Summer 2013 Newsletter

Hawai‘i was selected by the National Governors Association (NGA) as one of six states to participate in a joint effort to improve learning outcomes from early childhood through third grade.

To effectively prepare students for college and career, educators, practitioners and researchers have recognized the importance of all children having a high quality early learning experience. As part of this effort, Hawai‘i will receive guidance and technical assistance from NGA staff and faculty experts, as well as consultants from the private sector research organizations and educators to develop and implement a plan to improve policies and practices that will support early learning academic success.

Charged with leading coordinated efforts, the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) formulated the application in partnership with Hawai‘i P-20.

The goal of this effort is to help participating states build awareness and commitment among parents, educators and board of education officials to support a continuum of high-quality opportunities for early learning, as well as develop and begin to carry out a state-specific plan to implement learning objectives. NGA will work with the selected states to improve policies and practices related to educator effectiveness and the use of appropriate assessment systems.

Governor Abercrombie announced the appointment of GG Weisenfeld, Ed.D., Hawai‘i P-20’s current Hawai‘i P-3 Director, as the new director of the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL). Weisenfeld will take over for Terry Lock, the state’s former director, starting July 16th. Moving forward, the point of contact for Hawai‘i P-3 will be Ms. Kim Guieb, our P-3 Operations Specialist. Kim can be reached at:

In May, in collaboration with the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL), Hawai‘i P-20 awarded ten projects with funding to develop materials that will help support the successful implementation of the Hawai‘i Early Learning and Development Standards (HELDS) across Hawai‘i’s diverse early learning settings.

The HELDS is a set of research-based standards that identify the expectations of knowledge and behavior for children from birth up through kindergarten entry. The standards support early childhood professionals in the development of their programs and provide guidance on how to integrate strategies to educate young children. HELDS also helps to inform and reassure parents about the development of their child, and supports communication between teachers, caregivers and families.

The supplemental materials of the ten projects range from web-based resources, curriculum guides, developmentally appropriate activities, communication tools, training framework and guides to  visual displays for early childhood administrators, practitioners and families.

In partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i P-20 released the 2012 College and Career Readiness Indicators Reports, which presents information on how well graduates are prepared to meet the DOE’s Vision of a High School Graduate. Notable highlights from this year’s report include:

  • The percentage of students taking Advanced Placement exams increased from 21 percent to 24 percent.
  • College enrollment among graduates increased from 53 percent to 54 percent.
  • The percentage of students who enrolled in a University of Hawai‘i campus in college-level math (24 percent) and college-level English (42 percent) both increased by four percentage points over the class of 2011.
  • The percentage of students requiring remedial classes dropped to 31 percent from 34 percent in English and remained at 36 percent for math.

For complete CCRI School Summaries and the technical report, click here.

The Hawai‘i Data Exchange Partnership is gearing up for its first annual data summit on Friday, October 11 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. The event will showcase some of the most recent cross-sector findings here in Hawai‘i, feature national speakers, and provide networking opportunities with some of the state’s leading policy and decision makers, and researchers. Seating is limited and by invitation only. For more information, please contact Justin Katahira at

This Spring, Hawai‘i P-20, Clear Channel Hawai‘i and Oceanic Time Warner Cable sponsored the second annual “Take Charge of Your Future” Commercial Script Writing Challenge. Over 210 students from 25 schools statewide submitted a commercial script to encourage their peers to prepare for college and careers. McMillan Ching, a graduating senior from Campbell High School, was selected as the grand prize winner and had his script professionally produced into a commercial to air on television and radio statewide. Click here to view spot.

First place winners in each category received an Apple iPad Mini. Second place and third place winners received a Sony Cybershot digital camera and a $100 gift certificate to Hawaiian Island Creations, respectively.

A big mahalo to our judges:

  • Karen Lee, Executive Director, Hawai‘i P-20
  • Donalyn Dela Cruz, Director, Communications and Community Affairs Office, Hawai‘i State Department of Education
  • Jamie Hyatt, Program Director, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment
  • Laurie Madrid, Senior Manager and Executive Producer, Oceanic Time Warner Cable
  • Shirley Thompson, Executive Producer, Chop Chop Media

To see a complete list of winners, click here. Thank you to our media partners: Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Clear Channel Hawai‘i, Napa Auto Parts, Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union, and Leavitt Yamane and Soldner.

This summer, Hawai‘i P-20 supported a variety of programs to help prepare middle and high school students for college and career success. Through GEAR UP Hawai‘i and the College Access Challenge Grant, Hawai‘i P-20 partnered with many different organizations to support programs that provided students with academic preparation opportunities, including visits to college campuses and introductions to various STEM related career fields.

Here are the programs that were supported by Hawai‘i P-20:

Hawai‘i P-20 and UH Mānoa Online Learning Academy partnered to coordinate the Ka Waihona Summer Math and College Readiness Academy that includes live and online math instruction, coupled with college preparation activities such as career exploration and campus visits.

Thirty-five students, grades 6-8, from the Wai‘anae coast participated in this four-week math and college readiness academy. The Online Learning Academy provided online tutoring support for the students and provided them the opportunity to visit different college campuses, specifically STEM-related departments and programs at each campus.

The highlight of the program was an overnight field trip to UH Mānoa and an opportunity to experience campus life. Students visited the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (CMORE) for an introduction to microbial oceanography. They were also guided through designing their own personalized phytoplankton species, and extracting DNA. The Institute for Astronomy set up telescopes outside Hamilton Library for the students to make solar observations. Students also met with the Department of Mathematics for a discussion on the importance of math in their everyday lives. Finally, the students met with Native Hawaiian Student Services to learn about the various campus services and resources available to them. Several students wrote about their reflections on the visit including this quote that sums up their experiences: “This trip was one of the best life experiences I have ever had, marvelous. I can’t wait for what the future offers.”

Hawai‘i P-20 has a new look! The re-designed website focuses on the various programs and initiatives that Hawai‘i P-20 supports.