2005 marked the end of the third 5-year cycle for Pihana Nā Mamo: The Native Hawaiian Special Education Project. CRDG joined the project in its latest cycle, beginning a collaborative effort with the Hawai‘i Department of Education in 2000. Pihana Nā Mamo works with Hawai‘i schools to identify, develop, and implement effective programs to meet the unique needs of Native Hawaiian students. Its mission is to improve education outcomes of K–12 special needs students of Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian ancestry. To do this, the project has focused on reading and culturally appropriate support systems, including parent and community participation and new curriculum materials.
This year the project published the first three titles in the Ka Wana series, a set of books on Native Hawaiian cultural practices and traditions written by Malcolm Nāea Chun.
Heluhelu, the Pihana reading component, had excellent outcomes in 2005, when thirteen out of sixteen Pihana elementary schools met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards for reading, and two other Pihana elementary schools met AYP in grade three or grade five. A recent newspaper article featured four formerly struggling schools that did well in 2005, all of which were Pihana schools.
Students in the Kāko‘o component of Pihana had a high school graduation rate of 99%, far exceeding normative expectations. In 2004–2005 the Makua Hānai component of Pihana worked with 1,075 students and 577 families from thirteen schools.
As this grant cycle winds down, CRDG and the DOE will continue their work with Native Hawaiian children and families under two new grants awarded in 2005. Kāko‘o Piha, a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Native Hawaiian Education Act, will address the needs of at-risk Native Hawaiian secondary students. Systematic mentoring and transition planning, intensive academic support, and pro-social skills training will be used to help students make a successful transition from middle school to high school and from high school to post-high school employment or higher education. Nā Lama Heluhelu, a second three-year grant, also from the U.S. Department of Education, continues work in the other major focus area of the project: helping beginning readers. Focusing on students in kindergarten through grade three in up to twelve beacon schools, the project will implement a number of strategies to help the school communities make reading a priority. This project will work with approximately 3,000 students, 300 teachers, and 1,000 parents.
Mountain View Elementary
Nānākuli High & Intermediate
Waimānalo Elementary &
Hālau Kū Māna PCS
Hāna High & Elementary