Piha Pono Brief

Project Name

Piha Pono: A Robust RTI Approach Integrating Reading, Mathematics, and Behavior Supports

Principal Investigator(s)

Hugh Dunn

Subject Area

English/Language Arts and Mathematics

R&D Stage


Focus Area

Hawai‘i/Asia/Pacific and Diverse Learners

Target Population(s)

K–6 students in 10 schools with high percentages of Native Hawaiians

Funding Source

Native Hawaiian Education Act (USDE)

Funding Amount

$ 2,868,557

Funding Duration



Hawai‘i Department of Education


Through a formal collaboration with the Hawai‘i Department of Education, CRDG is developing and implementing Piha Pono, a scaling up of the work done in previous projects under the Pihana Nā Mamo umbrella that focused on early and strategic supports for reading and mathematics and on support through the adolescent years for Native Hawaiian students.

Piha Pono uses a Response to Intervention (RTI) model that fully integrates reading, mathematics, and behavior supports in 10 schools with relatively high proportions of Native Hawaiian students and notably high levels of poverty as measured by eligibility for free or reduced-cost lunch. Piha Pono will leverage the resources from an ongoing CRDG grant that addresses mainly reading and will carry out major development and implementation of curricular approaches in RTI mathematics and behavior supports.

The project goals and activities are to 1) continue refinement of RTI K–3 reading (sample activity: train on vocabulary/comprehension strategies), 2) develop RTI K–3 mathematics program (sample activity: provide professional development on K–3 mathematics for all teachers), and 3) develop/refine the School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) system (sample activity: Complete training on SWPBS for all staff).