Mililani High School
95-1200 Meheula Parkway, H Building, Quad Room
Mililani, Hawaii 96789
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Catherine Payne, Board Chairperson
Brian De Lima, Esq., Board Vice Chairperson

Patricia Bergin
Margaret Cox
Kili Namau‘u
Dwight Takeno
Bruce Voss, Esq.
Colonel Carolyn Stickell (military representative)
David Texeira (student representative)

Nolan Kawano
Kenneth Uemura

Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent
Heidi Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Student Support Services
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Board Private Secretary
Irina Dana, Secretary

I. Call to Order

The Board of Education (“Board”) General Business Meeting was called to order by Board Chairperson Catherine Payne at 5:00 p.m.

II. Welcome and message from Mililani High School

Fred Murphy, Principal, Mililani High School, highlighted various activities, programs, initiatives, and accomplishments at Mililani High School, including the student newspaper, student government, Advanced Placement (“AP”) course offerings, the AP capstone diploma program, the early college credit program, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (“AVID”) program, and various recognitions as one of the best public high schools.

Arianna Nonies-Ramos, Student Body President, Mililani High School, highlighted Mililani High School’s AP courses, early college credits, Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, learning centers, career and technical education courses, fine arts program and graduation rate. Taylor Brenckle, Student Body Vice President, Mililani High School, highlighted Mililani High School’s clubs or organizations, including robotics, student activity programs, sports teams, and community service clubs. Nonies-Ramos highlighted the value of student voice and the school’s student government program. Breckle detailed that the school’s government program provides students with the opportunity to voice feedback and present feedback to the appropriate stakeholder to ensure that change occurs.

III. *Public Testimony on Board of Education (“Board”) Agenda Items

Agenda Item
Hawaii State Representative Amy Perruso Hawaii State LegislatureV.A. Student Achievement Committee Report on: (1) Presentation on Complex Area Superintendent Report: special education and English learner in the Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex AreaComment

Hawaii State Representative Amy Perruso, representing Desiree McKenzie, testified on her concerns regarding special education in the Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area, including communication between the Department of Education (“Department”) and Department of Health, grade-level transitions, and individualized education programs (“IEP”). She encouraged the Board to review challenges, failures, and implications for special education.

IV. Approval of Meeting Minutes of February 21, 2019

ACTION: Motion to approve the General Business Meeting minutes of February 21, 2019, and the General Business Meeting Executive Session minutes of February 21, 2019 (Voss/De Lima). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

V. Reports of Board Committees, Board Members, and Superintendent
Student Achievement Committee Chairperson Margaret Cox reported that the committee received a presentation on special education and English learners (“EL”) in the Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area. She highlighted that the complex area is striving to improve its special education and EL programs.

Board Chairperson Payne reported on the status of the 2019 legislative session. She highlighted several bills of interest to the Board that would not be moving forward, including bills related to community meetings, a bill that proposed a constitutional amendment to potentially change the Board from an appointed body to an elected body, and a bill that proposed open forum requirements. She highlighted that the Board decided to initiate an open forum pilot for its meetings even though the Legislature did not move that particular bill forward. She detailed that one of the bills related to the state librarian’s salary cap would be moving forward while its companion bill would not be progressing.

Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board testified in opposition to Senate Bill 171, which would create a task force to establish a process for the transfer of jurisdiction over all public schools from the State to the county in which the public school is located, which continues to move forward. Board Chairperson Payne detailed other bills that would be crossing over that are of interest to the Board, including House Bill (“HB”) 622, which would prohibit affiliations between the Board and State Public Charter School Commission members and charter schools, require the establishment of a purchase order system to pay charter school expenses, and require authorizers to select independent auditors; and HB 615, which would amend the Board’s constitution by inviting the exclusive representative for Bargaining Unit 5 to appoint a nonvoting public school teacher representative to the Board.

Board Chairperson Payne detailed that the Board is opposed to HB 407, which would give the Board the authority to appoint and terminate Complex Area Superintendents, and two bills that would require the Board to establish and implement programs. She explained that the Board does not develop, implement, or oversee programs, and the Board’s legislative ad hoc committee continues to try to help the Legislature understand unique roles of the Board and Department. She stated that she expects the ad hoc committee to become more active as bills continue to crossover and move forward.

Board Chairperson Payne reported that she recently attended a Career and Technical Education Coordinating Advisory Council (“CTECAC”) meeting on February 25, 2019. She explained that the CTECAC advises the University of Hawaii Board of Regents on career and technical education at the policy level and highlighted that Board Member Cox and Board Member Nolan Kawano currently serve on CTECAC. Board Chairperson Payne detailed that the recent meeting focused on the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (“Perkins IV”), which is a source of federal funding. She noted that some high school principals are dependent on Perkins IV funding, but the amount of funds is small, as high schools share $5 million with the University of Hawaii System, including community colleges. She stated that CTECAC discussed increasing the percentage of funding to the public school system and outreach to principals to review whether principals need additional funds to meet needs. She noted that Perkins IV funding is not intended to cover all CTE needs but to stimulate and help grow programs. Board Chairperson Payne highlighted that Board Member Cox would chair CTECAC and lead it to develop a new plan for allocation of these resources.

Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent, reported that the Teacher Education Coordinating Committee (“TECC”) met today and is making progress on its five-year recruitment and retention plan. She detailed that the Legislature established the TECC, and its work primarily focuses on teacher recruitment and retention. Kishimoto highlighted that TECC is holding an “It’s Great to be a Teacher” event on April 27 at Leeward Community College. She detailed that TECC selected current teachers to be speakers and invited educational assistants to attend to learn how to become teachers. In addition, TECC plans to invite students who are part of teacher academies at their high schools to provide them with the opportunity to interact with teachers and receive information regarding how to become certified. Kishimoto highlighted that the Department is holding a teacher job fair on May 4 to recruit candidates who are graduating from local programs. She noted that 30 schools have signed up for the event, and the Department expects up to 50 schools to sign up.

Kishimoto reported that she recently visited Hickam Elementary School and observed its kindergarten classrooms. She highlighted that the Department has been promoting Read Across America activities the past few weeks and is encouraging reading across all grade levels. Kishimoto stated that she attended a band festival at Moanalua High School and highlighted that six schools collaborated to put the festival together. She stated that the Department is committed to arts and music programs and is building programs throughout the state.

Kishimoto stated that one of the Department’s partner agencies is holding its third annual Micronesian youth summit at the University of Hawaii. She highlighted that the summit provides an opportunity for youth to learn about college and career options and discuss their experiences as new arrivals or first generation college students. Kishimoto stated that the summit provides youth with a safe space and noted that officials from the Federated States of Micronesia would attend.

Kishimoto highlighted that the Department held its first multilingual conference, and over 200 individuals attended, including students. Participants discussed various topics, including English language support, deaf culture, sign language, the Seal of Biliteracy, and how to create global experiences for students. She stated that the multilingualism taskforce is processing feedback it received from participants and reviewing the EL taskforce’s suggestions.

VI. Discussion Items
Heidi Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Student Support Services, reviewed the Department’s progress on Medicaid reimbursement, including staffing and anticipated revenues. She stated that the Department is not actively billing for Medicaid this year and noted that current expenses for School Year 2018-2019 are $124,751. She explained that the Department contracts with the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine (“UMass”) to actively bill services. The Department receives reimbursements and pays UMass 5% of the Department’s total reimbursement. The current contract caps at $200,000, and this year, the Department paid UMass $9,971. Armstrong stated that other expenses include the Department sending four attendees to a conference that cost $8,845. The Department also paid for neighbor island travel. She explained that Department employees needed to travel to neighbor islands to work with related service providers to assist them in obtaining a national provider identification number, which is a requirement providers need to meet for the Department to bill for their services.

Armstrong stated that the Department implemented the Board’s suggestion to mail consent forms to parents and did a mass mailing in January. It cost the Department $58,000, and it received 4,000 consent forms back from parents so far. Armstrong noted that when the Department began this process, it received an average of 472 consent forms per year. She stated that the Department would need to spend $36,495 on office equipment and software, such as computers and furniture, to establish a Medicaid office.

Armstrong reviewed the Department’s estimated Medicaid billing section personnel cost and potential reimbursement under administrative claiming. She stated that the Department is building infrastructure, which will consist of a number of positions. The Department anticipates that these positions would help it in building a robust Medicaid reimbursement program. She noted that several costs would be recurring, such as its UMass fee, conference expenses, and equipment. Armstrong stated that the Department anticipates that building its infrastructure, including staffing, would cost it $948,844. However, the Department anticipates that it would claim part of salaries as reimbursable services once its Medicaid billing section is operational. The Department estimates that it might receive $607,596 as a potential total reimbursement for positions.

Armstrong stated that it is difficult for the Department to determine the estimated federal reimbursement amount because each student is different, and there is no average reimbursement for medical services. She noted that the Department based its estimated average on funds it has historically received in Fiscal Years 2015, 2016, and 2017. The average annual federal reimbursement is $441,347 based on 472 parental consents. She noted that the Department might receive an average of $935 per consent form. Armstrong highlighted that the Department might receive closer to $3 million in reimbursements based on the current number of parental consents it has received. She noted that this is just an estimate and explained that every student that receives special education services is an individual. Some students might receive services that are reimbursable or receive multiple services while other students might receive services that are not reimbursable or only receive one service. She noted that these estimates are an average and not guaranteed because reimbursement amounts are dependent upon the individual needs of students.

Board Vice Chairperson Brian De Lima asked about the Department’s parental consent form expenses. Armstrong explained that the Department is unsure which students are eligible for MedQuest, so it did a mass mailing to all 19,000 families whose children receive special education services. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima asked about the percentage of students who might be eligible for MedQuest. Armstrong noted that students who receive free and reduced lunch services might qualify for MedQuest. She reiterated that the Department is not able to identify which students qualify and noted that potentially less than 50% of families might be eligible.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima noted that other states contract with UMass for Medicaid billing and asked if the Department has had discussions with UMass regarding how other states bill for reimbursable services. Armstrong stated that the Department engages in weekly discussions and conferences with UMass and is billing correctly.

Board Member Voss asked about the Department’s potential reimbursements for positions. Armstrong explained that the Department does not currently have an official administrator who specializes in claims and is waiting for UMass to provide the Department with guidance on the percentage of services from each position for which it could claim reimbursement. She noted that the Department would receive guidance prior to October 1, 2019 because administrative claiming begins on October 1 of every year. She explained that potential reimbursements for positions are dependent on services and duties. Armstrong stated that the Department might claim a different percentage for each position and highlighted that it plans to conduct a random time study to determine averages of all positions.

Board Member Voss asked if reimbursements for positions are mandatory or discretionary. Armstrong explained that the Department has to opt in to participate in administrative claiming.

Board Member Voss asked for more detail regarding net revenue and expenses. Armstrong explained that the Department might claim slightly under $2 million for current services it has historically billed, such as occupational therapy and speech therapy. She noted that the Department plans to add skilled nursing services and other eligible services that it has not billed for in the past. Armstrong highlighted that the Department is working closely with MedQuest to ensure that it has appropriate codes in place once it begins the process of billing again.

Board Member Voss asked about potential net revenue. Armstrong explained that Hawaii is comparable to Rhode Island, and Rhode Island receives between $30 and $40 million in Medicaid reimbursements.

Board Member Dwight Takeno asked when the Department plans to bill. Armstrong explained that the Department is consulting with related service providers and unions to ensure that providers have obtained national provider identification numbers and enrolled in MedQuest. She stated that the Department would be ready to bill once it completes this process and providers have met the requirements for the Department to be reimbursed for Medicaid. Armstrong stated that the Department might complete this process within a month.

Board Member Takeno asked if the Department could bill for services retroactively once it receives consent forms. Armstrong confirmed that it could bill for retroactive services once it receives a parental consent but noted that consent forms do not guarantee that services are Medicaid reimbursable.

Board Chairperson Payne asked if parents need to submit parental consents each year and asked about the Department’s process to obtain consent forms if parents do not return them through mail. Armstrong stated that parents do not need to submit parental consents each school year. She explained that each school has a designated individual who would meet with parents, potentially during annual IEP meetings, to explain parental consents. She highlighted that the Department plans to communicate with each parent in addition to mass mailing within the year.
Kishimoto reviewed the status of achieving her priorities, including priority areas, sub-indicators, and progress. She detailed that the first priority is related to equitable access for all students; the second priority is related to ensuring that the Department embeds the core values of Nâ Hopena A‘o into its learning environment; the third priority is related to innovation approaches; the fourth priority is related to talent management and building capacity; and the fifth priority is related to the Board and Department’s Joint Strategic Plan (“Strategic Plan”). She highlighted that all of the priority areas and sub-areas are in-progress or at completion. Kishimoto noted that the five priority areas relate to the Department’s three-year strategic operating plan and deliverables for this school year.

Board Member Voss asked how many schools have processes or procedures in place to implement design concepts related to school design. Kishimoto stated that the Department’s goal this year was to roll out training to principals and highlighted that the Department is training principals on indicators it developed last year. The Department is also actively engaging with communities, foundations, business leaders, and other partners on the Department’s indicators. She stated that the Department’s goal is to have 25% of its schools document specific school design plans per complex area. She highlighted that some complex areas have a higher percentage of schools with documented plans while others are focused on reaching the 25% goal and using the Department’s indicators to self-assess. She noted that this plan allows the Department to differentiate support as it moves forward.

Board Member Voss asked about timelines in regards to schools developing and implementing design concepts. Kishimoto explained that the Department’s goal this year is to train, educate, and align its systems.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima commented that the Department should review input that stakeholders provided regarding the Strategic Plan. He encouraged the Department to focus on Strategic Plan priorities as well as the Superintendent’s priorities because the Board and Department would soon transition to a ten-year Strategic Plan. Kishimoto highlighted that the Department would align Strategic Plan priorities with outcomes and measures as it moved into the fourth quarter.

VII. Public Testimony on Board Agenda Items

Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony. There was no public testimony at this time.

VIII. Action Items
Board Chairperson Payne stated that part of the Superintendent’s evaluation process is to obtain internal and external stakeholder feedback. This feedback informs the Board and Superintendent of the community’s perceptions of the public education system, shapes appropriate professional development and administrative improvements, and provides insight into community priorities. She noted that the Board does not use the feedback to evaluate the Superintendent but to co-create leadership development and action plans and establish priorities for the next school year.

Kishimoto explained that she updated the eight questions but they are similar to questions from the previous school year. She stated that the similarities provide the Board with the opportunity to compare two years of responses and remain consistent.
Board Vice Chairperson De Lima suggested that Kishimoto add additional stakeholder groups, such as the Special Education Advisory Council, the Hui for Excellence in Education or other advocacy groups, to review equity issues.

ACTION: Motion to approve the Superintendent’s proposed questions and respondents for the 2018-2019 Superintendent evaluation purposes, as attached to the submittal dated March 7, 2019, with the addition of an external stakeholder representing equity advocacy community (De Lima/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

Board Chairperson Payne stated that recent changes in law necessitate that the Board reevaluate several of its processes, including its process for appointing members to the State Public Charter School Commission (“Commission”). She stated that the revised process includes requiring the Board to appoint members to an investigative committee to review applications and nominate appointees to the Board; the investigative committee to limit its nominations to no more than one nominee per vacant position; the investigative committee to announce the names of its nominees; and expediting an appointment to fill the remainder of a term when a vacancy occurs on the Commission before the expiration of the former member’s term.

Board Member Voss asked about the investigative committee’s role in regards to mid-term appointments. Board Chairperson Payne detailed how vacancies impact Commission quorum and explained the Commission concern with timeliness.

Board Member Voss emphasized the importance of consistency and stated that the process for mid-term appointments should be similar to the process for regular appointments. He stated that the Board Chairperson should have the authority to appoint an interim member, subject to the creation of a permitted interaction group, and mid-term appointments should go through the same process.

Board Member Patricia Bergin agreed with Board Member Voss on the Board maintaining a consistent process for mid-term appointments.

Board Member Cox expressed concern over the potential lack of transparency and the investigative committee only providing the Board with one nominee per vacancy rather than multiple qualified nominees.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima explained that the Board would need to publicize all applicants pursuant to Sunshine Law. He stated the Board was previously able to keep applicants confidential until final consideration and not embarrass applicants if the Board did not choose them for final consideration. He detailed that the Board is able to reject a nominee that the investigative committee recommends rather than publicizing multiple applicants that the Board might not support.

Board Member Cox noted that an individual applicant might still undergo public scrutiny and embarrassment if the Board does not accept the investigative committee’s recommendation. She stated that she is not in favor of the investigative committee providing the Board with one nominee per vacancy rather than all qualified nominees.

Board Member Voss stated that he understands that there have been uncomfortable situations in the past but agreed with Board member Cox that there might be situations in the future where more than one nominee is qualified. He stated that the investigative committee should have the discretion to nominate up to three individuals.

Board Chairperson Payne asked if the investigative committee should recommend up to three individuals for a single vacancy. Board Member Voss stated that the investigative committee should not be required to provide three nominees, but should have the discretion.

Board Chairperson Payne stated that some individuals might not want the Board to publicly announce their nomination, especially if the Board is considering nine applicants for three vacancies. Board Member Voss stated that the investigative committee should have the discretion based on the applicant pool to provide the Board with choices.

ACTION: Motion to adopt the proposed revised process for appointing members to the Commission attached to Board Chairperson Payne’s memorandum dated March 7, 2019, with the following amendments: 1) use a permitted interaction group for both regular and mid-term appointments, and give the Board Chairperson the authority to appoint an interim member until the Board makes its appointment decision; and 2) the permitted interaction group has the discretion to nominate up to three individuals for each vacant position (Voss/De Lima). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

Board Chairperson Payne stated the Legislature has been considering a number of legislative bills related to early learning, and the Board might want to authorize its ad hoc committee to take positions. She stated that the Board believes the governance structure of the early learning system needs clearer roles, responsibilities, and lines of authority that make sense, but the Board acknowledges that the major stakeholders have differing views of the ideal governance structure. The Board supports legislation that would bring the major early learning stakeholders together to collaboratively develop a recommended governance structure that would best serve children ages zero to five while ensuring accountability throughout the early learning system.

ACTION: Motion to adopt the policy position described in Board Chairperson Payne’s memorandum dated March 7, 2019 to incorporate into the policy positions it previously adopted for the 2019 Legislative Session, as shown in Exhibit A of Board Chairperson Payne’s memorandum (De Lima/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

IX. Community Open Forum

Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board would be holding a community open forum and accepting public comments on issues that are not on the Board’s agenda. She highlighted that the Board wanted to pilot this initiative because it was inspired by HB 411, which would have required the Board to include an open forum for public comments on non-agenda items at the end of each of its public meetings. While the Legislature is not moving HB 411 forward, the Board wanted to try to hold an open forum to see whether it would further the Board’s strategic priorities related to community engagement. She noted that Board Members could not respond to or discuss public comments received during the community open forum that do not appear on the meeting agenda, pursuant to Sunshine Law. However, the Board could consider placing issues on an agenda for a future Board meeting.

Hawaii State Representative Amy Perruso Hawaii State LegislatureActive external contracts and standardized testing
Justin Delos Reyes Campbell High SchoolReimbursements, transcripts, Board meetings

Hawaii State Representative Amy Perruso commented that the Department has spent $60 million on external contracts for testing and test-based curriculum. She stated that these contracts do not include time spent on classroom material or personnel. Perruso highlighted that 85% of recently surveyed principals agreed that the Department should reduce instructional time for standardized testing, and 84% thought that the Department should consider changes to the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Perruso encouraged the Board to place this issue on a future agenda to discuss testing culture. She noted that the Department announced that it intends to apply for an innovative assessment pilot and asked the Board and Department to consider the importance of collaboration for new assessments.

Justin Delos Reyes, Campbell High School, detailed challenges with school reimbursements and recounted a personal experience where he followed procedures for travel requests and per diem, but the Department did not reimburse him for six months following his trip. He further detailed the difficulties untimely reimbursements caused, such as credit card interest fees which he cannot get reimbursed. He detailed issues regarding the lack of electronic transcripts and explained how students are losing opportunities due to schools mailing transcripts rather than sending them electronically. Delos Reyes stated that he appreciates the Board’s evening meetings but encouraged the Board to extend the starting time of its evening meetings past 5:00 p.m. to accommodate parents who are unable to attend meetings at 5:00 p.m. due to work hours and traffic.

X. Adjournment

Board Chairperson Payne adjourned the meeting at 6:27 p.m.