The following people provided oral testimony:
1. Alphonso Braggs, president, Hawaii chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP Hawaii Chapter”), provided oral testimony in support of the intent of Board Policy 101.7 School Climate and Discipline (“School Climate and Discipline Policy”), but shared his concern with the section of the policy addressing police officers in schools and asked that the Board send the policy back to the Student Achievement Committee to review and examine this section more closely.
2. Bruce Naguwa, Principal, Kapolei Middle School, testified against changes proposed through the School Climate and Discipline Policy, commented that this policy will add a layer of bureaucracy, and encouraged the Board to seek input from school level administrators before making a final decision.
3. Keith Hayashi, Principal, Waipahu High School, requested that the Board defer action on the School Climate and Discipline Policy and asked that it be referred back to the Student Achievement Committee for further review.
4. Cheri Nakamura, Director, Hui for Excellence in Education (“HEʻE”) Coalition. Ms. Nakamura testified in support of the School Climate and Discipline Policy and that it appears that the policy is attempting to codify what is already happening in schools, and also encouraged and supported collaborative resolution.
5. Michael Golojuch, Jr., Chair, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Caucus for the Democratic Party of Hawaii testified in support of the School Climate and Discipline Policy, expressed his concern about placing police officers in schools, and requested that a timeline for making a decision on the policy be established as to not prolong the process.
6. Lynn Roberson-Onderico, member, Education Committee for the Ewa Neighborhood Board, commented on Board Policy 103.5, Sexual Health Education and informed the Board that she submitted clarifying questions regarding this policy to the Department and will await a response.
7. Adrienne Horton, member, NAACP Hawaii Chapter, testified in support of the School Climate and Discipline Policy. She expressed her concern over the section of the policy addressing police officers on school campus and shared a story of how an infraction committed as a student impacted an individual’s life and career prospects.
Written testimony was also received and provided to the Board members. The following is a listing of the people that submitted written testimony before testimony deadline arranged in the order received.
|Bruce Naguwa||Principal, Kapolei Middle School||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|Nathaniel R. Balis||Juvenile Justice Strategy Group||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|James Bell||Executive Director, W Haywood Burns Institute||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|Carol Bain||Public||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|David Hipp||Department of Human Services, Office of Youth||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|Esther Solomon||Teen Court Kaua’i||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|Tai-An Milao||Committee Chair||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|Jane Sezak||Public||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|Deborah Duda||DOE Teacher (retired)||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
|Cheri Nakamura||HEʻE Coalition||101.7 School Climate and Discipline|
Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Grant Chun reported that the committee received a presentation of the Department’s fiscal reports as of June 30, 2015. The Committee also received an update on the restrictions set forth by the Executive Branch on the Department’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 budget. The Department continues to await formal notification of the annual allocation and restriction, and will follow up with the Finance and Infrastructure Committee when this information becomes available.
The Committee received a presentation on the Community Eligibility Provision (“CEP”) pilot program, which offers all students free meals in high poverty schools with more meals being reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Committee also received a presentation from the Committee on Weights (“COW”) IX which Committee Chairperson Chun stated it would be addressed later on the agenda.
C. Investigative committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 92-2.5(b)(1)) Report on the Department of Education’s Committee on Weights (“COW”) IX regarding the Weighted Student Formula (“WSF”) fund allocation for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 School Years:
Board Vice Chair De Lima reported that the Department of Education’s Committee on Weights (“COW”) IX had not completed a final report at the time the investigative committee met, so the investigative committee has no findings or recommendations and deferred the matter to the Fiscal and Infrastructure Committee.
D. Superintendent’s Report: Update on reopening of Keonepoko Elementary School
Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi presented on the damage that Puna lava caused Keonepoko Elementary school in 2014. After a year of repairs, the students and teacher returned to their revitalized school at the start of this school year. During the school’s revitalization period, students were re-assigned to other schools or attended classes on a temporary campus. Board Vice Chairperson Brian De Lima commended Matayoshi and the Department on a job well done repairing Keonepoko Elementary School and helping students and teachers overcome the damage caused by this natural disaster. Board Member Don Horner commented that the parties that helped with the effort should be recognized by the Board. Military Representative Colonel Peter Santa Ana commented on the magnitude and speed of the reopening that he likened to a military operation. Matayoshi mentioned that the portables that were used to temporarily house Keonepoko students will now be moved to Campbell High School as well as schools on Hawaii Island.
Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Chun summarized the recommendations of COW IX, all of which were supported by the committee:
· Based funding for the five K-12 combination schools be increased by $148,024, which will not reduce the amount distributed to all schools by weighted factors be reducing $750,000 from the amount of WSF set aside for the WSF reserve; and
· That the Department and Board seek additional general funds for WSF as part of its 2016-2017 Fiscal Year Supplemental Budget Request to increase English Language Learner support by $10 million and increase the WSF appropriation by 2% to address inflation.
B. Board Action on Student Achievement Committee recommendations concerning new Board Policy 101.7, School Climate and Discipline
Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Strategy, Innovation, and Performance presented feedback obtained from the Deputy’s Principals’ Roundtable discussions, meetings with individual principals, and open calls to principals regarding the School Climate and Discipline Policy. Oyadomari-Chun stated that there should be further discussion and that the Department’s recommendation is that the policy be referred back to the Student Achievement Committee so that this discussion can occur.
Member Horner confirmed that the Deputy’s Principals’ Roundtable was consulted regarding the policy. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that the HEʻE testimony was on point – that the practice occurring in the schools is what the policy intended to codify. He also expressed his concern about the apparent disconnect and what appears to be misunderstanding about the policy and would like to keep the timetable on the policy short to bring it to a close. He further stated that additional attention needs to be paid to the increase or expansion of police officers on campus. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima also mentioned that Chapter 19 (Hawaii Administrative Rules that govern Discipline), is distributed to all parents, and that maybe there needs to further examination of how the information is communicated.
Board Member Margaret Cox expressed her concern that the process is too short for such an involved policy. As a former principal, she was insulted by the way the policy was written because it assumes that principals are not doing their jobs. Even using all of the interventions available, suspensions will still occur. Principals and Vice Principals are doing the best they can to help students and this policy does not say that. Member Cox stated that the policy inappropriately tells principals what to do; every incident is different because every student is different.
Board Member Amy Asselbaye stated that all parties want the same outcome and suggested that the Board may want to take a look at the policy on how policies are developed and implemented. The drafters of the policy did not think that the Department was doing anything improper, but what was said was that the policy was a complete shift in direction from zero tolerance.
Member Horner asked why the Deputy’s Principals’ Roundtable provided feedback, but did not provide a recommendation regarding the policy. Oyadomari-Chun clarified that the Deputy’s Principals’ Roundtable is not a representative or decision-making body; their purpose is to provide feedback.
ACTION: Motion to: (1) postpone action on Board Policy 101.7, School Climate and Discipline until the General Business Meeting on September 1, 2015; and (2) request that the Student Achievement Committee, at its meeting on September 1, consider feedback compiled by the Department and any revisions proposed by the Department, and make appropriate recommendations to the Board on the same date (Williams/Halagao). The motion carried with Asselbaye, Chun, De Lima, Halgao, Horner, Minn, Mizumoto, and Williams voting aye and Cox voting nay.