HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – More than 100 schools statewide will offer some form of distance learning when students return to school on Aug. 3.
But in the vast majority of the cases, teacher will only be responsible for grading and parents will oversee their child’s online instruction, according to the Department of Education’s list of schools offering distance learning.
And with less than two weeks before students return to classes, some parents criticized the state for taking too long to develop a distance learning program that they say is inadequate.
“It’s very disappointing. I can’t say I’m surprised that the state has waited so long to come up with a plan to be transparent. It’s been the state’s philosophy my whole life,” said Bryan Costa, a parent of an Ewa Beach third grader.
Costa was critical of the distance program at his eight-year-old daughter’s school because there’s no inaction with teachers who are only there for grading.
But he said he’s more worried about sending her to in person classes because she has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She’s high-risk and is too young to be vaccinated, he said.
He added that recent surge in case is alarming — since many involved children were not vaccinated.
“We’ve seen the case numbers rise … with very limited interaction with children,“ he said.
“Now once they attend school, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the case count is going to rise.”
The DOE said parents who want to participate need to contact their school principal, who will refer students to the state for eligibility. It said there are limited seats, on a first come, first served basis.
Department officials were not available for interviews on the distance learning plan.
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