STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT COMMITTEE
Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Margaret Cox, Committee Chairperson
Patricia Bergin, Committee Vice Chairperson
Brian De Lima, Esq.
David Texeira (student representative)
Phyllis Unebasami, Deputy Superintendent
Heidi Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Student Support Services
Donna Lum Kagawa, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design
Kristy Nishimura, Director, Alternative Learning Centers, Office of Student Support Services
Aaron Sickel, Educational Specialist, Learning Support Section, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design
Garret Yoshimura, Administrator, Standards Support Section, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Board Private Secretary
Irina Dana, Secretary
I. Call to Order
The Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) was called to order by Committee Chairperson Margaret Cox at 11:00 a.m.
II. *Public testimony on Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) agenda items
Committee Chairperson Cox called for public testimony. There was no public testimony at this time.
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes of April 4, 2019
ACTION: Motion to approve the Student Achievement Committee Meeting minutes of April 4, 2019 (Bergin/De Lima). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
IV. Discussion Items
A. Presentation on Alternative Learning Centers: plans for upcoming school years
Kristy Nishimura, Director, Alternative Learning Centers, Office of Student Support Services (“OSSS”), highlighted that the goal of Alternative Learning Centers (“ALC”) is to establish timely intervention strategies and support for students, create supportive learning environments, and provide students with competent skills to help them be successful. She noted that data should drive practices.
Nishimura reviewed school design. She explained that ALCs provide students with an alternative path to success. She stated that the Department of Education (“Department”) does not currently have a system where it could easily retrieve data for ALCs. However, the Department visited ALC programs across schools and observed that programs are leading to positive outcomes. She stated that the Department is able to retrieve some data through current systems, but an ALC workgroup would make recommendations to enhance data collection. She stated that the Department’s plans include the ability to retrieve information and create reports to review outcomes.
Nishimura stated that the Department received $500,000 of funding from the Legislature for Fiscal Year 2019 to hire a Director, support the ALC workgroup and the ALC committee, and provide professional development. She highlighted that the ALC workgroup is comprised of complex area superintendents (“CAS”) and principals. The ALC committee would revise and create guidance over the summer. She explained that the ALC committee plans to modernize a guidance manual from 1999 to meet current needs. The workgroup and committee will review input from students, teachers, and others in the field. Nishimura stated that the Department is reviewing its current statewide system. She noted that schools are trying their best to provide ALCs in school, district, and complex settings. The Department is reviewing national models to determine how to incorporate a design model. Nishimura stated that students in ALC placements possess student voice and feel accepted and successful. The Department would like to maximize and enhance quantitative data to support the anecdotal and qualitative data. She stated that the Department would promote teacher collaboration and collect feedback from students and teachers to thoughtfully design guidance for ALC environments.
Nishimura stated that high schools currently provide the majority of ALC opportunities for students. She noted that coordination is lacking across the state, and high schools tend to provide opportunities separate from one another. She stated that the Department would need to bring together networks of teachers to coordinate a statewide effort and provide opportunities for sharing best practices. She detailed that schools are unaware of each other’s ALC efforts, and they want a platform where they are able to convene and learn from one another. She highlighted that the Department has data for ALCs in established districts and is in the process of collaborating with community-based ALCs. Nishimura stated that the Department’s goal is to help students graduate and participate in training programs rather than withdraw from school.
Nishimura reviewed school design and the learning organization framework. She explained that ALCs operate under a school design framework that is part of a larger framework focusing on students and opportunities. The organizational design includes technical and general oversight of OSSS, including funds and positions. She highlighted that the Department currently allocates 49 positions to complex areas and schools for ALC settings and provides $329,000 to complex areas for support. The Department plans to review how to enhance opportunities and ensure equity during Fiscal Year 2020. She noted that principals and CASs mostly provide oversight. Nishimura stated that four ALCs will soon start up, and these ALCs would need support.
Nishimura reviewed design principles. She stated that the Department is establishing an ALC workgroup comprised of CASs, principals, and program leads. The workgroup’s task is establishing a vision, mission, and core beliefs. She detailed that the ALC guidance committee is drafting guidance for ALCs and would disseminate guidance, including the vision and mission, to all schools. The Department would like to provide more access, leverage resources, and enhance technology to ensure equity and have better data and analysis so that it could better drive and support its work. The Department plans to provide professional development and establish learning communities to create a mindset of growth and prevent teachers from having to work in isolation. She stated that the Department would like students exposed to careers within large and small school settings. The ALC guidance committee will provide input regarding school-level and professional development needs.
Nishimura stated that one of the goals of ALCs is to provide innovation and a rigorous curriculum through partnerships. She emphasized the importance of ALCs customizing curriculum to meet the needs of students, providing mentoring and academic support, focusing on social-emotional competencies, innovating through partnerships, and leveraging high-quality external partnerships to enhance opportunities. Nishimura stated that ALCs should address the needs of students and noted that traditional classrooms might not be helpful for all students. ACLs provide students with an opportunity to be innovative and take advantage of a rigorous curriculum. ALCs need to provide students with personalized learning opportunities and academic showcases to demonstrate what and how they learned.
Nishimura stated that ALCs create alternative paths to success. She highlighted that the creation of ALCs help the Department to support promises to students, mitigate differences, and result in outcomes that are more positive. The Department is reviewing research regarding ALC settings and is working to integrate teacher collaboration, student voice, rigorous curricula, career development, support, safe environments, and the teaching of social-emotional life skills.
Nishimura stated that the Department’s plans for this summer are to continue its ALC workgroup and guidance committee. The Department hopes to establish measures of success and put a monitoring system into place in the next year. The Department hopes to create and implement a school design matrix the following year. Nishimura highlighted that the workgroup and committee are reviewing how ALCs could help students to be successful, assist with postsecondary plans, reduce dropout rates, and support teachers.
Nishimura shared the story of a student whose school placed him in an ALC setting and highlighted his accomplishments.
Committee Member Brian De Lima stated that the Committee needs more information regarding ALCs. He detailed an example of a school starting an ALC program with a grant and raising funds to facilitate the program. Committee Member De Lima stated that he would like to understand how schools and complexes started each ALC and how schools fund ALCs, such as through legislative appropriations, Weighted Student Formula funds, or grants. He asked how much the Legislature appropriated for each program. Committee Member De Lima stated that he would like to know how many students each program serves, the number of staff at each program, whether any ALCs receive ongoing appropriations, how schools sustain ALCs from year to year, whether ALCs have reduced chronic absenteeism rates, curriculum at each ALC, and attendance rates at each ALC. He stated that the Committee would need more detail in order to provide oversight. Nishimura stated that the Department has similar questions.
Committee Member De Lima stated that the Department has had a long time to retrieve this information. He emphasized the importance of the Department providing schools with the flexibility to determine what is in the best interest of students. He stated that it would be helpful for the Committee to know if any Board of Education (“Board”) policies prevent schools from successfully implementing ALC programs. Committee Member De Lima detailed past legislative and Committee on Weights decisions regarding funding for ALCs and emphasized the importance of dedicated funding. He stated that it might be problematic for the Department to expand ALCs if it is unable to secure funding. He stated that the Committee would like more information regarding funding so that the Board could advocate for necessary resources. He emphasized that the Department might be more successful at the Legislature if the Department is able to produce quantitative data regarding the successful outcomes of ALCs. Nishimura confirmed that the Department could compile available data to provide to the Committee.
Committee Vice Chairperson Patricia Bergin commented on the Department’s efforts to place students in ALC settings to prevent students from withdrawing from schools. She highlighted that the Department could keep students engaged by providing them with different settings and learning opportunities.
Committee Member Catherine Payne emphasized flexibility and noted that teachers are key to the success of programs. She commented that it might be helpful for the Department to seek non-traditional teachers with different sets of dispositions and skills for these programs.
Committee Chairperson Cox stated that she would like the Department to provide a follow-up presentation to the Committee in the fall. She stated that the Committee would like more information regarding the ALCs that the Department is establishing this summer. Committee Chairperson Cox detailed issues with ALCs in the past and emphasized the importance of teachers and non-traditional curriculum. She stated that the Committee would like to know how current ALCs are functioning and noted that the Committee would also like to know what kinds of support and resources the Department is providing to the four new ALCs.
Committee Member Kili Namauʻu asked about ALCs on Maui. Nishimura detailed that the Department plans to establish one ALC over the summer. She explained that most high schools have a classroom setting to which they refer students and detailed that some programs provide work opportunities while others are self-contained. Committee Member Namauʻu asked if ALCs exist in most high schools. Nishimura confirmed that they do. Committee Member Namauʻu expressed concern over schools placing students with behavioral issues in self-contained classrooms. Nishimura emphasized the importance of the teacher in the classroom and highlighted that students receive many benefits from ALC settings if the teacher is the right fit.
Committee Member Namauʻu commented on the Department’s effort to provide students with innovative options. Heidi Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Student Support Services, stated that the goal of the ALC guidance committee’s revised document is to set minimum standards for ALCs. She stated that principals and complex areas could use this document to review whether existing programs meet best practices.
Committee Member Namauʻu expressed concern that high schools have the flexibility to implement any setting they see fit without ever having a cohesive systematic approach. She emphasized the importance of the Department creating minimum guidelines and opportunities for cohesive collaboration between teachers and complexes. Nishimura stated that the Department is moving toward a systematic approach.
Committee Member Namauʻu asked about culturally based ALCs. Nishimura confirmed that a culturally based ALC would be opening in Nanakuli.
Committee Member Namauʻu stated that she would like information regarding the number of students in ALC settings and the number of teachers in each ALC setting. She stated that she would like information regarding how the Department plans to build a cohesive system and the Department’s efforts to encourage collaboration between teachers and complexes.
Committee Chairperson Cox asked about guidelines for special motivation classrooms and noted that there is an important distinction between ALCs and special motivation classrooms. Nishimura stated that the Department has used the two terms interchangeably and explained that the ALC workgroup plans to establish guidelines, consistent language, and minimum standards.
Committee Member De Lima asked about 4140 forms, which exempt students from compulsory education, and stated that he would like data on the number of students who submit the form for homeschooling compared to the number who submit the form due to disruption and the need for a different setting. Nishimura stated that students who opt to withdraw might be entering an alternative education environment, adult community school, or a job-training program. Phyllis Unebasami, Deputy Superintendent, stated that the Department might not have data from 4140 forms regarding the reasons students are leaving the traditional classroom setting, but the Department could begin to profile students who are leaving.
Committee Member De Lima emphasized the importance of the Department collecting feedback from teachers and principals prior to implementing guidelines and standards to ensure that schools do not feel restricted or have a difficult experience establishing programs. Nishimura confirmed that the Department does not want to create barriers for schools and is seeking feedback from principals and teachers.
B. Presentation on Department of Education’s Learning Design Resource: principles and strategies for curriculum, instruction and assessment
Donna Lum Kagawa, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design, highlighted that the Department’s learning design resource enhances access to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The resource heightens the Department’s mission to support complexes and schools. She detailed that the Department is reviewing ways in which to shift mindsets and is working to modernize practices. The learning design resource aligns to the Department’s vision to increase teacher collaboration and student voice. Kagawa stated that the resource increases the Department’s ability and capacity to support schools and create high-quality structures. She highlighted that the Department has evolved the learning design resource from a framework to a purposefully curated network of resources.
Kagawa stated that the Department’s goal is to create a foundation from which it could grow. She highlighted that the Department ensures that it will be responsive in upgrading the learning resource after listening to teachers, principals, and complex areas. She stated that the Department plans to offer sustainable support and help to enhance school design elements. Kagawa highlighted that the learning design resource provides teachers with opportunities to share lessons and collaborate and helps teachers to transition from a prescriptive curriculum to an innovative curriculum. She stated that the learning design resource is flexible and adaptive.
Kagawa explained that the learning design resource aligns with job coaching, professional development, and accessibility for students and teachers. She detailed that students and teachers have the opportunity to access educational resources online. Kagawa highlighted that the Department plans to continue expanding digital resources, and users can access an array of lessons and units of study at multiple points of entry. She stated that the Department’s focus is on tri-level support, including customizing resources to meet the unique needs of schools and communities. She emphasized the importance of resources aligning with industries and careers. Kagawa noted that the Department wants to ensure that the learning design resource is accessible and inclusive of all students, including students who are struggling. She explained that the resource allows users to customize lessons, review different ways to accommodate learning styles, and design instruction. She highlighted that the Department’s shift to an online-based resource is strategic and supports a full range of educators, including first-year and veteran teachers.
Kagawa reviewed the Department’s theory of action. She stated that shared values and high expectations guide the learning design resource. The learning design resource provides rigorous, authentic, and meaningful learning experiences that empower all students as they pursue choices and aspirations around college, career, and community pathways.
Student Representative David Texeira entered at 11:50 a.m.
Kagawa stated that the Department reviewed multiple points of entry and wanted to ensure that the resource was fluid and could continue to improve over time.
Garret Yoshimura, Administrator, Standards Support Section, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design, stated that the Department designed an online-based resource after gathering feedback that indicated that online resources are easier to use, allow for updates, ease collaboration, and provide multiple entry points. He stated that the Department is working with various offices to ensure that its online resource tool supports the Department’s five promises. He highlighted that the learning design resource aligns with the promises of Hawaii and equity and provides students with opportunities to engage in rigorous experiences grounded in culture. Yoshimura highlighted that the Department continues to collect feedback from different offices and plans to meet with stakeholders to collaborate and engage in discussions. Yoshimura reviewed the school design matrix. The learning design resource focuses on curriculum, learning design, student learning products, and student voice.
Committee Member De Lima left at 11:53 a.m.
Aaron Sickel, Educational Specialist, Learning Support Section, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design, explained that the Department wanted to connect the learning design resource to empowerment. The Department collected feedback from principals, teachers, and complex areas and learned that these individuals want resources on how to implement project-based learning. He stated that the online tool has webpages dedicated to voice, collaboration, and information on how teachers and students could work together to construct criteria. Sickel noted that the online tool helps teachers and students to rethink their roles in the classroom and helps students to take ownership of their learning. He highlighted that every web page is subject specific and detailed that content specialists contributed information on particular subject areas. He noted that the learning design resource has a webpage dedicated to inquiry and problem solving as well as to standards that the Board adopted. Sickel stated that the learning design resource provides students with opportunities to explore different solutions and information on how to implement models.
Sickel shared a video that provided an overview of the learning design resource website.
Committee Member De Lima returned at 11:58 a.m.
Sickel stated that the Department uses the video as an introduction to discuss the learning design resource with schools and complex areas as it continues to rollout the website. He highlighted that the Department empathized with users and reviewed design thinking as it developed a website that is useful for complex areas, schools, partners, and communities. The Department asked for feedback throughout the year and incorporated feedback regarding choice-based navigation. He stated that the Department’s next steps are to release the learning design resource to all educators and collect additional input. He noted that the site would always remain a work-in-progress due to changing needs from year to year. He stated that the Department plans to update the site continuously as the Department continues to learn what educators find most useful.
Committee Chairperson Cox asked about the Department’s rollout of the learning design resource. Kagawa detailed that the Department drafted a memorandum and projects an initial launch by the end of June. She noted that stakeholders were aware of the launch, and they are waiting for the site to be officially available and accessible.
Committee Chairperson Cox asked about the Department’s plans after the release of the website. Kagawa detailed that the Department is working with various offices to prepare communication to schools and complexes and stated that the Department has been providing complex areas with information in various forums. The Department asked complex area leadership to share information with principals so that principals are able to share information with teachers.
Committee Member Namauʻu asked if members of the public would have access to the learning design resource. Kagawa explained that the Department plans to release the site internally as a tool for educators, but it would discuss public release in the future.
Committee Chairperson Cox expressed concern that teachers might not have time to use the tool or might not understand the tool. Kagawa stated that the Department is ensuring that it is customizing support. She explained that there are various ways in which educators could use the tool, including constructing deliverables, planning for school design, and engaging in professional learning. She noted that it is up to the individual to decide how he or she wants to use the tool. Kagawa explained that the tool is similar to textbook models. There is no mandate for teachers to use it, but the tool exists as a resource. Kagawa highlighted that schools and complexes have opportunities to provide the Department with feedback to heighten the tool’s value.
Committee Chairperson Cox expressed concern that the Department does not appear to have a plan to shift mindsets. She stated that teachers work out of textbooks and might have difficulty transitioning to an online resource. Committee Chairperson Cox stated that the Department might need to assist teachers in using the tool and realizing its importance.
Committee Member Payne commented that newer generations of teachers might find the tool more accessible and valuable and prefer an online resource to textbooks. She stated that newer generations expect resources to be available online. Committee Member Payne asked if Board members would be able to access the tool.
Sickel stated that the Department is still determining private versus public accessibility. The website is accessible currently through a link in the Department’s presentation. He stated that the Department would need to link pages to freely accessible content if it determines that the tool should be available to the public. He highlighted that the learning design resource has a webpage dedicated to learning materials, tools, and instruction. Teachers are able to use this webpage to find resources on how to evaluate curriculum.
Committee Member De Lima stated that there are many benefits to public access, including parents being able to use the tool to research curriculum and instruction in Hawaii. He stated that public access could give the public confidence in Hawaii’s educational system.
Committee Member De Lima emphasized the importance of the Department providing complex areas and schools with support. He noted that the Department should develop tools in conjunction with schools and complex areas and continue conversations with stakeholders.
Committee Chairperson Cox adjourned the meeting at 12:16 p.m.