HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002
STATE OF HAWAII
ADOPTING A SCHOOL READINESS DEFINITION AND STRATEGY.
WHEREAS, recent brain research has demonstrated that during the first five years it is critical for optimum growth and development that children be in an early education and care environment that stimulates their curiosity and creativity, is safe and healthy, and nurtures their spirit; and
WHEREAS, studies have shown that young children thrive when they live in a family and a community that fosters their "warm-heartedness," respects their dignity, and encourages their life-long learning; and
WHEREAS, Hawaii recognizes the importance of early childhood development on future learning so that children will be ready to succeed in school; and
WHEREAS, public and private agencies in partnership with communities across the State have implemented the state policy adopted in 1998 by the Legislature in House Concurrent Resolution No. 38, "All of Hawaii’s Children Will be Safe, Healthy and Ready to Succeed"; and
WHEREAS, the School Readiness Partnership brings together public and private partners committed to support readiness efforts to improve educational outcomes for young children and to measure progress so that young children will be safe, healthy, and ready to succeed in kindergarten; and
WHEREAS, the Interdepartmental Council's School Readiness Task Force, created by Act 77, Session Laws of Hawaii 1997, leading the School Readiness Performance Partnership was convened to recommend a school readiness definition, develop results and performance indicators, and strategies to implement these measures; and
WHEREAS, the overriding purpose for developing a definition of readiness is to create conditions that will enable children in Hawaii to succeed in kindergarten and subsequent school experiences; and
WHEREAS, in order to realize this purpose, Hawaii is following the lead of the National Education Goals Panel and national and state early childhood research and defining readiness broadly to include the critical attributes of child, school, and family and community support; and
WHEREAS, this School Readiness Definition is one of shared responsibility and accountability; and
WHEREAS, the School Readiness Definition, formulated by the School Readiness Task Force, states that: "Young children are ready to have successful learning experiences in school when there is a positive interaction among the child’s developmental characteristics, school practices, and family and community support"; and
WHEREAS, children’s developmental characteristics and abilities vary widely in individual children and include: physical health and well being, social and emotional development, school related behaviors and skills, approaches to learning, motor development and self-help skills, communication and language developmental skills, and general knowledge and cognitive development; and
WHEREAS, family support includes meeting children’s basic needs, providing emotional support, supporting learning by providing stimulating experiences, talking to children, and reading to them every day; and
WHEREAS, school support includes welcoming children and families, involving families in school, providing transitions between the home or early program and the school, providing active, hands-on learning experiences, supporting quality instructional methods, building relationships between children and teachers, honoring individual and cultural diversity, and partnering with community agencies; and
WHEREAS, community support includes provisions for children to have adequate nutrition, opportunity for physical activity, health care, enriching preschool and home experiences, programs that help families to be their child’s first teacher; and
WHEREAS, the adoption by the Legislature of the "School Readiness Definition" affirms the progress of the School Readiness Task Force and results and performance framework underway; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the Senate concurring, that the "School Readiness Definition" is adopted as state policy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Interdepartmental Council School Readiness Task Force and its public and private partners that are committed to improving the school readiness of Hawaii’s children and joining with families, schools, and communities are requested to further support children’s readiness for school and school’s readiness for children; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the School Readiness Task Force report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2003 on its progress in enlisting public and community support and family participation in school readiness, developing policies and strategies for measuring results and performance indicators of school readiness that will strengthen Hawaii’s early childhood system and build capacity for sustainability; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, School Readiness Task Force, Interdepartmental Council, Good Beginnings Alliance, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii Business Roundtable, Ho’owaiwai Na Kamalii, IN PEACE, Hawaii Association for the Education of Young Children, Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center, Child Care Business Coalition, Hawaii Performance Partnership Board, Hawaii Kids Watch, University of Hawaii at Manoa Center on the Family, Hawaii Educational Policy Center, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Mayor of the County of Hawaii, Mayor of the City and County and Honolulu, Mayor of the County of Kauai, Mayor of the County of Maui, Hawaii Community Foundation, Atherton Family Foundation, Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, Aloha United Way, and H.M.S.A. Foundation.
Adopts a school readiness definition and strategy.