Hawaii Schools are Still Out for Summer
Due to the surge of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in the Aloha State, Hawaii schools are still out for summer. The anticipated reopening of the new school year on August 4 has been delayed by 2 weeks and will not happen not until August 17, 2020.
The Board of Education voted yesterday to delay the reopening in order to provide teachers, principals, and other staff members more time to prepare for students to return to campus as well as to train on distance learning tools.
The schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto acknowledged that reopening has been a issue that is dividing the community. Hundreds showed up to testify at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday before their vote to say a delay was the right thing to do, urging the health and safety of Hawaii’s children and staff as top priorities.
Others, however, expressed concern about students missing more instructional time. Since public schools closed in March, the state Department of Education acknowledged success in reaching its 180,000 public school students through distance learning has not been completely successful.
Board members are concerned about reports of new COVID-19 cases that happened during summer school as well as the fact that they are getting most of their information from press releases, news conferences, and the media.
HSTA president Corey Rosenlee is also confused about the DOE’s failure to alert the community about the positive cases at summer schools and said that there needs to be a serious conversation about “whether cases will explode in Hawaii if we try to bring in over 20-thousand employees and 180,000 students to campuses.”