More in-person learning for elementary and secondary students will begin starting the second quarter, the Kaua’i Complex Area Superintendent announced Friday.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Hawai‘i’s students to start to the 2020-21 school year via distance learning. However, the new metrics provided by the Department of Health could allow some schools to offer a blended-learning model for the second quarter, which runs from Oct. 12 to Dec. 18.
Superintendent Paul Zina stated the district was making these changes due to the low COVID-19 case count and infection rate for the Garden Island. Changes include:
More in-person learning for elementary students (grades PK-5).
More in-person learning for additional identified students in secondary schools (grades 6-12).
Mask wearing and six feet of social distancing is still a requirement of all in-person learning. Full distance learning is still an option for all grades and will stay in place for secondary students to ensure consistent school operations and continuity of instruction for credit-earning courses.
Schools will continue educational programming to meet identified students’ needs, such as campus learning hubs.
With DOH’s new metrics, schools statewide may choose from among three different learning models: learning from home in which students and teachers engage in virtual classes only, traditional in-person learning in the classroom, or a hybrid blended-learning model that combines both home learning and in-person classroom learning.
The learning models are based on community transmission levels with different thresholds established for elementary and secondary students. This metric is the number of positive COVID-19 cases per 10,000 over a 14-day period by island. DOH updates this metric every other week in posts that can be found here.
Zina said he will continue to work with school principals to develop plans for each school model of instruction, with considerations for community-specific needs. The Kaua’i Complex Area Office 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.