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News

Charter schools make great strides in student achievement

By the Ho’okako’o Corp. board
Star Advertiser - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

As members of the local school board for three Public Conversion Charter Schools, we have had the privilege of seeing firsthand how the promise of the charter school movement can be fulfilled through visionary and courageous leadership and an engaged school and parent community.

Over the last decade, Ho’okako’o Corp. has celebrated Kualapu’u School’s transformation from “under performing” to making “Adequate Yearly Progress,” which is a measure used under the federal No Child Left Behind initiative to determine if schools are successfully educating their students.  We have watched the community at Waimea Middle School use innovative partnerships to raise student achievement, and we have cheered the faculty at Kamaile Academy as they plan the high school that will extend their highly personal learning environment from kindergarten through graduation.

In her recently released “Performance Audit of the Hawaii Public Charter School System,” state auditor Marion Higa highlights the inconsistencies and inappropriate uses of public funds that impede the most important thing our keiki deserve: a quality public education.  We fully support legislative changes to ensure that there is increased accountability for both local school boards and the Charter School Review Panel, and we appreciate that the auditor noted that Ho’okako’o stopped questionable spending practices at Kamaile Academy.  We also recognize that this audit concentrated on only one aspect of the exciting journey to provide innovation and choice in education through well-run and managed charter schools.

Among the many successes we have seen:

>>As the state auditor noted in her report, Kamaile Academy was the only charter school included in the audit that has negotiated a supplemental agreement with the Hawaii State Teachers Association to allow innovative models for teacher growth and evaluation.  In fact, Kamaile is the first public school in Hawaii to offer an Expanded Learning Time model that fosters increased teacher collaboration time and attention to student performance data.

>> Kualapu’u School’s Expanded Learning Time model has gained nationwide recognition and the data in its implementation year already shows increased teacher and community satisfaction with the improvements to teaching and learning.

>>Waimea Middle School has been lauded for innovative community partnerships, such as the Mala’ai Garden, which teaches the children important lessons beyond the core curriculum such as sustainability and Hawaiian culture.

As we said, this is a journey.  In the past decade, all charter school local school boards have had to address the growing pains that are inevitable with significant change: inconsistencies in state law, challenges with collective bargaining and underfunding.  Our board has had to balance the need to let strong and visionary leaders lead with the need to intervene and even remove leadership in order to make sure our students are well served.  We have approved this journey with the understanding that no two schools are the same.

Our schools are in different communities, and face different challenges.  It is precisely because there is room in our public school system for different educational models that our schools and students can thrive.  What we have seen over the past decade makes us more certain than ever that the charter school movement is worth our continuing support, so that every student has the ability to reach his or her full potential.

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This commentary was signed by the board of directors of the Ho’okako’o Corp.: Keith Vieira, chairman; Megan McCorriston, executive director; Pauline Lo Bailey; Ann Botticelli; Mitch D’Olier; Guy Kaulukukui; Ray Soon; Robert Witt; and Don Young.


Kualapu’u Public Conversion Charter School’s Success Story

In an ongoing series on charter schools in the Star Advertiser, the following May 22, 2011 article on Kualapu’u School on Molokai was published.  Kualapu’u is a Pre-K to 6th grade school that serves 89% Native Hawaiians and 79% free and reduced lunch students.  To read the complete story, click on this link

2010 Hawai`i State Legislature: Joint Report of Ho`okako`o Corporation and HIDOE on SCR52 SD1

Report to 2010 Hawai`i State Legislature from Ho`okako`o Corporation in collaboration with the Hawai`i Department of Education (HIDOE) on national and state research, policies, and models for expanded learning time and status report on current efforts in Hawaii to rethink and redesign the use of learning time for student success.
FINAL_LEGISLATIVE_REPORT_2009.pdf


Interview with a Time Innovator

Hawaii has made front page news in education circles for its recent decision to cut 17 days from its school year in response to its budget shortfall. Yet amidst this troubling move to shorten the academic calendar there exists an initiative that is actually adding more time to the school year. Thanks in large part to the leadership of Lynn Fallin, President and Executive Director of the Ho`okako`o Corporation, schools under the organization’s management are not participating in the education furloughs, with one school having already added 300 hours to their school year and another planning to do so next year. Lynn has had a remarkable career within the education policy arena including serving as an advisor to two former Hawaii governors. We are pleased to name her as this issue’s time innovator.

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KUALAPU’U ELEMENTARY CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW PRE-KINDERGARTEN

While parents and educators across Hawaii bemoaned the first furlough Friday and the shortening of the school year, it was a very different scene at Kualapu’u Elementary School on Molokai.

Amidst a shrinking economy and job market, this conversion charter school has actually added students and staff. Not only was school in session on furlough Friday but parents, students and educators gathered to celebrate and bless the opening of the school’s new pre-kindergarten.

It was standing room only in the self-contained pre-kindergarten that sits on the campus of Kualapu’u, the largest of the four public elementary schools on Molokai. Besides the mainstream school, Kualapuu School also houses a Hawaiian Language Immersion Program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The pre-kindergarten opened at the beginning of this school year with 18 students.

With this new addition to the campus, the conversion charter school becomes the first public school in Hawaii to directly operate and manage a pre-kindergarten.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009910260365

Special thanks to David Lichtenstein for writing the article. 

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WAIMEA MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN AS USUAL ON FURLOUGH FRIDAYS

As the state’s first public conversion charter school, Waimea Middle School will be open as usual on Friday, Oct. 23 and 30 – and all of the DOE’s Furlough Fridays this school year.  Breakfast and lunch will be available as usual in the school cafeteria and there will be bus service.  A special Furlough Friday bus schedule has been sent home to families.  If families are unsure about bus pickup times, please call 937-2833.  Attendance at school is extremely important every day, and all students are expected to attend unless they are ill.  If families have questions, please call the school – 887-6090.  MEDIA CONTACT:  Patti Cook 937-2833 - Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School


HO`OKAKO`O CORPORATION EXHIBITOR AT CNHA CONVENTION

Ho`okako`o Corporation (HC) was an exhibitor at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Convention (CNHA) on August 25, 26 and 27.  HC set up a booth at the CHNA conference with a banner displaying the logos of all three HC schools - Kamaile Academy, Kualapu’u School, and Waimea Middle School.  Our main goal was public visibility for HC around the achievements of our conversion charter schools. All three schools were represented: Patti Cook from Waimea Middle School; Lydia Trinidad from Kualapu’u School; and Glen Kila and Clarence De Lude from Kamaile helped “mind the booth”. School t-shirts and “green” tote bags were on display ‘for sale”. Thursday was a lucky day for all of us… Senator Inouye paid a visit to the conference, and Lydia gave him a Kualapu’u t-shirt – and she also got her photo taken with him!  In addition, several Kualapu’u staff and families came by our booth and had their photos taken with the banner.  The three day break out sessions were highly informative and provided HC staff and schools with opportunities to network with other non-profits, learn about grant opportunities, and reconnect with old friends across the islands.


WAIMEA MIDDLE SCHOOL AUG. 19 OPEN HOUSE

Waimea Middle School families are invited to an Open House to learn why ‘Pa’ahana’ and ‘Kaizen’ are now school-wide expectations.

Pa’ahana:  A Hawaiian term for hard, industrious work.
Kaizen:  A Japanese term for striving every day to do better than the day before.

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SCHOOL REDESIGN PARTNERSHIPS: MASS2020 ELT TEAM VISITS HAWAI`I

Ho`okako`o Corporation was honored to host Jennifer Davis, President and Co-founder of MASS2020, Helenann Civian, Director of ELT Programs at MASS2020, and Pat Massa, Principal of Garfield Middle School in Revere, Massachusetts to introduce the framework and success of Expanded Learning Time (ELT) to complex area supervisors, directors and principals in our Hawai`i State Department of Education (DOE).

The National Center on Time and Learning (NCTL), and Massachusetts 2020 collaborated with Ho`okako`o Corporation (HC) to present a workshop on Expanded Learning Time (ELT) at Leeward Community College on July 15, 2009.

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KUALAPU’U SCHOOL APPROVED FOR PRE-K PROGRAM

June 25, 2009

The Charter School Review Panel (CSRP) approved the Kualapuu DIP amendment for Pre-K program for 18-20 children starting in SY 09-010. Congratulations to Lydia Trinidad, Principal, and her Leadership Team!  And a BIG Mahalo to Kamehameha Schools for their support; we would not be able to do this innovation without their generous funding for our Hawaiian keiki.


KAMAILE ACADEMY STUDENT IS A WINNER IN THE 2009 OCEAN CONTEST

A Kamaile Academy student has won 3rd place in the Art-Kindergarten category for the NOAA 2009 Ocean Contest!

We are very proud of Devyne Noel Brooks for her outstanding artwork!

According to the article at the website below: “The contest was held in February during Humpback Whale Awareness Month, a program of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Youngsters in kindergarten through eighth grade were invited to express their insights, observations and understanding of their natural environment through the creation of original artworks, poems and short stories.  More than 570 entries were submitted and evaluated by judges who work in the marine conservation arena. All entrants became members of the Ocean Guardian Kids Club and received an exclusive Humpback Whale Kids Packet. Winning students won prizes provided by Oceanic, the Hanauma Bay Gift Shop, the Waikiki Aquarium and the sanctuary.”

More information can be found at: http://www.hawaii247.org/2009/06/07/four-isle-students-winners-in-2009-ocean-contest/


STUDENTS SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME IN SCHOOL

The Ho’okako’o Corporation (HC), in partnership with Kamehameha Schools, Bank of Hawai’i, the National Center on Time and Learning and Massachusetts 2020, is planning to pilot “The Time Has Come” Expanded Learning Time (ELT) models at three public conversion charter schools: Kamaile Academy, Kualapu’u School and Waimea Middle School.  The state Department of Education and Ho’okako’o Corporation will collaborate on the development of the ELT plans that will promote the achievement and success of Hawai’i public school students.  And the Hawai’i state Legislature is considering passage of a resolution in support of the Expanded Learning Time program, to be introduced by Sen. Norman Sakamoto, chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Rep. Roy Takumi, chair of the House Committee on Education. 

The concept of Expanded Learning Time requires the complete redesign of a school’s educational program: ELT increases the time on instruction, and combines academics with enrichment for a robust and well-rounded student experience; it successfully prepares students for global 21st-century opportunities, and supports teachers by giving them more time for planning, training, and professional development.

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SUSTAINABILITY, ALIEN CRITTERS, GEMINI STARLAB AND EDIBLE ATOMS

By Patti Cook, Director of Communication, Waimea Middle School
POSTED: December 9, 2008

What does ‘Sustainability’ really mean?  That’s the essential question and theme for this year’s Waimea Middle School Science Fair, which will culminate with a Family Science Night from 5:30-7 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 11, 2008 in Thelma Parker Memorial Gym.  WMS students are inviting their families and community friends to check out the 8th Grade science competition as well as projects by 6th and 7th Graders exploring various aspects of sustainability and what it means to be ‘Green.’  Also on display will be a variety of science projects including elaborate models of atoms – including some that are edible. 

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KUALAPU’U SCHOOL RISES FROM RESTRUCTURING TO MEET AYP

By CLAUDINE SAN NICOLAS, Staff Writer
POSTED: September 9, 2008

A successful appeal by Kualapuu Elementary School, a charter school on Molokai, has taken it from a bottom rating to a top rating under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  “Woo hoo!” said Kualapuu Principal Lydia Trinidad in a telephone interview Monday.  To read more, go to http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/508192.html 

Events

NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD FORUM - June 2009

Ho’okako’o set up a National Advisory Board (NAB) that meets with community partners to further support our work and provide external perspective on policies and programs that might benefit public education and Hawaiian Conversion Charter schools.  Members of NAB include: Dr. Yvonne Chan, Vaughn New Century Conversion Charter School; Dr. Ruby Takanishi, President of the Foundation for Child Development; Dr. Guilbert Hentschke, USC Rossier School of Education; and Bruno Manno, Senior Associate on Education, Annie E. Casey Foundation.  The NAB Forum will be held in June, 2009 in Honolulu.

Meetings

HO’OKAKO’O CORPORATION (HC) BOARD MEETINGS

2013

October 17
Agenda

July 18
Agenda

March 14
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

January 10
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

2012

October 18
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

August 10
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

May 3
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

March 8
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

January 27
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

2011

November 17
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

June 16
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

March 10
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

February 18
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

January 13
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

2010

November 30
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED

October 19
Agenda
Meeting Minutes_APPROVED