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Hawaii school officials, unions agree to delay school year

HONOLULU — Hawaii public school officials have agreed to delay the start of the school year after unions complained schools weren’t ready to safely open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Schools were scheduled to reopen on Aug. 4, with most campuses planning to offer hybrid instruction where students alternate between in-person and online classes. The state Department of Education and unions representing school employees agreed to delay until Aug. 17.

The Hawaii Board of Education will meet Thursday on whether to approve the new date.

“We will use this time to prepare at yet another level, but I recognize this comes at a cost for public school parents and our students,” Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said in a statement. “My expectation is that if the Board approves the two week delay, that our labor partners will do an aggressive push to their members to be at schoolhouse doors on day one for our students.”

The extra time will allow for training, planning and preparation, the Hawaii State Teachers Association said in a statement to union members.

The first day for school employees will still be on Wednesday as planned.

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