Colonel Angenene Robertson, Military Representative
Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent
Paul Zina, Complex Area Superintendent, Kapaa-Kauai-Waimea Complex Area
Robert Davis, Complex Area Superintendent, Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area
Chad Keoni Frias, Complex Area Superintendent, Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area
Disa Hauge, Temporarily Assigned Complex Area Superintendent, Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area
Brian Hallett, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Fiscal Services
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Executive Secretary
Lady Garrett, Secretary
II. Discussion Items
David Miyashiro, HawaiiKidsCAN, reiterated his written comments regarding the lack of targets for summer learning participation outcomes, urged the Board and Department to fully subsidize summer school for all students or those needing the most support. He also testified that it is unclear how schools will be supported and how resources are being distributed at the school level.
Cheri Nakamura, HE‘E Coalition, testified that the Department’s current summer learning plan focus on students disproportionately impacted due to COVID-19, which was described in the Board’s May 21, 2020 resolution on summer learning. She also stated that the current summer learning framework is unclear as to how schools will target students faced with the greatest learning loss or how the Department will evaluate summer learning programs and that parents have expressed concern that the Department has not provided targeted communication regarding summer school.
Pōmaikaʻi Lyman, member of the public, urged the Board to consider offering co-curricular activities because many opportunities have been lost to engage struggling students. She also urged the Board to support academics and co-curricular activities to help academic progress for students and offer students a chance to re-do this past school year.
Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified in support of the Board offering the fee-based summer school program at no cost. She stated that summer school registration has already begun with a tuition cost of $190 for one credit courses and $95 for half-credit courses and that there needs to be a comprehensive plan for funding and the opportunity for public comments on funding on an upcoming Board agenda.
Board Chairperson Payne called on Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent, to present on the Department’s plan to enhance learning to address COVID-19 related learning loss.
Kishimoto provided a presentation on the Department’s plan to address learning loss that she also shared with the Senate Committee on Education on April 5, 2021. She stated learning loss has been a concern since the onset of COVID-19 and closure of schools to in-person learning and that this is an equity issue facing education providers nationwide . Kishimoto stated that distance learning has brought to the forefront the gap that exists among students, particularly the technology and family resources gap. She stated that by design the Department is better at in person instruction and that it needed to make an operational shift to distance learning, which required quality training and engagement. Kishimoto explained that the Department collects data to identify students who need remediation by reviewing course grades, chronic absenteeism, and those students who are off-track to meet graduation requirements.
Kishimoto explained that as students transition back to in person learning the data show that some students continue to struggle, particularly economically disadvantaged and English learners. She reported that based on the data on the Board metric dashboard, as of January 2021, 21 percent of elementary students received a “well below” grade in English Language Arts (“ELA”) this year, compared to the previous year where 21.8 percent of students receive a “well below” grade. Kishimoto stated that the ELA data is not showing much year-to-year change, but that a more granular review of the data shows that students with in person instruction have been impacted the most. She also reported that, similarly, the January 2021 data is not showing much year-to-year change for elementary students with 15 percent of elementary students receiving a “well below” mark in math for both this school year and last school year.
Kishimoto noted that elementary schools are reporting that students who returned for in person learning are able to keep up with grade level expectations. She stated that middle school data show over 20,000 students in Grades 5-8 are two or more years behind in reading and/or math. Kishimoto emphasized that schools need to put additional supports in place to bring those students up to grade level expectations. She shared that during her school visits across three complex areas, students have been showing great joy in learning and schools are infusing social emotional learning (“SEL”) into their curricula to support students.
Kishimoto stated the Department is tracking students who are off-track to graduate; this data point is established by determining how many credits were earned versus credits pending which are needed for promotion or graduation. She reported that as of March 5, 2021 2,856 students (or 26 percent) are off-track. Kishimoto noted that schools know students by name and that leaders are working together to form teams of support. She stated that high schools are using the summer to allow students to finish graduation requirements.
Kishimoto stated that the Department is also tracking chronic absenteeism; students absent 15 days or more are considered chronically absent. She stated that schools offer students who are chronically absent additional support and try to re-engage them. She expressed appreciation that school administrators are using various strategies including meeting with families and students, knocking on doors, and working with community partners. She noted that learning loss strategies include bringing more students to campus for in person instruction, summer programs, specialized programs, accelerated personalized programs for students who are two or more years behind in math and ELA, and on and off campus opportunities related to career exploration, internships, and athletics.
Kishimoto explained that this year the Department is preparing a robust array of summer programs delivered over multiple platforms. She stated that in person learning is being offered at fifteen summer school sites and there will be 234 summer learning hubs at schools across all complex areas. Kishimoto stated that learning hubs will provide students an opportunity to address academic needs as well as physical activities. She also detailed that the Department will also offer credit recovery and programs to assist transition grade levels.
Board Member Bruce Voss stated that learning hubs sounds like a good idea and he asked what a prototype looks like and how the learning hubs will address learning loss over the summer. Paul Zina, Complex Area Superintendent (“CAS”), Kapaa-Kauai-Waimea Complex Area explained that summer learning hubs are designed to provide all of the options mentioned by Kishimoto and that they do not only target at-risk students. He noted that the challenge is to get the students to enroll, but that he believed that more students will take advantage of the opportunity than in the past. Zina stated that course offerings will depend on the subject and content areas, the level of school, and the availability of teachers to provide specialized IDEA instruction and various forms of physical fitness coursework.
Robert Davis, CAS, Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area stated schools have been doing an excellent job using structures and looking at the whole child to assess student performance and whether the student will benefit from enhanced learning opportunities. He explained that, in addition to grades, schools are looking at how the student is coping with learning options based on several measures to determine which students will benefit the most from learning hubs. Davis stated that the Department needs to determine how many adults are willing to work during the summer, how many students can attend, and how to reach out to students. He added that at the same time the Department needs to consider summer transportation issues and continue virtual options for families that cannot attend in person so they can provide access to all students.
Board Member Voss stated families and students are exhausted and noted it will be a challenge to get students participate in the summer programming.
Board Member Margaret Cox pointed out that schools need to make decisions based on what is best for students. She stated that every single school has students who have lost learning during COVID-19 and there should be a report that states what every school is offering for the summer. Board Member Cox suggested that the Department direct schools to have a summer program. She stated that it has been brought to her attention that some schools have been running on a schedule that benefits the adults but not the students. Board Member Cox said that these kinds of school only bring students on campus two days a week for in person instruction, that students are leave by noon, and that these schools offer an optional additional day for support that is designed for adults, not students. She expressed support for athletics, but clarified that students need to keep their grades up. She stated that the Department needs to have all students back in person learning by fall.
Kishimoto expressed her agreement and stated that CASs and her leadership team are meeting constantly to make sure everything is modeled after what is best for students. She stated that the Department reopening elementary schools for more in person learning in the fourth quarter allowed some schools to have considerations and supports in place.
Chad Farias, CAS, Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area stated that all schools on Hawaii Island will have a summer learning program with a focus on those students in transition years. He noted that there have been some positive results from asynchronous learning, but that with asynchronous learning, students do not get SEL support. Farias stated that teachers struggle with concurrently teaching in person and distance learning and asked the Department to provide a distance learning platform at the CAS or state level.
Board Member Cox stated teachers should not be asked to simultaneously teach distance learning and in person. She expressed approval that every school on Hawaii Island will have a summer program.
Board Student Representative Hunter Harris stated students have expressed that they love going back to school and that students have smoothly transitioned from distance learning to in person. He stated that athletics motivates some students to attend school and keep their grades up. Student Representative Harris asked schools are doing to address the 26 percent of students off-track to graduate.
Kishimoto stated that schools know which students are off-track and are focusing on multiple layers of support for students who are struggling. She stated the Department has developed partnerships with University of Hawaii and private organizations to create support.
Disa Hauge, Temporarily Assigned CAS, Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area expressed her pride in the extent to which staff in schools have been reaching out to students. She explained that schools can compile data on students who are struggling with completing their graduation requirements and staff have been reaching out to meet student SEL needs. Hauge stated that students succeed when they have meaningful relationships with caring adults and that summer learning hubs will provide an opportunity for students who do not finish credits to still graduate and receive a 2021 diploma.
Board Student Representative Harris expressed his support for schools focusing on struggling students. He noted that for some students other things have taken priority during this time and that reopening schools can allow for students to be motivated by one another.
Board Member Kili Namau’u noted the Department should clearly convey the message to schools across the state that the goal is in person learning for all students. She stated that she is not impress with what Maui schools are offering to students for the summer. Board Member Namau’u noted that credit recovery should not be the typical summer program and that she would like to see more programs that actively engage students. She suggested principals create programming to engage students using project or place-based learning to get students to participate instead of sitting in front of a computer screen.
Kishimoto stated that schools are ramping up to bring more students on campus. Davis stated that administrators have had to work with students, parents, and staff during a challenging time. He explained that all twenty schools in his complex area will offer a summer program and will provide a wide range of opportunities. Davis noted that schools have different styles of leadership but all have the shared goal of getting students to campus every day. He also noted that summer opportunities will allow for project and place-based learning activities.
Board Member Lynn Fallin asked if summer learning hubs are being developed by individual schools and if the Department has identified best practice core models across the state. She stated that she would like the Department to consider a dashboard of metrics for summer learning or its share thoughts on how to report back to the Board on what students and schools are experiencing. Board Member Fallin stated that there needs to be specific answers for questions and concerns about the school reopening timeline for the 2021-2022 school year, particularly as these concerns relate to distance learning given the short timeframe.
Kishimoto explained that the Department will have dashboard with metrics for summer learning and will share the summary data with the Board. She stated that CASs have worked with their schools to design programs that address the needs of the students at each school and they share best practices. Kishimoto stated that her request includes funding for two summer school years so the principals and CASs can work together and transition to full in person learning next school year.
Board Member Fallin noted that the Department’s presentations tend to focus on what the Department is doing and that she would like decisions being led by data. She stated that when schools share best practices, the discussion should start with impacts and outcomes and then a discussion of what was done to get those outcomes and any lessons learned.
Board Member Kaimana Barcarse stated that the Department has an opportunity to get community partners, but it is difficult for these partners to engage with administrators because they are focused on schools. He stated that many partners navigated through Department procedures and policies, but those who do not normally work with the Department do not know where to start. Board Member Barcarse suggested that Department staff can create a system of clear pathways and processes while still maintaining student safety and academic rigor. He shared that there are ways for community partners to award students with credits.
Board Chairperson Payne stated that resources need to be available to schools.
Board Member Shanty Asher expressed support for comments from Board Member Barcarse. She stated that there are three areas that are applicable to many underserved communities and students: (1) learning loss and summer learning to address learning loss; (2) addressing connectivity; and (3) student transportation. She asked how the Department is communicating with underserved students and families to ensure everyone is aware these summer programs will be available. Board Member Asher stated that a continuous challenge is ensuring there is appropriate language support and culturally appropriate communication streams. She noted that the lack of community engagement makes it difficult to understand what resources are known, understood, and accessible to these underserved communities. She noted that for efficiency and effectiveness there needs to be further discussions about the Department’s plans are to ensure these programs are going to be rolled out in an inclusive manner so communities that have proven difficult to reach get this communication.
Chad Farias, CAS, Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area shared that there is a large Marshallese student population in his complex area, so in addition to geographical barriers the complex also faces language barriers. He stated that schools have unique ways to reach the communities with mobile hubs to engage families and assistance from the Boys and Girls Club. Farias stated he also asked for support from Randall Tanaka, Assistant Superintendent of the Office of Facilities and Operations to form partnerships with the Department of Transportation to bring broadband into the community. He shared that he has personally walked door to door in subdivisions to engage families, but that more needs to be done.
III. Action Items
Corey Rosenlee, Hawaii State Teachers Association, testified that the Department is asking for $19 million to address summer learning loss and teachers are not volunteering to teach summer school since they are too exhausted from this difficult school year. He asked what will happen if the Department cannot find enough staff to teach at these summer learning hubs and asked questions regarding the funds being requested for the computer refresh.
Cheri Nakamura, HE‘E Coalition, testified that the timing of the Department’s presentation of its summer spending plan puts the Board in an awkward position because with summer school starting in June, it appears the Board has little choice other than to approve the requested spending. She stated that more robust discussion needs to happen to ensure the Board and Department are in alignment on the objectives of the summer learning program.
Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified her written comments were in support but that she had changed her position to oppose. She stated there has been no mention of the Senate Education Committee’s informational briefing held on April 5, 2021 which discussed Governor David Ige’s funding for GEER I and GEER II monies for summer school and a partnership with the University of Hawaii.
Board Chairperson Payne called on Brian Hallett, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Fiscal Services, to present the Department’s recommendation for use of federal funds in the COVID-19 relief package and annual federal spending bill.
Kishimoto stated that the Department is seeking approval for the authorization of the additional use of $64.5 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (“ESSER II”) funds for the following categories: summer learning loss programs, student transportation and school food service, and student computer devices. She explained that the Department has created a summer learning framework to provide schools with guidance for planning and implementing summer programs that address the needs of students. She also explained that there are five summer learning models: (1) official summer school; (2) student learning hubs; (3) specialized student support; (4) accelerated learning; and (5) college, career, and community opportunities. She noted that schools are prioritizing students who are graduating.
Kishimoto reported that since August 2020, the Ohana HelpDesk has received 9,268 calls and chats, which resulted in 6,079 interactions that were supported. She also reported that the Department will continue to monitor the Ohana HelpDesk and provide the Board with a report. Kishimoto stated that student transportation and school food service will operate during the summer with United State Department of Agriculture reimbursements. She stated that the proposed funding for devices will be used to purchase 15,000 devices to close the gap for students and replace outdated and non-functioning devices.
Board Member Cox moved to approve the use of up to $66.4 million of ESSER II funds, including:
Board Vice Chairperson Kenneth Uemura asked how the Department’s request for use of ESSER II funds syncs with the plans for American Rescue Plan (“ESSER III”) funds since the Board committed $62.5 million, which leaves a balance of $55 million in ESSER II. He noted that the Board needs information on how ESSER II and ESSER III will be used.
Board Chairperson Payne reminded the Board that the general business meeting will need to start by 2:00 p.m. and if the Board does not take action the lack of funding will impact schools.
Hallett replied that a week ago the Governor increased his budget request by $94 million, based on the maintenance of effort required by federal law. He explained that it does not appear that the Department will suffer large budget cuts and that negotiations between the House and Senate over the budget bill will start over the next few days. He cautioned that the Department will not use ESSER III funds until the U.S. Department of Education receives its application and that at least 25 percent of ESSER III funds need to be used for learning loss.
Board Vice Chairperson Uemura stated that the Department will receive $135 million in ESSER II funds and that the Board prioritized teacher differentials, restoration of teaching positions, and restoration of cuts to teacher pay. He stated that he is trying to understand how summer school funding is being distributed.
Hallett replied that the Department asked the Board to approve its plan to use funds for summer programming in February and the Board told the Department to come back to the Board with a recommendation later. He stated that as of today, ESSER II funds are available and the Department will present its comprehensive plan before submitting its ESSER III application. Hallet clarified that the Department has not started to spend ESSER II funds since the Department just received the grant award notification.
Kishimoto stated that whether the funds are ESSER II or ESSER III do not matter at this point because the Department will need to go through a process to gather public input on the use of ESSER III funds before establishing a plan for the use of ESSER III funds.
Board Member Voss stated that the Board should approve summer learning hubs, summer school tuition, and other components of the Department’s plan. He noted that the computer refresh is not directly tied to summer learning and asked if it is necessary to purchase 3,300 devices and recommended reducing the amount allocated to this by $2 million so that the devices can be addressed in the Department’s overall federal spending plan in May or June.
Kishimoto stated that there was a backlog of orders on computer devices last year, so the Department was behind and if the Board does not take action now, it could be in the same situation again. She stated that if the Board is uncomfortable with the amount allocated to a second year of orders, she would respectfully request funding for the first year of orders so that devices can be in place before the start of school in the fall.
Board Member Voss moved to amend the main motion to remove any requested spending for Fiscal Year 2021-2022. Board Member Dwight Takeno seconded.
Board Member Takeno stated that there is lots of uncertainty and timing is of the essence and the Board should allow the Department to proceed with 2021 summer learning funding. He expressed discomfort with fully funding the requests for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. He stated that the Department can come back after it has data on the outcomes of its 2021 summer learning programming to share whether outcomes were met during summer learning this year and to plan for the 2022-2023 school year.
Board Chairperson Payne called for a roll call vote on the secondary motion. The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).
Board Chairperson Payne called for a roll call vote on the amended main motion. The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).
ACTION: Motion to approve the use of up to $34.5 million of ESSER II funds, including:
IV. Late Public Testimony on Board Agenda Items
Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony from any individuals who did not have an opportunity to testify on earlier agenda items. No one provided oral testimony at this time.
Board Members received written testimony before the meeting. The following is a listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting.
|Warren Hyde||II. A. Presentation of the Department of Education’s plan to enhance learning to address COVID-19 related learning loss|
|Harold K.L. Castle Foundation||II. A. Presentation of the Department of Education’s plan to enhance learning to address COVID-19 related learning loss|
|David Miyashiro||HawaiiKidsCAN||II. A. Presentation of the Department of Education’s plan to enhance learning to address COVID-19 related learning loss & III. A. Board Action on the Department of Education’s plan for use of federal funds in the COVID-19 relief package and annual federal spending bill: Summer Learning Plan and Funding, 2022 Summer Learning Plan and Funding, and Devices for 2021 Summer and 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 School Years|
|Corey Rosenlee||HSTA||III. A. Board Action on the Department of Education’s plan for use of federal funds in the COVID-19 relief package and annual federal spending bill: Summer Learning Plan and Funding, 2022 Summer Learning Plan and Funding, and Devices for 2021 Summer and 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 School Years|
|Cheri Nakamura||HE'E Coalition||II. A. Presentation of the Department of Education’s plan to enhance learning to address COVID-19 related learning loss & III. A. Board Action on the Department of Education’s plan for use of federal funds in the COVID-19 relief package and annual federal spending bill: Summer Learning Plan and Funding, 2022 Summer Learning Plan and Funding, and Devices for 2021 Summer and 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 School Years|
|Maggie Hong||II. A. Presentation of the Department of Education’s plan to enhance learning to address COVID-19 related learning loss|
|Susan Pcola-Davis||II. A. Presentation of the Department of Education’s plan to enhance learning to address COVID-19 related learning loss & III. A. Board Action on the Department of Education’s plan for use of federal funds in the COVID-19 relief package and annual federal spending bill: Summer Learning Plan and Funding, 2022 Summer Learning Plan and Funding, and Devices for 2021 Summer and 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 School Years|
Board Chairperson Payne adjourned the meeting at 1:52 p.m.