HONOLULU (KHON2) — Maui schools outside of Lahaina are set to reopen on Wednesday, Aug. 16 while four schools inside of Lahaina will stay closed until further notice.

King Kamehameha III Elementary School was damaged beyond repair.

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Department of Education leadership and some lawmakers checked in on the damage at Lahainaluna High, Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahienaena Elementary schools on Tuesday, Aug. 15. The campuses sustained wind damage but the overall structure was in good condition.

DOE officials are encouraging affected families to reenroll their children in different schools — about 200 students signed up for others schools on Maui and off-island while nearly 100 signed up for distance learning — and the sudden upheaval caused stress for many families.

Mindi Cherry’s first grade classroom at King Kamehameha III Elementary School was reduced to a burnt shell and the rest of the school shared a similar fate.

“I even told my husband, like, I feel like I might throw up because it was just so devastating and unexpected,” Cherry said. “We had just had new books that we finally got this year. We had set up all of our textbooks and everything and everything just, it was just wiped out.”

Her daughter goes to Lahaina Intermediate, so the DOE told Cherry to enroll her at another school.

“But my thought on that is, I’m not going to enroll her somewhere else. She just lost her home and everything and I’m supposed to go put her in a school with kids she doesn’t know as a seventh grader? There’s no way I would do that to my child, I would homeschool her before I did that,” Cherry said.

Hawaii Technology Academy — a DOE charter school — said it is not as simple as it sounds.

“It’s difficult because your school of record is this school and now you’re going to come over to this school,” said HTA interim executive director Matt Zitello, “but what happens if you can’t even call the school?”

“How can we support the DOE? The DOE I think is still trying to figure out how they’re going to support themselves, so I’m interested to know, what can we do in Lahaina?”

Matt Zitello, Hawaii Technology Academy interim executive director

HTA said they can accommodate about 40 students who were displaced, but more coordination is needed from the DOE on where and when they can help out.

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“I can understand both sides, you know, like I don’t have a house,” Cherry said. “I don’t really know what I’m going to do the next day, but I feel like we’re in charge of around 600 humans at our school, so maybe just a little more communication so there’s a little less anxiety going around for parents, for teachers, for kids.”