Weekly Updates, April 6


Our monthly Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter will temporarily transition to a weekly edition. With COVID conditions continuing to improve, we have shifted away from the weekly COVID updates and will provide a wider range of HIDOE stories and announcements in this space as we adapt to the broader needs of our school communities.

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April 6

Editorial Mission: Our monthly Hoʻohaʻaheo newsletter will temporarily transition to a weekly edition. With COVID conditions continuing to improve, we have shifted away from the weekly COVID updates and will provide a wider range of HIDOE stories and announcements in this space as we adapt to the broader needs of our school communities.

Updates from Interim Superintendent Hayashi

Aloha, HIDOE Community!

  • Updated Guidelines for Commencement Ceremonies
  • » Graduation season is quickly approaching and we’re so proud of our seniors for all they’ve accomplished to reach this milestone.
  • » The Department’s commencement guidelines have been eased to reflect less restrictive COVID-19 requirements. We anticipate this year’s celebrations will be more open than the virtual and drive-thru ceremonies of 2020 and the hybrid ceremonies of 2021, while adhering to current guidelines.
  • » Masks will be required for indoor ceremonies. Participants will be required to either be fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 at least 48 hours prior to the event. A negative result from a self test will fulfill this requirement for anyone who is unvaccinated and has no symptoms of illness and no known exposure to COVID. The guidance is subject to change as we get closer to scheduled ceremonies.
  • » To view a full list of announced venues and times for graduation ceremonies, click here.
  • 71 Department Educators Earn National Board Certification
  • » The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) annually certifies teachers across the country for proving to be exemplary educators. This certification is the highest and most respected qualification for K-12 teachers.
  • » The HIDOE celebrated 71 public and charter school teachers last week for their recent certification status– 20 of whom were newly certified, 51 of whom were renewed, bringing the total number of certified Hawai‘i educators to 765.
  • » I want to express my thanks to our NBCTs for their commitment to elevating the quality of education for the students in our public schools.
  • Happy National Assistant Principals Week!
  • » Help me honor our VPs during National Assistant Principals Week, April 4-8!
  • » We recognize all that assistant principals have conquered amid the pandemic and thank and honor all of our VPs for being a source of strength and inspiration. Please share your words of appreciation for the great work VPs do year-round.
  • Mahalo, Deputy Superintendent Unebasami
  • » It is with heartfelt gratitude and deep aloha that I extend best wishes on behalf of the Department to Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami as she prepares to retire this summer after a 40-year career dedicated to education. Deputy Unebasami has been a true asset to the Department in her many roles over the years.

#PublicSchoolProud  |  By Stacie Kunihisa

Hands down I am most proud of the STAFF in every school/office who show up day after day with passion, perseverance and NOT a pilau attitude! There are so many roadblocks facing all educators yet we choose to get up, show up, rise up. WE > ME. #LITeam
» Stacie Kunihisa is a proud graduate of ʻAiea High School. Go, Na Aliʻi's! Class of...well nevermind! Currently she is working with some of the most incredible leaders as the interim director of the Leadership Institute under the Office of Talent Management, on leave from her heart/home, Kanoelani Elementary School.


Question of the Week

Q: What is the status of the new Kihei High School?

A: Halle Maxwell, principal of the upcoming Kihei high school campus, recently issued a school community update with a detailed look ahead. The school will be opening through a temporary hybrid model this fall, allowing incoming freshmen to use space at Lokelani Intermediate before transitioning to the high school’s new campus in January 2023. Stay tuned with the latest updates on the school here.

HIDOE Case Counts

A total of 119 confirmed or probable cases were reported across Hawaii’s 257 public schools from March 28-April 1 for a daily average of 24 cases (as of April 4). For the latest case count information, visit bit.ly/HIDOECOVID-19Updates.

March 28-April 1

News Feed  |  #HI4PublicEd

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Congratulations to Ka‘ū High School’s David Brooks who was recently named a recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Teaching Award and will work in Uganda for six weeks! The Fulbright program partners with 160 countries to offer international educational and cultural exchange programs. Read more about this program on the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs webpage.

» Fourth-graders around the state participated in celebrating the 175th anniversary of Washington Place. The nationally recognized landmark was commemorated with a day-long celebratory event which included a student-performed hula, Ē Lili‘u Ē, both online and in person. To read more about the event, click here.

» OSSS’s Exceptional Support Branch has partnered with UH-Mānoa to create a Reading Interventionist Program for special education teachers. Candidates will learn the foundations of reading development and diagnostic reading intervention practices to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Full tuition stipends are available. Deadline to apply is May 1.


Keith Hayashi

Interim Superintendent

Phyllis Unebasami
Deputy Superintendent


Heidi Armstrong
Student Support Services
Sean Bacon
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal Services
Randall Tanaka
Facilities and Operations

Christine Shaw

Information Technology Services

Cara Tanimura

Strategy, Innovation and Performance

Teri Ushijima

Curriculum and Instructional Design



Nanea Kalani

Executive Editor

Chanel Honda

Managing Editor

Sara Miyazono
Creative Director

Derek Inoshita

Contributing Writer

Krislyn Yano

Contributing Writer

Cara Phillips
Contributing Writer

CONNECT WITH US » HawaiiPublicSchools.org

1390 Miller St. Honolulu, HI 96813 | Phone: (808) 784-6200 | Fax: (808) 586-3234
Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us

What makes you #PublicSchoolProud?

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