Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Oct. 26


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue features the Department's NAEP results.

Oct. 26

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.

On the heels of encouraging gains on our Strive HI results, the U.S. DOE has released national results showing our fourth-graders posted reading and math scores above the national average on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP.

Known as "The Nation’s Report Card," NAEP is an assessment program of the National Center for Education Statistics that provides comparable results across states on select subjects. It’s typically administered every two years to a representative sample of fourth- and eighth-graders nationwide, but was last given in 2019. Approximately 8,000 of our students enrolled at 140 schools took the assessments in the spring of 2022.

The NAEP results, together with our recent Smarter Balanced Assessment results, show for the most part, our students are performing at the same level or above their national peers, and that the nationwide pandemic impacts have been more severe in many other states. This highlights the resilience of our students and the dedication of our educators and staff across the Department.

Still, we know our math performance, especially among our middle schools, continues to lag below our state targets and national levels. I am fully committed to doubling down on our efforts to determine where more support and interventions are needed to improve learning and achievement for all students.

The Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC’22) is being held this week at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, which features leading national and international speakers on advanced computing, sensors and detection, superconductive electronic-based systems, and quantum engineering systems. As part of their commitment to education, ASC’22 personnel visited some of our schools last week and held interactive exhibits for students earlier this week. They also demonstrated the power of applied superconductivity on Monday by levitating students and staff in the air. I enjoyed seeing the ASC’22 partnership provide opportunities for our students to engage with leading STEM researchers and technology.



As Cybersecurity month comes to a close, we asked two Enterprise Architecture Branch staff to share their stories on how they came to work for the Department's Office of Information Technology Services (OITS). Rylen Iwasaki and Casey Nitta are both Mililani High graduates who interned with OITS during their respective last semesters at UH West O‘ahu. Their internship experiences not only solidified cybersecurity as a career path but also gave them an opportunity to give back to their community.

Family Focus

Here’s a scary statistic: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most common injuries to children on Halloween are pedestrian injuries, so be sure to stay on well-lit roads and sidewalks, stay in a group, and don’t assume you have the right of way when cars approach.

The National Safety Council offers additional tips for the upcoming spooky season, including ensuring children can see through masks or face coverings and that all costumes, wigs and accessories are fire-resistant.

Parents and guardians are also urged to be especially vigilant by inspecting all candies and treats before children can eat them, knowing where all treats came from, and looking for signs of re-sealing on packaging. If you have any doubts, don't consume them.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

  • Oct. 27 - BOE Community Meeting (Kaimukī-McKinley-Roosevelt)
  • Oct. 31 - Halloween
  • Nov. 1 - BOE Community Meeting (Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani)

Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

Q: What’s the best Halloween movie?

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.

» ClimbHI recently recognized schools, educators and businesses at its inaugural ClimbHI Bridge Awards Brunch. The online portal is a public-private partnership to provide educational and workforce development opportunities.


» Kūlanihāko‘i High School has selected its mascot — the manta ray — and school colors of silver and black. Its student body and extracurricular teams will be the Kūlanihāko‘i Rays.


» HIDOE has received three grants from the DoDEA partnership that will focus on enhancing college and career skills in the Campbell, Kapolei and Radford complexes and world language learning opportunities in the Kalāheo complex for military-dependent students at select schools over the next five years.


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

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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