Ahuimanu School Is A Top Striver

Ahuimanu Elementary School staff gladly accepts its $95,000 reward for Strive HI progress. At the Sept. 10 ceremony were (front, from left) DOE schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, second-grade teacher Janell Malo, principal Lynda Sadaoka, special education teacher Katrina Howayeck, third-grade teacher Matthew Duarte and PCNC Haidee Storms. Photo courtesy the DOE.

The state DOE’s new Strive HI Performance System is paying important dividends for Ahuimanu Elementary School, which is one of three Hawaii schools to win a $95,000 reward last month for trying hard – in other words, “highest performance and high progress” based on points earned from multiple indicators.

“To get to this point is not easy,” said schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Yet these principals and teachers have shown what is possible through a unified effort, hard work and dedication.”

The cash reward must be used to support pathways to success, so Ahuimanu principal Lynda Sadaoka can make her choices among professional development, technology, musical instruments, science lab and equipment, and other improvement strategies.

Nine schools earned $75,000 each for “highest performance,” and two others won $20,000 each for “highest progress.”

Strive HI was approved in May by the federal government to replace outdated aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The redesigned Hawaii standards now evaluate schools on several criteria, not just reading and math scores. A school’s key measures of success now also include raising student achievement, enrollment, graduation rates, science scores, college readiness, attendance, and closing the achievement gap between high-needs children and non-needs children.