Maunaloa Receives $75,000 for Achievement

Maunaloa Elementary School was one of 14 schools recognized last week by the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE). They were rewarded $75,000 for their high performance as part of the Strive HI standard implemented this year.

The Strive HI Performance strategy  is a new school accountability standard measuring student growth and success through math and reading assessment scores, science test scores, chronic absent rates, and the school’s effectiveness at narrowing achievement gaps. The DOE dispersed $1 million between schools placing in the top five percentile — with awards ranging from $20,000 to $90,000 — based on progress and performance. Maunaloa was the only school in Maui County to receive recognition.

Maunaloa principal Joe Yamamoto said the reward was bittersweet.

“Our enrollment went down [this school year] and because each student is weighted, we lost more money than we had won,” he said.

In 2006, the DOE began assigning a monetary amount for each student enrolled at a school. Its purpose was to ensure each school had enough funding to take care of each student’s needs, however, some schools have seen significant budget reductions.

“[Because of the reward] we’re closer than we were and I like to see the glass half full,” Yamamoto said.

Yamamoto said the money will be used to purchase language arts and math materials as well as updating desktop and classroom technology.

“I want to acknowledge the teachers and parents,” said Yamamoto. “It takes really everybody working together to make it happen. It’s tough for us and it’s tough for all schools but because we have a common focus on our students, things tend to fall in place.


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