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Big Island Video News – Hawaii County Democratic Convention, High Surf, Heavy Rains and More

Big Island Video News for May 20th, 2013:  Hawaii County Democratic Convention, High Surf, Heavy Rains and more courtesy of  HawaiiScoops:


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

Strive HI Performance System replaces components of federal NCLB requirements

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

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

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

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 It replaces NCLB’s most ineffective and outdated components with meaningful benchmarks aligned with goals of the HIDOE/Board of Education State Strategic Plan:


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

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

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

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

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


Kona Charter School “Greening Up” With Community Support

Kona Pacific Public Charter School is becoming an island leader in green school practices, thanks to generous community support and the commitment of school administrators, faculty and students.
The first few months of 2013 have been exciting ones for Kona Pacific’s ambitious program of environmental awareness, sustainability and green school practices. Several generous donations from community members and businesses have helped support the school’s various green initiatives.

Solar panels were installed this year on one of Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s new buildings. The school is now 100% solar powered.

Solar panels were installed this year on one of Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s new buildings. The school is now 100% solar powered.

Kona Pacific is now 100% solar powered. In January, solar contractor P.A. Harris Electric and private benefactors donated and installed a high-capacity rooftop solar power system, which has reduced the school’s monthly electric bill to less than $300.
Due to the school’s new proactive program of careful purchasing, aggressive recycling efforts, compost, and an ethic of re-use, the daily solid waste output is now a single garbage bag, for an organization of almost 300 people, and water use is now 25% of what is considered average for a school of this size.
In March, supported by the “Zero Waste” Initiative of Hawai‘i County’s Department of Environmental Management, students from Kona Pacific pitched in at two major community events, the Kona Brewers Festival and Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club’s Mac-A-Thon, to man zero-waste stations in an effort to minimize the amount of waste material going into the island’s landfill and reduce the events’ impact on Hawaii’s natural environment.
“These efforts are a terrific way to engage students in turning their school into a green school, which is one of Kona Pacific’s strategic goals,” said [who should be quoted?] “It’s the enthusiasm and activism of our young people that will create a green future for our island.”
Kona Pacific, which offers a rigorous academic program inspired by Waldorf education and firmly rooted in the land and culture of Hawai‘i, is located on 40 acres of prime agricultural land mauka of Kona Community Hospital. The school also operates a significant community service, the WHOLE Food Service Program, which provides more than 200 at-risk and disadvantaged students, young children and elderly with healthy meals.
The school’s gardens and biodynamic farm will be integrated with the food service program to ensure the WHOLE Food program’s sustainability and ongoing access to local, affordable and high-quality produce.
Most recently, in April Kona Pacific received a $6,000 grant from the Bill Healy Foundation in support of the school’s dedication to green efforts and community well-being, and this month received a $17,500 grant from the Sam Mazza Foundation for the  construction of a “green” nature-based playground, using only natural materials.
For more information about Kona Pacific’s green initiatives, or to learn more about The WHOLE Food Service program, please contact:
Chris Hecht
Executive Director
Kona Pacific Public Charter School