• ............................ Important Alert: View resources for students, families and staff affected by the wildfires in Maui: bit.ly/HIDOE-West-Maui-Resources

Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Nov. 30


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes a message about the eruption from Superintendent Hayashi and an aloha and mahalo from Gov. David Ige and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige.

Nov. 30

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.

Mauna Loa's eruption over the weekend was a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of natural disasters and how important it is to ensure we have up-to-date contingency plans in place for emergencies like this.

For the Department, all HIDOE schools are required to have emergency action plans that are updated annually and reviewed by the Department's Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness Branch. These are site-specific plans that cover incidents at the school level, including the handling of school closures, accountability of students and faculty during emergencies, and associated emergency drills. These school plans correlate with continuity of operations plans at the complex area level, as well as the Department's overall emergency operations plan at the state level.

I want to commend our Hawai‘i Island complex area superintendents for their leadership as this emergency continues to unfold. Ka‘ū-Kea‘au-Pāhoa CAS Stacey Bello, Hilo-Waiākea CAS Esther Kanehailua, and Honoka‘a-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena CAS Janette Snelling have been working diligently with their principals to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.

All of our Hawai‘i Island schools are updating contingency plans as needed in the event that schools need to transition to a different mode of instruction due to direct or indirect impacts from the lava flow. While we are cautiously optimistic, we are still vulnerable and will continue to closely monitor conditions and heed the direction of Hawai‘i County and emergency management officials.

Any impacts or changes to Hawai‘i public school operations will be updated on the Department's website here. We urge all Hawai‘i Island residents to keep themselves informed and to take necessary steps to prepare now in the event action is needed.



Aloha and mahalo from the Governor David Ige and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige

From the Iges

This message of warmest aloha goes out to the Board of Education, HIDOE administrators, faculty, staff, students and community members as our time in office comes to a close. We couldn’t be prouder of all you have accomplished for our students and the progress we’ve made together, especially with the challenges of the pandemic.”

From Governor Ige

Our vision for school innovation and empowerment has been at the heart of the initiatives we’ve launched during the past eight years. I’ve always believed that public education is the great enabler of dreams, which you demonstrate every day in your classrooms. We’ve seen this progress in tangible ways -- from developing Hawai‘i’s Blueprint for Public Schools and the expansion of Early College to the new School Facilities Authority, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief innovation grants, and a long list of capital improvement projects.

From the First Lady

I came into this role as an educator who strove to find innovative ways to make education meaningful and support our students’ success. That is why I teamed up with the HIDOE’s School Food Services Branch and other community partners to encourage students to start their day with a healthy ‘Jumpstart Breakfast’ and other school breakfast programs. During the pandemic, we also launched ‘Kaukau 4 Keiki’ to provide weekly meal kits for rural families. Our ‘Ohana Readers literacy program and Scholastic Summer Ambassador program provided more than 12,400 books to keiki statewide.
Read more

Family Focus

CDC surveillance has shown an increase in RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) detections and RSV-associated emergency department visits and hospitalizations across the nation. Dr. Trudy Hong of Straub Medical Center shares more information about RSV, including what parents can do if their children contract the virus, in this video.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events


Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

Q: If you could time travel, where would you go?

CDC COVID-19 Community Levels

CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels is a tool to help guide decision making on mitigation strategies based on community classification levels of low, medium or high. When the level is at medium or high, additional layered strategies such as masking are recommended.
Weekly CDC COVID Community Levels by Hawaii DOH

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Following extensive community input, the Board of Education on Thursday will be discussing its draft strategic plan focusing on three priorities: high-quality learning for all, high-quality educator workforce in all schools, and effective and efficient operations at all Department levels.


» U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono met with student leaders who are developing curriculum honoring Filipino history, culture and identity social studies for high school students.


» Windward Community College freshman enrollment jumped 20% this fall, with a 63% rise in students coming directly from HIDOE.


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
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



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