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Some students may return to schools

LIHU‘E — Friday, the state Department of Education Kaua‘i Complex Area office announced it will revise island school distance-learning models through the second quarter of the current school year, from Oct. 12 to Dec. 18.

“We are making these changes due to the low COVID-19 case count and infection rate for our island,” DOE Complex Area Superintendent Paul Zina said.

Zina said there will be more in-person learning for students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grades, more in-person learning for additional identified students in secondary schools grades six to 12, and mask-wearing with 6-feet social-distancing measures are still required for all in-person learning.

Parents who want to keep their children learning from home still have the option of full distance learning for all grades, he said. Distance learning will stay in place for secondary students to ensure consistent school operations and continuity of instruction for credit-earning courses.

Zina said schools will continue educational programming to meet identified students’ needs, such as campus learning hubs.

“The Kaua‘i Complex Area superintendent will continue to work with school principals to develop plans for each school model of instruction, with considerations for community-specific needs,” Zina said. “(We) will continue to work closely with state, county and health officials to assess when students can safely return to more in-person learning as the year continues.”

On Thursday, the DOE announced new thresholds and guidelines for principals to use to decide how and when to reopen their schools after the first quarter.

According to the state Department of Health, the new metrics outline five levels of community transmission of COVID-19 that would trigger corresponding learning model parameters for schools to consider and to assist with decision-making. Those metrics are updated every Friday.

For more information, see health.hawaii.gov/.

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Stephanie Shinno, features, education, business, and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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