ERIC Number: ED423094
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Achieving Educational Excellence in Majuro, RMI. Promising Practices in the Pacific Region.
The Rita Christian School on Majuro in the Republic of the Marshall Islands is a comprehensive preK-8 program that has successfully combined factors that contribute to an effective school program for the Pacific region. Factors contributing to the school's success are community involvement, strong leadership, a committed and well-trained staff, year-round scheduling, and an effective language teaching program. Pacific Islanders' traditional views of authority are often detrimental to community involvement, but Rita Christian School was built by the church congregation, fueled by its belief that education's primary purpose is to instill Christian values. Pacific Islanders respond to good leadership but tend to accept ineffective leadership rather than challenge it. Therefore, leadership must be strong, and the principal of Rita Christian has fulfilled this role. Staff development opportunities at the school include weekly teachers' meetings that focus on curriculum and teaching, networking, mentoring, and a collaborative training partnership between school and local government. A change to year-round scheduling improved attendance and learning retention and provided opportunities for remedial help and a sense of continuity. Although English is the common language, its introduction takes place in a 2-year bilingual preschool environment that supports the students' home language. In following this school's model, Pacific communities might focus on school purpose to increase community involvement, strong leadership development, staff training, year-round scheduling, and the timing and quality of the introduction of English as the medium of instruction. (SAS)
Descriptors: Community Involvement, Educational Practices, Elementary Education, Foreign Countries, Pacific Islanders, Parochial Schools, Preschool Education, School Community Relationship, School Effectiveness, Small Schools
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, Ali'i Place, 25th Floor, 1099 Alakea Street, Honolulu, HI 96813-4500; World Wide Web: http://www.prel.hawaii.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, Honolulu, HI.
Identifiers - Location: Marshall Islands