Parker School Welcomes Students Back to Campus

August 11, 2020, 1:45 PM HST (Updated August 11, 2020, 1:45 PM)
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A lower school student is screened for a fever before entering campus at Parker's lower school. (PC: Parker School)
Upper school students attend class in newly redesigned rooms that include 3 to 6 feet of social distancing between desks and a plexiglass barrier between teachers and students. (PC: Parker School)
A parent drops off his lower school students at Parker's first day of school on Monday, August 10. (PC: Parker School)
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Parker School welcomed students back to campus on Monday for the first time since March 13 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. More than 295 students are enrolled in grades K-12 for the school’s 45th academic year.

For the first week of school, students have been divided into smaller cohorts to help ease students, faculty, and parents into the school year with an intentional and low-stress introduction to new campus safety protocols and the different instructional scenarios that might be called upon during the pandemic.

“Everyone is eager to return to campus to continue learning in this beautiful community,” said new Head of School, Stephen Dunn. “Students and faculty are so careful to keep our collective safety in mind as we navigate campus, classrooms and conversations. I am encouraged by the respect that they are paying to each other. We know that being on campus provides the best educational environment, so we are fortunate to bring everyone back to start the school year.”

New safety protocols include daily health screenings, additional custodial staff to increase frequency of cleaning, additional hand washing stations installed around campus, as well as new desks and desk arrangements that create the 3 to 6 feet physical distancing as endorsed by the State of Hawai’i Department of Health.

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Additionally, lower school classes will remain in “cohort bubbles” by grade to minimize the number of individuals with whom students are in contact with throughout the school day. In the middle and upper school, classes have been balanced to just 16 students or less to enhance safety.

Parents and students were given the option to attend remotely. For the approximately 9% of students who chose this option, they will participate in classes at scheduled times via remote technology, including cameras, microphones, speakers, that have been added to every classroom coupled with learning management through Google Classroom for middle and upper school, to create a consistent and predictable learning experience.

“Families are always looking for a safe educational environment for their children, but more so during this pandemic,” said Parker Admissions Director, Makela Bruno-Kidani. “We are very fortunate to have a spacious campus with faculty and staff dedicated and committed to the health and safety of our students and entire school community. It is an immensely challenging year for educators and families worldwide and I have deep respect for all schools and communities faced with the challenge of keeping everyone safe. Our small school setting allows our ‘ohana to work this out together.”

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