Alaka‘i changing to flatten the COVID curve

  • Courtesy of Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i

    Opening day of school Monday at the gym on the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i campus near Koloa includes socially-distant desks for students.

KOLOA — Following the state Department of Education’s announcement of distance-learning models starting the school year, Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School is adjusting its schedule slightly to accommodate the Aug. 11 DOE announcement.

“We will follow and respect our colleagues in the Hawai‘i Department of Education,” said DJ Adams, Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i director. “Although we have been the only Hawai‘i Department of Education school and Hawai‘i charter school to welcome students back on campus, we will follow the outline in the announcement.”

The changes start Monday, Aug. 17, when students in grades one, two, three, four and six with last names starting with A through M reporting from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Students in grade five with last names starting with the letters A through L and all kindergarden students in Group Yellow will report at this time.

These students will also report to campus from 8:45 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 19 with the difference being that kindergarten students in Group Blue will report.

On Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 8:45 a.m. to noon, students in grades one, two, three, four and six with last names starting with N through Z report. All students in grade five with last names starting with M through Z will report, along with all kindergarten students in Group Orange.

These students will also report to campus from 8:45 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Aug. 20. The difference is the kindergarten students in Group Green will be on campus instead of Group Orange.

There will be no school on Friday, Aug. 21, due to the Statehood Day holiday, and Monday, Aug. 24 will be the start of mandatory distance-learning program that runs through Tuesday, Sept. 8, when the school will have a safety evaluation day for the return of on-campus, face-to-face education.

“If we are successful in flattening the curve of COVID infections, then we could move towards welcoming our student learners back on campus,” Adams said. “Sept. 14 is the projected date Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i is welcoming students back to campus for face-to-face education.”

The school will be contacting bus-riding families to make adjustments for these changes.

“We are all sad, and feel this sense of loss in particular following an extremely positive return of our student learners during the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School orientation days,” Adams said.

“We have enjoyed having our student learners here on campus for face-to-face education starting Aug. 4. It was great to hear their happy voices and see their happy faces back at school. We also understand our responsibility to help us all flatten the curve of COVID on Kaua‘i to ensure that all members of our learning community and our island remain healthy,” he said.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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