As part of an effort to champion the innovative and unique nature of Hawai‘i public charter school education, ULS engaged with the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association to create a ULS supplemental agreement to the HSTA Master Contract that includes research as a teaching duty. As the only public school dedicated to a dual, interlocking mission of teaching and research, ULS faculty and administration feel strongly that research must be included in and protected by the school’s teaching contracts. The supplement agreement allowed the creation of the ULS Research Program, established in 2011 and focused on building the capacity of teacher-researchers. All faculty members are encouraged to apply for a research credit, which becomes part of their teaching and support duties. The Research Council, composed of faculty and led by ULS Dean of Curriculum & Instruction Miki Tomita, helps to mentor and support the efforts of these beginning researchers through a process that involves the formulation and articulation of a research-able problem, a light literature review, development of methods and measures appropriate for a one-year, one-credit project as well as eventual publication and presentation of these results. Two projects are in progress this year. Science teacher Laura Sheehan is studying how student disposition and achievement vary with different approaches to major biological concepts, and English teachers Bill Teter and Alison Hartle are creating a teacher resource manual for the writing element of ULS and CRDG’s successful and innovative Golden Triangle language arts curriculum.

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