – a new school lunch online payment system – after the current contract with PrimeroEdge (SchoolCafé) ended on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017.

In a letter to parents and guardians, families were instructed to make all meal deposits directly to the school beginning Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. During this time, student eligibility and balance data will be transferred to eTrition from the PrimeroEdge system.

Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions.

Click here to see when the new system will be rolled out to each school. Online payments for each school will resume and be implemented at a later date.

Student Meals Feature Another Local Food Source

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) continues to try and use local agriculture in student meals through its ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program, which kicked off last year with locally grown beef. This month, HIDOE and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office have partnered up with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and various local farms across the state to serve fresh bananas at all public schools.

Fresh bananas will be served in a Banana Pie or a Banana Crumble (pictured above) at every public school cafeteria in January.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“We’re highlighting locally grown bananas by serving either a fresh Banana Pie or Banana Crumble one day in January at every school cafeteria,” said administrator for School Food Services Branch Albert Scales. “By introducing a produce that is locally grown in Hawai‘i to our students each month, we hope to expand their palates and allow them to try new foods that they might not have been exposed to at home.”

Scales said serving the bananas in a dessert would make it more appealing for students. “Instead of serving raw bananas that students can peel and eat, we wanted to be creative,” he said. “Part of introducing new foods to children is making it fun for them. If the new food looks interesting, they’re more inclined to try it.”

While HIDOE is changing the way food is purchased, prepared and delivered, the ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program is also a great opportunity for Hawaii’s agriculture community.

“This new program that was developed under the Farm to School Initiative continues to cultivate the partnership with our schools, farmers and ranchers,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “It also connects students with the farming community, allowing them to experience the taste and freshness of what Hawai‘i has to offer.”

Approximately 34,000 lbs. of bananas are being provided by several local farms, including Sugarland Growers Inc. and ‘Ohana Banana Farms, to name a few.

“We’re excited to be working with the Department of Education on incorporating more fresh, local produce for Hawaii’s public school students,” said owner of Sugarland Growers Larry Jefts.

Jefts said purchasing local foods from our food safety certified farms on each island also helps to support and strengthen Hawai‘i’s economy.

“Buying local creates important economic opportunities and supports our community’s growth and sustainability,” said Jefts. “The money that is spent on locally grown foods is reinvested with other local businesses and services across the state. There are numerous benefits as a result of this coming full circle.”

The Farm to School Initiative started in 2015, and was led by Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui. The program was created to increase locally grown food in student meals through a partnership with Lt. Gov. Tsutsui, HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center. Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which also incorporates school gardens, nutrition, health and food education, test kitchens, meal programs and menu planning at Hawai‘i’s public schools.

Hawaii Public Schools Serve Local Grass-Fed Beef in December

This month, Hawaii public schools are serving locally raised, grass-fed beef in its hamburger patties. Elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak, while high school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches.

High school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches (pictured above), while elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

This is part of the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) effort to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals. It is made possible through a joint partnership with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the State Department of Agriculture, the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council.

“This is a great step forward in providing healthy options in our meal program and working with partners to make these opportunities possible,” said Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. “We appreciate the support of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council. Their partnership allows our students to understand the connection and importance of local agriculture.”

In 2015, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui spearheaded a partnership effort called, “Farm to School” (also known as ‘Aina Pono), with HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center to increase local food in school lunches using products from the local community.

The Farm to School Initiative addresses the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our State school cafeterias. The Initiative also aims to systematically increase state purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with the ‘āina (land) through their food, using products from the local agricultural community.

“This initiative is a major game-changer in the way we are feeding our kids in schools. Along with changing what our keiki eat, we are serving them food made with local, fresh ingredients,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui. “This is a win-win for our students because they eat healthier, and for our farmers and ranchers because we are supporting our local agricultural industry.”

Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which HIDOE has now adopted as its own. In addition to school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, health and food education, ‘Aina Pono has expanded to include test kitchens, meal programs, menu planning and efforts to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parents Encouraged to Provide Feedback on Their Child’s Public School

​ The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) begins its annual School Quality Survey (SQS) this week to gather important feedback from students, parents/guardians and staff about our public schools. The deadline to complete and return the SQS is March 15, 2016.

Photo Credit: Department of Education

Photo Credit: Department of Education

The survey provides information on how schools are doing with respect to school culture, satisfaction and engagement. The feedback gathered is used to support school planning and improvement efforts, and meet legislative and Board of Education requirements.​

Students in grades 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11 will take the survey online at school, as will teachers, administrative office staff, and instructional support staff.

A parent or guardian of the students in the surveyed grades will have the option to take the survey online or via a paper format. Each school communicates to parents on how to complete the SQS whether digital and/or hard copy.

“We’re hoping for more parents to respond this year since last year’s return rate was 24 percent,”said Tammi Chun, assistant superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance. “This feedback is very important to us as we continue to work on ways to improve learning experiences for our children.”

Responses will remain anonymous. The SQS deadline is March 15, 2016.

The public can view the SQS for their community schools and statewide results via the Report Finder on HIDOE’s website: bit.ly/ReportFinder. Search for “School Quality Survey”and add the name of a school for school-level results.

Anyone with questions about the survey is encouraged to contact HIDOE at 808-733-4008 (Neighbor Island toll-free at 855-276-5801), or via email: [email protected]


All Public Schools Resume on Monday Except Waiakea High

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) will resume regular public school schedules and student activities on Monday, Aug. 11, with the exception of Waiakea High.

DOE ReleaseDozens of DOE schools served as emergency shelters from Thursday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 9. An estimated 400 individuals sought shelter at Waiakea High during those days. Waiakea High staff will report to work on Monday to get the school back in order for students’ return on Tuesday.

“Our employees, especially our Complex Area Superintendents and principals worked around the clock in caring for students and school communities during the stormy weather,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We appreciate their dedication in going above and beyond to help with the emergency needs of our communities.”

Hawaii Island facilities reported minimal damage due to strong winds; however, most of DOE facilities were not affected by the storm.

DOE officials continue to monitor Hurricane Julio, which is north of the state. Keep up to date with DOE’s latest announcements at HawaiiPublicSchools.org or on Twitter at @HIDOE808.

For information on Charter Schools, visit http://www.chartercommission.hawaii.gov/ or charter school parents are advised to contact their child’s school.

Executive Office on Early Learning and DOE Announce Prekindergarten Program – Modeled After Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) and the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today announced plans for a prekindergarten program that will operate through 32 classrooms on 30 DOE elementary school campuses across the state, pending legislative funding.


“Our future plans for Hawaii’s comprehensive early learning system involve both public and private preschools,” Gov. Abercrombie said.

The program is intended to serve 640 children who qualify based on income and age requirements. Children must be four years old by July 31, 2014, which follows the new kindergarten age requirement, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The classrooms will be staffed by DOE teachers and educational assistants. Half of the classrooms will be located on the neighbor islands.

“Our future plans for Hawaii’s comprehensive early learning system involve both public and private preschools,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “We have been waiting for this opportunity. This prekindergarten program, across DOE schools statewide, is part of the public portion of the early learning system.”

Last year, the Legislature funded a School Readiness Program by expanding the Hawaii Department of Human Services’ Preschool Open Doors program, which provides families with subsidies to attend private preschools.

The Executive Office on Early Learning has been working with DOE leadership to create a prekindergarten program operated on DOE campuses. Funds have been requested in the 2015 supplemental budget request.

The Executive Office on Early Learning has been working with DOE leadership to create a prekindergarten program operated on DOE campuses. Funds have been requested in the 2015 supplemental budget request.

The DOE-EOEL prekindergarten program is being modeled after the prekindergarten classrooms established with Race to the Top funds in the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa complex on Hawaii Island.

“These classrooms were successful due to the leadership of Complex Area Superintendent Mary Correa, the professional development support provided through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded P-3 grant to ensure quality, and the understanding of the importance of early learning by the principals,” said Dr. GG Weisenfeld, EOEL director. “Our partnership with DOE in creating this program is a critical step to providing more of our children access to a high-quality prekindergarten program.”

EOEL worked closely with DOE to develop plans for an infrastructure that would work within the DOE structure, but with EOEL support to ensure that children will leave the program with the skills needed to be successful in kindergarten. The new program will focus on the developmental needs of four-year-old children and be aligned with DOE expectations.

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said: “In order for children to do well in kindergarten, they must be prepared. This initiative by the Governor is allowing public and private entities to come together in providing a quality early learning experience for our children. The Department of Education is glad to be a partner in this effort. Our focus is to get behind our young children so they can be successful learners.”

Selection of the 32 classrooms was based on: Title I status; limitations of preschools in the community such as in rural areas; available space at schools; currently operating DOE prekindergarten classrooms with federal money that is about to end; and the interest and willingness of principals to work with EOEL on implementing a quality program.

Early Learning Schools

Click to enlarge

EOEL is requesting $4.5 million for the program through the Abercrombie Administration’s supplemental budget request. Implementation is contingent upon funding from the Legislature.

The Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) was established by Act 178 (passed as Senate Bill 2545) and signed into law by Gov. Abercrombie in June 2012. The creation of EOEL provides government-wide authority to guide the development of a comprehensive and integrated statewide early childhood development and learning system. For more information, visit: http://earlylearning.hawaii.gov

More Hawaii Public Schools Students Graduating on Time and Enrolling in College

More Hawaii public school students are graduating on time and enrolling in college, according to a new state report card. The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today released its first annual Strive HI Performance System results, which provide a comprehensive picture of the health of the islands’ schools. The figures are based on data from the 2012-13 school year.
DOE Release“We are extremely pleased to see significant improvements statewide on key college-and career-readiness indicators as we set a higher bar for students, teachers, as well as ourselves as educational leaders,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The new Strive HI Performance System allows us to do a much better job of measuring, understanding and supporting school progress. The results are very encouraging and a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers.”

Notable Strive HI results include:

  • Hawaii’s public schools have narrowed the achievement gap by 12 percent over the past two years. The gap measures the performance of “high-needs students” (those who have a disability, language barriers, or low family income) compared to the achievement of other students.
  • A majority of the state’s lowest-performing schools made tremendous growth after receiving targeted supports in “Zones of School Innovation.”
  • Of the state’s 14 top-performing schools, more than half (9) are Title I schools, meaning they overcame challenges associated with serving a large number of disadvantaged children from low-income families.
  • The on-time graduation rate (83 percent) and college enrollment rate (63 percent) continue to steadily rise over time.
  • Reading and math proficiency improved slightly. The percentage of students proficient in reading rose to 72 percent, from 71 percent a year ago, while math proficiency reached 60 percent from 59 percent.

Hawaii educators, parents, community groups and higher education stakeholders informed the development of the new Strive HI Performance System, which evaluates all 285 public schools, including charter schools. The system is designed to ensure all students graduate college-and career-ready by analyzing multiple achievement measures and offering tailored rewards, supports and interventions to schools.

The 2013 Strive HI Index List of Schools can be found under “Related Downloads” at http://bit.ly/StriveHISystem

Strive HI Performance System Background

In May, the federal government approved Hawaii’s Strive HI Performance System to replace outdated aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and align transformation initiatives with the Hawaii State Board and Department of Education Strategic Plan.

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 will serve as more of a diagnostic tool to understand 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.

“By valuing more than just test scores, we are taking a comprehensive look at the successes and challenges of schools,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “This wealth of data will allow educators, school leaders, parents and the community to have meaningful conversations about what is working and where they need to improve to prepare all students for college and careers.”

Based on their performance, schools are classified in one of five Strive HI Steps, each carrying varying degrees of rewards, supports and interventions to meet individual school needs. From highest to lowest, the steps include Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone.

The positive results come as Hawaii’s educators are in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform the state’s public education system, including a joint BOE/DOE Strategic Plan, Common Core State Standards, college-readiness assessments, more rigorous diploma requirements, and robust teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.

They also follow last month’s decision by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to lift high-risk status from the state’s federal Race to the top (RTTT) grant, noting “significant progress.”

A hallmark of the RTTT grant were “Zones of School Innovation (ZSI),” which 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. In all, 15 of the 18 ZSI schools (located in Nanakuli and Waianae on Oahu, and Kau, Keaau and Pahoa on the Hawaii Island) are now in “Continuous Improvement” status, meaning they no longer need intense interventions.

“The results from the Zones schools demonstrate that our commitment to high expectations, our strategic priorities and our collective belief that all students can achieve is paying off,” said Mary Correa, complex area superintendent for Kau, Keaau and Pahoa. “I’m excited with our progress, and we look forward to build on our success.”

Successful data-driven strategies that proved to be instrumental in turning around ZSI schools are being deployed statewide. Lessons learned through the ZSI initiative helped establish the foundation for the development of the Strive HI Performance System. More information can be found at HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Schools that made extraordinary achievements will be recognized during the annual Strive HI Awards event this fall.

To view a school’s rank, follow these simple steps:

Visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org and click on “Find Schools”
Type in the school in “Find by school name”
Click “Show Results”

The school will then show up
Click “Read More”
Under Reports – Click on to the Strive HI Performance System School Report

For charter school reports, visit our charter school page at


Military Families Still Not Sending Their Kids to Hawaii’s Public Schools

The U.S. Pacific Command is in the middle of a $600,000 study to find out why thousands of military families are not sending their school-age children to public schools in Hawaii.

Students from Hawaii's Pearl City Elementary School give Sailors assigned to Commander Navy Region Hawaii high-fives for the command's volunteer work at the school April 26, 2011. CNRH was one of several Hawaii-based commands that participated in the School Partnership Program, a community outreach initiative that partners a military command unit with a local public school. Mark Logico/U.S. Navy

After determining that 9,000 of the eligible 24,000 school-age students in military families were not attending public schools, top military leaders commissioned Johns Hopkins University researchers to focus on attitudes and opinions about the Hawaii education system.

The study, which began in 2009, is expected to conclude in June…

More Here: PACOM studying negative attitudes towards Hawaii’s Public Schools

Three $5,000 Awards from the Cooke Foundation are Currently Available to Hawai‘i Public Schools with Completed Beautification Projects

Media Release:

The Cooke Foundation will present three $5,000 awards, to one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, who have completed projects that beautify their school environment and significantly enhance the school’s overall appearance and ambiance. All public schools, including charter schools, in the state are eligible to apply.

“A beautiful environment at school is conducive to learning and encourages respect for one’s school, respect for others and respect for oneself,” said Lynne Johnson, Cooke Foundation trustee.

“I was inspired to witness the collaboration between students, faculty, staff and alumni as they transformed physical spaces into meaningful and beautiful works of art, through creative and innovative means,” said Gregory Wrenn, award coordinator for the Cooke Foundation.

Last year’s award recipient, Roosevelt High School, created a ceramic tile mural representing the school years from 1932 to the present. The project not only improved the school’s environment, but also promoted teamwork by bringing together 75 ceramic art students, alumni from the Class of 1960, teachers and staff.

The following criteria are required for all nominees:

  • The project should demonstrate significant improvement in the school’s appearance through better landscaping and/or improvement in the appearance of a school’s buildings, through such things as children’s artwork, murals, and gardens;
  • The school’s students, parents and faculty should have had an active role in the beautification project; and
  • All projects should show a clear maintenance plan for the ongoing beautification of the school, which must involve continued participation by the school community and/or outside organizations.

This is the fourth year the Cooke Foundation is awarding qualified schools with a beautification award. Previous Beautification Award recipients include Mokulele Elementary School, Washington Intermediate School, and Roosevelt High School on O`ahu (2010); Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School on O`ahu, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School on Hawai`i Island, and West Hawai`i Explorations Academy also on Hawai`i Island (2009); and S.W. King Intermediate School on O’ahu, Lahainaluna High School on Maui, and Innovations Public Charter School on Hawai’i Island (2008).

“We are very fortunate to have been the recipient of the Cooke Foundation Beautification Award but more importantly, it has fostered a school community spirit in continuing to create a beautiful art-based learning environment for our students,” said Ann A. Mahi, President Theodore Roosevelt High School principal. “We are excited as we plan our next project with our teachers, students and alumni and community members and thank the Cooke Foundation for this wonderful opportunity.”

Nomination forms can be obtained through the Cooke Foundation website at www.cookefdn.org. Nominations must be submitted to the Cooke Foundation, c/o the Hawai‘i Community Foundation by September 1, 2011.