Students Finish the School Year Through Distance Learning


Courtesy of Big Island Video News

With all in-school education now closed, school superintendent Christine Kishimoto speaks about how the Department of Education is pursuing different approaches to student learning

Gisele Bisch, Staff Reporter

As three weeks have come to pass since the issued stay-at-home order, the DOE has announced that all schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, which is May 28th.

Joining the rest of the schools throughout the state with distance learning, all DOE schools’ in-school instruction – along with a formal commencement – is now canceled.

Since the closure of schools, many public-school students have been provided with ungraded “enrichment” assignments to continue learning. Now, teachers and students will officially communicate through distance learning approaches.

“Our buildings are closed, but our education system remains open,” said school superintendent Christine Kishimoto in a news conference on Friday. “In order to protect instruction during this major disruption, we are educating our students using distance learning, educational packets, and other approaches.”

In an effort to transition smoothly into the new distance learning approach, teachers are now being trained online for virtual teaching. “Our educators are doing tremendous work to reach out to and continue to educate our students,” said Kishimoto.

Kamehameha Schools senior Kyla Aken shared her feelings about the recent developments. “I feel that it is the best and safest option for the schools of Hawaii to take this course of action,” said Aken.

“I do believe that students deserve a better and more efficient method of learning because not all schools have the resources that we, Kamehameha Schools, do,” Aken said regarding the distance learning approach. “It’s important for all schools to continue teaching lessons to the extent that doesn’t interfere with family, personal, and, of course, the health of everyone’s lives.”