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Public schools to close in Hawaii, Maui counties

By Nanea Kalani

LAST UPDATED: 3:49 a.m. HST, Aug 6, 2014

All public schools on Hawaii island and in Maui County will be closed Thursday as Hurricanes Iselle and Julio approach the islands.

"The force of these storms remain uncertain, however, we do not want to wait until the last minute to close our schools," Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said in a statement Tuesday. "Additionally, many of our schools are designated emergency shelters and it is necessary to prepare these facilities as the storms approach."

The closure will affect about 44,000 students who attend public schools on Hawaii island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

The two storms are expected to bring heavy rain, high surf and strong winds beginning Thursday.

A dozen Hawaii island public schools, which are designated emergency shelters, will close at 2 p.m. Wednesday, meaning all after-school activities for students and staff will be canceled for that day.

Only Hawaii island and Maui County public schools that are designated emergency shelters will remain closed Friday, the DOE said.

On Hawaii island, the designated schools are:

» Laupahoehoe

» Kohala High & Elementary

» Kealakehe High (pet friendly)

» Konawaena High (pet friendly)

» Hilo High (pet friendly)

» Waiakea High (pet friendly)

» Keaau High (pet friendly)

» Pahoa High & Intermediate (pet friendly)

» Honokaa High & Intermediate (pet friendly)

» Kau High (pet friendly)

» Waikoloa Elementary

The Maui County designated shelters are:

» Baldwin High

» Lokelani Intermediate

» Kekaulike High

» Hana High & Elementary

» Molokai High

» Kilohana Elementary

Most private schools and the University of Hawaii are still on summer break this month.

A Kamehameha Schools spokesman said the school is still evaluating the potential impact of the storms, but expects to decide by noon Wednesday whether to push back the first day of school at its Hawaii island campus in Keaau, where classes were supposed to start Thursday.

Kamehameha Schools will also determine at that time whether to close its Maui and Kapalama campuses.

Maryknoll School on Oahu will be closed Friday.

Officials contacted at other private schools in session say they plan to decide Wednesday on closures.

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