Latest Episode of Maui Mana‘o is out

Maui senators J. Kalani English, Rosalyn Baker and Gilbert Keith-Agaran talk about the issues affecting Maui and how the State Senate is addressing those issues in the latest episode of Maui Mana‘o.

If you’ve been curious about airport and highway modernization on Maui, the status of naming the new high school in Kihei after the late U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink, funding for Maui Memorial Medical Center, and issues facing Hawaiian Homelands, then watch Maui Mana‘o.

Senators Recognize Maui School Teacher Anthony Kamaka‘eu Williams

 Pa‘ia Elementary School Teacher wins Maui District Teacher of the Year


The Hawai‘i State Senate recognized Anthony Kamaka‘eu Williams in a special presentation on the chamber’s floor for being named the 2014 Maui School District Teacher of the Year. Williams is a fourth grade Hawaiian language immersion teacher at Pa‘ia Elementary School. Williams was one of seven District Teacher of the Year recipients and will receive a monetary award from the Polynesian Cultural Center and gifts of instructional software from SMART Technologies for this honor.

“I commend Kumu Kamaka‘eu for this great honor. His passion for the Hawaiian language and teaching students is inspirational to all educators,” said Senator J. Kalani English, who represents Hana, east and upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe. “Just 30 years ago, the Hawaiian language was close to becoming extinct. The Hawaiian language lives on thanks to committed teachers such as Kumu Kamaka‘eu who have dedicated their lives to the Hawaiian Immersion Program.”

“Congratulations to Kumu Kamaka‘eu,” said Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, who represents Wailuku, Waihe‘e, and Kahului. “In addition to classroom education in Hawaii, Kumu Kamaka‘eu leads extracurricular activities in order to provide a Hawaiian language environment to students outside of the school day. It is truly encouraging to see educators so invested in our keiki.”

“This is a well-deserved accolade for Kumu Kamaka‘eu. He is an extraordinary educator who was also voted Maui Hawaiian Immersion Teacher of the Year in 2012,” said Senator Roz Baker, who represents South and West Maui. “Kumu Kamaka‘eu plays an important role in keeping the Hawaiian language alive as well as maintaining the rigors of the Common Core standards. I admire his dedication to students and the community.”

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Education Week Kicks Off at the State Capitol

Today is the start of Education Week at the Hawaii State Legislature. The week-long event will feature displays, presentations, demonstrations, and rallies in support of education initiatives that highlight the success of our schools and our students.

Sponsored by the Senate and House Education Committees chairs, Senator Jill Tokuda and Representative Roy Takumi, the celebration will include programs and events that encourages our students and the public to visit the State Capitol, engage with policymakers and actively participate in the legislative process.

The event kicked off today with an Early Learning Rally featuring a concert by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band.


Senator Tokuda dancing to music by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band


Participants at the Early Learning Rally

The Senate then honored recipients of the 2014 Teacher of the Year Awards during a special presentation on the chamber’s floor.


Senators of the 27th Legislature with 2014 Teacher of the Year Award recipients

All week long, events will be held to raise awareness for education issues and to showcase Hawaii’s educational talent.  The public is invited to attend all Education Week events. The following is a schedule of events planned for remainder of this year’s Education Week:

TUESDAY, MARCH 19

University of Hawaii Community College Day
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol Rotunda

Legislator Interviews
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 224

Windward Community College Art Displays
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 225

Senate Floor Presentation:
50th Anniversary of the University of Hawaii Community Colleges
Time: 11:30 a.m
Place: Senate Chamber

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20

Coffee Hour with Legislators
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 224 and 225

Healthy Schools Day
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: State Capitol Rotunda

Early Learning Advisory Board
Time: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 224 and 225

Senate Floor Presentations:
2014 Principals of the Year, We the People Competition student winners
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Senate Chambers

THURSDAY, MARCH 21

Creating New Best Practices for Public Education in Hawaii
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 225

R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health) Performances
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Relay Race at 10:00 a.m.)
Place: State Capitol Rotunda

Senate and House Floor Presentations:
2014 Milken Educator Awards, Presidential Awards in Teaching, and Librarian Awards
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Senate Chambers

FRIDAY, MARCH 22

Friends of the Hawaii State Library System Book Sale
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 225

Military Appreciation in the Schools — Demonstrations, Performances and Displays
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Capitol Rotunda

Floor Presentation:
Waipahu High School, LifeSmarts winners, Roosevelt High School Carnegie Hall Performance Series
winners
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Senate Chambers

Hawaii State Senate Celebrates Education

State Legislature’s Annual Education Week to Begin on March 17th


 

Education will be the focus of an interactive week-long celebration at the State Capitol from March 17-21, 2014. Various educational stakeholders and organizations that make a difference in the lives of Hawaii’s students will be participating in the legislature’s annual Education Week. Displays, presentations, demonstrations, and rallies in support of education initiatives that highlight the success of our schools and our students will take place throughout the week. During House and Senate Floor Sessions, legislators will also be honoring various individuals and schools receiving awards such as teachers of the year, principals of the year, and other educator awards.

The event is hosted by the Hawaii State Legislature’s Senate and House Committees on Education. This year’s celebration will include programs and events that encourages our students and the public to visit the State Capitol, engage with policymakers and actively participate in the legislative process.

#EDWK2014 #HILEG

Some highlights include:

  • A college fair of Hawaii’s community colleges
  • Demonstration of robotics, solar cars and welding
  • Demonstration of a preschool classroom to learn about early learning programs
  • Performances by Mililani Middle School students
  • A book sale hosted by the Friends of the Hawaii State Library System
  • Displays, presentations and demonstrations of military presence in the schools

Below is a calendar of the events:

MONDAY, MARCH 17
Early Education Day

Preschool Classroom Visitation
Learn about quality and accessibility in community-based early learning programs
Time:  7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Place:  State Capitol, Room 224 and 225

Early Learning Concert and Rally
Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band perform in a rally in support of early learning
Time:  8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Place:  State Capitol Rotunda

Senate Floor Presentations:
2014 Teacher of the Year and District Teachers of the Year Awards
Time:  11:30 a.m.
Place:  Senate Chamber

TUESDAY, MARCH 18
University of Hawaii Community College Day 

Shows and Demonstrations:

    • Honolulu Community College Fashion Show
    • Honolulu Community College Robotics Demonstrations
    • Honolulu Community College Welding Demonstrations
    • Leeward Community College Solar Car Demonstrations
    • Culinary Food Demonstrations

Time:  9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place:  State Capitol Rotunda

Legislator Interviews
Time:  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place:  State Capitol, Room 224

Windward Community College Art Displays
Time:  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place:  State Capitol, Room 225

Senate Floor Presentations:
50th Anniversary of the University of Hawaii Community Colleges
Time:  11:30 a.m
Place:  Senate Chamber

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19

Secondary Student Conference:  Coffee Hour with Legislators
Students meet with legislators to “talk story” and learn about the legislative process.
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Place:  State Capitol, Room 224 and 225

Participating Schools:

    • Aiea High School
    • Ewa makai Middle School
    • Hana High School
    • Kailua High School
    • Kalaheo High School
    • Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus
    • Kapolei High School
    • Kekaulike High School
    • Lahainaluna High School
    • Maui High School
    • Mililani High School
    • Moanalua High School
    • Molokai High School
    • Pear City High School
    • Radford High School
    • Sacred Hearts Academy
    • St. Anthony High School
    • Waiakea High School
    • Wailua High School
    • Waipahu High School

Healthy Schools Day
Demonstrations of school gardens, physical fitness, and nutrition, a relay race with teams representing the House, Senate and Governor’s Office, and presentation of Wellness Award Winners
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Relay Race at 10:00 a.m.)
Place:  State Capitol Rotunda

Early Learning Advisory Board
Meet with members of the Advisory Board and discuss how to meet the development and learning needs of keiki statewide
Time: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Place:  State Capitol, Room 224 and 225

Senate Floor Presentations:
2014 Principals of the Year, We the People Competition student winners
Time:  11:30 a.m.
Place:  Senate Chambers

THURSDAY, MARCH 20

Creating New Best Practices for Public Education in Hawaii
Representatives from charter schools discuss best practices over frozen yogurt and toppings
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 225

R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health) Performances
Students from Mililani Middle School put on band, orchestra, dance and robotics performances
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Relay Race at 10:00 a.m.)
Place:  State Capitol Rotunda

Senate and House Floor Presentations:
2014 Milken Educator Awards, Presidential Awards in Teaching, and Librarian Awards
Time:  11:30 a.m.
Place:  Senate Chambers

FRIDAY, MARCH 21

Friends of the Hawaii State Library System Book Sale
Time:  9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Place:  State Capitol, Room 225

Military Appreciation in the Schools — Demonstrations, Performances and Displays
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Capitol Rotunda 

Floor Presentation:
Waipahu High School, LifeSmarts winners, Roosevelt High School Carnegie Hall Performance Series winners
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place:  Senate Chambers

DOE Updates Lawmakers on 5-Year Program to Reduce Energy Costs

Lawmakers discuss SB2424 SB2, master strategy for cooling of public school facilities

 The Senate and House Committees on Education and Energy yesterday heard from the Department of Education (DOE) to get an update on Ka Hei, the department’s five-year comprehensive sustainability energy program. The goal of the program is to integrate innovative energy technology with meaningful learning experiences, all while reducing energy costs and operational expenses.  (The hearing can be viewed at the Senate Webcast Archive Pilot.)

Also in attendance were Chevron Hawaii, University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, State Energy Office.

Much of the discussion focused around renewable energy and technology to create a master cooling strategy for all schools.

Senator Jill Tokuda, chair of the Committee on Education, said that an optimal course of action for cooling should start with the quick but efficient collection of good data related to school cooling needs and challenges to help lawmakers make decisions on how to strategically approach this issue and devise a plan to sustain both the funding and infrastructure moving forward.

“We would be doing the public a disservice by simply appropriating funds without strategically looking at the best possible way to provide the needed infrastructure upgrades while understanding how it fits into our overall facilities master plan and remaining cost-effective, efficient and sustainable,” said Senator Tokuda.

Currently moving through the legislative process this session is a measure that addresses the issue of cooling Hawaii schools. Senate Bill 2424 would require the DOE and the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS), together with various state entities, to develop a master strategy to cool all public school facilities and conduct a comprehensive study that addresses factors such as the electrical standards needed and costs associated with furnishing and maintaining air conditioning units in school buildings.

“Many of Hawaii’s school buildings were not built to accommodate sources that require substantial electrical needs and are not even optimal to sustain renewable energy technologies,” said Sen. Tokuda. “Cooling and upgrading our schools is a priority for lawmakers and I believe there is a desire to provide a significant amount of resources in the budget towards the cause,” added Tokuda. “Bu we need to do it smart. We will be at a good place with the work of Ka Hei program and other initiatives, and SB2424 will help us move forward strategically.”

In their testimony, Ka Hei representatives provided lawmakers with a projected timeline of five phases that would run from 2014 to 2018. Phase one would include fast-tracking solar PV installations on “open HECO circuits”, which is covers approximately 30 schools. It was also noted that even though the DOE has over 44 million square feet of learning space, not every single square foot would need to be air conditioned.

Among other initiatives, Hawaii’s Natural Energy Institute is working to develop a facility assessment protocol to guide the design of comfortable learning environments with reduced energy consumption, using James Campbell High School complex as a test site.

SB2424 will be heard by the House Committee on Education on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. in conference room 309.

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*Senate Webcast Archive Pilot – http://olelo.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=13

Funds Release for Kohala Elementary and Honoka‘a High School

Senator Malama Solomon, District 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona, today commended the release of $7.73 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) supporting student education in Hawaii.

Portions of these funds will go toward work in District 4, including:

  • Kohala Elementary, for American with Disabilities Act (ADA) projects, portion of $7,554,000
  • Kohala Elementary, for a special education portable, $80,000
  • Honoka‘a High School, for science lab upgrades, $100,000 for design work

“Supporting schools in my district is one of my main priorities as a lawmaker,” said Solomon. “The Legislature secured the funds for these very important projects last session and I’m glad to see the monies released so that work can get started. It’s imperative that we continue to provide students, teachers and staff with the resources for a favorable learning environment.”

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For more information, please contact:
Senator Malama Solomon
State Capitol, Room 210
Honolulu Hawaii  96813
Phone: (808) 586-7335

Senators visit Moanalua Middle School as implementation of Access to Learning pilot project begins

State senators Jill Tokuda and Michelle Kidani, along with members of the State House of Representative, Board of Education, and staff from the Department of Education,  visited Moanalua Middle School Friday, February 21.

In July 2013, Moanalua Middle School was one of eight public schools, and the only middle school, chosen to participate in the Hawaii Department of Education pilot project, Access to Learning. The eight schools were given a tablet or laptop for every student and teacher, as well as new curriculum and training on Google Apps for Education. The schools were selected based on their technological readiness, commitment to integrating technology in the classroom and readiness to implement a large school-wide project.

DSC_0219(1)_edited-1Moanalua Middle School students giving a presentation of their blog post on idioms

The Access Learning pilot project strives to harness the power of technology to support innovations in teaching and learning by implementing a 1:1 student to computer ratio. It supports schools’ implementation of new digital curricula aligned with the Common Core State Standards, which are new learning standards for language arts and math.

Moanalua Middle School is using the pilot to cover all content areas for its students, not just in English and math. Additionally, teachers and staff had extensive training and professional development to prepare them for the implementation of the Access to Learning pilot project.

Students using Google Forms to complete assignments in band class

Apple MacBook Air laptops were recently issued to every student and lawmakers visited classrooms at Moanalua Middle School to see how they are being used and integrated into classroom instruction.

The Senate and House Committees on Education will hold a joint informational briefing to hear updates from the Hawaii Department of Education on the Access to Learning pilot project on Friday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 309 of the State Capitol.

Senator Michelle Kidani sitting with students at Moanalua Middle School

Senator Jill Tokuda observing students using Google Docs to peer edit one another’s writing

Balancing Budget on Backs of Students Ill-advised

Senate President Donna Mercado Kim introduces resolution urging UH officials to not raise student fees to fix Athletic Department’s potential $2 million deficit

Senate President Donna Mercado Kim is strongly urging University of Hawaii officials not to balance a potential $2 million budget deficit by raising student fees. Through a senate resolution, she points out the already high student fees per semester that amount to $1,400,000 per year to the UH Athletics Department. Students currently pay a $50 mandatory fee per semester.

Officials have blamed the deficit on a disappointing 1-11 football season with low ticket sales and the inability to meet a $1 million fundraising goal. However, although acknowledging these facts, the resolution also points out that the discontent and dissatisfaction of some longtime financial supporters with the leadership and transparency of the Board of Regents and the President, and their public statements on no longer contributing funds.

“University officials made bad leadership decisions and now we are seeing the result of them,” said Kim. “Why are we asking our students to pay for the shortfalls of university decision makers? We shouldn’t allow students to shoulder the burden of the UH Athletics Department or any other department.”

According to the resolution, student fees should be based on an objective criteria or an appropriate formula rather than an apparently arbitrary amount decided by the University. It goes on to say that if fees are raised to close a budget deficit, once it is balanced, those fees should be reduced accordingly.

“This is not what we want to teach our future generation of leaders,” she added. “By passing the buck to them, we’re saying ‘Look, if you make a mistake and don’t meet expectations, you can just force someone else to deal with it.’”

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Students Testify via Videoconference

SB2441 establishes R.E.A.C.H. programs, SB2446 names new Maui school after late U.S. Rep. Mink

Honolulu – Students from across the state participated in the legislative process by testifying via videoconferencing during a Senate hearing on two education bills.

Senate Bill 2441 establishes the R.E.A.C.H. program within the Office of Youth Services to provide a standardized framework and funding for after-school programs in public middle and intermediate schools. The bill establishes a revolving fund to receive fees and other moneys to supplement the costs of administering and operating the program; appropriates funds for establishing the R.E.A.C.H. program to provide funding for after-school programs in middle and intermediate public schools; and establishes one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) position to support the program and appropriates funds for that position. Students from Hana High and Elementary School, Waiakea Intermediate School, Mililani Middle School and Molokai Intermediate School testified before the committee on this measure via video conferencing.

SB2446 requires the Department of Education to name the new public high school in Kihei, Maui the “Patsy Takemoto Mink High School,” in honor of the late United States Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink. Students from Kihei Public Charter School, Maui Waena Intermediate School and Maui High School testified on this measure via video conferencing

“Increasing access and transparency has always been a top priority for the Senate, and utilizing technology is an effective way of achieving this goal,” said Senator Jill Tokuda, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee. “The measures before us impact our students and our schools, and the policies we draft are strengthened by their input and ideas. I look forward to seeing more individuals use this tool to provide testimony.”

Beginning this legislative session, all Hawaii residents will now have the chance to testify at hearings before the Senate Committees on Education (EDU) and Technology and the Arts (TEC) without physically being there. In January 2013, the Senate began a pilot project to allow neighbor island residents the opportunity to participate in the legislative process without traveling to Oahu. Understanding that access is also a barrier for Oahu residents, the committees now pilot the videoconferencing technology statewide.

In its inaugural year, the Neighbor Island Videoconferencing Program was piloted by the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Technology and the Arts. In its second year, the two committees will continue to pilot this project, increasing the amount of constituents that can be reached and who can testify by expanding statewide. Hearing notices for the pilot project hearings will indicate that videoconferencing testimony will be allowed and contain a link to instructions for the public on how to participate. Because this is a pilot project, there are some limitations to how many individuals are able to participate. Following the completion of the legislative session, the project will be evaluated.

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Hawai‘i State Legislature to Receive Overview on Kindergarten Entry Age Transformation

Honolulu – The Senate and House committees on education will be holding a joint informational briefing to receive an overview of the ongoing efforts to support upcoming changes to Hawaii’s kindergarten entry age.

The briefing will be held on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Conference Room 414.

We are all working hard to make sure our families impacted by this age change have the information and support necessary to make the transition as smooth as possible,” said Senator Jill Tokuda, chair of the Senate Committee on Education. “Ensuring that our late born children are taken care of, and having our public and private providers ready to step up to meet their needs will not happen overnight. This has been a multi-agency effort, and I applaud the willingness of all of our early learning stakeholders to be involved in the process.”

The following individuals have been invited to participate:

  • GG Weisenfeld, Director, Executive Office on Early Learning
  • Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent, Department of Education
  • Pankaj Bhanot, Division Administrator, Department of Human Services, Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division
  • Kim Guieb-Kang, Operations Specialist, Hawai‘i P-3 Initiative
  • Katherine Murphy, Executive Director, Hawai‘i Association for the Education of Young Children

Kindergarten enrollment transformations will initiate in the 2014-15 school year. As required by Act 178, Session Laws of 2012, a child must be five years old on or before July 31 of the school year to enter kindergarten. Previously, the State of Hawai‘i allowed children to enter kindergarten if they turned five on or before December 31. This change in date aligns Hawai‘i with the vast majority of states.

This informational briefing will be broadcasted by Capitol TV on ‘Olelo channel 53 and live streamed at www.olelo.org.

For more information on the kindergarten entry age change, please see: www.earlylearning.hawaii.gov.

For more information on this briefing, please see: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/hearingnotices/HEARING_EDU-EDN_10-16-13_INFO_.HTM.

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