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Hawaii public schools reopening for in-person learning, including all athletics activities, this fall

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / 2019
                                Lanakila Elementary School kindergarten teacher Mrs. Janice Nii with former students (L-R) Zhyra Tanaka, Ruixi Zhuang, Christian Rabutan and Kolton Nagamine.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / 2019

    Lanakila Elementary School kindergarten teacher Mrs. Janice Nii with former students (L-R) Zhyra Tanaka, Ruixi Zhuang, Christian Rabutan and Kolton Nagamine.

Hawaii’s public schools will open for daily, in person learning for the 2021-22 school year.

School Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto sent a letter to school parents and guardians today informing them that when the school year begins all schools would be fully opened and activities such as clubs, bands and athletics would resume. The school year is slated to start on Aug. 3.

The announcement comes as improving conditions have allowed other aspects of the community to open up. It also aligns with broader distribution of vaccines, which are now available to kids 12 and older. And it follows, approximately two months of increased in-person learning opportunities at Hawaii’s elementary schools.

“We also now have an added layer of protection with COVID vaccinations more widely available and the recent approval of the vaccine for adolescents ages 12 and older,”Kishimoto said. “All of our high schools have been paired with health care providers to offer vaccinations to interested students and families, and we are now focusing on our middle school campuses.

“Additionally the Department is finalizing plans for weekly COVID testing at select pilot schools to further contain spread in our school communities.With these systems in place, we are optimistic we can sustain positive changes and start to resume a sense of normalcy in the fall.”

Kishimoto said Hawaii’s public schools have “proven to be safe spaces throughout this crisis.”

“Despite more than 800 cases reported by schools and offices since June 2020, consistent adherence to safety protocols has meant that – to date – no transmission of the virus has occurred at a Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) facility,” she said.

Kishimoto said schools have worked to increase safety throughout the pandemic by “directing students and staff to stay home when sick, consistent mask-wearing, and proper hand hygiene.”

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