Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, January 11, 2024

Shanty Asher, Chairperson
Bill Arakaki
Warren Haruki
Kahele Dukelow
Ken Kuraya
Lauren Moriarty

Makana McClellan, Vice Chairperson
Kaimana Barcarse

Keith Hayashi, Superintendent, Department of Education
Curt Otaguro, Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Department of Education
Sean Bacon, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Talent Management, Department of Education
Capsun Poe, Board Executive Director
Wimmie Wong Lui, Board Analyst
Lady Garrett, Secretary

I. Call to Order

Committee Chairperson Shanty Asher called the Board of Education (“Board”) Human Resources Committee meeting to order at 11:06 a.m.

II. Approval of Meeting Minutes of October 4, 2023, and December 7, 2023

Committee Chairperson Asher announced that the approval of the Committee meeting minutes of October 4, 2023, and December 7, 2023 will be deferred. III. Discussion Items
Committee Chairperson Asher called on Curt Otaguro, Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Department of Education (Department), and Sean Bacon, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Talent Management, and Douglas Boyer, Principal, Lanai High & Elementary School to provide a review of the Department’s recruitment strategies and positions filled (Strategic Plan Desired Outcome 2.1.1: All teacher positions are filled with qualified hires; Strategic Plan Desired Outcome 2.2.1: All school support staff positions are filled with qualified hires; Strategic Plan Desired Outcome 2.3.1: All school administrator positions are filled with qualified hires).

Otaguro stated that the Committee will be pleased with the update from the Office of Talent Management (OTM) on recruitment and introduced Bacon.

Bacon outlined the recruitment process and noted that the Department has moved to an online system because the previous process needed an upgrade to meet the current needs. He explained that pool based recruiting was used previously and now the current model is community-based and improved the hiring process allowing applicants to apply for specific positions. On May 16, 2023 the Department moved to a new community-based system for recruitment for teacher vacancies and reported that on December 16, 2023 the final phase of the transition was completed to the NeoEd platform.

Bacon stated that the Department can view how many positions are being actively recruited and information is available online. He introduced Douglas Boyer, Principal, Lanai High & Elementary School to share about how recruitment initiatives are making a difference at his school.

Boyer shared about the current vacancies facing Lanai Elementary & High School and noted that for the first time since 2017 the school is fully staffed. He shared about the successful partnership with the University of Hawaii (UH) language teacher program which has allowed the school to be fully staffed in Kula Kaiapuni (Hawaiian Immersion). Boyer expressed appreciation for the programs allowing the school to gain more exposure and community involvement.

Bacon shared that the Department is working on a research project with American Institute for Research (AIR) to accelerate teacher recruitment practices towards being more data driven. He emphasized that high quality learning is vital and it is important that all teaching positions are filled with qualified hires. Bacon outlined the recruitment efforts, including the upcoming substitute teacher conference and sharing with potential applicants about what to anticipate while teaching in public schools.

Bacon summarized the various teacher salary efforts such as, “Grow Our Own” stipend programs and international recruitment efforts which resulted in the hiring of 80 teachers. He emphasized that feedback relating to the programs have been overwhelmingly positive and noted that how our students feel on campuses impacts student learning.

Bacon shared that the Department has implemented several school support staff recruitment initiatives including hiring a dedicated individual for recruitment, community outreach, navigator program, bonuses, and repricing. He explained that the Department still has 750 vacancies for educational assistants. Bacon outlined the amount of vice principal position vacancies and noted that the conversion from 10-month to 12-month employees has increased salaries.

Bacon stated that moving forward the Department will monitor the teacher intern pilot program, support West Maui schools’ recruitment and retention, develop off-boarding processes, continue building local and national partnerships, and continue to gather data to analyze and guide efforts. He stated that the Department is prioritizing recruitment and retention for educational officer positions.

Bacon recognized and expressed appreciation to the staff from OTM for their dedication and support.

Committee Chairperson Asher expressed appreciation for the presentation and called for public testimony.

Vanessa Ott, member of the public, testified that experienced teachers are priceless assets and opined about adversarial experiences for employees.

Victoria Zupancic, member of the public, testified that it is not just being hired by the Department but also understanding the internal processes. She noted that new educators need support to navigate the processes to remain employed by the Department.

Committee Member Kuraya asked for clarification on the amount of retirements. Bacon replied that the Department is monitoring vacant positions and the focus is on retaining employees. He noted that it is important to show the amount of people leaving due to retirement versus other reasons.

Bacon noted that the annual separation from service report is posted on the Department website. Hayashi clarified that the retirement amount also reflects those who retired during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Committee Member Kuraya stated that the retirement report does not show employees separating from service due to being unhappy.

Boyer shared that in the past his school has struggled to fill the Kula Kaiapuni (Hawaiian Immersion) teacher position but for the first time ever the position is being filled by an individual in the UH program who is working towards completing the program.

Committee Member Kuraya asked if the school support staff is fully staffed. Boyer confirmed that the school administrative staff is filled but there are still challenges with the support staff.

Committee Member Haruki asked about staff members' living conditions. Boyer replied that Pulama Lanai and their director of housing has helped provide opportunities to have employees share a 3-bedroom house or apartment.

Committee Member Haruki asked when the system will be in place to improve retention. Bacon replied that the system should be ready by the start of next school year.

Committee Member Haruki noted that regarding the term “homegrown”, if the Department is working closely with UH College of Education when trying to hire new teachers, then the premise is that hiring will be higher. Bacon replied that there is still not enough to fill the vacancies.

Committee Member Arakaki asked about the requirements for individuals to participate in the J-1 International Visa Exchange program (J-1). Bacon shared that when selecting potential participants for the J-1 program the individuals go through a thorough screening process.

Committee Member Arakaki asked about the status of the new teacher programs available to help them understand the community.

Stacey Kunihisa, Leadership Institute, Director, shared that there are induction and mentoring coordinators in each complex area that provide culturally based opportunities and opportunities to meet the community, which are differentiated by the various specialties.

Committee Member Arakaki asked about the off-boarding program and the exit survey and noted that it is important to gather this information to support what is going on. Bacon expressed appreciation for the comments and noted that the process will be electronic to capture data and will enable more data-driven decisions based on data on why people are leaving.

Committee Member Moriarty expressed appreciation for the results presented by the Department, including infusing more data to inform decisions. She asked what the important impediments to achieve the desired outcomes are. Bacon replied that one impediment relates to recruitment issues relating to the concern of limited housing, limited candidate pool, and certain candidate requirement issues (i.e. drivers licensing).

Boyer shared that on Lanai the pay scales are higher with the hotels and benefit packages. He noted that the main topic is teacher housing and expressed appreciation for Pulama Lanai for 20 units with 10 more units being built. Boyer stated that more teacher housing will allow the school to take Lanai to the next level to focus on academies, and the middle school philosophy to gain more exposure for students.

Committee Member Kuraya left the meeting at 12:23 p.m.

Committee Member Moriarty asked how the Department evaluated what is working and what the criteria is to determine which ones to continue. She asked the Department if it was starting strategic thinking to refine and sustain initiatives and priorities over time and think about challenges in the way of work that will affect the Department. She asked how the Department can think of scenarios for employees who may want to only work for the Department for a few years and how planning will happen for adjustments.

Bacon stated that one of the most beneficial aspects is having dedicated recruiters working to actively recruit potential employees. He shared that during the principals’ forum several shared feedback expressing appreciation for the dedicated employees.

Committee Member Kuraya returned to the meeting at 12:30 p.m.

Committee Chairperson Asher acknowledged the testimonies received and stated that knowing why individuals are leaving is important. She asked if the Department can focus on retention liaisons to assist applicants during recruitment to avoid not hiring due to clerical errors. Committee Chairperson Asher advocated for additional support staff and advertisement of resources. She emphasized that it is important to share opportunities with students or existing staff.

Committee Chairperson Asher asked how much is reimbursable under the leadership program, whether it was affordable and if the upfront cost was a barrier. Bacon shared the reimbursement amounts per course which is on average $1,900 per course which uses Title II funding. He noted that advertising can also be improved and the Department will work on updating the website with resources.

Committee Chairperson Asher stated that the efforts are online and asked how is the Department working with EL (English Language) coordinators or BSHAs (Bilingual School-Home Assistant) to reach students who may not know but may want to pursue programs. She emphasized that it is important to share resources with economically disadvantaged students and support staff who work with families to provide equity of opportunity.

Bacon stated that the navigator program is similar to the teacher ambassador program and navigators are current employees that can answer questions, including challenges and successes.

Committee Member Moriarty stated that Title II funds were slashed in the federal budget and asked about the status of these funds.

Oyadomari-Chun explained that Title II funds are intact and any potential decisions by Congress now will affect the Department in the future. She stated that certain funds are affected and tend to carry forward for the different programs.

Committee Chairperson Asher asked if there is a survey for new employees and staff members who can address questions. Bacon replied that induction and mentoring does an annual survey.

Bacon expressed appreciation for the support and acknowledged the work of his team.

IV. Adjournment

Committee Chairperson Asher adjourned the meeting at 12:44 p.m.