Big Island Coronavirus Updates

HIDOE Announces Summer Education Plans

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Superintendent of Schools Christina Kishimoto.

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will deliver summer programming by both in-person and distance learning, according to a departmental press release Tuesday.

Traditional summer school programs will be done primarily via distance learning with some face-to-face options available for high-need students to comply with COVID-19 guidance from government and health officials, the release said.

“The state’s transition from the ‘Safer at Home’ phase to this new ‘Act with Care’ phase comes at a time when our complex areas and schools are preparing for blended summer learning plans,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “The focus of our programs over the next two months is targeted toward our high-need and hard to reach students, with added opportunities for credit advancement for our secondary students.”

“We are also assessing where we can expand on system and school design models that allow for continued distance learning opportunities into the fall including the permanent expansion of E-School programs and community-centric mobile learning labs,” she continued.

Summer School


The department will be rolling out expanded summer programming primarily via distance learning, as well as in-person where deemed necessary and targeted toward high-need and hard to reach students.

There are also opportunities for credit recovery, accelerating or advancing learning, and credit attainment — the last being particularly for vulnerable learners within technology-rich learning environments.

HIDOE’s 2020 summer learning comprises five main program areas: statewide credit recovery, statewide credit acceleration, official summer school, E-School and school-based opportunities.

The credit-recovery program is being offered at no cost to families for students currently in grades 11 and 12. The department will provide up to 6,000 students the opportunity to take up to six courses each. The department also will offer virtual learning via 19 official summer school sites and anticipates serving an estimated 4,000 students statewide, according to the HIDOE press release.

More information can be found here.


Mobile Learning Labs

Mobile learning labs that provide WiFi access will be launched in four pilot locations in early June to assist students who were not fully proficient at the end of the 2019-20 school year toward advancement to their next grade levels. Delivered learning will focus on English language arts/reading, mathematics, social studies and science. Pilot locations will focus on rural communities including Ka‘ū on Hawai‘i Island, Hāna on Maui, Moloka‘i and Kaua‘i, where connectivity and access are a challenge.

The goal of this pilot is to transition from summer Mobile Learning Labs into permanent Micro-Learning Hubs in the fall. This school design concept pushes student engagement into the communities and creates hubs where authentic project-based learning, hands-on sustainability lessons and applied arts can take place while expanding WiFi access, the release said.

Summer Feeding Program

The Grab-and-Go school meals program will be extended by four days beyond the end of the school year through June 3. HIDOE will transition to its summer food service program, the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), on June 4.


Currently, there are 35 participating public school sites that will be offering breakfast and lunch. Families are advised to verify if their school locations will be serving meals on June 4 before visiting. To help supplement the department’s efforts, sponsor sites at public agencies, churches and nonprofit organizations will also serve meals to children at other locations throughout the summer. The HIDOE’s SSO program runs through July 17. A list of sites is available here.

HIDOE Internships

To support graduating seniors who might typically be participating in extracurricular activities, community-based learning or part-time employment, HIDOE is working to provide a variety of summer internship opportunities within its state offices. The internships will provide a paid learning experience for recent graduates that are tied into Career and Technical Education areas of focus. Additional information will become available in the coming weeks and internships are expected to start in June.

Community Feedback

The Department launched a multi-phase distance learning survey for teachers, secondary students and families to learn more about the progression of distance learning and areas of need across the state. Surveys were distributed to all HIDOE teachers on May 18 and a survey link will be distributed to eligible secondary students today. The family survey will be available in early June. Survey results will inform the department of needed training, resources and support as schools plan for reopening.

The department continues to work closely with county and state officials on what the upcoming 2020-21 school year will look like. Education will undoubtedly be delivered much differently moving forward, and we continue to adapt to best serve all students. The department’s long-term solutions will support students and families with technology-rich learning environments that have become an expectation during this pandemic.

“I’m excited about the HIDOE initiatives that are coming to fruition because we are an organization of professionals that learns and designs based on student and community needs,” added Kishimoto. “One, in particular, is a plan to launch an IT support service called Ohana Help Desk for public school families who run into difficulties setting up their computers at home.”

“We already have a system in place for employees and will be expanding this into the community with the support of partner organizations,” she continued. “This is just one example of how the department is adapting and preparing to deliver on new design models for schools and our system.”

Updates about summer programs and COVID-19 impacts to HIDOE will continue to be posted on the department’s website.

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