Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, June 9, 2016

A high school principal suggests methods rural schools such as Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary can try
to fight chronic absenteeism. Photo by Julia Neal
JOSEPH MANKO, A HIGH SCHOOL principal who serves as Principal Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education, said inadequate housing, transportation, work schedules and improper health care are often reasons for chronic absenteeism in rural communities such as Ka`u. His conclusions were carried this morning on the U.S. Department of Education website.
     Chronic absenteeism is higher in Ka`u-Kea`au-Pahoa Complex Area schools than state and national averages. Kirsten Johnson, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, reported this morning that about 32 percent of the more than 7,100 students missed at least 15 days of school during the 2013-2014 school year. 
      Manko wrote that solving the problem requires “diligent, consistent and sometimes tedious work.” He suggested ways communities could combat chronic absenteeism:
Principal Joseph Manko fights chronic absenteeism.
Photo from Joseph Manko
      Make School a Desirable Place To Be. “You can’t underestimate the power of making school a positive place,” Manko said. “Schools that have strong, engaging teachers; that are connected to the community; and that offer a litany of before, after and during school activities often have higher attendance rates.”
      Create a Unified Front. “Attendance is a team sport,” he said. “It can’t just be delegated to the attendance monitor. As a principal, I need to know the daily attendance and to collaborate with teachers who are the first line of connection, to communicate with families.”
       Tend the Big Data Clean-Up. “Improving attendance depends on having good tracking systems and reviewing them at multiple points throughout the day,” he said. “Often, kids marked as absent are really in attendance – they came late and the teacher forgot to change it.”
      Do Old-Fashioned Home Visits. “Tracking data often means tracking down kids who are missing over the span of several days, Manko said. “When many phone numbers don’t work, old-fashioned home visits often provide the best strategy for contacting kids and families and building relationships to solve the problem.”
      Determine Root Causes. “There is a story behind every issue of chronic absenteeism – serious health issues, a broken car, a foreclosed home,” he said. “While schools cannot solve these problems alone, there are often agencies or support organizations that can help to mitigate them. Each situation requires lots of empathy, a Rolodex of resources, and sense of the possible to improve difficult situations.”
      Create a Community Schools Approach. “Schools that can provide some kind of wrap-around services for students and families or which partner with community organizations are simply in a better position to address the health, housing, and transportation that challenge our families.
      “Chronic absenteeism is the symptom of larger, deeper problems that can often only be addressed by addressing the larger, non-academic needs surrounding our students and their families. The fact of the matter is that if we want our schools to move students academically, we all have to commit to the hard, first-order work of getting them in the door,” Manko said. See more on Chronic Absenteeism:The First-Order Challenge Facing Our Nation's Schools at http://blog.ed.gov/2016/06/chronic-absenteeism-first-order-challenge-facing-nations-schools/
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
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U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz
US. SENATE LEADERS NAMED Sen. Brian Schatz to the House-Senate conference committee that will negotiate funding to fight the Zika virus. Schatz’s selection ensures that Hawai`i’s unique public health concerns will be voiced during negotiations. 
      “Zika is a public health emergency,” said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. “While I am glad both chambers passed critical funding to address Zika, there are real differences we need to resolve. I look forward to working with my colleagues to secure the highest possible funding to stop the spread of Zika and keep our communities safe and healthy.”
      The conference committee will work to resolve differences between House and Senate Zika funding bills. The Senate moved forward with $1.1 billion in a wide-ranging appropriations bill that funds transportation, housing, military construction and veterans affairs, while the House included its package in similar appropriations legislation and passed $622 million in emergency funding, far below the $1.9 billion requested by public health experts.
      In April, Schatz visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters and met with top officials to discuss the CDC’s response to outbreaks of dengue and Zika. During the meetings, he called for stronger vector-control programs to fight the spread of mosquito-borne viruses. He also led eight senators in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding for vector-control programs at the CDC.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, welcomed India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the U.S Capitol. As part of a select committee of lawmakers that welcomed and escorted the Prime Minister to the House Floor, Gabbard thanked the Prime Minister for his commitment to strengthening the U.S.-India friendship, which will help grow economies, strengthen security partnership in the fight against terrorism and pursue other areas of common ground.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard greets India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
      “Prime Minister Modi began his visit to the United States by meeting with President Obama, where they recommitted themselves to strengthening the U.S.-India partnership,” Gabbard said. “President Obama said in 2014 that our friendship with India is the defining partnership of the 21st century. The Prime Minister’s fourth visit to the United States in just two years signifies just how important the burgeoning relationship between our countries is as we continue to address the many challenges that face our nations today – strengthening our economies, promoting renewable clean energy, protecting our planet, improving cyber security and combating terrorism.
      “As the world’s oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India have long shared many mutual goals of peace, stability and economic growth. Prime Minister Modi highlighted the progress our countries have made by partnering in business, national security and renewable energy. U.S. bilateral trade with India has grown to nearly $100 billion over 15 years – a nearly five-fold increase – and India trades more with the U.S. today than with any other country. Similarly, India remains one of our strongest partners in the region in the fight against terrorism. India conducts more security-related exercises with the U.S. than any other country.
      “As we look to the potential that lies ahead, the commitment of our countries to grow and strengthen our ties is critical as we work together towards furthering our shared values and interests."
      Yesterday, Gabbard joined members of Congress, U.S. Government Officials, members of the Indian Government and top U.S. and Indian business leaders to welcome Prime Minister Modi at the U.S. India Business Council’s 41st Annual Leadership Summit.
      In December 2014, Gabbard visited India at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi to promote U.S. and Hawai`i interests. During her visit, she traveled to seven major Indian cities and met with the Prime Minister and other government and defense officials and business leaders, among others. During her visit, she also advocated for development of a sister-state partnership between Goa and Hawai`i, which the Hawai`i State Legislature adopted in April 2016.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Activities at Volcano Art Center include a film and a pottery sale.
VOLCANO ART CENTER in Volcano Village presents the documentary Rivers & Tides today at 7 p.m. An open discussion about artist Andy Goldsworthy, moderated by Liz Miller, follows. 
      Call 967-8222 for more information.

THE EIGHTH ANNUAL VOLCANO Pottery Sale takes place tomorrow afternoon and Saturday. The sale is held at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
      There will be wheel-throwing demonstrations on Saturday.
      Bentos and sushi from Volcano Hanabi will be available on Friday, and Thai food from Aunty Pon’s Café will be available on Saturday.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER holds a Stew Day Fundraiser Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
      Call 939-7033 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June_2016.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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