Parents, schools welcome news of in-person learning and return of athletics this fall


(HONOLULU) KHON2 — It’s the announcement many parents have been waiting for.

Public schools will go back to fulltime in-person learning this fall.

Schools Superintendent, Christina Kishimoto, made the announcement on Monday in a letter to parents.

Parents say this is the moment that their kids have been waiting for.

“I think my child is going to be a ecstatic that school is back full time and that she’ll get to see her friends on a regular basis,” said Joey Lee, a parent of a Ma’ema’e Elementary School student. “Seeing each other in-person and doing things together in-person is going to make a world of difference. Especially for the socialization and their confidence level.”

The teacher’s union also supports the decision, but safety remains a priority.

“I think we still just have the concern about how many parents and students are going to feel safe to come back,” said Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. “We hope to encourage them, that our classrooms will be safe and we do want our students back in the classroom.”

Waimalu Elementary School says, they’re confident with present safety guidelines in place.

“We ask everyone to stay home when they’re sick, a lot of hand washing, distancing, and masking,” said Glen Iwamoto, principal of Waimalu Elementary School. “I kind of think that until the bulk of our students are vaccinated, that we’ll probably keep those protocols in place.”

COVID-19 vaccines remain a recommendation and not a requirement to attend school. Vaccinations are being offered at all public high schools. Middle school campuses are up next.

“For certain teachers and students, they cannot take the vaccination for medical reasons. So, it’s so important for those that can do it, to do it, so that we can keep everyone safe in our classrooms and on our campuses,” Rosenlee said.

A step back into normalcy means no distance learning options. However, some teachers plan to work with students on a case by case basis.

“I think still having a possible distance learning option for those that are still apprehensive,” said Lenn Uyeda, principal of Ma’ema’e Elementary You know, it might be a little different next year, then what it is this year, because we do want everybody back on campus, you know, that’s the goal.”

More reaction from parents on news of in-person learning returning full time.

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