Hawaii public schools will close out the 2020 school year online, according to Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent of the Department of Education.
“May 28 is the last day of school for this academic year, which means we will complete the school year in this extended learning mode,” Kishimoto said.
Initially, the distance learning was scheduled to end on April 30th, but amid the coronavirus outbreak, it has been extended.
Governor David Ige acknowledged the disappointment high school seniors are dealing with.
“Our thoughts are with Hawaii’s high school seniors,” Governor Ige said. “This should have been an exciting end to the 2020 school year: looking forward to proms, your final yearbook, and of course, graduation.”
Kishimoto said there will still be alternative celebrations to celebrate the state’s 11,000 graduating seniors.
“Each of our high schools will be sharing the approach that they’re going to take, while still ensuring it’s a safe and healthy environment, in which our kids can be celebrated,” Kishimoto said.
The Department of Education said it will provide summer internship opportunities for high schoolers within the department.
“We know many of our high school students have already been told that their internships or summer jobs have been eliminated because there are so many questions about whether or not those jobs will be able to be safely executed during this COVID pandemic, so we want to be able to have an alternative, and we’re supporting our students by providing some of these internship opportunities within the Department of Education,” Kishimoto explained.
Summer school will also be taught online.
“The other opportunity is students can sign up for E-courses, which allows them to get ahead with credits,” Kishimoto said. “For the lower grades, we are still planning for them because we want to make sure our young students, especially students in grades 1, 2 and 3 are at or above reading grade level, so we will be making some adjustments for them, and planning for them,” she explained.
Kishimoto said students not performing on grade level are able to work one-on-one with teachers online to improve.
“We have 180,000 students involved in this distance learning approach, that’s both for the Department of Education, and our charter school partners,” Kishimoto said.