(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi school is out until sometime after April 30.
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced today school facilities will remain closed to students through April 30, based on the latest guidance and information from health officials and elected leaders. Traditional, in-school instruction is on hold until schools reopen, the department says.
“I want to thank each and every one of the Department’s 44,000 employees for working in new ways during these unprecedented times,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “These are uncertain and anxious circumstances for everyone in our communities and we sincerely appreciate your patience as our response to this health crisis continues to evolve and we make the needed adjustments for health and safety.”
Kishimoto was on hand to address a Hawaiʻi Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 today on Oʻahu.
From a March 24 letter from Superintendent Kishimoto to parents:
Dear HIDOE parents and guardians,
We know these are uncertain and anxious times for everyone in our communities and we sincerely appreciate your patience and aloha as our response to this health crisis continues to evolve and we make the needed adjustments for health and safety.
Based on the latest guidance and information from health officials and our elected leaders, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) will be aligning with the emergency orders directing residents statewide to remain at home and work from home through April 30. This means school facilities will be closed to students until at least April 30 and traditional in-school instruction is on hold until schools reopen.
HIDOE and charter schools will be sending out information about enrichment opportunities, including online resources and instructional packets. We encourage you to look out for information from your child’s school and teachers.
Please know that our public school system is still operating during this crisis. We are using alternative methods as we maximize our telework approach and find ways to remain connected with students. The HIDOE team is actively engaged in providing much-needed, modified services during these unprecedented times, including thousands of meals for children and enrichment opportunities.
We are focused on minimizing disruption for students and supporting their emotional well-being. For tips and tools to navigate and support your child’s continuous learning, please visit [this link].
By the end of this week, we will be sharing specific plans for our 10,000 eligible graduates. We will also be sharing out next-level information based on the planning work accomplished by our teachers and principals to guide us through the end of the school year.
The Department of Education remains focused on and committed to our educational mission and we look forward to resuming instruction and a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.
A media release from the HIDOE had more information.
Special education services
Schools will ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to the same enrichment opportunities as their peers. Schools are working toward providing the most appropriate modifications and accommodations under the circumstances. Related services that can be provided via telepractice will be considered on a case-by-case basis for students who have qualified for these services. When school resumes in its traditional manner, Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Section 504 teams will meet to determine if there was a loss of skills as a result of the extended school closure, and the need for compensatory education.
Grab-and-go meal school sites
Nine additional sites will begin breakfast and lunch service Wednesday, March 25. Parents and caregivers who come to pick up a meal must be accompanied by a child. Meals will not be served Thursday, March 26, which is Prince Kuhio Day. For the complete list of sites, click here.
By the end of this week, the Department will be sharing specific plans to ensure its 10,000 eligible high school graduates can earn diplomas. The Department will also provide next-level information based on the planning work accomplished by schools, complex areas and state offices for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
“We remain focused on and committed to our educational mission and we look forward to resuming instruction and a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible,” Kishimoto added.