Office of Hawaiian Affairs supports improving Hawaii State Assessment Scores at Oahu Middle Schools

OHA supports improving Hawaii State Assessment Scores at
Oahu Middle Schools
HONOLULU (November 2013) – The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded $150,000 in grants to support a project related to Native Hawaiian middle school students who participate in After-School All-Star Hawaii (ASAS) programs on O‘ahu, which establishes an evaluation process to gauge improvement in academic performance, as evidenced by progress in HSA scores.

The grant will be used to assess ongoing evaluation of standardized test scores and determine if after school programs can make an impact in terms of scores. ASAS will explore how to best assign resources and structure programming in ways that will improve standardized test scores. The schools involved are: Waianae Intermediate, Nanakuli Intermediate Schools on Oahu.

The target population for the project is Native Hawaiian middle school students (11-14 years old) in Title I schools. According to enrollment records from the 2011-2012 school year, 52% of ASAS Hawaii participants were of Native Hawaiian ethnicity. About 55-60% of ASAS participants benefit from the free and reduced lunch program.
ASAS targets middle school children because this age is a pivotal point in young people’s lives. They are going through important developmental changes and forming behaviors that can profoundly affect their futures. Academically, they are forming fundamental understanding of math and language arts concepts that they will need in high school. Students who miss these basics of learning enter into adolescence unprepared for the academic rigors of high school.

“With the support of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, After-School All-Stars Hawaii will have a clear picture of the impact our structured after-school programs have to offer, and how it may play a role in improving our Native Hawaiian students overall academic and social engagement,” said Dawn Dunbar, President & CEO, After-School All-Stars Hawaii.

ASAS focuses on serving middle school youth who face one or more challenges indicating they are “at-risk.” Specifically, ASAS Hawaii focuses on middle-school youth who need the program most, as defined by Poverty, Lack of High Quality After-School Alternatives and School Academic Performance. Lower-performing students often benefit the most from after-school alternatives. The additional academic support provided after-school, combined with improving these students’ attitudes toward school has a positive overall effect.

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