Hawaii’s public schools will reopen with students and teachers on campus for the new school year, according to an agreement between the Board of Education and the teachers’ union.
Public schools were closed after the spring break and remained closed until the end of the school year due to COVID-19.
“The Hawaii State Teachers Association, the State of Hawaii and the Board of Education have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to allow for continuity of education next year with some contract changes while ensuring the safety of teachers and students, “HSTA said Sunday in a notice. to members.
Under the agreement, schools will maintain six feet of separation between and among students and staff “whenever possible”. all individuals, including employees, students and campus visitors, should wear face covers, especially in circumstances where sufficient physical distance is difficult or impossible; there will be exceptions to the face cover rule for situations such as when it is unsafe or presents a medical risk; and schools will practice proper cleaning and disinfection, including providing cleaning and hygiene supplies, personal protective equipment and a guaranteed refund if supplies are not available and teachers have to buy them.
The union’s board of directors voted “overwhelmingly to approve the agreement in principle to ensure a certain number of protections at the start of the 2020-2021 school year”.
The Ministry of Education has accepted “almost every” HSTA proposal on health and safety in schools and workplaces, the union said. DOE did not agree to provide child care to teachers in public schools whose children are affected by hybrid schedules, was not willing to agree to negotiate anything requiring specific class configurations, processes and health and safety procedures, or a 100% mask rule with no exceptions. said the union.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education did not return an SMS on Sunday evening, seeking comments on the agreement.
“While this agreement does not guarantee all of the options we are looking for, we firmly believe that this is the best protection we can negotiate given these unprecedented circumstances,” said the union.
Click here to view our full coverage of the coronavirus epidemic. Submit your advice on coronaviruses.