BOE seeks feedback from the public, educators about reopening schools

Email your concerns and questions to the board by Friday, June 5

The Hawaii Board of Education will meet virtually on Thursday, June 4, and is seeking feedback about reopening Hawaii’s public schools through Friday, June 5.

In a memo published Friday, May 29, Board of Education Chair Catherine Payne said the board wants to “understand the expectations, questions, and concerns that its members, education stakeholders, and the public have about reopening schools and providing a quality education for students while living the threat of COVID-19.”

Payne intends to use feedback gathered from fellow board members, educators, parents, and others to prepare broad guidance for the entire public school system on the reopening of schools.

“We must move quickly,” Payne said, “and I anticipate having a proposal for the Board for discussion at our next general business meeting,” which is scheduled for Thursday, June 18.

As a result of that deadline, the BOE needs to receive any public comments on the issue by Friday, June 5. Please send any comments to testimony.boe@boe.hawaii.gov by this deadline.

You can listen live to this Thursday’s BOE meeting when its members will discuss the request for reopening feedback. The meeting on Thursday, June 4, starts at 1:30 p.m., and you can listen virtually via WebEx.

The BOE has created a framework of major focus areas for reopening public schools: 

People. The people and organizations that make up the public education system.  

  • Students. Students attending public schools operated by the Department.  
  • Family & Community. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, families (including parents and guardians), and individuals involved with public schools or the Department.  
  • Staff. School personnel, including teachers, administrators, counselors, and administrative, custodial, and cafeteria staff. 

Place. The places where students learn and staff work.  

  • Physical Space. Public school buildings, facilities, and land, including the equipment and materials within them. 
  • Virtual Space. Online platforms, programs, and tools that assist with teaching and learning.  
  • Where the People Are. The places where students or staff engage in teaching or learning when they cannot physically be present on school campuses (e.g., living room). 

School Design. How schools are designed to educate and prepare students.  

  • Learning Design. The educational program design for students, including instructional models, curricula, and assessments.  
  • School Operations. Operations that support the learning design and support services, including transportation and administrative and fiscal services.  
  • Support Services. Whole child supports, including social and emotional supports, health service, and meal service.

For more details on the BOE’s reopening framework, read the full memo.

Author: Keoki Kerr