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Teachers react to delayed start

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    MAUI, HI (KITV ) — The Board of Education ruled Thursday public schools would start class August 17th.

Some teachers tell KITV4 they are hoping the extra nine days of preparation and training will help iron out some concerns.

“We’re possibly facing shortages of the cleaning and preparation supplies we need,” said Lisa Morrison, teacher at Waena Intermediate School on Maui.

The Department of Education estimated needed $150,000 per month for personal protective equipment. It is unclear how much money the state will allocate for this.

Another policy needing uniform guidance, Morrison said, is campus visitation.

“There was a meeting this morning and we were working with drills in the background and all of those people coming in to work are not people normally on our campus. Yesterday we had fire alarms they were testing those are all outside workers coming in to help us get ready but that’s increased exposure,” Morrison explained.

Statewide, parents are being given the option of keeping their child home and partaking in distance learning.

Morrison said at Waena, roughly 300 of their 1,100 students have already informed the school they will be opting for total distance learning to start the year. At McKinley High School in Honolulu, registrar, Hawaii State Teachers Association Vice President, Osa Tui reports 300 of their 1,600 students are doing the same. That’s 27.3% and 18.75% of the student body respectively.

Teachers are not given the option to teach from home, and the HSTA reports 8 of Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School’s 44 classroom teachers have already announced they will be taking leave or retiring prior to this year (18.2%).

“If it’s just a matter of time before we get sick, and it kind of feels like that, we should take as much precaution as we can,” explained Morrison.

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