Achieving a Shared Statewide Vision for Kindergarten in Hawai‘i
Laura Buckner; Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety
Education leaders at the state level face many challenges, including navigating a complex system of policies, agencies, and available resources to do what’s best for young learners. This brief highlights how leaders in Hawai’i’s State Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design (OCID) are navigating these complexities to appropriately support students when they enter the K–12 education system.
The brief describes the process the state education leaders in the OCID used to review and align the state agency’s vision for kindergarten with existing policy and developmentally appropriate practice while incorporating cultural elements. It also discusses how Hawai’i’s leaders are collaboratively building and integrating their knowledge of best practices for young learners so they can support schools and districts to embed those practices in assessments and classrooms.
State education agencies and those who work at the policy and systems level of designing supports for kindergarten can consider the reflective questions in the brief as they work toward creating developmentally appropriate and culturally affirming education spaces that bridge the early learning and K–12 sectors.