I’d like to extend a warm mahalo to all of our administrators, teachers, staff and students for their efforts throughout the year — 2016 was a year filled with continued hard work, growth, innovation and bright spots.
At the beginning of the year, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) had just been signed into law. We immediately worked to understand how ESSA would impact Hawai‘i and sought to use it to empower schools. In April, we kicked off an unprecedented statewide effort to solicit input for the update and extension of the Department and Board of Education’s joint Strategic Plan. After months of collaboration and incorporation of feedback, the Board adopted the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan in December.
We celebrated multiple successes at the classroom, school and Department levels — securing a grant to develop a statewide plan for career preparation, the opening of the highly anticipated Kailua High Natural Science Lab building and the science/STEM building at Stevenson Middle, and increasing numbers of Hawai‘i public school graduates meeting national college readiness benchmarks.
Additionally, many partnerships that we’ve established over recent years are coming to fruition for the benefit of our students. A newly established relationship with the Hawaii Dental Association is part of a larger health and wellness effort to ensure that our students are healthy, engaged and ready to learn; and a formal agreement with the College of Engineering at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa will broaden Career and Technical Education opportunities.
In order to maintain this positive momentum, we must continue fostering community partnerships in our public schools and keeping students at the heart of all of our decisions.
Thank you for all that you have done for Hawai‘i’s public schools and our students. Please enjoy the recap of just a few highlights and accomplishments this year, which wouldn’t have been possible without our staff and community support.
View it here.
Best wishes to all for a healthy and happy new year!