HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said Thursday the state’s public schools would start combining stay-at-home and remote learning instruction during the second quarter that starts next month, but the teachers union vowed to fight the plan.
Most schools in the state have been teaching students through distance learning since the start of the school year in August in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Schools will begin the shift while following new guidelines issued by the state Department of Health, Kishimoto said. The second quarter of the school year starts on Oct. 12.
The guidelines suggest schools adopt in-person instruction or learning from home depending on the number of positive COVID-19 cases on each island over a 14-day period. It provides numeric thresholds that would trigger a reevaluation.
The spread of the virus varies by island, so the department will determine what approach to take based on the conditions in each community.
The teachers union, however, said it would fight the plan, calling it “dangerous.”
Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said the union would ask the Board of Education to institute distance learning at least until the second semester begins on Jan. 4.
He said the health and education departments didn’t consult the union.
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