Hawaii State Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said the department plans to announce next week a plan for summer school to blend online distance learning and small classrooms with a maximum of six to eight students. Students who have struggled with using a device during distance learning will be prioritized for these spaces, she said.
Kishimoto also said that the DOE is aiming to open in the fall. No specific plans are being announced at this time, but the DOE is currently designing and determining what school will look like come Aug. 4 when fall semester is set to begin. The plan is to maximize opportunities for parents to choose what works best given their individual family situation. She also said that the DOE is working closely with the governor, county mayors, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, and the state Department of Health to ensure the plan adheres to safety guidelines.
The modernization work that the DOE has engaged in over the last year helped educators to transition quickly in response to COVID-19, but Kishimoto said that there is still more work to do as not all teachers received training prior to the start of the pandemic.
Kishimoto spoke about a variety of topics including, the possible learning scenarios and environments for the fall session, athletics, meals programs, the teacher workforce, and how families can stay connected with the DOE.
Should students need health services during these challenging times, she encouraged parents and families to call the DOE’s new telehealth hotline at (844) 436-3888, open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Watch here and submit your questions through our Facebook page. Join us Friday when state Rep. Kyle Yamashita and state Sen. Gilbert S.C. Keith-Aragan will be our guests.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.