April 2021 Ho‘oha‘aheo


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This month's issue is a special Kauaʻi district edition featuring educators and students from across the complex and what makes them #PublicSchoolProud.

APRIL 2021

Editorial Mission: As the Department’s primary publication, we aim to live up to the meaning of ha‘aheo — to cherish with pride — by bolstering and sustaining pride in public education and touting the successes happening across the system as we deliver on the power and promise of public education. The April issue of Hoʻohaʻaheo is dedicated to highlighting voices from Kaua‘i.

Resilient Hanalei School overcomes massive obstacle for fourth-quarter return


As elementary schools continue to increase their in-person learning, Hanalei Elementary on Kauaʻi has had one of the most difficult transitions into the fourth quarter.


Following days of heavy rains, a massive landslide at Hanalei Hill brought tons of rocks, soil and trees down the adjacent slope into the valley below, covering Kūhiō Highway and blocking all traffic to North Kauaʻi just two days before spring break.


During the break week, as the state Department of Transportation worked to stabilize the hillside, Hanalei teachers and staff were working to distribute nearly three dozen laptops and wi-fi hotspots to families on both sides of the landslide closure for students needing to return to full distance learning while the highway repair work continued.

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Kapaʻa Middle improves student discipline through school-wide system of positive behavior support


At Kapaʻa Middle School on Kaua‘i, student discipline looks a little different.


Part of that is credited to the school’s culture, which is grounded in the Hawaiian values of kūpono (compassion), kūpaʻa (character) and kūlia (confidence). These values are ingrained in the school’s mission and vision, and are upheld by students and staff everyday through their schoolwide systems of positive behavioral support.

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Kauaʻi High School students celebrate semi-finalist ranking in STEM competition


Kaua‘i High School STEMworks students were recently ranked as national semi-finalists in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition. The team submitted their concept of a bio-artificial leaf — a synthetic object that is anticipated to mimic the naturally occurring photosynthesis in the leaves of green plants. The students are now working on the final prototype.

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It is a privilege to be able to work in a public educational system that has such a great responsibility in shaping our society for generations to come. Hawai‘i is unique in so many ways, and with such splendid cultural diversity with people that care so much about our students being successful, there is no other institution that I would rather work for. Public schools are making tremendous strides sparked by innovation, collaboration, and future-focused thinking, while ensuring that strong relationships and connections remain central to our work. HIDOE public schools STRONG!

» Sean Doi has been with the department for 23 years currently serving as a District Educational Specialist for the Kaua‘i Complex Area. He oversees curriculum, instruction, and assessment for elementary schools while also being the District's summer learning Lead. Sean enjoys working with administrators, teachers, students, and the community as he strives to guide and support schools the best way that he can. Sean was awarded Kaua‘i's District Teacher of the Year in 2019 and considers it a blessing everyday he gets to work with a great team of educators on Kaua‘i.

Teacher Voice  |  SEL-ebrate to the END!

By Denise Karratti
Miki Tomita, founder and CEO of Education Incubator, once shared that, “As educators, we are given the gift of a year in a child’s life.” These words continue to echo in my mind. The school year is almost over, so how can we ‘intentionalize’ the remaining few weeks, cherishing our gift?


As of early April, many bell schedules and routines have been altered to accommodate our increasing student population and sanitation needs. Staggered recesses, lunches and release times have been modified to separate students safely. Designated walking paths, drop-off and pickup zones have been outlined. Classrooms, cafeterias, buses and even restroom capacity have new limits. Mask breaks, elbow bumps, announcements over the PA reminding students to keep their distance are all part of our new norm.

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News Feed  |  #HI4PublicEd

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» William P. Jarrett Middle School and Waikīkī Health launched a new mobile health clinic. The new clinic is located at the core of the campus and offers students and their families a wide-range of services and was established to help address chronic absenteeism, which is a student success indicator on the Department’s Strive HI Performance System.


» Educator Roundtable is back with a topic that is more relevant than ever: social and emotional learning, or SEL. Denise Karratti (Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School), Trisha Kodama (Ali‘iolani Elementary School), and Nick Strope (Kealakehe High School) cover all things SEL, from the basics to classroom activities and concepts like the ALOHA Response.


» Hawai‘i teachers are sharing their mana'o at HIDOE's inaugural SPEAK HAWAII online storytelling event this Wednesday, April 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Listen to insights and front row experiences of Hawaiʻi educators. Reserve your spot to enjoy and engage!


Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto



Phyllis Unebasami
Deputy Superintendent


Heidi Armstrong
Student Support Services
Brook Conner
Information Technology Services
Cynthia Covell
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal Services
Rodney Luke
Strategy, Innovation and Performance
Randall Tanaka
Facilities and Operations
Teri Ushijima
Curriculum and Instructional Design



Nanea Kalani
Executive Editor
Chanel Honda
Managing Editor
Sara Miyazono
Creative Director


CONNECT WITH US » HawaiiPublicSchools.org

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

What makes you #PublicSchoolProud?

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Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: 808-784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter cover

The Department's primary publication featuring successes across our public schools.

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