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Kokua Line

Public schools end in May in 1-2-1 year-round schedule

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Question: Why was this school year so much shorter this year? Over and over you hear people say, "Oh, the schools got out early this year, before Memorial Day." It just seemed abnormally early this year, and I’d like to know why.

Answer: It’s because of the new year-round public school schedule.

Get used to it, because it’ll be the model for at least the near future.

Previously, the state Department of Education followed a 1-3-2 year-round schedule of breaks in instruction, so the school year ended in June, said spokeswoman Sandy Goya.

The 1-3-2 model reflected a one-week fall break, three-week winter break and two-week spring break.

Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, Goya said, the DOE moved to a 1-2-1 year-round schedule: a one-week fall break between the first and second quarters; a two-week winter break between the first and second semesters; and a one-week spring break between the third and fourth quarters.

The 1-3-2 schedule was said to be the "most popular" among the schools. In 2008 the Hawaii State Student Council voted to "express strong support" for the continuation of that schedule for the 2009-10 school year.

However, in recommending the new schedule to the Board of Education in April 2009, former schools Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto said the old model did not provide sufficient time during the summer for teachers to obtain additional professional development or for students to obtain credits necessary for the Board of Education Recognition Diploma.

The upcoming school year will continue to follow the 1-2-1 format, Goya said.

"With the shorter breaks, school ends at the end of May," she said. "Schools now have more time for summer school and extended learning opportunities. Teachers and administrators have time to address professional development needs."

The state Legislature passed a bill earlier this year that would require a minimum of 180 instructional days for public school students.

That bill remains pending before Gov. Linda Lingle, who has until July 6 to sign it into law or veto it.

If she elects to do neither, the measure automatically will become law.

Goya said even if the bill becomes law, the 2010-2011 school calendar with its 1-2-1 format would not be affected.

The official 2010-11 calendar, with May 26 as the last day of school for students, will be posted shortly online at hawaiidoe.org, she said.

 

MORE ON DRUG REUSE

One additional point regarding the prohibitions against reusing prescription drugs mentioned by Libby Char, director of the city Emergency Services Department (hsblinks.com/2hd) and which will not be intuitive to your readers: They do not fully "own" the prescribed medications. Even non-narcotic drugs, such as antibiotics, cannot be legally resold or distributed. That is a matter of law, and folks should be cautioned that "sharing" prescriptive meds is considered illegal diversion. — Interested Doctor

The pertinent law referred to is the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987, which the federal Food and Drug Administration says was enacted "to increase safeguards in the drug distribution system to prevent the introduction and retail sale of substandard, ineffective, or counterfeit drugs."

See hsblinks.com/2ha for more information.

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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