Since it was first announced, the Hawaii State Teachers Association received a number of inquiries from educators about the status of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s plan to allow for a pilot program for tenured teachers rated “highly effective” the option to flex up to seven of their 21 hours of job-embedded professional development for teacher-initiated activities.

HSTA knew this option would be something of great interest to many teachers. Unfortunately, Hawaii Department of Education officials took quite a while to draft the details and only recently posted information on the new 21 hours flexibility pilot program.

Teachers interested in utilizing this pilot program need to submit their request and forms to their principal ASAP as the window to submit expires at the end of first quarter.

Prior to submission, teachers are reminded to read all of the instructions and FAQs carefully to ensure they fully understand the expectations and procedures of the pilot program.

Please review the following documents:

HSTA engaged in a consult-and-confer process with the DOE by providing feedback and suggestions for improvements to the plan. Unfortunately, despite our recommendations for improvements, the pilot comes with a lot of restrictions and expectations which may result in fewer teachers opting to participate in the pilot.

Below are some key points:  

  • The pilot will be for school years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, and only be available to tenured teachers rated “highly effective” in their most recent Educator Effectiveness System (EES) performance evaluation.
  • The request for flexibility must be submitted to the principal no later than the end of first quarter (Oct. 4) and must be approved.  
  • There will be a specific submission form in which the teacher must outline a description of the PD activity for each of the seven hours. 
  • There is no option to challenge or grieve if the principal denies the submitted plan.
  • Upon completion of the approved activities, the teacher must submit documentation supporting completion.
  • The department will be gathering information on the pilot to help assess its effectiveness.