HONOLULU — With less than two weeks before the start ofew school year, the state Department of Education has posteda list of about 100 schools that will offer distance learning.
Hawaii public school students return to classes Aug. 3. Twenty-eight Big Island schools will offer distance learning.
Offering online instruction is a shift from last month, when Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said there would be no full distance-learning options.
According to department spokeswoman Nanea Kalani, an estimated 10% of the student population expressed interest via surveys in distance learning, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. She said demand could increase if the pandemic continues to worsen. The highly transmissible delta variant has sent Hawaii’s daily count of new COVID-19 cases into triple digits recently.
Distance learning spots are limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students at schools that aren’t on the list may apply for geographic exceptions to participate in a different school’s online program.
Some parents criticized the state for taking too long to come up with a distance learning plan.
“It’s very disappointing,” Bryan Costa, a parent of a third grade student, told Hawaii News Now. “I can’t say I’m surprised that the state has waited so long to come up with a plan to be transparent.”
Costa doesn’t like that the program at his daughter’s school offers no interaction with teachers, who are only there for grading. But he said he’s more worried about sending her to in-person classes because the 8-year-old has diabetes and is too young to be vaccinated.
Participating Hawaii Island schools are:
EB deSilva Elementary
Hilo Union Elementary
Honokaa High & Intermediate
Chiefess Kapi’olani Elementary
Kau High and Pahala Elementary
Mountain View Elementary
Pahoa High & Intermediate
Paauilo Elementary & Intermediate
For the full list and more details, visit https://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/Pages/DistanceLearning.aspx