ARLINGTON, VA — October 27, 2011 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Educational Partnership awarded nearly $4.8 million in grants to the Hawaii Department of Education through the FY 11 Partnership Grant Program.
"Partnering with the Hawaii Department of Education will provide tremendous opportunities for the children of our Service members stationed in the state of Hawaii," said Marilee Fitzgerald, Acting Director of DoDEA. "These grants have the power to transform learning experiences for children and we are looking forward to working with the Hawaii Department of Education to leverage success and learn from their experience."
Hale Kula Elementary School and Wheeler Middle School received a grant for $482,000 for programs in support of blended learning. This approach allows teachers to individualize and differentiate instruction for students via technology while also providing face-to-face direct instruction. It also allows for cooperative learning opportunities in classrooms.
This model of instruction has been successfully implemented in institutes of higher education and charter schools, but these will be the first public schools in Hawaii to implement the blended learning model. Initial implementation will include approximately forty 4th and 5th graders at Hale Kula Elementary School with the program expanding to Wheeler Middle School the following school year.
Blended learning will be an option for students who want more flexibility in directing their own learning while also providing the social interactions which are so important to a child's development.
A grant for $1.9 million grant was awarded to expand the virtual learning platform through the Hawaii Virtual Learning Network. This grant provides student centric educational experiences with courses that match student interests and learning styles, ease transitions by offering continuity of educational programs and enhance the educational experiences within and outside the school day.
It also provides a foundation for DoDEA and the Hawaii DoE to collaborate to improve the education experience for students, and in doing so, offers additional academic opportunities through the use of 21st Century learning and communication tools.
This program will supplement existing curricula, provide continuity of instruction, and/or promote credit recovery for transitioning students. It is primarily for courses that are not offered at a school or for courses that are not available because of a schedule conflict. The intent is to expand access to education and provide online curricular options to address the needs of transitioning and children of military families preparing for college or career readiness. As many as 500 students will be served by this grant each year.
A $1.3M grant will fund the expansion of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program throughout the Radford Complex. The complex includes one high school, one middle school and seven elementary schools. All schools include children from all branches of the military services.
Through this grant, teachers will be provided professional development in the AVID process, support structures and resources to ensure students' success. Collectively, these strategies will provide the necessary supports to enable students to pursue academic rigor and graduate college and/or career ready. Approximately 5,000 military school-age children -- elementary through high school - will benefit from the AVID initiative.
DoDEA answered the call outlined in the Presidential report, Strengthening Our Military Families, to leverage support to expand access to Advanced Placement math and science courses for the children of military families through the National Math Science Initiatives' (NMSI) program Initiative for Military Families to expand access for military connected children to attend advanced placement classes in science, mathematics, and English. DoDEA provided $1.1M in funding for two high schools in Hawaii as part of a larger grant to NMSI. The high schools are Radford and Leilehua.
"The Department of Defense is strongly committed to ensuring that the children of military families receive an excellent education that prepares them for successful careers and to be active contributors to their communities and the nation," said Marilee Fitzgerald, DoDEA Acting Director. "Our partnerships with public schools serving military-connected families are an important part of that commitment."
"Without a doubt Hawaii and her students will be the benefactors from DoDEA's collaboration and care for our schools in Hawaii," said Pat Park, Complex Area Superintendent, Central District. "Collectively, the essence of these collaborations generated more comprehensive and pertinent grants that will help our schools," she added.
The Educational Partnership Grant Program provides assistance to support quality programs and strategies to improve academic achievement and learning outcomes of children of military members.
DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the U.S. and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.