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DOE recommends closing Liliuokalani Elementary

  • Parents are expected to voice their concerns tomorrow at the first of three public hearings on proposed closings of up to four urban Honolulu elementary schools

Schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi has recommended the closure of Queen Liliuokalani Elementary School in Kaimuki at the end of the school year, parents have been told in letters home.

Parents at the 98-student campus have fought closure, saying the school offers students a safe, supportive environment. Many have also asked for more time, to attract more students or get a chance to “reinvent” the campus.

A Board of Education committee is expected to take up the issue next week, and then it will go to the full board for a final decision.

Liliuokalani Principal Raelene Chock, who notified parents Thursday, said many had been expecting the superintendent to recommend closure.

“I think everyone is just digesting that,” she said. “It’s a quiet waiting.”

This morning, parent Lyle Bullock raised issue with how the department had gone about studying whether the school should close. He said the decision appeared to have been made long before a public hearing in December.

“This is the department thinking they can do what they want to do,” he said.

The Department of Education says closing the school on Waialae Avenue would save about $530,000 in the coming fiscal year.

The campus has eight teachers and class sizes that range from six to 22 children.

Liliuokalani students would be transferred to Liholiho and Waialae elementary schools, if the campus closes. Teachers would be transferred to other schools.

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