(BIVN) – A deal has been reached to delay students return to school until Monday, August 17.
Leaders of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association, and United Public Workers on Monday agreed with a revised Hawaiʻi State Department of Education recommendation to the school board that will adjust the 2020–21 school year calendar, and start students later.
The deal will need the approval of the Hawaiʻi Board Of Education, which will hold a special meeting this Thursday, July 30, at 1 p.m.
Ten-month DOE employees will still report to work as planned on Wednesday, July 29.
According to HSTA, the agreement would give educators nine (9) additional days of training and preparation time on top of the regularly scheduled two (2) administration days and two (2) teacher preparation days between July 29 and Aug. 3. The extra time “would allow for training, planning, and preparation for the safe return of students to classrooms.”
News of the agreement was shared by the unions to its membership, and a statement from Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto was also posted to the DOE website.
“HIDOE leadership has been working with the unions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure our students get the education they deserve and our employees have a safe work environment,” Dr. Kishimoto said. “We have continued these conversations and reached a conditional agreement today to propose a delayed start for students to accommodate concerns regarding employee training.”
“Throughout our discussions, we were mindful that any adjustments to the calendar must focus on educating and supporting students,” Kishimoto said. “We also acknowledge the voice of our families, partners and employees who are not represented by the unions yet are impacted by this decision.”
“We will use this time to prepare at yet another level, but I recognize this comes at a cost for public school parents and our students,” the Superintendent concluded. “My expectation is that if the Board approves the two week delay, that our labor partners will do an aggressive push to their members to be at schoolhouse doors on day one for our students.”