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Friday, February 10, 2012
DoE Contractor Touts 'Remarkable Growth' at Nanakuli Elementary School
By News Release @ 1:40 PM :: 8090 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

“Refined Instruction, Remarkable Growth”

By targeting instruction and intervention, Nanakuli saw a dramatic rise in student achievement 

TUCSON, AZ/February 7, 2012--In the year since implementing Galileo K-12 Online, Nanakuli Elementary School in the Leeward O’ahu District in Waianae, Hawaii, has seen a dramatic rise in the percent of students passing the statewide assessment. For example, between 2009 and 2010, the percent of fifth grade students passing the state assessment in math decreased three percent. One year later in 2011, with Galileo K-12 Online technology in place and intervention plans implemented, the school saw a 31 percent increase in the percent of fifth grade students passing the statewide assessment in math. This remarkable growth is credited to using Galileo reports and data to help refine instruction and efficiently identify intervention needs, combined with implementing scheduled times for intervention. 

Q: What were the main things that the school implemented that you believe were responsible for your success? 

A: Kalaukieleula Hergenrader –Curriculum Coordinator: “One of the things was that we collaborated with [other schools in the district] andI think that collaboration helped us to see the validity of the correlation between Galileo and the Hawaii state assessment(Hawaii’s Content Performance Standards). As a result, we’ve put a lot more effort into using the data from the reports generated [in Galileo] to drive the intervention and to move the students forward. I think that’s the biggest thing. The continuity of the reports … made the biggest impact for all of us.”

A: Wendy Takahashi– Principal:“What we’re doing, say for instance in language arts, is a morning session where the teachers will teach an integrated type of comprehension lesson. And in the afternoon we have specific periods intended for intervention. That’s the time when we work with a variety of tools for differentiated instruction on the identified needs of the kids. We use Galileo heavily to identify specific needs.” 

Q: How did you identify students needing intervention?

A: Kalaukieleula Hergenrader– Curriculum Coordinator: “We use Galileo as a direction for targeted intervention. We take all the reports and we analyze the data. We look at the quizzes that Galileo provides and we target students based on that information … Galileo is a way of refining our instruction to the point of making students successful.” 

A: Jessica Breslin – Grade 6 Teacher and School Coach:“We looked at the benchmark where the whole class was in need. So maybe 20 percent or 30 percent of the class knows [the standard], so that would be a whole class instruction. And then the [students] in the middle that ranged from 54 to 70 percent were more [in need of] intervention instruction. [Galileo K-12 Online showed] this is where certain kids … seem to have a misunderstanding or misconception on either the way the question was presented or they needed to learn the objective completely.”  

Q: How are interventions administered?

A: Wendy Takahashi – Principal:“What we discovered last year … is[students] really respond to the one-on-one and small group sessions. They looked forward to it … and that was what helped us go over the hump. We’d never been able to do that before. It was the first time we’d broken through the ceiling.

The other thing we did was we extensively used the quizzes that you can make online [in Galileo K-12 Online]. Not every teacher was as proficient in that, but we had enough people who were doing that and I think that’s a really big art of it. We used them both for assessment and instruction.

What I mean by that is we use [the online quizzes] as a formative assessment. Not only do you look at the score, but you also watch the kids do it. And then you talk about ‘Why did you select that item?’ and that gives us insight into what’s the problem …That helped us refine the instruction and be more focused.”

A: Kalaukieleula Hergenrader– Curriculum Coordinator:“I think the other piece is that we insist that the students use what is called a ‘Work-It-Out Sheet.’ Sowe want them to practice putting their thinking down on paper. When they do digital media, or electronic testing, we can’t dismiss the thinking process … They have to do something that is physical and transparent in order to monitor their thinking, to make them responsible, to make a deliberate analysis for answering the test. I think that’s a critical piece.” 

Q: What advice would you give to other schools who might want to implement an approach like yours?

A: Wendy Takahashi – Principal:“What we found is that when we did not discriminate separate periods for intervention, that intervention never occurred. One of the things that helped was to identify a specific period where everyone would do intervention. Another one is the power of the quizzes. What we learned is that it doesn’t take 10 questions, if you do four or five, you get a good idea [of student understanding].” 

A: Kalaukieleula Hergenrader– Curriculum Coordinator:

“We do a landscape of data so we do a constant analysis.We have a multi-faceted approach and Galileo is one of the essential pieces … We are very deliberate about using all of the reports and orchestrating and requiring the analysis of those reports to drive instruction. It’s a balance of a lot of different tools of which Galileo is an essential piece for us, so thank you.” 

About Nanakuli Elementary School:Nanakuli Elementary School has made significant progress in the area of standards implementation. Using the principals of Response to Intervention, several core curriculum materials as well as instructional strategies have been identified as being effective and, thus, are being used school-wide. Student learning is frequently monitored by analyzing student data from curricular assessments, benchmark mini-assessments, and rubric defined assessments. The analysis of current student learning needs is followed by the implementation of intervention plans. Teachers regularly meet in collegial groups to analyze the student data and to then plan interventions. Data that is collected throughout the year on student progress indicate that the majority of students are becoming proficient on both reading and math standards.

School Accomplishments:

• Ranked 29 out of 137 in sixth grade Hawaii state assessment scoring in 2010-11 Mathematics; ranking 60 spots higher than in 2009-10.

• Has maintained a zero percent retention rate (students held back a grade) for more than five years.

• Increased its TerraNova* score by 31 points in third grade reading from 2009-10 to 2010-11. 

About Assessment Technology Incorporated:Assessment Technology Incorporated, through Galileo K-12 Online, provides a fully integrated, standards-based instructional improvement system that combines the strength of research and the power of innovation to assist educators in promoting student mastery of local and state standards. As a leader in online testing, Galileo’s patented technology offers a comprehensive broad range of assessment system including options and instruments documenting instructional effectiveness. Galileo reporting tools coupled with curriculum and instructional dialog tools make it possible to continuously link information about student learning and instructional planning and teaching to promote standards mastery. ATI offers innovative technology that addresses an educational system’s goals when implementing standards-based strategies to help raise student achievement.

For more information:

For more data-base success stories, log on to the ATI web site at:



Related: DoE Boosts Test Scores by Giving Answers to Students


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