HONOLULU (KHON2) — With the impact of COVID-19 on the last semester of school, some students will be returning this summer to make up grades and even get ahead. Due to this impact, the Department of Education (DOE) said it has created a way to help students who have fallen behind.
“There are opportunities that we’ve opened up for credit recovery from 6th grade all the way to 12th grade, and that’s new this year,” said Christina Kishimoto, Hawaii Department of Education superintendent.
Kishimoto said there are 6,000 slots available, and a major focus will be on high school juniors and seniors.
“Juniors and seniors, they won’t need to pay for their credit recovery work because they’ve been the ones most impacted by this crisis,” said Kishimoto.
While the majority of classes will be online, there will also be the opportunity for in-person instruction. She said each classroom will have six to eight students maximum.
“We also have students who have had a significant challenge during [the fourth quarter] in getting online. [They] may not have had Wi-Fi access [or] did not have good attendance in responding to teachers,” said Kishimoto.
To help, the Department of Education is rolling out a pilot project to bring internet service to students in Kau on the Big Island, Hana on Maui, Molokai and Kauai.
“Four pilot sites …those will be mobile hubs that allow for instruction to be scheduled in different parts in different parts of the community that has poor [WiFi reception],” said Kishimoto.
Kishimoto said they are discussing ways to ensure all students have the equipment and that internet capability they need when they return to class the next school year.
While there are no set plans in place yet, she did give an idea about what this might look like.
“We will be looking at some type of staggered startup to provide a couple of opportunities. One is to adjust to the new health and safety standards that will be in place or guidelines for the reopening of all schools in Hawaii,” said Kishimoto.
Kishimoto said they will be watching how summer learning goes and see if they can carry anything over to the fall semester. She said they are looking at an August 4 reopen date for public schools.
“The idea of opening up August 4 is also going to be focused on making sure that we assess where students are, [what their] learning needs [are], and [set] up new goals for them as we start the new year,” said Kishimoto.
Summer school begins on June 2. For information on how to apply, you can visit the Department of Education’s website.