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Hawaii DOE Awarded Grant to Launch Pilot of Culturally Accurate Student Assessments

The Assessment for Learning Project (ALP) announced today that the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) Office of Hawaiian Education was selected as one of 12 recipients to receive a portion of $2 million in grants from the organization and its partners. The winning proposal, titled “Culturally Responsive Assessment of HĀ Outcomes,” looks at designing an assessment that can support a broader and culturally accurate definition of student success in Hawaii.

DOE Breath​“This grant is crucial in helping the Department with its efforts to implement Nā Hopena A’o (HĀ), a board policy which was adopted in 2015,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We have developed a strong framework and through this grant, will work towards creating an assessment that can accurately measure a student’s experience and understanding of these competencies.”

​In 2015, the Board of Education adopted a set of six learning outcomes based on Hawaiian culture and values known as Policy E-3: Nā Hopena A’o (HĀ). The goal of this policy is to develop a set of skills and behaviors that reflect the values of the indigenous language and culture of Hawaii. The framework reflects HIDOE’s core values and beliefs in action, and includes the following competencies: Belonging, Responsibility, Excellence, Aloha, Total-well-being and Hawaii (BREATH).

​“Culture is an important factor in many aspects of education, including assessments,” said D. Kau’ilani Sang, director, Office of Hawaiian Education. “Hawaii is unique in so many ways from our language to our culture, it is only fair that we create a evaluation that takes this into consideration and accurately measures our students’ abilities.”

Some of the schools being tapped for the initial pilot based on their self identif​ied readiness are Castle High School, Ho’ola Leadership Academy, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Ānuenue and Maui District Kaiapuni schools. HIDOE plans on adding additional schools as the pilot progresses.

ALP issued a “request for learning” last fall inviting educators to submit proposals that rethink assessments and how they are being adapted to accommodate new forms of personalized learning. The other grant awardees include Henry County School District in Georgia, the Center for Collaborative Education, Del Lago Academy – Campus of Applied Science, Fairfax County Public Schools, Summit Public Schools, The Colorado Education Initiative, Two Rivers Public Charter School, WestEd, Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium, Learning Policy Institute, New Hampshire Department of Education.

To learn more about Policy E-3: Nā Hopena A’o (HĀ), click here. To learn more about ALP, visit www.assessmentforlearningproject.org.

50 Marathons 50 States… Finished at the Hilo International Marathon

A professor from Louisiana, Jorge Pullin, has completed his goal of completing a marathon in each and every state in America by finishing the Hilo International Marathon this past weekend.
Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin tweeted:

Finished the Marathon in Hilo, Hawaii in 6h29min. 50th marathon in 50th state. Mission accomplished!

According to Marathon Maniacs, Pullin started in his home state on February 26, 2005 with the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans, Louisiana with a marathon time of 6:21:42.

Over the next 11 years, Pullin would run in races across the United States and his best time would be his 40th race on June 28th, 2014 at the Run4Troops Marathon held in Iowa where he clocked a time of 5:36:35.

Hokulea Sails To Florida

After spending six days in Cuba interacting with the country’s local community for the first time in her history, Hawaii’s famed voyaging canoe Hokulea continues her journey by sailing roughly 96 nautical miles north to Key West, Florida. The crew left Havana, Cuba early today at 6:00 a.m. and is estimated to arrive at the Sunshine State’s southernmost point at approximately 9:00 p.m. local time. Note: Florida is six hours ahead of Hawaii time.

Hokulea equator

“Our experience in Cuba was very memorable,” said Kalepa Baybayan, captain and pwo navigator on board Hokulea. “Once again, we discovered common threads with a community who is also perpetuating the Malama Honua message of taking care of our precious natural resources through various innovative initiatives.” The Cuba engagement gave the Hokulea crew the opportunity to see FINCA Marta, an organic farm that used mostly solar power for irrigation. The crewmembers also visited the Museo de la Canoa to learn about Caribbean canoe history and Old Havana Town.

The Key West stop will allow Hokulea to clear customs before she reaches the continental US at Everglades City, Florida in the next few days. In Florida, the crew will have the opportunity to honor the indigenous people of the land. From Florida, the canoe will travel up the US East Coast with stops in South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC and New York. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to be part of the United Nations’ World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,500 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Click here for an archive of news releases since Hokulea’s 2014 Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage launch.

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 263

Mosquito Bite

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 263:

Potentially infectious individuals
1 onset 3/17/16
Cases no longer infectious
262 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 3/4/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)

Of the confirmed cases, 237 are Hawaii Island residents and 26 are visitors.
217 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 3/17/16.

As of today, a total of 1517 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Merrie Monarch Travel Alert

Travelers attending the Merrie Monarch Festival later this week are being alerted to quarantine restrictions on the transport of ohia from Hawaii Island due to a serious plant disease called rapid ohia death (ROD), also known as ohia wilt, which is devastating the native forests on that island.

Travel Alert

The quarantine restricts the movement of ohia plants and plant parts, including flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, twigs, cuttings, untreated wood, logs, mulch greenwaste and frass (sawdust from boring beetles) and any soil from Hawaii Island. Transport of such items is only allowed with a permit issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA).

“Ohia is one of the most important trees in our native forests and has such cultural significance,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Researchers are working hard to find methods to stop ROD and we ask that everyone obey the quarantine and assist in containing the spread of the disease to other islands.”

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture issued the emergency quarantine in August of 2015 to stop the spread of the plant fungus from Hawaii Island to other islands. Any person who violates the quarantine rule may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100. The maximum fine is $10,000. For a second offense committed within five years of a prior conviction under this rule, the person or organization shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $25,000.

HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors have printed a travel alert that is available at airports statewide. The card explains the quarantine and what travelers should and should not do. The information is also available on the department’s website at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/reportingohiawilt/

The Merrie Monarch Festival runs from March 27 to April 2 with dozens of hula halau and hundreds of spectators traveling to and from Hawaii Island. It is important to note that the very act of harvesting ohia may spread the disease as spores may be carried in soil and by vehicles, shoes and clothing to uninfected areas.

Multi-agency ROD working groups have been meeting with Native Hawaiian groups, the Merrie Monarch organization and other community groups to provide advice and guidance on the handling of ohia material.

ROD was first noticed in 2010 in Puna. In 2014, the fungus was identified as Ceratocystis fimbriata by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Daniel K. Inouye Agricultural Research Service. In 2014, it was estimated that the disease covered approximately 6,000 acres from Kalapana to Hilo and exhibited tree mortality rates of more than 50 percent. Currently, it is estimated to infect about 34,000 acres. So far, the disease has not been found on other islands. It is not known how the disease entered the state or where it came from.

Travelers seeking more ohia inspection information may contact HDOA’s Plant Quarantine offices:

Hilo – (808) 974-4141
Kona – (808) 326-1077
Honolulu – (808) 837-8413
Maui – (808) 872-3848
Kauai – (808) 241-7135

More information on ROD may be found at:

HDOA website: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/reportingohiawilt/

UH-College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources website:  http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/forestry/disease/ohia_wilt.html