Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Dec. 13


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes the Department's efforts in expanding locally produced and sourced foods.

Dec. 13

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: Our email platform for distributing the newsletter will be changing. No action is needed for current subscribers, but please note that in the near future the newsletter will be sent from hawaiipublicschools@eblasts.k12.hi.us.

Aloha, HIDOE Community –

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter.

Information request nets variety of responses from local farmers and distributors

The Department received more than 20 responses to our formal Request for Information (RFI) on locally produced and sourced foods and products that could be used to expand local offerings on school menus. Submissions came in from across the state and for a variety of fresh and processed local products ranging from avocados, bananas, taro and leafy greens to oils, salt and fruit and vegetable purees. The data and feedback will be used by our School Food Services Branch for the next phase of this effort in the spring – a formal Request for Proposals, which will be preceded by outreach and education efforts including vendor forums.

Statewide English-medium kindergarten entry assessment implementation

The Department presented its findings from the first statewide implementation of the English-medium kindergarten entry assessment to the Board of Education’s Student Achievement Committee last week. Gathering this crucial baseline data and understanding students’ differing readiness levels are associated with future school success. This will also inform policy and instructional practice to help achieve goals set by the strategic plan.


Social media highlights of the most engaging posts of the week.

Use the #HIPublicSchoolsProud hashtag for a chance to be featured!

Leadership Institute

» Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year (HSTOY) finalists had the pleasure of spending the day at Leilehua HS with 2023 HSTOY Jackie Freitas. She shared her passion for her work and her students! The day was a wonderful opportunity to network and explore opportunities with community partners.

Mālama Learning Center

» We’re happy to say there’s ‘ilima planted in front of ‘Ilima Intermediate. ‘Ilima’s Hawaiian Club asked us to kōkua them as they planted a mini native plant garden right in the front of campus so it could be the first thing people see as they arrive to school.

Chiefess Kapi‘olani Elementary

» Waiākea High School held their Healthy Keiki Fun Run to provide students the opportunity to advocate for a healthier lifestyle! Our very own Kōlea were also out there running! Mahalo Warriors and way to go Kōlea! #KōleaPride 

West Maui Updates

We will be providing relevant information on Lāhainā schools in this space,
including updates on health and safety, construction and more.

Wipe tests

The Department has hired a contractor to conduct bi-weekly wipe sampling in Lāhainā classrooms to test for any particles settling on surfaces. The last wipe test on Dec. 4 found no lead or arsenic, similar to previous samplings.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers update

U.S. Army Col. Jess Curry, recovery field office commander, provides an overview of the different aspects of the Hawai‘i Wildfire recovery mission and discusses the progress USACE is making on a temporary elementary school in Lāhainā.

Fulfill a wish for a staff member

Help us spread holiday cheer to staff members affected by the Maui wildfires by meeting a need on our Purposity list. Examples of items being requested include new bedsheets, a camping tent, clothing, massages and more. View their wish lists and help out a HIDOE ‘ohana member here.

Orders and shipment will be fulfilled through Purposity. Purposity is a crowd-source platform dedicated to connecting communities to real-time giving opportunities. Donations will be collected through the end of December.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

Community Query

We asked on Instagram

What’s one holiday tradition you could do without?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Always seek the “more” in life. Remain curious. Give back to your community. That was the message Bryceson Gregory Kealiʻiwiwoʻoleikamaunakiʻekiʻe Tugade (Radford ‘18) gave to his fellow University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu graduates.

» A sign-language Santa will make a special appearance for students from across the state who are deaf, deaf and blind, or hard of hearing, in a special “Deaf Santa” event at Pearlridge on Dec. 14. 

» Lāhainā Intermediate teacher Nathan Kahaiali‘i was invigorated by support at the Honolulu Marathon and made it his mission to keep Maui recovery efforts at the top of mind. Next is the Tokyo Marathon in early March!


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

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

Kimberly Yuen

Contributing Writer



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