U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — U.S. Pacific Command is working with two private organizations to offer military parents and students the opportunity to express their opinions regarding education in Hawaii, which could potentially impact the future of military children attending schools in Hawaii.
PACOM contracted with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to conduct the study, with an assist from the University of Hawaii.
Data from the study will help researchers identify changes in families’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding life in Hawaii, as well as their expectations and experiences of the Hawaii tour of duty and education system.
The study is unique in that it will survey military parents and their children between ages of 10 and 18 who are currently stationed on Oahu, those who will arrive during the next few years and those who will have a permanent change of station from Hawaii.
“This study is of high priority, and I appreciate your participation,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commanding general, U.S. Army-Pacific, in a Sept. 24 letter to all Army families in the Aloha State. “The information you provide can make a difference for you, your children and future students of military families in Hawaii.”
“Military parents have requested for decades that the services take an active role in improving the quality of education for military children in Hawaii,” said Nancy Rice, USARPAC quality of life specialist. “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 service member to live in Hawaii.
“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,” said Doug Kelsey, program specialist, Child, Youth and School Services.
“(The website) will explain the study and lead you through the steps,” Rice said. “Kids wishing to participate must have a parent sign them up.”
Survey questions are essentially the same for parents and children, though the language for each is age-appropriate and therefore worded a bit differently. Each question on the survey relates to one of three topics:
- School: academic quality, teachers and peers, school safety, Advanced Placement courses, school-parent communications, and supports in school.
- Expectations: expectations for life and schooling in Hawaii, expectations for parents’ involvement with their child’s school, and academic expectations of parents for their child.
- Family and Child Background: previous moves; living overseas; child’s learning, behavioral and emotional history; child’s skills and aptitudes; family stressors; and types of social supports.