1485 Linapuni Street, Suite 105
Honolulu, HI 96819
Web site: http://www.hawaiipirc.org
Hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
Ms. Christina Simmons
Evaluator: Charles Giuli
Evaluator affiliation: Director of Evaluation, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL)
State PIRC Board:
Parents And Children Together (PACT), the fiscal agent for the grant, serves as the Board of Directors of the HPIRC Program.
Special Advisory Committees:
HPIRC has three special advisory committees; A Chuukese, Marshallese and Professional Advisory Committee. All three feed into one another but also work on separate issues and activities related directly to parent involvement within their respective communities and levels of influence. These committees are very active and include community leaders, professionals inside and outside the education domain, parents (greater than 50% of the total members), the Title I Director, ELL Director, State PTSA President along with other partners, educational personnel, and parent representatives.
Goals and Objectives
The overall goal of the Hawaii State PIRC is to increase parental involvement in their children’s education to improve academic achievement and to strengthen school-family-community partnerships in meeting children’s educational needs.
Parent Engagement Model
Objectives and strategies have been developed to meet the unique needs of Hawaii’s diverse islands and cultures. HPIRC has adopted two separate models to drive their parent involvement work: 1) the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) framework for parent involvement since it also has been adopted by the Hawaii State DOE, and 2) the Positive Deviance model for working with COFA (Compact of Free Association) migrants to encourage behavior change around academic achievement and parent involvement at the community level. In using these two models along with technology and the strengths of their Advisory Committees the PIRC has been able to provide training, resources and support to vast numbers of ELL, low income and immigrant families and the professionals serving them across the state.
Early Childhood Education Model
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is used as the model for the PIRC’s early childhood program. The first and second evaluation periods of PIRC’s work with parents of preschool children proved positive: significant increases of literacy interactions occurred between parents and their children after completing the HIPPY curriculum.
Hawaii PIRC is based on a Family Center model of service delivery with staff housed in three family centers, and two school-based centers on two islands. All are school and community-linked, serving urban and rural areas. Services at each site differ based on community needs. The services include workshops on child development, understanding school processes and policies (such as What is a Rubric? and Understanding Your Child’s Report Card), adult education classes, a community technology center and community events such as Family Fun Night.
The PIRC reaches out to parents through faith-based initiatives as well as school-linked activities. For example, the PIRC is involved in the Sundays Project, working with Micronesian church elders to identify family issues important to this community, and implement workshops and linkages accordingly. Capacity-building workshops follow Sunday church services, and provide Chuukese church members and elders with opportunities to attend parental involvement activities. Together, our ultimate goal is to build capacity and increase the academic achievement of Chuukese families in Hawaii.
Alignment of Work to Statewide Efforts
The Hawaii PIRC helps shape parent involvement policy and practice statewide through involvement with a number of statewide committees and organizations. For example, PIRC sits on the Hawaii DOE’s Family Focus Group Steering Committee, setting policy and agendas for parent involvement initiatives.
The PIRC partners with the DOE on activities such as creating easy-to-understand materials for parents, including materials developed on state accountability, highly qualified teacher notification, supplemental educational services, and public school choice. The Hawaii PIRC leverages family center resources with those of the Hawaii DOE, target schools, parent groups, and other federal, state and local partners to meet project goals and the unique needs of Hawaii’s culturally diverse families. The PIRC’s parent involvement policy has been adopted by the State Board of Education.
The Hawaii PIRC combines more traditional outreach efforts with various media venues such as radio, TV, YouTube and audio files to deliver the services needed to meet its goals. By changing the focus from a traditional parental involvement/school-centered model to a more global family involvement model, the Hawaii PIRC reaches out to families of different ethnicities (for example, Marshallese and Chuukese), and families at highest risk of academic failure and school disengagement.