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Hale Kula Elementary School

Joint Venture Education Forum Norbert Commendation Award Application 2011-2012

JVEF Norbert Commendation Award


for School Support to Military-Connected Students

Purpose: To recognize exceptional Hawaii Public Schools for their quality assistance and support of military students. This award represents a stamp of excellence for schools that are military-friendly . Award criteria: o The school provides transition services which assist military-connected and other transitioning students and families to experience a smooth transition into the new school. MEASURE: The school reports the transition services provided by the school. o The school s website has up-to-date information about the school and its programs. MEASURE: The school website information is up to date within the current school year and special events, marketing, and other ongoing updates are current within the week o The school is an active participant of the JVEF and its initiatives. MEASURE: The school has reported their participation and initiatives with JVEF in school documents and/or website. o The school s military parents are actively engaged in parent organizations or participate as volunteers and in parent activities MEASURE: Review the PCNC report and parent participation in the SCC o The school makes reasonable accommodations for highly mobile students in curricular requirements (i.e. Hawaii History Course waiver), enrollment in special programs (i.e. gifted and talented) courses, (Advancement Placement, band, foreign language, etc.) athletics, and other provides opportunities often closed to mobile students. MEASURE: Review registration procedures with the registrar to ensure accommodations for highly mobile students are made o The school has a record of developing and maintaining a safe environment for all students. MEASURE: Review the school s Trend Report

Introduction
Hale Kula Elementary School is located on the Schofield Barracks Army Installation. With the construction of new housing units from 1955 to 1962 to accommodate returning soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division and their families, there was need for an elementary school, and Hale Kula was built in 1959. School year 2008-2009 marked Hale Kula s 50th birthday celebration! Hale Kula is one of ten schools (seven elementary, two middle schools, and one high school) in the Leilehua Complex and services students from special education pre-school to the fifth grade. 99% of our students are military dependents, making transition and deployment issues unique challenges which the school must address. The military community is a key supporter of the school through a partnership with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion 25th Infantry Division as well as Joint Ventures Education Forum and Tripler Army Medical Center s School-Based Behavioral Health project. The military has provided support in the past and present through resources such as volunteer manpower for school projects or activities, funding for textbooks and technology, our Peace Pole and our Transition Center, and medical evaluations and consultations for students who are experiencing academic, social, or emotional difficulties in school. Our families come from many different states and countries. Being stationed in Hawaii is an opportunity for our students and their families to experience our diverse cultures and to learn our unique history. Living in Hawaii also has its challenges such as being away from the support of extended family, having to make new friends, and unfamiliarity with our local culture. As a Tribes school, we believe that our school and our classrooms are inclusive communities of learning, and we embrace all of our students and their families. We encourage

them to share their many, varied experiences, to make suggestions for school improvement, and to become an integral part of our Hale Kula `ohana (family). We hope that this sense of `ohana will sustain our students during challenges such as transitions and deployments of their family members.

Military Support at Hale Kula

Parking was a concern at Hale Kula. As the number of students increased, the number of cars dropping students off and picking them up became a problem because there was a lack of parking in our school lot. We were also concerned about the number of cars parked in No Parking areas along the streets. The military supported the school by paving an empty lot across the street and putting in parking spaces. This helped to alleviate some of the concerns from parents and staff. Additionally, the military provides two crossing guards to support the school during the times of heaviest traffic in the morning and after school.

Support from the military is very evident at Hale Kula Elementary School. Schoolwide activities or events require additional volunteers, and the HHBN 25th ID as well as the US Army Garrison provide needed support. Examples include Book Fair Family Nights, Bishop Museum Science Exploration, Water Play Day, and our Leilehua Complex Cross Country Meet.

Through the support of Island Palms, US Army Garrison, local businesses, and school staff, Hale Kula is the beneficiary of a new SYNERGY Outdoor classroom with a rainwater harvesting system which teaches sustainability. Hale Kula hosted visitors to a tour of the outdoor garden as part of the US Army Garrison s Earth Day activities in April. Fifth graders also hosted a vermiculture booth at the Schofield Earth Day Festival. The partnership between the military community and our school is essential to the success of the kinds of activities and learning opportunities we can provide for our students and families.

Transition Services for Students and Families


Hale Kula Elementary is the transition school for all new families assigned to Schofield Barracks which means that there is a high rate of transiency. About a third of the students are transient, meaning that they enroll after the school year has already started or they leave before the school year ends. Part of this trend can be attributed to the two-to-threeyear rotation cycle of military personnel. Another reason is that the Schofield Inn is located within our geographical boundaries. This is the temporary housing facility for families when they arrive in the islands, prior to receiving permanent housing. Many of our new students will be with us for only a short time while they wait for housing to become available. This makes our student turn-over rate exceptionally high. When families obtain permanent housing, they transfer from Hale Kula to their home school. With support from the Joint Ventures Education Forum (JVEF), Hale Kula has an active Transition Center to address the needs of new students and families. Hale Kula s Transition Center was founded in 2005 to help incoming military families transition smoothly and successfully. Our mission at the Transition Center is to be the information resource during this important time. Our Transition Coordinator offers daily tours and orientation sessions for new students and families, which include an overview of school policies and procedures, introduction to our Passport Program, a viewing of our Life at Hale Kula DVD, and a tour of our campus. Students and parents have the opportunity to ask questions about the school and to meet key staff members. The Transition Coordinator is a military-impacted family member who is able to relate to the concerns of parents. She is able to reassure parents that our school is a safe place and that students will be able to successfully transition to their new learning environment. On a student s first day at our school, a Greeter will welcome the child

with a flower lei and escort the family to the child s new classroom. The lei indicates to everyone that this is a child s first day at our school. The Transition Coordinator checks in with new students at 2, 4, and 6 weeks to make sure they are having a successful transition into Hale Kula. Parents have told us that transition services were important to their child. It can be difficult for some students to make friends in the middle of the school year, and having an encouraging adult to provide encouragement left a positive first impression about our school. When students leave Hale Kula, greeters give them a goodbye lei handmade out of chenille stems. Each goodbye lei has a blue card attached with a message of aloha signed by our principal, Mrs. Iwase. We welcome parents and students to keep in touch and to let us know how they are doing at their new school. A binder in the Transition Center includes a few letters from parents which share how well their children are doing at their new school. Hale Kula Elementary School understands the importance of providing transition services to our students and their families. We believe that this has been one of our most successful programs in helping our families to feel welcome and included as part of our Hale Kula `ohana.

Transition Services

The Hale Kula Parent Teacher Organization purchased a new sign for our school. Aloha!

A former Hale Kula parent painted a colorful floral sign to indicate where our main office is. Hale Kula is working with the Department of Defense and the State of Hawaii to address facilities issues. Plans include a new classroom building as well as a new administration building, library/tech center and a student center.

The Transition Center is an integral component of our school community. They share a classroom with the Parent Community Networking Center, the Primary School Adjustment Project, and the Parent Teacher Organization.

New families receive a Parent-Student Handbook with school information, policies and guidelines, a folder with school and community resources, and a Passport to acquaint them with school personnel, buildings, and other pertinent information.

School Website
Hale Kula Elementary school s website, www.halekula.k12.hi.us is an indicator that technology has become a critical component of everyday life. This is primarily due to the steady increase in Internet connectivity of the many stakeholders in our educational community. In 2011, we updated our website with the new Learning Community Management System (LCMS) from Edline in order to integrate a consistent and familiar website communication platform for our learning communities, which include Wheeler Middle and Leilehua High School. Our school website serves as an information system for site visitors and acts as an intermediary between the numerous stakeholders in the educational process. Our goals are: 1) introducing educational stakeholders to our school, 2) providing opportunities for local and global publication of student work, 3) acting as an intermediary to educational resources and community information, and 4) providing a rich source of locally relevant data. Providing an effective and thorough introduction to Hale Kula Elementary is one primary purpose of our school s website. We convey a variety of information about our school, such as our vision, mission, beliefs, as well as other school offerings. Additional information found on our site is extensive and includes pictures of our school, events calendar, school accountability information, faculty/staff information, and resource information. This information can be easily found in our six menu categories: About Us, Students, Faculty & Staff, School Programs, Parents, and Community Resources. Our school website provides opportunities for students to publish their work both locally and globally. Our experience of published work shows an increase in student positive attitudes toward the content they are

learning or the activities they are participating in. Student web publication also promotes reflection of individual growth and provides opportunities for students to visualize the purpose of their work clearly. Additionally, as a school that serves military dependents, web publications allow students to share their work with family members who are deployed overseas or with relatives in distant states. Our school website provides diverse resources and information for parents, students, and teachers. As a parent resource, our school website provides easy access to school and community materials and a variety of topics. Examples of student resources include an academic link that showcases student publications, 4th and 5th grade service club webpages and educational resources that provide access to assorted lessons related to all aspects of our school s curriculum. Students and teachers use these resources to enhance the teaching and learning environment. Hale Kula believes in building positive relationships with all stakeholders in our educational community to increase their involvement and improve communication. We believe that these resources help maximize the benefits of parent-teacher collaborations to serve each child's educational needs. We make every effort to keep our parents and community informed of all happenings at our school.

Screenshot of our School Website Home Page

This is a screenshot of our school website s homepage, www.halekula.k12.hi.us. This is an indicator that technology has become a critical component of everyday life. It captures a small fragment of design with the intention to provide a central location for administration, teachers, students and parents to access and share information and resources.

A fifth grade class read a Native American tale called, Three Sisters Garden as part of their language arts and social studies curriculum. The teacher documented their Three Sisters Garden project and posted the slide show on her class web page so parents would be aware of the learning going on in the classroom.

Teachers posted grade level handbooks, newsletters, and other information on their web page.

Participation in Joint Venture Education Forum


Hale Kula Elementary School has been an active participant in Joint Venture Education Forum activities since 2003. The JVEF partnership between the Department of Education, the military, and community stakeholders to improve educational opportunities for all students has been positive and has resulted in a number of grants which have benefited the school. Additionally, the Hale Kula principal has served for the past two years on the JVEF Board as a representative of the Military Impacted Principal Council. As a member of the Board, the principal participated in discussions and decisions about the Interstate Compact, Strategy Group funding, the changing role of JVEF in the future, and other issues of importance to military-impacted schools. Hale Kula has benefited greatly from JVEF Technology Grants, and teaching and learning is changing as a result of our access to technology tools purchased with JVEF funds. As documentation of our goal to implement 21st Century teaching and learning at our school, we applied for and received a Department of Defense Education Activity grant, Implementing Blended Learning to Achieve Success. This $420,000 three-year grant will enable Hale Kula Elementary and Wheeler Middle School to pilot a program which combines learning through technology and face-to-face learning. We look forward to sharing our program with others including DoDEA schools. All in all, Hale Kula has been the beneficiary of over $700,000 in JVEF grants. These include grant allocations for Textbooks and Technology, Transition Centers, Citizenship, Repairs and Maintenance, Hawaii 3R s, Partnerships, and a Bridging the Cultures program. We are most appreciative of this support and will continue to partner with JVEF in the future. As we look forward to re-inventing JVEF now that funding is no longer available, the participation of all stakeholders to positively impact educational opportunities for all students is crucial.

JVEF Participation

Joint Venture Education Forum grant funds were invaluable to Hale Kula. Grants were received for textbooks and technology, service clubs, transition services, partnership with HHBN 25th ID, repair and maintenance, and a Bridging the Cultures program.

Parent Participation and Active Volunteer Program


Establishing positive and productive working relationships among students, teachers, support staff, administrators, and parents is an essential part of Hale Kula Elementary. Our vision states: Hale Kula Elementary school Working, Learning and succeeding together! Parents and families are an important part in the learning process of our children. This is achieved by many different programs and resources throughout the school year. The Parent Community Networking Center (PCNC) is a vital part in getting the community, military and our families involved in the development and support of programs for personal growth and student achievement. Family members share in planning, delivery and evaluation of educational services for their children through participation in School Community Council and the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Many activities and projects have been completed with parents and community/military partnerships within this last school year. Our partnership with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion 25th Infantry Division enables us to request and receive soldier support at many of these activities and events. The activities planned and implemented by the PCNC included chaperone training, copy machine training, Book Fair Family Events, storytelling session, Parent-to-Parent workshops, water play day, workshops on literacy and behavior management, monthly book swaps, Turkey Trot, Jump Rope for Heart, and other grade level or schoolwide activities. The School Community Council and the Parent Teacher Organization are other opportunities for volunteers to become involved at Hale Kula. The SCC monitors the school s progress on the Academic and Financial Plan and conducts a survey to get feedback from parents on how we are

doing as a school. The PTO provides funding for many school or grade level activities to positively impact learning for students. For example, they funded an art instructor who taught lessons in every classroom; they purchased a new cafeteria projection screen; they paid for field trip buses for each grade level; they paid for the Hawaii Opera Theatre to come to our school to do a performance for students; and they funded grant requests from school staff. Volunteers help out in many capacities throughout the school year. Volunteers provide a valuable service at Hale Kula, and we appreciate all they do for our staff, our students and their families. This year, 250 volunteers were honored at the end of the school year. Active parent engagement is important at any school, and at Hale Kula, we continue to explore ways to involve parents as partners in their children s education.

Active Parent and Volunteer Participation

We rely on parents and volunteers at Hale Kula, and we provide many opportunities to engage our families in school activities and events. Our partnership with HHBN 25ID provided volunteers for many of our schoolwide events such as the Book Fair Events and Water Play Day. Proud families celebrated when their students received honors such as Super Eagle of the Quarter, Spotlight Student, or when students graduated.

Accommodations for Highly Mobile Students


Every school year, several hundred new students enroll at Hale Kula Elementary School. These students come from different schools in different states or countries, and one of our goals is to ensure that we provide the resources and supports they may require as well as providing opportunities for them to participate in extracurricular activities. Because Hawaii is a member of the Interstate Compact Commission, we closely follow the recommendations of the Commission regarding minimizing educational disruption for military students especially during transitions and deployments of a family member. If there are any problems or concerns between the school and parents, the Army School Liaison Officers are available to mediate. The SLOs are an integral part of our Hale Kula school community, and they serve as a point of contact for families transitioning to Hawaii. Additionally, the Army School Planning Committee comprised of military and school leaders as well as the School Liaison Officers meets regularly to discuss concerns related to education at our military schools, and we discuss ways to address any problems. Students are provided with supports such as special education, counseling, or English Language Learner services. Testing for Gifted/Talented identification takes place during the first and second semesters. Response to Intervention services as well as tutoring supports are available for those who are identified as needing extra help. Federal grants (21st Century Community Learning Center and Department of Defense Education Activity) provide funding for after school tutoring and enrichment, tutoring during the summer, and a KinderKamp program for entering kindergarteners with no prior preschool experience. Students are able to join service groups such as Junior Police Officers (JPOs), Greeters Club, Hope Garden Club, or Peer Mediators throughout

the school year. Student Council officers are elected at the end of the previous school year; however, new students can be elected from their classroom to be the Student Council Representative. Additionally, students are selected by the physical education teacher to represent Hale Kula at complex athletic events based on attitude, sportsmanship, and teamwork as well as skill level. The PE teachers make every attempt to select different students for these teams to give many different students the opportunity to represent our school. Opportunities abound for mobile students at Hale Kula; we want all students to feel that it does not matter when they enrolled at our school. They are welcome to become involved in the student activities which are available.

Accommodations for Highly Mobile Students

These photos provide evidence of some of the extracurricular and enrichment opportunities our highly mobile students are able to participate in. Cross country running, ukulele classes, Robotics, and dance were just a few of the activities our students participated in this past school year.

Safe Environment for Students


Safety is a primary concern of our Hale Kula school community. We emphasize Safety First in whatever actions we take. At the start of every school year and every quarter, teachers review rules with their students and go over the Positive Behavior Support Matrix which describes expected behaviors in different school settings. Positive Behavior Support is a school-wide system that addresses our vision in which students work together and become kind, respectful, and responsible citizens. Our system at Hale Kula has been based on Tribes which is a way of thinking and learning which focuses on the classroom and the school as an inclusive community of learners. Our Positive Behavior Support System is focused on these five areas which are the Tribes agreements: Safety First By addressing safety and being proactive, we can minimize accidents. Mutual Respect Treat others as we want to be treated. Attentive Listening Listen with our ears, our eyes, and our heart. Appreciations/ No Putdowns If we don t have anything nice to say, don t say anything. Right to Pass/ Right to Participate Everyone has the right to be heard and the right to pass in group discussions. Additionally, PBS supports the State s General Learner Outcomes (GLO s) of literacy, civic responsibility, safety and well-being as well as being included in our Academic and Financial Plan to sustain comprehensive support for all students. Hale Kula has a Positive Behavior Cadre made up of staff members from every grade level as well as the counselors and the vice principal. The mission of Hale Kula s Positive Behavioral Support Cadre is to

have all Hale Kula staff members be knowledgeable about and engaged in the use of positive behavior supports as a means to enhance the learning of every student. All stakeholders have made safety a priority, and when students encounter problems with others, a Conflict Resolution system has been implemented where students reflect on their behaviors and how they can have unintended consequences. Although we do have some students who can be challenging, having a school-wide policy in place has helped everyone to be consistent in implementation. At Hale Kula, we are committed to ensuring a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We continue to analyze our school-wide and grade level behavior data to determine ways to address any problems proactively and through positive interventions.

Safety at Hale Kula

Students are always reminded about safety rules. Quiet Zones in the hallways as well as the Super Eagle Walk were instituted after the Positive Behavior Cadre analyzed data and realized that many hallway infractions could be addressed proactively. The number of infractions decreased when we implemented these new expectations.

Thank you for this opportunity to share this abridged version of our Joint Venture Education Forum Norbert Commendation Award evidences with you. We encourage you to visit our website at www.halekula.k12.hi.us or email Principal Jan Iwase at jan_iwase@notes.k12.hi.us