HONOLULU (KHON2) — Despite the new stay at home order, the Department of Education said schools are essential, and there will be no changes to the system. Public school teachers will continue to report to campus.

Are you ready for hurricane season, find local resources and preparation advice here

The DOE said in a statement:

“Having teachers on campus provides access to resources and teaching materials, a consistent work environment to manage distance learning, opportunities for peer collaboration, and access to centralized technical support, if needed.”

The DOE adds being essential also means it can continue to keep staff employed.

However, the Hawaii State Teacher’s Association said all teachers should be allowed the option to work from home.

“I don’t understand why the governor doesn’t say that our teachers should have the ability to work at home like everyone else does, and I just feel it’s unfair,” said Corey Rosenlee, HSTA president.

Telework requests can be sent in, however, the Department of Education said the requests are approved on a case by case basis.

“Teachers have to be able to show that they can adequately do their work from home,” said Rosenlee. “Teachers are doing that, and they’re being denied even though they can show that.”

The Department of Education (DOE) said administrators may deny requests if they determine it’s not in the best interest of the students or the department.

Rosenlee said they have been trying to work with principals and area superintendents to make sure teachers have the option to telework.

“The idea is that if some teachers are staying at home, and some are staying at school you’re reducing the risk because not everyone is on the campus together,” said Rosenlee. “They’re not having to share common spaces or restrooms or even the copy machine.”

As for the University of Hawaii, deans and chairs have been asked to further reduce in-person classes during the two-week stay at home order.

UH said essential services such as University Health Services, Counseling and Student Development Center, Childrenʻs Center, and the residence halls will remain physically open.

Dining at campus residence halls will also be take-out only. Both Hamilton and Sinclair libraries will stay open, possibly with fewer workers.

Latest Stories on KHON2