|Susan Rocco||Special Education Advisory Council (“SEAC”)||IV. C. Policy 101.7 School Climate and Discipline||Comment|
|Martha Guinan||SEAC||IV. C. Policy 101.7 School Climate and Discipline||Support|
|Martha Guinan||SEAC||IV. D. Achievement data in high needs categories||Comment|
Committee Vice Chairperson Jim Williams discussed proficiency based placement and noted that it has not been pursued. The terminology has been changed from “proficiency based placement” to “competency based education.” The concept has existed since 1996 when it was formally referred to as “system of student advancement” in policy 4500 and is nationally used. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams further described competency based education, including the essential conditions for next generation learning, the five elements of competency based learning, and the importance of consistent evaluation methods. States like Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Colorado are considered leaders in competency based education, while seven other states having enabling policies. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that competency based education starts with policy and standards, and the Board may need to revise its policies and standards. The policy can be upgraded through the use of innovation zones, competency based diplomas, addressing the system of assessment, and developing the educator work force. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated the shift to competency based education would prepare students from kindergarten to succeed through the twelfth grade, and focus on achievement vs. age or time, putting the emphasis on what needs to be done to make sure students are ready to progress.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams encouraged the Committee to become involved in the idea of making competency based education possible. He has been working with Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support, on the matter and will bring any necessary information back to the Board.
Committee Member Hubert Minn liked the shift in thinking because children learn in different ways. He also liked the idea of using other tools to evaluate learning and agreed that teachers should be proficient and knowledgeable in learning. Committee Member Minn suggested passing the concept down to the field for their input.
Board Member Lance Mizumoto, ex officio mentioned that is important for new Board members to understand what competency based learning would look like. He met with principals and shared their concern that once the Board sets a course, whether they would have the materials and resources necessary to execute.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that the Department of Education (“Department”) would have to address that issue. There have been many initiatives over the last several years, but things have settled down, people are getting used to common core and the Educator Evaluation System (“EES”) and lessons were learned about rollout. This initiative would start with younger students, so as they progress, they will be used to the system. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams added that there are principles already thinking about competency based education.
Mulcahy echoed that there are interested principals. There are Hawaii schools working with the State of New Hampshire and engaging with teachers and principals. There are multiple implementation plans for high schools, but the Department would like to collaborate with those who are experienced to reduce push-back.
Committee Member Amy Asselbaye mentioned that the elementary level has General Learner Outcomes (“GLOs”) that do not apply later on. A system-wide process for GLOs would be better. Committee Member Asselbaye was concerned with the idea of students being tracked or labeled as the “smart” or “dumb” individuals in their school and asked how that would be avoided.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams replied that if students see from a young age that learning the material allows them to progress in the system, it will encourage them to learn and move up. As educators, we should not allow students to stay on the same level for an extended period of time. Students will move at their own pace, and if that pace is slow, they will receive extra help.
Mulcahy added that she found more often than not that schools are implementing evidence based methods so that resources are flexible. Students are given additional help in the areas they need it. The Department does not want to send a negative message to students about their abilities.
Committee Member Margaret Cox stated that the concept has been around for a long time and has not been successful because of the tracking issue. How the initiative is developed in the beginning determines whether it will be successful. Students have to be comfortable with their learning level and teachers have to be trained to make sure this is the environment that students will be in. Training teachers to do this will be a challenge.
Committee Member Minn compared competency based education to labor board goals (to make students ready to work) and mentioned that the concepts are similar. Group work with projects can be helpful for students to learn cognitive and social skills. Pairing high and low needs students helps to address social needs as well.
Student Representative Brennan Lee thought it was important that schools emphasize flexibility. Flexibility can be helpful when transitioning from one grade to another.
Board Member Mizumoto, ex officio, thought there seemed to be a consensus about the idea, but recommended setting a timeline or goals for implementation. He asked Mulcahy to keep this in mind, as it would need to be a regular agenda item in the future.
Board Member Brian De Lima, ex officio appreciated the presentation’s focus on the strategic plan. Competency based learning will force parents to be accountable for part of the learning process. Families need to be involved in terms of engagement. He stated that the concept needed to start at the kindergarten level and work up from there. There needs to be resources at the elementary level to build capacity and prevent students from losing self-esteem due to education. He also expressed his concern for the special education community and did not want them to get lost in the process.
Committee Member Don Horner agreed with the concern and stated that implementation needed to be a slow process. He hoped that the effort would be collaborative with professionals in the field.
Committee Chairperson Halagao reiterated the importance of collaboration and heard the support and concerns of the Committee.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams asked that the Committee receive an update in two or three months from Mulcahy.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams left the room at 10:49 a.m.
Committee Member Grant Chun left the room at 10:49 a.m.
B. Update on Board Policy 105.15, Seal of Biliteracy implementation plan
Committee Member Chun returned at 10:50 a.m.
Mulcahy presented an updated on the implementation of Board Policy 105.15, Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy will be available to students graduating in 2017 and will be implemented when the new school year begins. Mulcahy presented a sample of what students who complete the program will receive. Students will receive a medal and ribbon upon graduation. Mulcahy stated the Department would like students involved in the program to create the image on the Seal of Biliteracy for Hawaii.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams returned at 10:52 a.m.
Mulcahy stated that the purpose of the program is to establish an educational culture that values the wealth of diversity. Mulcahy took a moment to thank Sandra Goya, director, Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support, for taking over the project in her absence. A task force of 11 people was created to build new partnerships with members of the community and assist with the implementation process. The task force has been meeting during the past three months and has managed to create new criteria, establish assessment subcommittees, and collect feedback from the community. Classroom time is not being considered for the drafted criteria. Instead, mastery of the language will allow students to complete the program. Mulcahy stated that feedback is critical in developing the program, and the implementation must be aligned with the policy’s intention. In February 2016, the Department is going to administer a survey to high school juniors and seniors, and from March to June, the Department will host a webinar for registrars and counselors to provide information.
Mulcahy reported that the Department has received a letter from the University of Hawaii (“UH”) in support of the program allowing the program to transfer for college credit. The Department values the efforts from the language community and UH for help. The Department would like to update the Board on further progress in February.
Committee Member Minn asked Mulcahy if she thought it was necessary to get student feedback. Committee Member Minn stated that students should be asked why they do not want to take language courses to make the program more user-friendly, the program should include formally taught and naturally speaking students. Mulcahy replied that the Department has considered the issue, and students that are already fluent in a second language can get the seal.
Committee Member Asselbaye left the room at 11:00 a.m.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams was in support of the seal. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that the data collection did not have to be school-centered and hoped that the Department would alleviate the schools’ burden by doing things like creating a centralized repository of data. Mulcahy replied that the only way the Department will know if students are interested is if the schools inform the Department of who the students are. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that it is up to the student to take the initiative to pick a way to qualify and follow through with it.
Committee Member Chun mentioned that his wife is a high school registrar and he has been lucky enough to be engaged in the implementation process. There are many Korean language speakers at Maui high schools but no Korean classes offered to them. Committee Member Chun stated that the important part about the policy is that is provides a foundation for a cultural shift in how to think about and treat those that are not proficiency in English and to celebrate the diversity and cultures students bring with them.
Committee Chairperson Halagao stated that she would add the item to the agenda for follow up in February or March.
C. Update on Board Policy 101.7, School Climate and Discipline implementation plan
Mulcahy presented an update on the implementation of Board Policy 101.7, School Climate and Discipline. Mulcahy reported that the Department is preparing to start training statewide in July 2016 for implementation in the 2017-2018 school year. The Department would like to highlight that it is important to set a high expectation for behavior with consequences. Mulcahy stated that Hawaii’s youth need to be kept in school, in class, and learning. The Department is working on strategies to keep students on campus. Training for each complex area is tailored to address their unique needs and supports implementation of the policy. Previous training focused on how to suspend children that misbehave, but the Department wants to support students so they stay in school.
The Department has formed a work group and is waiting to get confirmation from all participants. Mulcahy reported that the Department is working with the Judicial Branch and 48 different groups, including the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, and other state agencies. The Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support will meet with and collect cycles of feedback. The Department is also working with the Department of the Attorney General and a representative from the Judicial Branch to collect additional feedback.
The work group will meet by December 17, 2015 and plans to complete the development of the training plan by January 2016. With the shift in standards, Mulcahy mentioned the importance of incorporating families into the implementation process. Everything should be completed and ready to present to the Complex Area Superintendents by April-May 2016. The Department will present to the principals and education officers helping with student discipline by December 2016. The Department will collect data from January-May 2017 to evaluate training and use bright spot examples to scale up before implementation.
Committee Member Minn would like to see advocates and parents involved. Committee Member Minn suggested having a social worker on campus to assist students in need.
Committee Member Cox hoped there would be a great deal of input or help with negative behavioral situations. Committee Member Cox agreed with the idea of a positive school climate and did not want to suspend students, but she felt there still needed to be an option for physically threatening situations, such as Chapter 19 (Hawaii Administrative Rules). Committee Member Cox stated that she would like to attend a presentation to better understand the Department’s plan. Committee Member Cox asked what kind of alternatives and resources are available for highly disruptive or abusive students.
Mulcahy informed Committee Member Cox that she will send a training schedule and invite her to a session. Mulcahy added that the option to suspend will still be available, but the Department wants to work with children from kindergarten to prevent them from continuing down a disruptive path. The Department would also like a community of practice where principals can share tactics to reduce suspensions.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams appreciated the discussion and mentioned that the policy included Chapter 19 for situations deemed necessary. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams explained that sometimes students are getting referred from only one teacher; in that case the problem is the teacher. Other times, a student is referred by multiple teachers, and those were the students for which this process was designed.
Committee Member Horner was impressed with Storefront (a Department school for at-risk youth) and the leadership there. Committee Member Horner stated that secondary schools may be an alternate solution and hoped they would not be forgotten.
Board Member De Lima, ex officio, echoed SEAC’s concerns in its testimony and emphasized the fact that disabled students are referred as disciplinary problems when they should not be. He also mentioned that it takes a talented principal to distinguish between a teacher situation and a student issue.
Mulcahy replied that theoretically, once a special education student has an individualized education program (“IEP”), the referrals should stop. Training for special education teachers is important for this reason. Mulcahy stated that students have to be in class to work on their goals. If a student is referred multiple times, once they are IEP eligible, there are other interventions and supports as alternatives, rather than sending them to the principal’s office. Board Member De Lima, ex officio, stated that the issue normally occurs when the special education student is in a general education class.
Committee Chairperson Halagao suggested expanding the workgroup for more feedback.
D. Update on achievement data in high needs categories (English Language Learners, Free and Reduced Lunch, and Special Education)
Deputy Superintendent Stephen Schatz presented more data on student performance as a follow up to the October 20, 2015 Strive HI performance system presentation to the full Board. Providing equity of opportunity for all students is a priority for the Superintendent.
Committee Member Horner left the room at 11:42 a.m.
The Department is looking for gaps in terms of test scores and other metrics. The performance between high and low needs students shows a tremendous gap. Schatz covered performance differences between high needs subgroups and showed that there was less of a difference between all high needs sub-groups and the Free and Reduced Lunch sub-group. Schatz presented a chart with the level of poverty compared to achievement ranking.
Actions being taken by the Department include: comprehensive student support, response to intervention, training for principals and coaches, allocating $10 million to the English Language Learners program, special education resource allocation, and Deputy Superintendent stock takes with complex area superintendents. Focus is being put on priority schools and complex area superintendent visits to struggling schools are encouraged. The Complex Area Support Team has set up its own system to scale “bright spots,” which are successes within the system.
Committee Member Horner returned at 11:44 a.m.
There is concern for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. There will be data collected looking at grades, attendance, and chronic absenteeism. The Department is evaluating how to intervene so they are not lost.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams thought that the presentation showed the need to disaggregate sub-group data and had concern with the bright spots portion of the report. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that is was good to hear about the bright spots, but learning about the methodology is important as well. The Department needs to have a trained observer figure out what bright spot schools are doing that is working so struggling schools can follow suit. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams also had concern with the special education program and how its money is being spent.
Committee Chairperson Halagao liked the presentation and how the bright spots in schools were broken down. Committee Chairperson Halagao mentioned that most bright spots were shown in elementary shows and asked Schatz the reason for that. Schatz replied that as a technical matter, high schools have lower scores. Schatz agreed that the Department needs to find bright spots at various levels.
Board Member De Lima, ex officio, heard the comprehensive student support and response to intervention presentation but was not sure what resources are provided for struggling students. It was concerning to him that Hawaii had one of the lowest special education program performances. Special education teachers he spoke with have insisted on discipline in the context of focus and effort. Schatz replied that teachers and educators that get good results do not give up on students, and if they continue to try, they will succeed.
Committee Member Minn stated that it comes down to the teachers in the classrooms. Teachers that teach outside the box and care for the students are the ones that succeed. Relationships are the most important thing.
Committee Chairperson Halagao pointed out the information provided by SEAC with different data points.
Schatz stated that multiple data points need to be analyzed. Many of the data points listed were middle school and low income classes. Educational staff should get credit for students doing well.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams suggested that subsequent requests be handled by the Committee Chairperson in consultation with the Board Chairperson to save time spent waiting for a formal meeting.
ACTION: Motion to recommend that the Board allow requests for the extension of time for the Department to submit an implementation plan to be handled by the applicable Committee Chairperson in consultation with the Board Chairperson (Williams/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
ACTION: Motion to recommend that the Board approve the extension of time for Department, as described in the Department’s memorandum dated December 1, 2015, to submit an implementation plan for Board Policy 305.3, Safe Schools. The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Committee Action on the following Board of Education (“Board”) policies:
|500.8||Accreditation in Schools|
|500.26||New Student Orientation|
Student Representative Lee left the room at 12:14 p.m.
Committee Member Minn left the room at 12:14 p.m.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams presented highlights from Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) Chapter 302D, the charter school law, as it relates to the Board’s powers and duties. There has been a significant difference between the Commission’s and charter school community’s interpretation of the word “bilateral” in the third definition in HRS Section 302D-1, “charter contract” or “charter.” HRS Section 302D-11(c) describes the Board’s responsibility for oversight of authorizers and their effectiveness. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that as a Board, they will need to determine if the authorizer requirements have been met and if authorizers will be evaluated on regular basis or only when there are concerns. Next, Vice Chairperson Williams described HRS Section 302D-4 and the Board’s obligation to establish an annual application process to approve applications for new authorizers for charter schools. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams ended with saying that the Board has not always focused on its full range of responsibilities and it is timely that it does so now.
Committee Member Minn asked if they had gotten the annual Board reports and if the Board had conducted a listening tour after receiving the reports.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams clarified that there are two reports, one from the Commission and another from the Board. The Board report did not incorporate what is was heard on the listening tour.
Committee Chairperson Halagao asked when the Commission would be reporting to the Board, and it was clarified that the Commission would report at the General Business Meeting that day.
Committee Member Horner mentioned that one of the challenges of having a second authorizer is funding them. The Board should choose an entity with funding so that, legislatively, there will be no funding added to the budget.
Student Representative Lee returned at 12:18 p.m.
Committee Chairperson Halagao thanked the members for their comments and recognized Robin Martin, Moanalua High School Principal and Fred Murphy, Mililani High School Principal in attendance representing Secondary Principals' Forum. Committee Chairperson Halagao asked the principals if they had any comments they would like to share on the topics discussed in the meeting.
Martin stated that they were lucky to be in attendance; a practice she would like to continue. Martin went on to say that both she and Murphy were encouraged by the discussion and understood that the logistics of implementation can be very difficult with large schools. Martin addressed Committee Member Horner’s previous comment on Storefront and stated that suspension is not her first option, but an array of tools must be in place for principals to use. Moanalua does not have resources for in-school suspension, so other consequences are put in place. Martin appreciated the Secondary Principals’ Forum as an opportunity to give input and feel heard.
Murphy commented on the competency based standards and wanted to remind the Committee that the policy is in place and students are currently measured on competency. Murphy stated that he is interested in discussing the topic further with the Board regarding issues like interventions and resource scheduling. Murphy suggested precaution when analyzing the mastery of each level and would like to be part of the discussion. Murphy added his appreciation for Committee Member Cox’s comments on discipline prevention and stated that removing a student from school is the last thing principals want to do, but it must be an option for extreme situations. Hawaii has low suspension rates compared to the rest of the nation, and Murphy suggested investigation before making big decisions. Murphy echoed Martin’s comments and admired the elevated conversations of this Board.
Committee Member Horner asked Murphy if the Secondary Principals’ Forum was institutionalized. Murphy replied yes, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi made sure funding was available for the formal group to meet quarterly, but it is not required. Murphy stated he was pleased with level of conversation, and the group attempts to let people know what will be happening ahead of time to allow them to be a part of the discussions.