OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
May 17, 2021
Aloha HIDOE Parents and Guardians,
As the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, I would like to first mahalo you for being a partner in your child’s education in a very challenging school year. I would also like to update you on plans for the upcoming academic year.
Improving conditions in our communities along with a growing body of science-backed research and updated health guidance have allowed us to increase in-person learning opportunities over the past two months at our elementary schools. I have been visiting schools statewide and it has been a great source of joy to hear the sounds of students engaged in learning and interacting with their peers and teachers again.
Our schools have proven to be safe spaces throughout this crisis. Despite more than 800 cases reported by schools and offices since June 2020, consistent adherence to safety protocols has meant that – to date – no transmission of the virus has occurred at a Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) facility.
These protocols include enforcing three essential strategies the Hawaii State Department of Health advises schools implement in every situation: Directing students and staff to stay home when sick, consistent mask-wearing, and proper hand hygiene.
We also now have an added layer of protection with COVID vaccinations more widely available and the recent approval of the vaccine for adolescents ages 12 and older. All of our high schools have been paired with health care providers to offer vaccinations to interested students and families, and we are now focusing on our middle school campuses. Additionally the Department is finalizing plans for weekly COVID testing at select pilot schools to further contain spread in our school communities.
With these systems in place, we are optimistic we can sustain positive changes and start to resume a sense of normalcy in the fall. For the 2021-22 school year scheduled to begin on August 3, all HIDOE schools will be fully open for daily, in-person learning. This includes resuming co-curricular and extracurricular activities such as clubs, band and athletics.
Thank you for continuing to prioritize your child's education amid these challenging times. We are ready and eager to welcome all of our students back.
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto
The new 7th grade health requirements went into effect July of 2020. These include the physical exam and vaccinations of HPV, MCV and TDAP.
For current 6th grade students, these new requirements must be met to enter the next school year of 2021-2022.
For current 7th grade students, missing these new requirements may delay entry to 8th grade or result in exclusion from school in the future.
For 8th grade through 12th grade students who do not have these requirements completed, please do so before the new school year starts.
These requirements should be filled out and signed by your child’s primary care provider on the Student Health Record Form 14, available from the school office, or scroll down to the attached form icon.
Click on the links below to view the for more information:
🔗7th Grade Health Requirement Video
🔗7th Grade Health Requirements FAQ's
March 5, 2021
Aloha Kaʻū-Keaʻau-Pāhoa Complex Area (KKP CA) ʻOhana, We have been working very hard as a complex area and most especially as a community to keep our keiki and kūpuna safe. We hope that you and your families are healthy and finding the support that is needed to endure these challenging times.
The number of COVID-19 cases in our community has been stable for the past few weeks because we have all worked so hard to use health and safety practices. As uncertain as the pandemic has been, our schools have learned to adapt to the ever-changing guidance. Beginning in late July 2020, schools began planning for a safe return that adhered to the parameters of the Governor’s orders as well as guidance from the CDC and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health. After months of implementation of distance learning and a variety of instructional models, schools are reflecting on what they have learned. Based on decreased infection rates and updated guidance from state and national organizations, schools are now able to revisit their return to learn plans and make adjustments.
Kaʻū-Keaʻau-Pāhoa Complex Area schools are aligned with Superintendent Kishimoto’s Reopening Plan. School leaders will continue to work collaboratively with the school community and communicate plans for the remainder of the school year as well as for summer learning. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.
Chad Keone Farias
Complex Area Superintendent
Kaʻū-Keaʻau-Pāhoa Complex Area
We will be holding two sessions for families about how to access Google Classroom, the tools associated with Google Classroom, and answering questions about distance learning on Wednesday, October 14 at 12:00 PM and again at 5:00 PM. This meeting will be held virtually.
Click Here to Join Meeting: https://meet.google.com/dva-eigw-dck
On your phone, dial: +1 276-738-2503
Enter this PIN when prompted: 826 373 115#
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
Starting Monday, October 12, Grab and Go Meals will have one pick up time from 11:30-12:00 at Pahoa Elementary School. Families will be provided a lunch and a breakfast meal for the next day as there will be no service for breakfast. If you have any questions, please contact 313-4300 for more details.
The Hawai‘i State Department of Education is currently seeking feedback from secondary students and families to learn more about first quarter experiences of the 2020-21 school year. This feedback is essential as we continue to assess system progress, identify areas where additional support is needed and coordinate resources.
Dear Parent(s)/Legal Guardian(s):
During these uncertain and challenging times, the health and safety of all of our students remain a top priority. We care about your child and we know that there are numerous social pressures and misinformation about the devastating impact of tobacco and e-cigarette products. We want to work with you as parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to keep children away from these products. Please talk to your child about making healthy choices and about what the law states for their own protection. According to Act 206(2018), Section 712-1258, Hawaii Revised Statutes, it is unlawful for any student under the age of 21 to purchase or possess any tobacco product or electronic smoking device (ESD). An ESD is defined as any electronic product that can be used to aerosolize and deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including but not limited to an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, or electronic pipe, and any cartridge or other component of the device or related product.
In addition, any tobacco product or ESD found in a student's possession is a violation of Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) Chapter 19, shall be seized by school administration, and forfeited to law enforcement. This is pursuant of Act 206 (HB 1895, HD1, SD1, CD1 ), Part II, Section 8(5) effective July 1, 2018.
Should you have further questions, talk to your school administration. At the state office, please contact, Ms. Sheli Suzuki, Educational Specialist, Student Support Section, at (808) 305-9787 or via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto Superintendent
Click on links below to read and view letters and announcements from the school.