Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Aug. 9


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. In light of the Maui and Hawai‘i Island wildfires, we are providing a special update from the Superintendent for this week’s issue.

Aug. 9

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 our system.

Editor's Note: In light of the Maui and Hawai‘i Island wildfires, we are providing a special update from the Superintendent for this week’s issue.

Aloha, HIDOE Community

I extend my heartfelt sympathies and deep aloha to the families and loved ones affected by the devastating wildfires on Maui, and especially in Lāhainā. Our hearts go out to the communities grappling with the loss of homes, belongings, livelihoods and a sense of security.

The Department is closely monitoring conditions and working with county and state officials and emergency responders. We hope to gain access to perform preliminary damage assessments in the affected areas as soon as safely possible.

I have assembled an internal response team to coordinate needed resources and plan next steps. Right now, we are working on a number of contingency plans based on the wildfire affecting West Maui. The Department is fully committed to doing what is necessary for our teachers, students and staff. This includes preparing for the impacts of the possible loss of an elementary school. Unofficial aerial photos show the King Kamehameha III Elementary campus – on Front Street in Lahaina – sustained extensive fire and structural damage.

We understand that this situation can be challenging and stressful for our staff, students and their families, and those with ties to the Lāhainā community. The Department is striving to maintain regular school schedules to provide a sense of normalcy but will keep most Maui schools closed for the remainder of this week.

The four public schools in West Maui will remain closed to students and staff through Friday, Aug. 11. Public schools in Central, Upcountry and South Maui will also remain closed through Friday to give school teams time to assess damage and capacity to reopen. Hāna High & Elementary School in East Maui remains open.

We recognize the need to ensure access to mental health resources and services for our school communities and the personnel that support them. The Office of Student Support Services has listed these resources that are available to assist with immediate needs.

For those interested in making a monetary or in-kind donation to help support our Hawai‘i public schools, please complete and submit this donation-gift intake form. See the HIDOE’s donation page for more information. For any questions, please contact the HIDOE Community Engagement Branch at (808) 305-0690 or by emailing familypartnerships@k12.hi.us.

Donations or volunteer inquiries can also be coordinated through the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) at Ready.Hawaii.Gov. For more information email HawaiiEMA@hawaii.gov or call (808) 733-4300.

We urge all families to stay informed and to heed instructions from emergency management agencies. Any impacts or changes to Hawai‘i public school operations will be updated on the Department’s website. We stand with you during this challenging time.


Keith T. Hayashi


Keith Hayashi


Heidi Armstrong

Deputy Superintendent

Curt Otaguro

Deputy Superintendent

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun
Deputy Superintendent


Sean Bacon
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal Services
Annie Kalama
Student Support Services

Michael Otsuji

Information Technology Services
Randall Tanaka
Facilities and Operations

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



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Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us

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