Our Partnership With Kohala Elementary School

From 2007 to 2010, Hawaii Learning Resource partnered with Kohala Elementary School to provide Schools Attuned® Teacher Professional Development training and on-going teacher mentoring to all Kohala Elementary School teachers and administrators.  The Memorandum of Understanding included weekly mentoring provided by Hawaii Learning Resource staff to assist trained teachers in implementing the Schools Attuned program.  To cover teacher’s classes while they received mentoring, Hawaii Learning Resource contracted with qualified enrichment teachers in Physical Education, Music and Art to cover classrooms.

This partnership was so successful that Kohala Elementary School was recognized as a Schools Attuned School of Distinction by the All Kinds of Minds Institute, one of only ten schools nationally to receive this distinction indicating the Schools Attuned® program is now successfully integrated into daily practice at the school.

Although the formal partnership with the school has ended, Hawaii Learning Resource is committed to continuing to support Kohala Elementary School in implementation of the Schools Attuned® program.

Partnering to Increase Success…

Art Souza, Hamakua Complex Superintendent, Department of Education

In May 2009, Hawaii Learning Resource coordinated the second All Kinds of Minds Parent Fair at Kohala Elementary School in partnership with the school and the Hawaii State Department of Education.  More than 200 family members enthusiastically viewed their children’s art work produced in the art classes funded by Hawaii Learning Resource.

Attendees were introduced to the All Kinds of Minds framework by visiting several hands-on stations that helped parents understand their child’s strengths and interests as well as some of the key components of the Schools Attuned program.

In July 2008, with support from the Department of Education, Kohala Elementary School hired a Schools Attuned Site Coordinator at the school.

To date, Hawaii Learning Resource has provided Schools Attuned training, mentoring and follow-up training to 33 Kohala Elementary School teachers and administrators.

Evaluating Our Progress…

In February 2009, Hawaii Learning Resource contracted with professional evaluators to conduct an Independent Evaluation of Schools Attuned teacher training plus mentoring at Kohala Elementary School.  The final report was delivered in January 2010.  Preliminary indicators that Schools Attuned training and mentoring at Kohala Elementary School have had a positive impact include:

  • Significant school-wide improvement in reading assessment scores and improvement in math assessment scores compared to last year.
  • The unprecedented exiting of three students from Special Education services with all three students having general education teachers recently trained in the Schools Attuned program.
  • Anecdotal observations that there have been fewer referrals of students into special education at the school.
  • Wide-spread teacher acknowledgment that Schools Attuned has provided Kohala Elementary School teachers with tools to better assess students’ strengths, affinities, and challenges and provide individual support to more students.

Long Term Expectations…

  • Schools Attuned trained teachers will be prepared to address the learning needs of their students by understanding their learning strengths, interests and challenges and modifying plans to support academic achievement.
  • The Schools Attuned teacher skills will be successfully integrated into daily practices at Kohala Elementary School and eventually other Hawaii public schools.
  • Schools Attuned trained teachers will actively participate in communities of learning to support effective instruction.
  • There will be fewer disciplinary referrals from trained teachers.
  • There will be fewer and more accurate special education referrals from trained teachers.
  • Parents of students who have Schools Attuned trained teachers will have a better understanding of how their child learns and will have school-wide support and shared tools to help manage their child’s learning.
  • Students of Schools Attuned trained teachers will have an increased understanding of their own strengths, interests, and learning challenges.

Next Steps…

Continued positive feedback from students, families, and teachers compels us to expand our reach to help more students.  We look forward to continuing to partner with the Department of Education and other community service providers to provide more training opportunities to educators, students, and families. Our long term goals include:
  • Partner to bring research-based programs to Hawaii Island to help diverse learners, their families, and their teachers.
  • Increase partnerships with local schools to provide additional programs.

For more information about our programs, please contact us at info@hawaiilearningresource.org or by phone at (808) 885-9318.

Photos on this page courtesy of Tim Rice Photography.