Hawaiʻi for a Safe Return to Schools

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  • The Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) Thursday voted to DELAY students’ return to school until Monday, Aug. 17. Previous start date was August 4th.

  • Of those nine delayed school days now dedicated to teacher training, four days will be dedicated to mandatory statewide-training, including seven distance learning modules, and five days will be administrator-directed professional development for staff.

  • Substitute teachers will also be given a full paid day to complete the distance learning modules to “guarantee that all of our substitutes get that quality training and can work hand-in-hand with the teacher that he or she is substituting for”.

  • The Board of Ed opted to postpone making a decision on a general waiver to allow reduction of the 180-day school year and 1,080 student instructional hours pursuant to current education law. The DOE and Union leaders may negotiate recovering some lost days and instructional hours by converting previously scheduled staff professional development days into student instructional days.

  • Board members approved the following agenda expectations from Item Proposal C:

    • 1) requiring extra professional development on safety and distance learning

    • 3) making it clear the board “expects everyone on public school campuses to wear a face mask...”)

    • 4) “...the Board expects the DOE to rely on detailed, written, publicly available guidance from the DOH when formulating its own guidance to schools...”

  • Board members declined to pass 2) of Item Proposal C, a mandate to start student instruction for the school year in distance learning mode, which would have applied to all schools. Individual schools are still able to start the school year in distance-learning mode for the majority of their students, as some are planning to do.

View our group's testimony submittal below!


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