Waipahu Sees Rise In Writ­ing Skills

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Front Page - By ALANA FOLEN

Waipahu High School re­ceived $10,800 from Van­tage Learn­ing ear­lier this month to help its stu­dents im­prove their writ­ing skills.

The do­na­tion will al­low 300 stu­dents to use MY Ac­cess!, an on­line in­struc­tional writ­ing pro­gram that’s been shown to im­prove achieve­ment across the cur­ricu­lum.

“With this pro­gram stu­dents are able to go on­line and write to a prompt or com­plete an as­sign­ment given by a teacher,” ex­plained prin­ci­pal Keith Hayashi. “ The stu­dents then get im­me­di­ate feed­back in terms of their writ­ing — scores, ar­eas that need im­prove­ment and ar­eas in which their writ­ing is lack­ing.”

Hayashi im­ple­mented MY Ac­cess! at the start of the school year, ini­tially with the English Lan­guage Learn­ers. See­ing pos­i­tive feed­back, he ap­plied for the grant so that more teach­ers and stu­dents could ben­e­fit.

“ The tool is not meant to sup­ple­ment teach­ers, but to in­stead pro­vide that addi-

tional sup­port, re­sources, as­sess­ments and eval­u­a­tions,” Hayashi said. “You can have a great tool, but

“We’re looking at im­prove­ment … We hope to set ex­am­ples for other schools so that they too can ben­e­fit.”

how well it will be used and in­te­grated into the cur­ricu­lum is up to the teacher.”

He added that the main ob­jec­tive is to see stu­dents progress over time.

“It’s tai­lored to the needs of the class, and stu­dents can au­to­mat­i­cally edit and re­sub­mit their work. Our teach­ers look at the ini­tial writ­ing prior to the MY Ac­cess! scor­ing. Once the stu­dents get feed­back from the pro­gram, we’re looking at im­prove­ment.”

Happy with the re­sults so far, Hayashi hopes to see ex­po­nen­tial gains not only in writ­ing, but in stu­dents’ crit­i­cal think­ing process as well.

“It’s won­der­ful that we have sup­port from MY Ac­cess! and Van­tage Learn­ing. We hope to set ex­am­ples for other schools so that they too can ben­e­fit from this pro­gram,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on MY Ac­cess! In­struc­tional Writ­ing Pro­gram, call Hayashi at 469-1311.

Maka­pana LLC pres­i­dent Ken Tomi and Van­tage Learn­ing vice pres­i­dent John Stip­pick (hold­ing check, left to right) present a $10,800 grant March 1 to (from left) Waipahu High School prin­ci­pal Keith Hayashi and teach­ers Cesceli Naka­mura, Diep Vuong, Jane Kwak and Gail Izu­mi­gawa to help stu­dents such as se­nior Faalu­alu Faa­gai (cen­ter) im­prove their writ­ing skills through the MY Ac­cess! on­line in­struc­tional writ­ing pro­gram. Photo by Nathalie Walker, nwalker@mid­week.com.

English teacher Lori Mu­rakami looks over Marcelo Pas­cua’s on­line as­sign­ment. Photo by Nathalie Walker, nwalker@mid­week.com.

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