2020-03-24-Extended-Closure-Update

Dear HIDOE parents and guardians,

We know these are uncertain and anxious times for everyone in our communities and we sincerely appreciate your patience and aloha as our response to this health crisis continues to evolve and we make the needed adjustments for health and safety. 

Based on the latest guidance and information from health officials and our elected leaders, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) will be aligning with the emergency orders directing residents statewide to remain at home and work from home through April 30. This means school facilities will be closed to students until at least April 30 and traditional in-school instruction is on hold until schools reopen. 

HIDOE and charter schools will be sending out information about enrichment opportunities, including online resources and instructional packets. We encourage you to look out for information from your child’s school and teachers. 

Please know that our public school system is still operating during this crisis. We are using alternative methods as we maximize our telework approach and find ways to remain connected with students. The HIDOE team is actively engaged in providing much-needed, modified services during these unprecedented times, including thousands of meals for children and enrichment opportunities. 

We are focused on minimizing disruption for students and supporting their emotional well-being. For tips and tools to navigate and support your child’s continuous learning, please visit bit.ly/HIDOEVirtualLearningParentResource.

By the end of this week, we will be sharing specific plans for our 10,000 eligible graduates. We will also be sharing out next-level information based on the planning work accomplished by our teachers and principals to guide us through the end of the school year. 

The Department of Education remains focused on and committed to our educational mission and we look forward to resuming instruction and a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Christina Kishimoto Superintendent

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HIDOE extends school closures, implements remote work to maintain essential functions

19-Mar-2020

The Hawaii State Department of Education will keep all public schools closed for a total of three weeks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.


The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced today it will keep all public schools closed for a total of three weeks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition, HIDOE offices except for essential functions will be closed for the next 15 days. School and state offices will continue to provide public services remotely.

“Closing our schools will help safeguard the health of our children, teachers, staff and surrounding communities as we fight against the spread of COVID-19,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “We appreciate the support and commitment of our public school ‘ohana as we collectively navigate these uncharted waters.”

Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne added, “Our entire state must band together to combat community spread of the virus and school closures are an important part of the response. We will work closely with the Department and our federal partners to ensure that education requirements continue to be met and students have access to such essential services as meals.”

HIDOE schools and offices

All public and charter schools will remain closed to students through April 6, following the extended spring break period. Barring any future changes, return dates will be staggered as follows:

  • April 3: Custodians, principals and administrators return to work.
  • April 4-5 (weekend): Custodians continue deep cleaning of campuses.
  • April 6: Teachers return to work to prepare classrooms.
  • April 7: Students return to school.

Spring break was originally scheduled to run from March 16-20 for most HIDOE schools. The Department announced last week that the break would be extended by one week through March 27. The state’s three multi-track schools — Kapolei Middle, Mililani Middle and Holomua Elementary — were placed on break for the same dates. The latest closure runs through April 6 for students.

Employees will be working remotely and those who need to perform duties at a campus or office during this period will be limited to those tasks before returning to their telework arrangement.

Student meal service

During the extended closure, HIDOE will continue to provide student meals, including providing grab-and-go breakfast and lunch at select schools to children 18 years and under at the following days and times:

  • Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. for breakfast.
  • Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. for lunch.
  • Note: Meals will not be served on Thursday, March 26 in observance of Prince Kuhio Day. Some schools may start serving meals later in the week.

A list of the pick-up sites is available here. The locations were selected based on criteria including a high number of students eligible for the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program and geography. HIDOE is monitoring the situation and may add additional sites if necessary.

Graduation and other school events

Following earlier guidance, the Department canceled or postponed events involving large groups. Graduation ceremonies, which are normally held in mid-to-late May, have not yet been modified and any necessary scheduling changes will be announced at a future date.

Notification of COVID-19 cases

In the event there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 involving an individual in a HIDOE school community, the Department will not be issuing a notification. This outreach will be done by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) in order to avoid any potential Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations. We encourage those who are concerned to consult with their health care provider and continue to monitor the DOH website for updates at www.hawaiicovid19.com.