Sunday | August 20, 2017
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Schools earn prestigious honors

At the 2012 English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Conference in Dana Point, Calif., last week, EdisonLearning celebrated the critical work done by the instructional leaders of their partnership schools. During the awards ceremony, leaders were recognized for academic and financial success. The awards include the recognition of new schools, schools that excel in customer service, and schools that post remarkable achievement gains.

This year’s Explicit Direct Instruction, or EDI, Awards moved into a new era of recognizing excellence, including new awards for high schools, virtual and alternative academies, and exemplary performance in Five Strand Design implementation. EdisonLearning currently serves more than 450,000 students in 25 states, the United Kingdom and the Middle East through 391 school partnerships. That is a lot of competition; however, the Big Island schools were well represented on the award dais.

CEO Jeff Wahl presented the President’s Awards, which recognize schools making Superior Achievement Gains, distinguished by double-digit increases in both reading and math. Among the five recipients were Keaau High School and Principal Dean Cevallos.

Wahl also presented the CEO’s Awards, which recognize leadership and excellence based on flexible factors, rather than a fixed set of criteria. Each year, field teams, clients, and schools are able to nominate principals and schools for this high award. An internal committee reviews the submissions and chooses the schools that best reflect high performance or deserve special recognition.

Among the five recipients was Keonepoko Elementary School, led by Kathleen Romero.

Golden Bell Awards are given to schools who have completed their first year with EdisonLearning. It represents a long-standing tradition, symbolizing the successful completion of the first steps along what is known to be a new and challenging journey. The Big Island Golden Bell Award winners are Konawaena Middle School, led by Teddy Burgess, and Hilo Intermediate School, led by Esther Kanehailua.

The High School Excellence Award is given to high schools that have demonstrated outstanding results in student matriculation.

Schools must post a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher, or improve their graduation rate by more than 10 percent in a calendar year to qualify for this award. EdisonLearning promotes college and career readiness, and thereby honors secondary partners who excel at successfully promoting nearly all of their students with a high school diploma in hand.

The overall winner was Kohala High School, led by Janette Snelling.

EdisonLearning captures the critical components behind successful schools via a Five Strand design. Within every region; the East, West, and Pacific, there are schools that serve as models in the categories of Leadership, Learning Environment, Pedagogy & Curriculum, Assessment for Learning, and Student & Family Support.

By honoring excellence in the implementation of the five strand design, EdisonLearning hopes to encourage collaboration among schools across the five strands.

Pacific Region nominees included four from the Big Island: Keeau High School, led by Dean Cevallos, in Leadership; Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate, led by Joyce Iwashita, in Learning Environment; Naalehu Elementary, led by Darlene Javar, in Pedagogy and Curriculum; and Keonepoko Elementary, led by Kathleen Romero, in Assessment for Learning.

Two National Level Strand winners were from the Big Island:

— Excellence in Five Strand Design – Learning Environment: Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School, led by Joyce Iwashita

— Excellence in Five Strand Design – Assessment for Learning: Keonepoko Elementary School, led by Kathleen Romero.

The 4 Star Student Achievement Award recognizes schools that attain at least a 5 percent average gain in reading and math. These are leaders who embraced the high expectations placed upon them by their boards, by their parents, by their students, and by themselves, and who now have the results to show for it. They are:

— Hilo High School, led by Robert Dircks

— Hilo Intermediate School, led by Esther Kanehailua

— Mountain View Elementary, led by Barbara Riley

In addition to the EDI awards, schools are selected to showcase best practices. During the leadership session, Lloyd Matsunami of Waiakea Intermediate School showcased school accountability tools to the ELDA national audience, as did Joyce Iwashita of Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate.

The session helped principals understand how to effectively plan and hold others accountable along the cycle of continuous school improvement. Matsunami and Iwashita then joined Danny Garcia of Kohala Elementary for a panel discussion on how they effectively manage the school, district and state goals at their sites and hold student, staff, and self accountable to one another.

Several Big Island schools made Adequate Yearly Progress, as defined by No Child Left Behind. Schools must meet annual measurable objectives and additional indicators. EdisonLearning Partnership Schools meeting this ever-increasing target in all subgroups include:

— Hilo Intermediate, led by Esther Kaneahailua,

— Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School, led by Joyce Iwashita,

— Ka‘u High School, led by Sharon Beck,

— Naalehu Elementary, led by Darlene Javar,

— Kohala Elementary, led by Danny Garcia,

— Kohala High School, led by Janette Snelling,

— Keonepoko Elementary, led by Kathleen Romero,

— Mountain View Elementary, led by Barbara Riley, and

— Keaau Elementary, led by Chad Farias.


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