When most public school students throughout the state return to classrooms on Aug 3, they will still be required to wear masks, state Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said Tuesday.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association has always said that it’s best to follow the science, and we look forward to seeing what guidance our state departments of health and education issue based on today’s recommendations.
The agreement provides a framework to allow schools to increase the number of students returning to campuses in the fourth quarter for in-person learning, especially students in elementary schools.
According to Hawaii State Teachers Association analysis of the new metrics, the DOH standards are not well aligned with risk-level metrics issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Hawaii State Board of Education Thursday took steps to strengthen school reopening standards, but did not require the state Department of Education to match federal metrics, which are much more stringent than the state Department of Health’s (DOH) standards.
A day before the Hawaii Board of Education holds a special meeting on several key items including school reopening guidelines and telework for educators during the pandemic, the Hawaii State Teachers Association raised serious concerns that the state Department of Health’s new guidelines for the safe opening of schools are unsafe and much less stringent than federal guidelines.
The HSTA Negotiations Team meets for an hour and a half with top HIDOE officials Monday to begin detailed bargaining about reopening schools.