Response to Intervention Strengthens Native Hawaiian Education Programs

While the highly successful Pihana Nā Mamo projects ended last year, the team that carried out that work has received two new grants to continue some of the most critical aspects of the work. In addition to building on past successes, Heluhelu Maoli and Kāko‘o Ikaika both use the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework to support students at critical points in their classroom instruction.

Heluhelu Maoli focuses on reading in grades K–6 and mathematics in Grades K–1 in ten schools with relatively high percentages of Native Hawaiian students and an overall poverty rate of 74% (the state average is 45%). The three-year Kāko‘o Ikaika project is in three O‘ahu middle school/ high school pairs providing supports for students through the transitions from middle school to high school and from high school into higher education or the workforce. The previous Pihana Nā Mamo projects had worked with RTI expert George Sugai from the University of Connecticut on positive behavior supports. Based on the positive results from previous work, these new projects include a more structured and formalized RTI element, providing additional supports for the most at-risk students.

Results from the 2010 Hawai‘i State Assessment provide exceptionally strong evidence of effectiveness of the projects’ reading approach. All current and all former project elementary schools met the overall Adequate Yearly Progress standard for reading. Both grants are scheduled to end in August 2012.