HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said, “Hawaii can no longer pretend we are not in the middle of a pandemic and that somehow our keiki and our teachers are impervious to this virus. As teachers, we know how important education is, but we are most concerned about the lives of every one of our students. Online classwork cannot replace face-to-face learning, but it ensures that learning continues and that our keiki and our communities remain safe.”
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.
While the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) believes in the importance of ensuring students are provided instructional services in school year 2020–21, it should not be at the cost of a safe educational environment.
We are pleased to report that the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) and Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto have reached a resolution on distancing of students in classrooms and face-covering requirements.
After a record number of educators and parents expressed concerns about unsafe social distancing protocols that violate a school reopening agreement between the state and Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Hawaii State Board of Education Thursday night voted to defer approval of the deal.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association is working closely with the Hawaii State Department of Education on this matter and will update members as needed.
Grants of up to $3,000 per teacher or team of teachers will be awarded to support innovative projects that propose to increase student engagement and achievement.