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.
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 superintendent answered questions that are on many educators' minds, from a potential pay cut and budget issues to how school might look assuming classes reopen in the fall.
HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said, “As long as there was ambiguity about when school would open, it made it very difficult for our teachers to plan. Now we know what’s going to happen with the rest of the school year."
Superintendent Christina Kishimoto sent a memo Friday to complex area superintendents, principals, vice principals, teachers and non-classroom teachers addressing changes to the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) to streamline and strengthen supports for improving teacher practice.