The Hawai‘i State Department of Education released a new online report showing the progress made toward reopening Lahaina schools. The report indicates the status of pending action items such as soil testing and air and water quality, and the criteria to safely reopen schools for students and staff of Lahainaluna High, Lahaina Intermediate, Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary and King Kamehameha III Elementary.
The report will be updated as new information becomes available while the Department works toward reopening the Lahaina campuses after fall break and can be accessed at bit.ly/LahainaSchoolsProgressReport.
“By making vital data readily accessible to the public, we aim to keep our school communities informed while fostering trust and confidence in our response efforts,” said Superintendent Keith Hayashi.
During staff and community meetings in late August, Superintendent Hayashi announced a tentative goal of welcoming students back to the three West Maui campuses after fall break, which runs from Oct. 9-13. An exact date for students to return will depend on each school’s phased reopening schedule.
Three of the four Lahaina schools — Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate and Lahainaluna High — have been closed since the wildfires as they undergo environmental assessments for air, water and soil quality, as well as ensuring stable power and sufficient broadband connectivity. The King Kamehameha III Elementary campus was damaged beyond repair. When schools reopen after fall break, the immediate plan is for King Kamehameha III Elementary students and staff to share a campus with Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary while a future temporary site for the school is planned.
In the meantime, the Department has designated temporary schools for students to return to learning environments with their teachers and peers to help facilitate the healing process and restore some sense of normalcy as we await clearance for the Lahaina campuses to reopen.
As of Sept. 13, more than 800 displaced and impacted students have re-enrolled in other public schools. The Department is providing free bus service for impacted elementary and intermediate students from Lahaina to attend designated schools in Central and South Maui.
In-person learning hubs are also being rolled out. A distance learning hub for K-8 Lahaina students will begin welcoming students on Sept. 19 at Citizen Church located at 4275 Hine Way in Lahaina. The learning hub will provide distance learning students with in-person opportunities for teacher support and peer socialization, as well as access to meals, recess, social-emotional learning and other resources.
Two other learning hubs will be offered in West Maui: one for high-needs special education students and another for Kaiapuni Hawaiian language immersion K-8 students. Families are being contacted directly for the special needs hub. Details on the Kaiapuni hub will be announced once plans are finalized.
Families who need assistance can call the Department’s support hotline at 808-727-6880 or text SUPPORT to 808-736-1427, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For updates on Maui schools, see: bit.ly/Maui-School-Updates