Weekly Updates, May 4


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.

May 4

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!

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Weekly Newsletter.

  • Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
  • » Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all of our incredible educators! On behalf of the Department, we recognize the outstanding work that our teachers do every day.
  • » I’ve had the privilege of visiting schools across the state and have heard from students their excitement and love for learning – a direct reflection of our dedicated teachers.
  • » It’s been inspiring to see how our educators have collaborated with one another to rise above challenges, especially those presented to us over the last two and a half school years.
  • » Thank you, teachers, for all that you do. To view an appreciation video, click here.
  • Four Department schools receive RAMP recognition
  • » The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) designated Ka‘imiloa Elementary, Mokapu Elementary, Nānākuli Elementary, and Nānākuli High & Intermediate as schools with Recognized ASCA Model Programs (RAMP).
  • » RAMP schools are recognized for delivering top-notch, data-informed school counseling programs to their students.
  • » Over the course of these last two school years, our school counselors carried an even heavier weight, given all that our students go through in the face of the pandemic. The Department is thankful to have schools with outstanding counseling programs that service our students and communities.
  • » To read more about the RAMP award and the 2022 recipients, click here.
  • Parent engagement
  • » The Department recognizes how valuable parent voice is to the success and education of Hawai‘i’s youth and we thank programs that organize platforms to give space for communication with parents.
  • » I was fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome members of the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) on Saturday to the 2022 Annual Hawai‘i State PTSA Convention, “Building for the Future.” Virtual workshops were offered to hone the skills we need to support our students’ learning.
  • » On Monday, I attended a meeting with the Parents for Public Schools Hawai‘i, where we discussed updates and ways for the Department to expand family engagement opportunities.
  • » Together with stakeholder groups like these, we can equip our children with the skills they need to reach their full potential as we continue to build for the future.
  • Friday Night Prime Time returns
  • » High schools including Kalani and Kaiser High recently welcomed back Friday Night Prime Time, a full-inclusion sports program that offers special education students the exciting opportunity to represent their schools in an interscholastic sports event.
  • » The Falcons and Cougars played terrifically at last week’s basketball game! Mahalo to all the supporters who attended.

#PublicSchoolProud  |  By Chayanee Brooks

I’m #PublicSchoolProud to serve a diverse group of children in my community, who each bring in their stories of strength. I’m proud to work alongside other educators and administrators to bring out the best of every child so our community thrives.
» Chayanee Brooks is a National Board Certified Teacher, Hawaiʻi State Teacher Fellow, Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellow, and an English teacher at Ka‘ū High School. She is a strong advocate for assessments that empower student learning and success.

Question of the Week

Q: Have there been any updates to the Department’s guidelines for graduation ceremonies?

A: The Department’s latest guidelines for transition and commencement ceremonies can be found here. Revisions were made on April 20, including the removal of a requirement for attendees and participants to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result, and the addition of guidance for lei giving.

HIDOE Case Counts

A total of 554 confirmed or probable cases were reported across Hawaii’s 257 public schools from Apr. 25-29 for a daily average of 111 cases (as of May 3). This marks the sixth consecutive week of increased case counts since Spring Break. For the latest case count information, visit bit.ly/HIDOECOVID-19Updates.

April 25-29

News Feed  |  #HI4PublicEd

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that 68% of 924 poll takers agree it’s best to take precaution when asked about the Department’s requirement for universal indoor masking until the end of the school year. Community members also voiced their support for this decision here and here.


» Seventh grade students at Waipahu Intermediate received Honorable Mention last week for their Sustainability Innovation Award entry in the Samsung Innovation Competition. To view the group's video submission on their innovative solution for waste in our schools, click here.


» Waiākea High School won big during the 19th annual ‘Ōlelo Youth Xchange Student Video Competition. Their “Alexis Ann” video won the top "Expert" category for high school and college entries. Read more here. Watch the winning entry and gala telecast on olelo.org/olelonet. (Photo credit: ‘Ōlelo Community Media)


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



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

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