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the island school

a tri-annual publication Winter/Spring 2013-2014


Preparing for an elusive future How we stay ahead of the game Spring Events Diso Ball - Annual Auction

March 15

“The Mouse That Roared” High School Play Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences Spring Break

March 21, 22, 23

March 31 - April 4

Good Friday - school holiday

April 18

Spring Concert

April 23

May Day

May 9

“Agatha Rex” Middle School Play Junior/Senior Prom

May 16, 17, 18

Memorial Day - school holiday

May 26

Academic Awards Assembly

May 29

Sports Banquet

June 6

Senior Brunch

June 7

Trimester 3 Finals

June 9-12

Summer Beach Blast-Off

June 13


June 14

March 27 & 28

• Prepared for college? … pg. 3 • The Evslin connection … centerfold • A most generous man, Hobey Goodale … pg. 7

May 17

(808) 246-0233

• Assessment - what it is and how we do it at Island School … pg. 2

• Catherine Barale shares her love of Asian culture … pg. 8

Assessment: the evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something

Schools exist to ensure that generations of students are systematically prepared for the world of their maturity; in other words, to see that over time their knowledge, skills, and values grow in ways that prepare them for citizenship, careers, and happiness. In relationship to this, the effectiveness of a school may be seen as the rate at which students successfully tackle increasingly more difficult tasks. To keep track of such progress is what assessments are for. As one might expect from a school, in each of their classes students are tested and graded. These check on what they have been taught and learned. Such tests reflect the quality of teaching as well as the degree to which students have mastered the materials under study. In addition, however, at Island School we want external validation of the progress of our students and the rigor of our programs: • As individuals, from one point in time to another, how much has each student grown? • As a group, how do our students compare with similar students elsewhere – nationally? from urban school districts? from other independent schools?

The desired outcome is for us to gain a clear idea about how well we are teaching our students.

Using the information Teachers meet regularly to review and discuss results of standardized testing with their department heads. The tests are broken down into sections and examined. Our professional educators delve deep into the areas they see as needing attention and determine possible courses of action. Conclusions they have drawn include the adoption of new textbooks and even adding new courses to the curriculum. Course syllabi are reviewed and updated.

“[Curriculum review] is a healthy thing for a school to do on a regular basis.” – Jim Bray, chair English/Social Studies Dept.

There are instances when the standardized test itself is not aligned with our teaching objectives. In these cases a new test is considered. The time of year when a test is administered is another factor that affects outcomes.


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Gathering information

We use these standardized tests to gather important external data.

ERB Testing Starting in the spring of 2012, our elementary faculty began using two tests developed by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). Founded in 1927, ERB is headquartered in New York City and services over 2000 independent and public school members globally. Two tests are administered over a period of two weeks each year: the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA) for PreK-2nd grade students, and the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) for grades 3-5. The CPAA focuses on the PreK-2nd grade years and evaluates student proficiency in language arts/literacy and mathematics. The tests are based on years of expert research in the areas of cognitive psychology, early childhood education and child development. The CTP is a rigorous assessment of student achievement in reading, listening, vocabulary, writing, mathematics, verbal and quantitative reasoning. It provides data that compare Island School students with similar groups of students across the nation.

Virginia State SOL

The State of Virginia boasts the third highest math scores in the country, meaning their pubic school students in grades 3-12 are among the most competent in math. Their standardardized testing program, the Virginia State Standard of Learning Tests (SOL), is publicly available for others to use, as are their results and statistics. While this information might not make everyone’s heart beat faster, it definitely caught the attention of Island School’s math department head, Dr. Jeff Kozak who, took the necessary steps to implement it into our assessment program. Since 2013, we have found the results extremely helpful in reviewing the progress of our students. So far, results have helped us decide to switch to the new Singapore Math program in elementary, and to adopt a new textbook series (Glencoe) for higher math courses.

Stanford Achievement Test

Students take this test in grades 6 and 9. It is a diagnostic tool that compares our students at these grade levels on a national scale in the areas of language, reading, spelling, math, listening, social science and science.


The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, provided by the College Board, is a practice for the college admissions tests, the SAT. It is given to sophomores and juniors and measures critical reading, math problem-solving and writing skills. The ACT is another college readiness assessment tool used by colleges and universities for admissions purposes. As another diagnostic tool, we use results from these exams in much the same way as other standardized test results.

How well did Island School prepare you for college?

“Feedback from alumni is one of the best sources we have to assess our program - better than any test.”

As alumni stop by to visit – Jeff Kozak, chair Math/ during their breaks from Science Dept. school, they are sure to be asked this question. The feedback we receive from recent graduates usually includes “fond” recollections of the “Bray papers” they were glad to have done and the physics and biology preparation they found especially useful. Alumni stopped by in December while they were home from college. L-R: Logan Domingo ‘11 (Lewis & Clark), Bronson Griep ‘13 (Stanford University), Christian Potter ‘13 (University of San Diego),Travis Kim ‘13 (Seattle University), Kelsey Miyoshi ‘03 (B.B.A, Finance, Seattle University ‘08.)

Some of the feedback we receive contains suggestions for improvement. Helpful comments about what is being required of them in college have helped us make changes with good results. Island School Navigator



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©2014 Paul Hayashi Photography

2013 - Joy Claypoole reports that her first semester at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, has been “full of growth.” She has a challenging course load in addition to being on the cross country, basketball and track teams. She continues to point herself towards a degree in physical therapy.

Stephanie Steuri ‘11, center left, and Nicole Arruda ‘10, third from left.

2011 - Stephanie Steuri was crowned Miss Kaua‘i 2014 in February and won a $10,000 scholarship. She competes in June in the state Miss Hawai‘i USA pageant. Nicole Arruda ‘10, was First Runner Up and won the Talent Award in the Miss Kaua‘i and Miss Garden Island scholarship pageant. 2010 - Last semester Kyle Lee was the InterFraternity Kyle Lee after Greek Week, with his sorority Programmer at the counterpart. University of Puget Sound. As a programmer he was able to raise awareness about the benefits of joining Greek Life by organizing community service events and other social gatherings. One of his major responsibilities was planning Annual Greek Week, a week of friendly inter-fraternal competition which was dubbed by his supervisor, the most successful event in his tenure at Puget Sound. “Personally,” said Kyle, “I attribute this success to my time at Island School. Experiencing and being involved with the Hui program inspired me to create events that were competitive, fun, and teamoreiented.” Kyle graduates this spring with a degree in biology! 2003 - Jenifer (Greer) Sheldon and husband, Matt, greeted their first child, a girl, in October. They live in Melbourne, Florida. 2002 – Congratulations to Clare (Petterson) McClure on her November marriage to Rory McClure. Clare works in Puhi as a vet tech at Lihu‘e Veterinary Clinic. 2000 – Sarah Medeiros is the Digital Advertising Operations Supervisor


Updates from the Island School Alumni Association A Message From Your ISAA Vice President, Nathaniel Evslin The Kakalia Family got all the siblings and cousins together earlier this year when Lokahi ‘00, brought her newest addition, to Kaua‘i. From l-r: Lokahi with Kaleo and husband, Justin; Andrew ‘04, holding Eli, his wife, Kelly with Cliffy and Auntie Liana ‘05 with Kiana. Proud grandma, Connie, is in the back.

at Oregonian Media Group. The Oregonian describes itself as the largest news organization in the Pacific Northwest. Sarah lives in Portland, Oregon. 1996 – Congratulations to Gilliss Dyer, pictured at right, who was married in January to the former Sarah Nordquist. The Austin, Texas wedding was blessed with an upturn in the freezing weather, from 37˚ to a balmy 74˚. A mariachi band played the processional and recessional tunes and a good friend of Gilliss’ officiated. 1986 – Roz De Lisser and family left Abu Dhabi and moved back to San Francsico in late 2013. Roz is working as an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF School of Nursing and her husband, Luiz, is a Senior Associate Urban Designer at AECOM in San Francisco. Olivia, 8 and Sofia 5, are enjoying the Bay Area. 1987 – For the past five years, Bonny (Wilson) Ponting Toby (Wilson) has been publisher of two Neal ‘83, and sister online magazines, Art Guide Bonny (Wilson) Maui and On Maui! Magazine Ponting, both Maui ( and residents. Both magazines offer comprehensive lists of artists and events on Maui with links to their web pages. Bonny and husband, AIan, live in Haiku, Maui, and have two children, Kai and Eva. Kai takes piano lessons from I.S. founder Diana Loomis Dahl. She has also reconnected with former alumna, Danielle Atlan- Chris Marsh ‘07 and Aria Castillo Kinasz ‘86, who ‘05, kicked off the scholarship appeal at also lives on Maui. this year’s auction. Class of 2002: Holly Ricciardi, Marie deFrancis, Caira Nakasone and Bianca Simmonetti (not pictured) attended Clare Petterson’s wedding last November.

Next year will be my 20th year at Island School. That is almost two-thirds of my entire life! I spent ten years here as a student, six years teaching 4th grade and the past three years teaching technology. Next year starts my next chapter here as the technology coordinator for the school. I’m not the only Evslin with an Island School history. My mom was involved with the first auction and the first Fall Round-up. My dad served on the board of directors for nine years. My two brothers and my sister also attended Island School, spanning almost 20 years. Currently I have a son in PK and another in kindergarten. To say Island School has played a big part in my life is, obviously, an understatement. Since Island School has shaped my education, my career and now my children’s education I feel that being a part of the Alumni Association is a way to give back to the place that has given me so much.

Alumni Reception 2013 We had a great time at Kaua‘i Beer Company on December 19.

CW from top: Jen Pomroy, Kaulana Haneberg ‘11, Daniel Miller ‘12, Christina Atkinson ‘07, Casey Law ‘93, Brian O’Brien ‘06 & Natasha Arruda ‘06, Eric Cannon ‘09 & Ron O’Brien ‘09, Kim Mayfield ‘08 & Ryan Wong ‘08, Mia Braverman ‘02 & Tiana Kamen ‘04, Christina Atkinson ‘07.

Assessing the Arts

It’s all part of a continuous process that keeps an Island School education current and relevant.

Above: Each year, Island School’s 5th graders demonstrate the presentation skills they have learned. Below:Two yearly choral concerts give our students a chance to shine in front of a huge audience at KCC Performing Arts Center

Island School offers rich and comprehensive arts education. Art and music are taught from kindergarten on; drama instruction begins in grade three. Our dance program is in its early stages and includes both ballroom and creative movement classes. To assess these programs, each discipline must establish some way to measure progress.

Participation and appreciation are key objectives of the arts. The extent to which opportunities for participation exist and the level of student participation are criteria that can be tracked and assessed. Appreciation of a given art form is more difficult to assess and might not yield results until after a student has graduated and becomes an adult. Performance and production showcases the arts program. Award-winning visual art pieces, impressive choral concerts and theatre productions are in themselves evidence of the quality and effectiveness of Island School’s offerings. The positive comments we receive from students, parents and the community provide an informal type of evaluation.

Aligning with the ESLRS

Island School’s curriculum is guided by the school’s mission statement, which is three-fold: to prepare students for life (they are to be life-long learners and confident, responsible contributors to society); to prepare students for successful higher education; and to foster creativity, critical thinking, initiative, and respect. To address these goals, 12 statements known as the Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs) cover all grades from pre-kindergarten through 12. They serve as the glue that holds our curriculum together, keeping us going in the same direction. Courses are constructed to address the outcomes as stated in the ESLRs. Departments meet to decide if changes in course syllabi need to be made or if ESLRs are in need of revision.


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Portfolio Assessments Portfolios are collections of a student’s best work over the course of a trimester. They are designed to show what was learned and how well it was learned. Older students take the lead in organizing their portfolios and making graphs of their progress. At conference time, each student meets with his or her parents and literally gives them a tour of his or her own own academic journey. In addition to written work and tests, portfolios can include art work, photographs of projects, field trips and theatre productions, video or audio clips and other meaningful artifacts. After students and parents have shared the portfolio, the teacher joins the group to answer questions and make clarifications.

Using National Assessments by Robert Springer Head of School There is controversy about the value of national standardized tests. Some of this comes from their use in rating teacher effectiveness and programs in selected school districts in other parts of the country. Used in this way, they are known as “High-Stakes Tests” and can be seen as unfair, especially if the ability-level of students being assessed has received less consideration than deemed appropriate. Some of the controversy comes from questions about the validity of the tests themselves. Even test makers have been stirred into making significant changes – see “SAT Overhaul: the college entrance exam will refocus on more practical skills and critical thinking” in the Star Advertiser, 3/06/14. We see national assessments as useful so long as the information they provide is constructively applied. This can be tricky, especially with a small population such as that at Island School. Several factors come into play. For one, students at Island School represent different backgrounds and a wide range of abilities. This means that direct comparisons between classes can be misleading. Therefore, we track the class itself (called a cohort) to see the growth of individual students in it and to note changes of the group as a whole from one year to the next. If there are large swings in one or another of the areas being assessed, we want to ascertain why and to see if adjustments should be made. Another factor deals with limitations of the testing itself. Most national assessments cover a number of topics that require defined responses in a prescribed period of time. This means that a small number of questions carries considerable weight on items that may or may not have been taught by the time the assessment is taken. Further, the students may or may not be having a good day. With small numbers of students, the effect of such factors on scoring can be significant and this, in turn, can lead to misunderstanding about what the test is telling us. Our approach is diagnostic, not judgmental. National standardized tests show us how students at Island School compare with three different groups: students across the nation, those in urban schools, and those in independent schools. This gives us a sense of how robust our programs are and indicates where changes should be made to improve student learning. They are part of an ongoing and comprehensive assessment program that gives us a picture of how well our students are doing and what we might do to have our instructional program be even more effective than now.

Development Update

Disco Ball Was A Great Success! Proceeds netted $150k! But there is so much more! The benefits of our annual auction stretch far beyond the monetary rewards. We’ve been putting on annual auctions for 35 years. Experience makes a difference. As KONG Radio has said, we have “the best auction on the island.” The Disco Ball was the party of the season. Teams of volunteers worked together to set goals and execute their plans with terrific results. The active participation that is needed from Island School parents and friends to pull off an event of this magnitude builds

school spirit and solidarity. Together, our volunteers did something of huge benefit for their school and community. Hundreds of donors can also take credit for contributing to the success of the Disco Ball, as can the over 480 attendees. The staff and faculty put forth a tremendous effort. Alumni participation was significant. We all were part of something very special. Congratulations to Auction Chair Alan King, Operations Chair Laura Ryan and lead acquisitions volunteer, Robin Pratt. Their vision and leadership produced yet another Island School success.

Hobey Goodale We bid aloha to a man who was a long-time and true friend of Island School. Hobey served on our Board of Directors from 1987 to 2009. Over the years he participated in many activities and provided endless support to Island School. Hobey passed away, peacefully, on Feb. 10. Hobey was a generous contributor, several times each year sending donations to assist the school with capital campaigns and tuition aid. He was a familiar sight on campus, attending countless board meetings, weeding gardens on family work days, participating in Grandparents’ Day events and showing up at other school gatherings. He was also a “regular” at the annual auction. Hobey was 90 years old, the father of Board President, Kathy Richardson.We join the Goodale ‘ohana in remembering him fondly. His contributions were many and his legacy enduring.

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Catherine Barale

“I was introduced to Asia by my sister, who invited me to visit her in Taiwan, long before most Americans knew where Taiwan was,” said Catherine. “The first moment my big toe hit the ground, I was deeply in love.” In particular, the sights and sounds relating to the Chinese language resonated deeply within her and remains her passion to this day.

Giving students an awareness of the new role Asia plays in the global marketplace is high on the list of Catherine’s goals. And she has the perfect “Today’s students will be competing with peobackground to ple from Beijing, Singapore, Malaysia - all over make this happen. Asia. I want them to be prepared,” she said. 

As head of our Foreign Language department, Catherine was interested in research showing that foreign language students learn more in shorter daily periods, as opposed to the every other day eighty minute class periods in our schedule. This information was worth pursuing, so beginning this school year, language classes have been meeting daily for shorter periods. “This has made it possible to introduce a lot more culture into the Chinese language classes,” said Catherine. Further assessment will determine the effectiveness of these changes.

Catherine enriches her students in many ways. How many teachers would invite entire classes to their homes for a Chinese dinner? Or take groups of students across the Pacific to Beijing - twice! “When I teach one-on-one, I make the biggest impact,” she said. Her classes are small enough for her to reach students at their own levels of proficiency. Many continue their Chinese language education in college or spend time in China. One received a Fulbright Scholarship to do research in China. The knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and culture Catherine brings to Island School is valued and appreciated.

Island School 3-1875 Kaumuali‘i Hwy Lihu‘e, HI 96766

While earning her Ph.D. in Chinese Lingusitics from University of Pennsylvania, Catherine traveled to Beijing to conduct her dissertation research. The United States had just normalized diplomatic relations with China, and Asia was rising economically. Catherine found a natural transition into the world of finance, where her background as a fluent Chinese speaker was in great demand. Expanding her portfolio of skills to include finance with Chinese turned out to be a great fit. Living and traveling all over Asia and then Europe, she worked in the banking industry for over 20 years.

In addition to four levels of Chinese language, Catherine also teaches U.S. history. She has found ways to enrich the U.S. history content by bringing in relevant information from Asian cultures. “There are many themes in the study of America that have parallels with Japanese and Chinese history.” Current global events in Asia also have direct impact on the study of our own country and she develops those connections with her students.

Navigator: Winter/Spring 2013-2014  

a tri-annual Island School publication

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