After the Hawaii State Department of Health’s school reopening metrics came under intense criticism because, among other things, they were as much as 10 times less stringent than federal metrics, the state epidemiologist told state senators Friday that her department is “looking at coming up with a revised draft of the thresholds.”
Dole Middle School’s principal notified employees about the death via email shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday. The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has refused to approve telework for any Dole teachers, despite the fact that many of them have no students in their classes.
Parents, teachers, and even a public school student pleaded with the Hawaii State Board of Education Thursday to continue distance learning at public schools through at least the end of the first quarter, a decision state Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said she’s leaving to the 15 complex area superintendents across the state.
During a Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, state senators pressed Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto about why more teachers aren’t allowed to telework when students are learning from home, and why educators are spending their own money for protective gear.
Nothing would make HSTA happier than if their statements were a reality, but teachers have been telling us the exact opposite.
The change gives school staff an additional nine days for training and preparation before students to return to class.
On Thursday, July 30, at 1 p.m., the board will hold a special meeting to discuss school reopening options. The agenda includes three action items that link to background, recommendations, and implications as submitted by the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE). On Tuesday, July 28, we submitted joint testimony with HGEA and UPW on all three action items, which we are sharing below.
BOE Chair Catherine Payne said the board will “hold a special meeting to address the concerns in the testimony about training and health matters that came up. At that point, we could also consider a waiver (of the 180 required student instructional days) for some additional professional development days.”
HSTA President Corey Rosenlee says the differentials “worked better than our dreams ever imagined,” and not just by filling the actual positions. Rosenlee says higher education programs that funnel educators into these positions also saw a significant increase.
The HIDOE and DOH need more time to properly create and implement health strategies to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and schools need more time to prepare educators for an online environment.