By Ms. Nancy Rasmussen (USARPAC)October 19, 2010
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii-U.S. Pacific Command is working with two private organizations to offer military parents and students between the ages of 10 and 18, an opportunity to express their opinions regarding education in Hawaii to potentially impact the future of our military children attending schools here.
PACOM contracted with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health which has teamed with the University of Hawaii to conduct the study to identify changes in families\' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding life in Hawaii, their anticipations and experiences about the Hawaii tour of duty, and their expectations and experiences with the Hawaii education system.
The study is unique in that it will survey military parents and their school-aged children currently stationed on Oahu, those arriving over the next few years and include those who will PCS from Hawaii.
In a Sept. 24 letter to Army Families U.S. Army, Pacific Commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon said, "This study is of high priority and I appreciate your participation. The information you provide can make a difference for you, your children and future students of military Families in Hawaii."
According to USARPAC Quality of Life Specialist Nancy Rice, "Military parents have requested for decades that the Services take an active role in improving the quality of education for military children in Hawaii. This study will provide the data needed to initiate a review of existing policies, procedures and practices."
The study includes all military Families with school-age children-whether they are enrolled in public, private, charter or home schools, or have chosen not to join the servicemember in Hawaii.
Child, Youth and School Services Program Specialist Doug Kelsey said, "This is a longitudinal study that will span a few years, and will even follow Families shortly after they leave Hawaii to see how students do in school after their PCS move."
Rice said, "Families and students can participate in the survey by visiting www.hawaiikids.org. It will explain the study and lead you through the steps. Kids wishing to participate must have a parent sign them up."
According to the site, questions will be essentially the same for parents and children, though the language is a bit different to make it age appropriate. Questions will fall primarily in the following three domains:
Aca,!Ac School: academic quality, teachers and peers, school safety, Advanced Placement courses, schoolAca,!A?parent communications, supports in school.
Aca,!Ac Expectations: expectations for life and schooling in Hawaii, expectations for parental involvement with their child's school, academic expectations of parents for their child.
Aca,!Ac Family and Child Background: previous moves, living overseas, child's learning and behavioral/emotional history, child's skills and aptitudes, family stressors, and types of social supports. For more information about the survey, call Rice at 808-438-4177 or email email@example.com.