The Hawaii State Department of Education’s plans for free COVID-19 testing at public schools statewide are eagerly awaited by students, staff, and parents, but at a legislative hearing this week, school officials did not answer key questions about when the program will be available at all schools.
The Hawaii Board of Education last week asked the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) whether there were ways to allow new teachers from the continental United States to reside there and be able to teach remotely. However, Hawaii law prohibits this type of employment by state or county government workers.
In a news conference Wednesday, HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. outlined the stark discrepancy between what officials are telling the public and what’s really happening in Hawaii’s public schools.
State senators complained Thursday that the Hawaii State Department of Education did not have an adequate plan to scale up distance learning this school year and failed to adequately support teachers and principals during the coronavirus pandemic.
“With the Delta variant spreading COVID-19 in our communities like never before, this head-in-the-sand mentality jeopardizes all of us.”
As you are gearing up for the new school year, a lot of uncertainty remains as we await the transition from Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto to Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi. This transition, coupled with the guidance from DOH released Monday, has further delayed our official meeting with the department to discuss critical issues that are arising.
The release of distance learning options for families late Wednesday by the Hawaii State Department of Education "is a positive step, but from what we see, teachers are still going to be expected to teach simultaneously online and in-person which the Board of Education last week agreed should not happen," Hawaii State Teachers Association President Osa Tui, Jr. said.
For every teacher the state dedicates to distance learning when students return to class in August, it would need to pull a teacher out of the classroom, state Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said Tuesday.
As more residents get vaccinated and restrictions ease on public gatherings and other precautions, the Hawaii State Department of Education says all Hawaii public schools will fully reopen for in-person learning next school year.
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.