ʻImi Naʻauao
September 2021

In these challenging times, the Hawaii Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (HASCD) is committed to leaning into our mission to serve as a resource to all educators of Hawaii. We are happy to share our newsletter, 'Imi Na'auao, which means to seek enlightenment, wisdom and education.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how much we took for granted about the services and benefits that in-person schooling provides. As we enter a third school year impacted by the pandemic, it is therefore imperative that we prioritize students’ social needs alongside their academic ones.
Although successful learning experiences during these first two weeks of school do not guarantee success for the entire school year, they are a powerful and essential step in that direction for students and teachers alike. Providing teachers with the strategies and tools they need to bring about that early success could make all the difference at this very crucial time.
A classroom that is driven by students means access to authentic collaboration, student text choice, mastery-based assessment, and the ability to move freely and directly access learning materials. In the midst of this collective crisis, educators can focus on undoing oppressive teaching practices in ways that will make both remote and in-person learning more meaningful. 
By bearing in mind the key distinction between how well something has been learned and how easy it is to recall at any moment, teachers will make better decisions about what activities their students learn effectively, no matter what challenges they face.
Even though there is anxiety about the potential for spread, one need only spend an hour with 6th graders to learn that their hope is infectious and their belief in their ability to change the world is a balm in a time of great pain. As the school year takes off, we will continue to prioritize collective care for changing circumstances to make sure our students have the futures they all deserve.
By taking the time to plan for activities designed with the group’s dynamics and needs in mind, icebreakers can move away from being a dreaded requirement to being a welcome part of developing a community of professional learners.

Students who experience learning success in the first weeks of the school year are more likely to believe in their capabilities as learners, stay engaged, and continue to work hard. In July, the teachers and school leaders at Moanalua High School worked with Thomas Guskey, Professor Emeritus from the University of Kentucky, to plan learning activities that ensure students' success during these critical early weeks. Today, many find that their efforts are making a difference.
Education Reflections 
with Hawaii State Teacher Fellows

Nicole Heinlein is a Hawai‘i State Teacher Fellow and a National Board Certified EL Coordinator and teacher at ‘Īao Intermediate School on Maui. She is passionate about equity and loves finding units and activities that excite and engage her students. In her spare time, Nicole volunteers for her local HSTA chapter as the Human and Civil Rights Committee member and teaches tap dance classes for youth and adults at Maui OnStage.
Eric Sheninger (@E_Sheninger) shares about knowing the inherent difficulties in leading and how it is critical to developing an understanding of what can stymie or ensure success. Relationships are of utmost importance, but these do not materialize out of thin air. Trust is a leader’s best friend. These seven elements are critical in building and sustaining trust.

Are you or your school team interested in PD or coaching with Eric? Contact Jensen Ball by email for more information.
I hope that your school year is off to a great start. I can't help but thank you for your resilience and support to do whatever it takes to support the needs of the whole child.

I've been fortunate to learn more about effective grading from Dr. Thomas Guskey this past July when he visited Moanalua High School. You can find more of his great work and articles at http://tguskey.com/articles/

I'm excited that nationally recognized educator and my friend Eric Sheninger will be one of the keynote presenters at the Hawaii Schools of the Future conference in October. What better way to share some of his awesome books than with me giving away a few copies to Hawaii educators. Enter by September 29th at https://bit.ly/jjpballesheninger

“Don't prepare kids for something, prepare them for anything" - Eric Sheninger

Sincerely yours,
President, Hawaii ASCD
Connect with me on social media @jjpball