February 2017 Education Update


Monthly newsletter distributed to schools and the Board of Education. In this edition: Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi to serve as interim deputy superintendent, Molokai High opens new science center, three new hires at OSFSS to improve systems that support schools, nominees for the Hawaii Regional Scholastic Art Awards to be exhibited, Supt. Matayoshi on keeping the focus on students.


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February 2017 edition

​​Supt's Corner

Supt. MatayoshiThe New Year has brought a wave of change and for many, these changes have caused a sense of unrest — whether it’s the change in federal leadership and the ripple effects stemming from a new administration, or the change in state educational leadership and what that might mean for program implementation, system trajectory, and more.

It is easy to be distracted by the “what ifs,” and so it is even more important we all stay focused on what matters most: students.

Hawai‘i’s students have done really well over the last few years. It wasn’t easy — I can attest to that, as can thousands of our teachers, leaders and support staff. But the heavy lifting of reform has created a sea change in our public schools. Hawai‘i’s public school students are more ready for careers and college than ever before (see box).

I hope teachers and school leaders take a moment to reflect on the success they’ve cultivated, particularly where it matters most: in their relationships with students. It’s a good time to reflect as we head into this year’s annual assessments, and as schools begin work on three-year academic plans (aligned with our updated Strategic Plan).

Notably, this success happened despite major obstacles. In 2008, we served about 69,000 economically disadvantaged students. Today that number is more than 92,000, just over half of all of our students. More Hawai‘i families struggling in this economy means more students needing more school-level interventions and supports.

There is much more to do. Let’s keep the focus where it belongs. As always, mahalo for all you do for our keiki.


Kathryn Matayoshi


  • 42% increase in the number of students taking and passing AP exams
  • 74% increase in Early College program enrollment
  • 21% increase in the number of CTE concentrators (2014-16)
  • 5% increase in the number of students enrolling in college nationwide (fall after graduation)
  • 30% decrease in the number of students requiring remediation in math at UH
  • 35% decrease in the number of students requiring remediation in English at UH
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Contact Information

Communications Office

Phone: 808-586-3232

Email: doe_info@hawaiidoe.org


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