Schools in the Kailua-Kalaheo complex area will do distance learning into December

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — At least 14 schools on Oahu have announced they will continue with full distance learning into December.

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This comes even after the state’s new metric chart shows Oahu is cleared for blended learning models.

About a week ago, the Department of Education announced many schools will gradually move toward blended learning models over the second quarter but we learned one school complex on the Windward side of Oahu has decided not to.

In a letter to the Kailua-Kalaheo Complex Area, which includes 14 schools, Superintendent Lanelle Hibbs says:
“After weighing out the new Department of Health metrics and suggested guidance with the need to maintain consistency and safety, the Kailua-Kalaheo Complex Area leaders have collectively decided to continue delivering instruction through a full distance learning mode until the end of the fall semester on December 18.”

But according to the state’s school re-opening metrics that were released only about a week ago, Oahu could still operate under a blended learning model.

When it comes to re-opening, the Department of Education tells us schools take into consideration guidance from the health department, CDC, students’ needs, and the board.

A spokeswoman says with the exception of a few schools, nearly all complex areas plan to at least start the second quarter as is.

The teachers’ union president says he questions the metrics from the state health department and even the CDC.

“One is that the numbers for the Department of Health are without basis,” said Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee. “They have not shown where they got these numbers from. There’s totally out of the norm of what the CDC is recommending. Then the second question is, even if you use the CDC numbers, what is the basis for showing that the CDC numbers are effective.”

The union believes all schools across the state should be doing distance learning until the end of the second quarter, or face a possible explosion of cases.

“What we are still watching from across the United States is similar sized school districts are either closing, or if they do open, there has been disastrous results,” said Rosenlee.

This Thursday the Board of Education will be discussing the states guidance for schools on COVID-19 in a special meeting.

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