Happy New Year!
(Enjoy our roundup of 2017 in pictures, videos & stories here.)
It has been an honor getting to know the diverse school communities that make the Hawai‘i State Department of Education so special.
Over the last five months I’ve visited schools in all of the 15 complex areas across the state and have observed innovation, hard work, and the aloha spirit.
I learned about the variety of school design models currently being implemented and received feedback from students, teachers and parents on what’s working and how we can better serve Hawai‘i’s keiki when it comes to their academic desires, life and career aspirations, as well as the needs of the state.
It has been inspiring to see the successes that have come to fruition this year that were put into motion long before my arrival — from the strong and continued growth shown by our students in the Advanced Placement exams and dual credit programs to the numerous groundbreakings and building openings we’ve celebrated across the Islands. I applaud our school, district and state personnel for their vision and dedication in making all of this happen.
Now, as we look forward to 2018, there will be continued transformation taking place — from carrying out Hawai‘i’s plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to advancing the goals of the Strategic Plan through our high-impact strategies: school design, student voice, and teacher collaboration.
I’m discussing with our Hawai‘i DOE state team and schools how to ensure we’re putting the right time and energy into all levels of our HIDOE Learning Organization (chart: bit.ly/HIDOELearnOrg) — meaning we continue to be leaders in providing education with equity and excellence, but we also use the high-impact strategies to deliver teaching and learning more effectively, and we make space for new ideas outside the scope of common practice but which have great potential for student learning and readiness.
Thank you for your support of our public schools and our mission to ensure that all students reach their aspirations from early learning through college, career and citizenship.
I invite you to stay up to date on our progress and new initiatives by visiting our website at HawaiiPublicSchools.org and subscribing to our newsletters. It’s going to be an exciting year!
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto