Public Schools to Open Monday, Five Charter Schools on Pause

All public schools on the Big Island will be open on Monday, May 7, and operate on normal schedules.

The Department of Education announced on Sunday afternoon that all public schools in the Hilo-Waiakea and Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Areas were inspected by structural engineers over the weekend and found no significant structural damage from recent earthquake activity.

“All public schools in the East Hawai`i area have been inspected for earthquake damage and are safe for students’ return on Monday,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto.  “All schools and staff will remain prepared for the unexpected and initiate established earthquake, shelter-in-place and evacuation safety procedures, should the need arise.”

The following is a summation of important updates as of 3 p.m., Sunday, May 6:

  • All public schools on the Big Island will be open on Monday, May 7.
  • Students who miss school due to evacuations will not be penalized for absences.  Schools will work with these students and families to address any missed learning requirements.
  • Staff who will miss work due to evacuations should notify their respective administration offices.
  • Air quality will be monitored at area schools.  Should air quality drop, schools are prepared to shelter-in-place in designated locations.
  • Safety protocols for earthquakes, tsunami and shelter-in-place are already established at all public schools and will be implemented if needed.
  • Additional counseling services are available for students and staff.
  • All complexes outside of Hawai`i Island are advised to cancel planned school trips to the Big Island through the end of the school year as a precaution.

While all Big Island public schools will be open on Monday, five Charter schools will not.

The Hawai`i State Public Charter School Commission reports on it’s website that Hawai`i Academy of Arts & Science PCS (HAAS), Ka ‘Umeke Ka`eo PCS, Ke Ana La`ahana PCS, Ke Kula `o Nawahiokalani`opu`u Iki LPCS and Kua O Ka La PCS wll be closed.

Kua O Ka La New Century will be closed on Monday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 8.


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