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Thursday, July 2, 2020
Fake it to Make it: DoE Releases 'Return to Learn' Plan
By News Release @ 6:53 PM :: 3229 Views :: Education K-12, COVID-19

The Real Plan for Fall Semester—School 2 Days per Week, Teachers Get Paid for 5 days

CB July 3, 2020: … Kapolei Middle School, home to about 1,100 students, has already chosen an instructional model that divides its students into two groups. Each group will come to campus twice a week, with teachers reporting to campus all five days of the week.

(CLUE: This is going to be the plan for all non-Elementary schools statewide.)

There will still be five days of instruction, said Principal Richard Fajardo, since the kids who are not in the physical classroom will be learning from home. It won’t be live, face to face instruction, he said, but teachers will issue pre-planned assignments and expect their students to complete them by the end of day.

The school’s most vulnerable students will come to campus more frequently, he said….

One lingering question is what working parents will do when their kids are not physically in school and they have to provide child care….

HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said the union unsuccessfully fought for a clause in the reopening contract that would have allowed teachers’ kids to report to campus five days a week, under the same priority as vulnerable students…. 

Big Q: What do you think of the state Education Department’s back-to-school plan?

SA: It will be a tall order to meet annual academic achievement goals

KITV: HSTA expresses dissatisfaction with social distancing guidelines set forth by DOE

VIDEO: HSTA Objects To Hawaii DOE Guideline For Social Distancing

HNN: Teachers union isn’t on the same page as DOE on what ‘social distancing’ means

read … Here’s How Hawaii Plans To Bring Kids Back To School This Fall

Kauai: Virus Shifts Kekaha ES to 100% Online

TGI July 3, 2020: … Kekaha Elementary School’s summer school program has gone back online because an individual associated with the school is among the existing COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i.

Yesterday, (DOE) Department of Education confirmed the existence of the individual with COVID-19, but couldn’t provide further information due to identity-protection laws.

The entity confirmed Thursday the school is not closed; instead, it has shifted to online learning.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has already notified those who may be potentially impacted by the case …

read … Virus sends Summer school online in Kekaha

Hilo HS: Teachers voting on their preference

HTH July 3, 2020: … Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area Superintendent Chad Keone Farias said he likes the DOE’s guidelines….

As of Thursday, schools in the complex area had not made any decisions in regard to learning models they plan to implement. Principals were meeting with teachers Thursday, Farias said.

A decision on what model the Hilo High School will adopt for the school year had not been made as of Thursday, but Principal Jasmine Urasaki said teachers were voting on their preference. However, Urasaki said she suggested the model and schedule the school decides on be conducive at all levels of COVID-19’s community impact.…

read … Learning curve; Lessons from pandemic help shape DOE guidelines for 2020-21 school year

  *   *   *   *   *

Return to Learn: Hawai‘i public schools preparing to safely welcome back students and staff

The Department is committed to maintaining the standard 180 instructional days in the new school year while providing learning models that are developmentally appropriate to the needs of learners, adhere to health and safety guidelines, and consider the impact of COVID-19 in communities.

LINK: Return to Learn: School Reopening Plan

News Release from Hawaii DoE, 02-Jul-2020

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) today released its Return to Learn: School Reopening Plan that public schools are using to prepare safe and healthy learning environments and worksites for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

“As we move forward in our commitment to reopen schools on Aug. 4 for the fall semester, we know that the delivery of instruction in Hawai‘i, across the nation and globally is going to look very different,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “Our HIDOE  Ľohana has been diligently working on plans for the new school year, growing from our experience navigating a global pandemic and applying lessons learned toward our commitment to high-quality learning and equity of access.”

The Department is committed to maintaining the standard 180 instructional days in the new school year while providing learning models that are developmentally appropriate to the needs of learners, adhere to health and safety guidelines, and consider the impact of COVID-19 in communities.

School Models

As part of the reopening plan, HIDOE school leaders have created elementary, middle/intermediate, and high school models for reopening in the fall. Schools will be informing families about their selected models.

In general, models include face-to-face learning, where all students are on campus daily for instruction, and various blended learning models, where a combination of in-person learning and structured online distance learning is provided. Priority for daily face-to-face learning will be given to K-2 students and vulnerable students. The approaches support social distancing while ensuring academic rigor. See here for more information. 

All schools are preparing for the possibility of future school closures by increasing device accessibility to students, building teacher capacity for virtual engagement, and expanding course offerings for credits toward graduation. The Department recognizes there may be situations when parents may prefer virtual-only learning. The Department's E-School stands ready to provide courses for students in grades 6-12. The Department is exploring a K-5 virtual solution. Working with their home school, once a parent selects a virtual-only option, the parent commits to the program for the length specified in order to earn the credit or grade.

Health Safeguards

The Department worked closely with public health officials to develop guidelines around health and safety measures as part of the reopening plan. In consultation with labor unions representing school staff and using recommendations from the Hawai'i State Department of Health, the Department created baseline guidance for schools that include:

Cohorts: For on-campus learning, the same group of students should be kept with the same staff throughout the day; all day for younger students and as much as possible for older students.

  • Physical distancing: A distance of 6 feet between students and staff members should be maintained whenever possible.
  • Face coverings: Face coverings should be worn by employees, students and visitors, especially when physical distancing is difficult or impossible.
  • Meals: Individually plated meals are to be consumed in classrooms or at designated outdoor locations, or distancing precautions must be instituted in cafeterias. 
  • Ventilation: Windows should be opened for greater natural air circulation when possible. 
  • Monitoring health: Employees, students and visitors should be screened for overt signs of illness in a safe and respectful manner.
  • Hygiene: Adequate cleaning supplies, including soap, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be made available to schools and offices.
  • Sanitation: Campuses, classrooms and offices will be cleaned and disinfected on a routine and frequent basis. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least daily.
  • School buses: Students, drivers and anyone else riding the bus should wear face coverings, and physical distance should be maintained between children on buses.

Return to Learn Plan

The Return to Learn reopening plan articulates the scope of work required to respond to health and safety issues while implementing the Hawaii State Board of Education’s call to action for school communities “to give hope, act with kindness and work toward togetherness” in preparing for the reopening of schools. It’s scheduled to be presented at the Board’s July 9 meeting.

The plan is centered around seven topic areas to help guide decision-making: health and safety, school design, equity and access, operations, staff capacity, family and community, and contingency planning. School-level tools accompanying the plan include a Principal Handbook and Health and Safety Handbook.

As the situation evolves and as new guidance becomes available, the Department will adjust as necessary to uphold its commitment to providing a safe learning and working environment. 


KHON: WATCH: HSTA holds virtual news conference to discuss DOE plans to reopen schools


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