Hawaii schools to offer online and in-person summer courses

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HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii public schools are expected to offer in-person and online course options this summer, education officials said.

Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said in-person instruction will be available to students who struggled with distance learning resulting from coronavirus restrictions, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

There are also expected to be distance learning courses for other students, with 18 mostly middle and high schools already committed.

Plans are still being made in response to communication with parents, Kishimoto said.

“There are parents who are taking full advantage of the online tele-learning approach because it fits the readiness of the students," Kishimoto said, "but there are also a whole group of students where tele-learning is not appropriate to their needs.”

Special­-education students typically are educated in small group settings, while some will need individual instruction, she said.

Classrooms will have a maximum of six to eight students and focus on those who are “most struggling,” Kishimoto said.

“In order to keep to the social-distance guidance to have a slow start-up to school reopening, we are keeping very limited numbers at school sites,” she said.

Summer courses offered to high school students through E-school, an online program that has operated for years, are already full and have waiting lists. Additional registrations are not being taken.

Seniors in the class of 2020 were allowed to enroll in summer courses because of the disruption of their final school year.

The Hawaii Board of Education is scheduled to consider a resolution Thursday directing the education department to give priority to students most affected by the switch to distance learning because of the pandemic.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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