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Outdoor mask rule dropped for Hawaii public school graduations

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                                Moanalua High School seniors sit at their graduation ceremony on May 21 at Aloha Stadium.


    Moanalua High School seniors sit at their graduation ceremony on May 21 at Aloha Stadium.

Hawaii’s public high school graduation ceremonies will take small steps toward normalcy by dropping the outdoor masking requirement and making other changes to ease restrictions slightly, state interim Schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi announced today.

The state Department of Education also released the list of graduation dates and locations.

The commencement guidelines have been eased “to reflect less restrictive COVID-19 requirements across the state, but certain restrictions will still apply to ensure the health and safety of all attendees,” said a department statement.

Hayashi added in the statement: “As our ceremonies continue to adapt to improving conditions, this year’s celebrations will be more open than the virtual and drive-thru ceremonies of 2020 and the hybrid ceremonies of 2021 while adhering to current guidelines. We thank our students, families and schools for working together to keep all participants as safe as possible during these well-deserved celebrations.”

In addition to the department’s standard health and safety protocols and county regulations, commencement events must adhere to the DOE’s commencement guidelines, which include:

>> Masks must be worn at all times for indoor ceremonies. Masks worn indoors may be removed briefly for picture taking.

>> All participants must be fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours prior to the ceremony. If someone unvaccinated has no symptoms of illness and no known exposure to someone with COVID-19, a negative COVID-19 self-test result is sufficient.

>> Graduates will be allowed to bring a pre-set number of household members as ceremony guests. The amount of guests will be determined by each school based on capacity.

>> Ceremonies must be held outdoors or in a venue with adequate ventilation or fans/filtration systems. Third-party venues that comply with county social gathering rules are allowed.

The guidance is subject to change, the department said. Schools will be sharing logistical details with parents and guardians, and those with questions are encouraged to contact their child’s school directly.


Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Area

>> Roosevelt High, May 19, Stan Sheriff Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa

>> Kaimuki High, May 21, school auditorium

>> Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Anuenue School, May 21, school campus

>> McKinley High, May 22, school campus

Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area

>> Kaiser High, May 20, school campus

>> Farrington High, May 21, Stan Sheriff Center

>> Kalani High, May 24, Stan Sheriff Center

>> Hawaiʻi School for the Deaf & Blind, No ceremony this year

Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area

>> Mililani High, May 16, Stan Sheriff Center

>> Leilehua High, May 20, school stadium

>> Waialua High & Intermediate, May 21, school football field

Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area

>> Aiea High, May 19, Aloha Stadium (event parking lot)

>> Moanalua High, May 20, Stan Sheriff Center

>> Radford High, May 21, school football field

Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area

>> Waipahu High, May 18, Stan Sheriff Center

>> Pearl City High, May 22, Waikiki Shell

Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area

>> Waianae High, May 20, school stadium

>> Nanakuli High & Intermediate, May 21, school stadium

Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area

>> Kapolei High, May 20, school stadium

>> Campbell High, May 21, Hawaii Convention Center

Castle-Kahuku Complex Area

>> Kahuku High & Intermediate, May 19, Brigham Young University-Hawaii Cannon Center (tentative)

>> Castle High, May 21, school football field

Kailua-Kalaheo Complex Area

>> Olomana School, May 20, school campus

>> Kailua High, May 21, school football field

>> Kalaheo High, May 24, Blaisdell Concert Hall

Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area

>> Kau High & Pahala Elementary, May 20, Kau District Gymnasium

>> Keaau High, May 20, school stadium

>> Pahoa High & Intermediate, May 22, school gymnasium

Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area

>> Hilo High, May 20, Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium

>> Waiakea High, May 21, Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium

Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Complex Area

>> Ke Kula ʻO ʻEhunuikaimalino, May 20, Konawaena High baseball field

>> Honokaa High & Intermediate, May 21, school campus

>> Kealakehe High, May 21, school campus

>> Kohala High, May 21, school campus

>> Konawaena High, May 21, school football field

Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex Area

>> Kekaulike High, May 19, school stadium

>> Baldwin High, May 20, War Memorial Stadium

>> Maui High, May 21, War Memorial Stadium

Hana-Lahainaluna-Lanai-Molokai Complex Area

>> Hana High & Elementary, May 21, school campus

>> Lanai High & Elementary, May 21, Pedro Dela Cruz Gymnasium

>> Molokai High, May 21, school football field

>> Lahainaluna High, May 22, school stadium

Kapaa-Kauai-Waimea Complex Area

>> Kapaa High, May 20, Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex

>> Kauai High, May 20, Antone “Kona” Vidinha, Jr. Memorial Stadium

>> Waimea High, May 20, school front lawn

>> Niihau High & Elementary, No ceremony this year

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