OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
August 4, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) has developed new safety protocols for student-athletes and coaches to participate in fall sports for the 2021-22 school year. You are receiving this letter because your child is involved with athletics at school.
We opened the new school year this week with in-person learning and our highest priority is to ensure all students, including your child, can continue to attend school safely.
Effective Sept. 24, 2021, all HIDOE student-athletes, athletic staff and volunteers participating in school-sanctioned athletic activities will need to be fully vaccinated. Full vaccination is defined as two weeks after a second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
In the meantime, due to the state's high positivity rate, the Department is delaying the start of the fall athletic season until Sept. 24 to allow for anyone unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated to get inoculated.
This decision was not made lightly because we know the important role athletics play in a well- rounded education, but we cannot jeopardize the health and safety of our students and communities. The alternative is canceling the season outright, which we do not want to have to do. We are implementing this layered plan that prioritizes vaccinations as the best way to protect against and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Students and staff who get an initial COVID vaccine dose by Aug. 20 can be fully vaccinated by the Sept. 24 deadline. Any individual who is not fully vaccinated by this date will not be allowed to participate in athletics.
Timeline scenario for the Pfizer vaccine, which has emergency use authorization for adolescents 12 and older and requires two shots 21 days apart. (The Moderna vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older, and requires two shots 28 days apart.)
Parents and Guardians August 4, 2021
Vaccination cards will be scanned by the school and a copy will be kept with other required documents and submitted to the school health assistant for input into the student’s health records. Copies of vaccination cards shall be treated as confidential health information.
Students and adults may seek exemption from COVID-19 vaccination requirements for religious or medical reasons, with the appropriate documentation. Medical exemptions (🔗bit.ly/3imCg8E) must be verified in writing by a licensed physician. If an exemption is granted, the individual will be allowed to participate in athletics but will be required to submit to twice-weekly COVID-19 tests.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Keith T. Hayashi
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