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Distance learning a necessary option for elementary students

Seriously, no distance learning for elementary schools on Kaua‘i?

My family and I very much believe in the effectiveness of the vaccine for COVID-19. All of us were vaccinated as soon as we were eligible.

My 8-year-old and my 2-year-old are still waiting.

Until vaccinated, I believe all elementary-age children, those under 12, should at least have the option to utilize distance learning as we did last year when the virus was under control and we had very few tourists. Now that we, at last count had five people hospitalized and nearly 50 active cases on Kaua‘i, it only makes sense that distance learning be offered at least one school on Kaua‘i.

At this point, there are only about 30 schools on O‘ahu, Maui and the Big Island that are offering distance learning for elementary-age students. This is only around 13% of elementary schools in Hawai‘i.

The problem is that none of the Kaua‘i elementary schools are offering this option. These vulnerable children are not eligible for a vaccination until late this year, so it should be offered at least until then.

I was told that only myself and possibly one other parent was interested in distance learning for Koloa School. I find that very hard to believe with cases rising and the transmissability of the delta variant. The distance-learning choice is being offered to the middle schools and high schools on Kaua‘i, but not the elementary.

If you watch the news or read the paper, you know that the virus is now hitting much-younger people. My daughter really wants things back to normal, as we all do, but until a vaccination is available, we should be able to reinstate or resume distance learning. These children are social people, but do we really need to wait for a school outbreak or death to do what should have been done all along?

Not everyone can stay home with their keiki, but if we can, we should have that option. This is not something I want forever. This is just something I would like available until she is fully vaccinated.

Maybe someone in the Hawai‘i DOE believes this is just like the flu virus and will just float away, as we were told by the former president. I start to wonder what political party is represented at the DOE. Distance learning isn’t needed for those who are or can be vaccinated.

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Lana M. Lopez-Lono is a resident
of Koloa.
Source: The Garden Island

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