October 12, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has completed an instructional review of the online curriculum Acellus Learning Accelerator. This review was prompted by numerous parent, school and community complaints around issues of questionable and inappropriate content, rigor and alignment to standards.
Based on its analysis, the review team recommended the program should be discontinued as a primary curriculum resource due to its inconsistency in quality and rigor. The HIDOE recognizes the curriculum does contain content that reviewers found acceptable and aligned to standards, and will be working with schools that use Acellus to identify and leverage such content, as appropriate.
During the summer months, in an effort to respond quickly, Acellus was offered to families reluctant to physically send their child to school when the school year opened. It was also used by schools as a supplemental tool to support distance learning needs during the pandemic.
The Department is finalizing a transition plan for Acellus users. We recognize there are families who will continue to request full distance-learning regardless of their child’s school model.
For secondary students pursuing credits for graduation using this program, the Department does not want to jeopardize students’ current progress. Secondary schools will address issues in collaboration with concerned parents to ensure students are supported through the school year. For elementary students, we are working to provide options schools can offer as supplementary learning opportunities to families whose children are in distance learning.
It is clear this issue has caused disruption, and for that we apologize. We are working to move forward in a manner that supports our students in the least disruptive manner possible. I want to assure you we are committed to providing the best learning experiences possible, especially during these challenging times.
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto