Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, October 19, 2023

Warren Haruki, Chairperson
Kaimana Barcarse, Vice Chairperson
Bill Arakaki
Kahele Dukelow
Ken Kuraya
Lauren Moriarty

Shanty Asher
Makana McClellan

Ahryanna McGuirk, Student Representative
Colonel Angenene L. Robertson, Military Representative
Kenneth Fink, Director of Health, Department of Health
Keith Hayashi, Superintendent, Department of Education
Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Deputy Superintendent of Strategy, Department of Education
Capsun Poe, Board Executive Director
Lady Garrett, Secretary

I. Call to Order

Board Chairperson Warren Haruki called the Board of Education (Board) General Business Meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.

II. Report of the Superintendent

The Board took agenda items III.A and III.B together.

Board Chairperson Haruki called on Keith Hayashi, Superintendent, to provide the report of the superintendent. Hayashi introduced Kenneth Fink, Director of Health, Department of Health (DOH) who would be sharing additional information relating to the Maui wildfire impacts.

Fink shared that DOH and the Department of Education (Department) have been working very closely throughout the process. He stated that getting students back to school is extremely important for their well-being to provide a sense of normalcy, opportunities to re-engage with peers in an in-person manner, engage in extracurricular activities and other positive experiences, and provide access to support and other mental health services available at schools.

Fink summarized that DOH and the Department looked at several areas to determine if schools are a safe environment for students to return. He stared that drinking water comes from a source above a hill and it has been determined that there is no physical damage to any of the structures and no indication that there was a loss of pressure. Fink stated that numerous rounds of testing has been done throughout the water distribution system that serves the schools and expressed confidence that the drinking water is safe in the schools.

Fink summarized that regarding soil, the Department has tested the soil with samples collected at each of the area schools. He explained that the soil was only remarkable for half of the high school samples and noted that there are isolated findings of slightly elevated nickel levels which is not uncommon for volcanic soil. He expressed confidence that the soil is otherwise all within standard levels; however, testing did show arsenic but it was determined not to be at an elevated level.

Fink summarized that regarding air quality, the remaining potential hazard is due to the ash which may contain contaminants that are harmful to health. He acknowledged the
risk of exposure if the ash gets disturbed and moves into the air, but screening is being conducted for contaminants. Fink shared that air monitors are set up on all of the campuses to detect particulate matter and expressed confidence that it is safe to be in the school locations. He explained that changes in air quality could be due to ash in the air, but could also be due to other things but out of an abundance of caution, the public is advised to take precautions to reduce their potential exposure to ash or dust in the air if the air quality changes. Fink noted that DOH has collected weeks of data with the air sensors on the campuses monitoring the current conditions which is consistently green and expressed high confidence that school locations are far enough away.
Fink emphasized that it is important to have a robust, conservative plan to respond and get the kids indoors if the air quality should change. He noted that what has been worked on is prior to major debris removal.

Board Member Dukelow asked what is being anticipated for further planning to align with debris removal activity in the area and asked for confirmation that debris removal will not occur until January. She asked if a plan will be developed to allow for planning to anticipate any potential changes in the air quality given the kind of work that’s being done. Board Member Dukelow asked how data from the air monitors on campus and air monitors in town in Lahaina will be used and who is monitoring and can sound the alarm should the need arise. Fink replied that conversations are occurring with the Maui County, Army Corps of Engineers and the Department. He stated that debris removal will occur in Kula earlier and offer insights, additional air quality monitors will be setup, and the intent is to ensure the community is safe. Fink stated that air monitors are located below the bypass road and able to detect if something is coming up the hill. The Department’s response plan will consider what decisions are being made by the schools.

Hayashi stated that air quality monitors at the schools are connected to cell phones for himself, principals and the Environmental Services Unit within the Department. He explained that if alerted, Environmental Services Unit will take a holistic assessment of what is happening and a weather station has been setup at Lahaina Intermediate School to look at wind speed and direction. Hayashi stated that the Department can quickly see what steps need to be taken, if any per the emergency plan for the safety of students and employees.

Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse expressed appreciation for the information including that the Department has mobile phone access to the monitors that are on campus. He asked if the Department has access to the monitors mentioned by Fink that are above the bypass. Hayashi replied that the monitors referenced by Fink are also connected to his cell phone.

Fink recommended that the public download mobile applications such as IQ, Air Visual, and Local Haze. He shared that all the monitors can be viewed through these applications and is the best way to be alerted if air quality changes.

Board Member Moriarty stated that one important concern has been the mental health of students and asked if the Department is prepared to provide the support that students and staff need from a health perspective. Fink replied that this has been another area of cooperation between the DOH and the Department and there is a robust program to support students including increased support for staff. Hayashi shared that the Department will provide more in-depth information regarding your question during the slide deck presentation.

Board Member Dukelow stated that the sensors have been up for 3-4 weeks, some longer, and asked if during this time any readings have been elevated. Fink replied that he has reviewed the data at the schools and has not seen an indication that would have resulted in a need to implement anything in the emergency response plan. He noted that areas closer in town have seen very brief elevations, primarily due to re-entry and people sifting through their property or can occur during a windy day.

Hayashi acknowledged the various agencies also supporting the Department include Ed Sniffen, Director, Department of Transportation who has been instrumental in responding in relation to alternate evacuation routes; Keith Regan, Director, Department of Accounting and General Services for assistance with clean up and temporary facilities at Princess Nahienaena Elementary School.

Hayashi shared that the Department welcomed students back to the Lahaina campuses for the first time since the wildfires and he had an opportunity to visit Lahainaluna High School on Monday. During the visit there was a sense of pride and positive energy throughout the campus. Hayashi shared that Lahaina Intermediate started on Tuesday, and Princess Nahienaena and King Kamehameha III started on Wednesday. The Department will continue to monitor the reopening of the Lahaina campuses. He expressed appreciation for the planning and hard work over the last two and a half months to get to this point and expressed appreciation for the complex area superintendents, principals of Maui and their staff.

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Deputy Superintendent of Strategy provided an update on activities. She shared that the Department issued health and safety guidelines on October 5, and they have been revised to include the new evacuation route and more cautious measures in the event that the air quality shows that there are particulates in the air. Oyadomari-Chun stated that information about the monitors are public and can be found at She explained that the procedures for the schools is that at least one of the administrators is responsible for having the app and tracking changes in air quality from the school site location.

Oyadomari-Chun summarized key actions that schools will take when the air quality changes or if there are concerns. She noted that the revised guidelines were released on October 16, which are intended to be more conservative for safety and noted that protocol includes looking at the broader Lahaina area to see what else is happening. Oyadomari-Chun stated that the yellow means evaluate and take action if needed, orange means to move to keep people indoors, red means in addition to keeping indoors, suspend all outdoor activities, and purple means shelter in place if school is in session or do not report to campus if school is not in session. She shared that the Department anticipates changes in the Health and Safety Guidelines as more information becomes available.

Oyadomari-Chun stated that DOT created additional evacuation routes leading out of Lahainaluna High School called Mango Road and additional routes are being developed to provide all the schools in the neighborhood access to additional routes. She shared that regarding mental health supports, training has been done for employees to address students who are coming back to school who might have experienced trauma and other kinds of stresses and School Based Behavior Health specialists from across the state are going to Lahaina to support colleagues and students. Supports for employees have also been put into place.

Oyadomari-Chun stated that the Department will have fall break programs for students at the Westin Maui offered by the YMCA and twenty additional programs across Maui. She also shared that an ohana (family) resource fair was held at the Westin Maui to provide families with backpacks, clothes and shoes. Oyadomari-Chun emphasized that a mini job fair was held and a popular stop for parents was relating to student transportation.

Oyadomari-Chun summarized the student enrollment in Lahaina schools and expressed understanding that some families are getting in the routine of coming back to school and some are still making plans. She reported that 72% of students who were pre-registered for Lahaina schools (3001 been reporting on) continue to be enrolled in Lahaina schools and over 500 students who continue to be enrolled in other Maui schools.

Oyadomari-Chun shared that the Department will be working on the waiver from Title I accountability requirements for Maui schools for the 2023-2024 school year, with the exception of Hana. She explained that the Department will need to seek public comments through the end of the month and proceed with the request as proposed.

Hayashi congratulated Jackie Freitas from Leilehua High School for being selected as the 2024 teacher of the year. He shared that she is a natural resources teacher and he had the opportunity to visit and witness students growing anthuriums and raising farm animals. He expressed appreciation for all the nominees and reported that it is always refreshing to sit with those who are committed to supporting students. Hayashi shared that Freitas will be representing Hawaii at the national teacher of the year recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Hayashi also congratulated Kaelepulu Elementary, Maunawili Elementary, and Complex Area Superintendent Lanelle Hibbs of the Kailua-Kalaheo Complex Area for being selected as the 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The schools will be representing Hawaii at the 2023 Blue Ribbon ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Hayashi reported that the Hawaii Keiki Program received the Edge Runner Designation from the American Academy of Nursing. They have at least one Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and a registered nurse at every complex area.

Board Member Moriarty asked for clarification if the waiver request does not require Board approval. Oyadomari-Chun confirmed that is correct.

Board Member Moriarty asked for clarification if the 380 students enrolled from King Kamehameha III went to the campus at Princess Nahienaena, of whom 55% showed up on the first day. Oyadomari-Chun replied that King Kamehameha III continues to have its own enrollment and staff and students remain enrolled in their own school. She noted that attendance on the first day was 55% of those who are registered for the school.

Board Member Moriarty expressed concern that these children are not back in school and acknowledged that on the first day there may be logistical or other concerns. She recommended that the Department continue to monitor if students actually go somewhere else for school or if the families decide not to follow through with enrollment.
Board Member Moriarty stated that students are back in school and noted that it would be important to assess where students are academically to understand what additional supports might be necessary.

Hayashi stated that with all students returning back to school, teachers would implement and initiate screening for students to get a better understanding of where students are at. Teachers would then provide the kinds of instruction that would be appropriate to expedite learning.

Oyadomari-Chun shared that a special screener for students’ social-emotional status has been developed specifically keeping in mind the trauma that students might have experienced.

Board Member Moriarty stated that the Board does not need any details today, but at an appropriate time requested that an update be provided.

Colonel Angenene Robertson commended Hayashi and emphasized that it is an extremely tough time particularly for students, faculty and staff.

Student Representative McGuirk echoed comments and expressed appreciation for all that the Department is doing to support students.

Board Member Dukelow stated that for the estimated 300-400 students who have not yet attended school, she would like to know what kinds of outreach will the Department do. She acknowledged that there are issues with health and safety concerns but noted that there may be other factors like transportation. Board Member Dukelow asked what is envisioned as the halfway point between distance learning and going back to school and asked if there is a hybrid experience that can be made available.

Hayashi replied that based on the current information that we have, in partnership with DOH and the current data, our schools are safe for students and employees to return to and the expectation is that employees will be at work. He shared that the current options are to return back to school in Lahaina or enroll is distance learning.

Oyadomari-Chun shared that families are still settling on their choices and acknowledged that students’ family situations may change as well due to housing or employment. She emphasized that it is important for the Department to know why students are not attending to come up with options and community liaisons are talking to families about the extent to which transportation might be an issue from certain parts of Lahaina.

Board Member Arakaki stated that things may change every day and expressed appreciation for the Department continuing to provide updates on what’s happening and how the Board can support the Department.

Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that based on rough calculations, there were 601 students that did not show up on the first day of school and noted that these are extraordinary times and circumstances. He expressed support and hopefulness that the next report will reflect much lower numbers including what concerns our Maui families might have. He also asked if the Department can share if there is anything the Board can do to support.

Board Member Kuraya echoed comments from all the Board Member and asked the Department to let the Board know other things that might need to happen to support these students to either go back to Lahaina schools, Central Maui school or maybe even to a school on Oahu.

Chairperson Haruki stated that the numbers started off with 3,001 and asked if the data can be broken down to show the number that we are looking for to be re-enrolled in Lahaina schools on the three campuses. Oyadomari-Chun replied that currently 2,159 students are enrolled at Lahaina schools. The number that the Department was previously unable to track has decreased because some students came to school and principals have been relentless in trying to find their students.

Oyadomari-Chun stated that the focus over the next period will be on students expected to be in Lahaina but have not attended and the Department will track attendance to make sure students are back. She shared that some families responded to the survey and indicated that their students were not doing any of the activities, distance learning or attending another school, and had just been at home during this time.

Chairperson Haruki stated that the bulk of the effort has been completed and the Department needs to make sure to keep an eye on students because the social-emotional aspect is important. He noted that the students experienced trauma regardless of where the students are physically located.

Hayashi noted that the Department will continue to communicate with our schools and the water systems at all of the schools were flushed twice by the Board of Water Supply and DAGS to maintain water quality.

Chairperson Haruki suggested that the Department’s website drill down on the water quality to see the Ford and Associates report to share the information with the public that water was flushed and tested at multiple sites.

Oyadomari-Chun highlighted that the University of Hawaii (UH) President David Lassner announced at the UH Board of Regents meeting today that an anonymous donation has allowed Lahainaluna High School seniors to attend college for two or four years on full scholarships (tuition, books and fees).

Board Member Dukelow reiterated that a significant number of 500-600 students will not go back because of concerns over exposure and health. She stated that the Department should begin to think about how to organize some kind of school outreach to help students through mental health issues, socialization and all those things that they have been experiencing just like all the other students who went back to school.

Chairperson Haruki requested that the Department update the website with all of these numbers as move along to take into account concerns that were raised by Board Members.

Board Chairperson Haruki called for public testimony on agenda items III.A and III.B.

Manuel Kuloloio, member of the public, testified that the percentages need to be clarified and expressed concern with the high levels of arsenic found in Kula. Chun replied that the number is 6. He suggested removing the fear and distrust for the people of Maui.

Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified that she provided two sources in her written testimony. She noted that it is rare for an entire city to burn to the ground and it looks like a bomb went off so the question for parents to consider if whether to put their students next to the ash which should be evaluated.

III. Committee Reports

Board Member and Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Kuraya reported that the Committee met on October 4, 2023. The Committee approved the minutes of September 7, 2023 and considered three action items on the Department’s supplemental operating budget request for fiscal year 2025 (FY25), the Department’s capital improvement projects budget request for FY25, and the recommendation concerning the Hawaii State Public Library System’s supplemental operating budget and capital improvement project request for FY25.

Board Member and Human Resources Committee Member Arakaki reported that the committee met on October 4, 2023, and approved the minutes of August 10, 2023. He reported that the Committee held an executive session briefing on compensation adjustments for Department leadership employees (Deputy Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area Superintendents) for School Year 2022-2023 and 2023-2024. The Committee also considered action on compensation adjustments for Department Leadership Employees (Deputy Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area Superintendents) for School Year 2022-2023 and 2023-2024, and unanimously approved the appointment of Disa Hauge as the Complex Area Superintendent of the Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Area.
Board Member and Student Achievement Committee Chairperson Arakaki reported that the Committee met on October 4, 2023, approved the minutes of September 7, 2023 and discussed the presentation on the Board of Education Update on Strategic Plan, Desired Outcome 1.1.3. “All students are proficient in mathematics by the end of eighth grade, and those who are not proficient receive necessary and timely support to become proficient.”

Board Chairperson Haruki called for public testimony on agenda items III.A, III.B, and III.C.

Vanessa Ott, member of the public, testified that the links for the committee reports only take individuals to the link for the agenda which is not in compliance with Roberts Rules of Order. She urged the Board to discuss improvement at an upcoming meeting.

Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified that the Board should focus on student learning.

IV. Action Items

Board Chairperson Haruki called for public testimony on this agenda item. No oral testimony was provided.

Board Member Arakaki moved to approve the appointment of Disa Hauge as the Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area Superintendent, as described in Keith Hayashi’s memorandum dated October 4, 2023. Board Member Kuraya seconded.

Board Chairperson Haruki asked if there were any objections to the motion. No Board member raised objections, and the motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present.

ACTION: Motion to approve the appointment of Disa Hauge as the Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area Superintendent with an annual salary of $199,610, effective October 5, 2023, as described in Keith Hayashi’s memorandum dated October 4, 2023. (Arakaki/Kuraya). The motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present.

Board Chairperson Haruki called for public testimony on this agenda item.

Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified in support of the recommendation.

Board Member Arakaki moved to approve the recommendation concerning salary adjustments for appointed individuals, 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years as attached to Hayashi’s memorandum dated October 4, 2023. Board Member Kuraya seconded.

Board Chairperson Haruki asked if there were any objections to the motion. No Board member raised objections, and the motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present.

ACTION: Motion to approve the One-time salary adjustment for the Assistant Superintendent of the Office of Fiscal Services to $175,000, retroactively effective as of July 1, 2022, Salary adjustment for subordinate superintendents who have met or exceed performance evaluations for the SY 2022-2023, retroactively effective as of July 1, 2023 as described in the Superintendent’s memorandum dated October 4, 2023 (Arakaki/Kuraya). The motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present.

V. Executive Session
This portion of the meeting was closed under Section 92-5(a) (4), Hawaii Revised Statutes. Board Member Arakaki moved to go into executive session for a consultation with the Board’s attorney on questions or issues regarding the Board's powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities in carrying out Board business, pursuant to Section 92-5(a)(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes. Board Member Kuraya seconded.

The meeting recessed at 3:23 p.m. and reconvened at 4:58 p.m.

VI. Adjournment

Board Chairperson Haruki adjourned the meeting at 4:59 p.m.

List of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting

Agenda Item
Justin HugheyII.A. Report of the Superintendent, Maui Wildfire Impacts
Susan Pcola-DavisII.A. Report of the Superintendent, Maui Wildfire Impacts