With the final quarter of the school year now underway in Hawaii’s public schools, more kids are slated to return to campus. Let’s hope that Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and others can make quick progress toward the goal of bringing back more than half of all elementary students for in-person class — on a rotating basis, at least.
Though initially necessary to address COVID-19 concerns, virtual classrooms have proved to be a poor substitute for in-person settings. As of the second quarter, when most students were enrolled in distance learning, 21% of elementary schoolers — 1 in 5 — were receiving a failing grade in English language arts. In math, 15% were failing.