Teacher union: schools to open Aug 4, with new COVID rules

The Hawaii State Teachers Association says it has reached agreement on precautions for COVID-19 with the Hawaii Department of Education, and schools will reopen August 4 with 9 half-days and then resumption of a normal schedule.  The HSTA says the precautions are intended to ensure its members are safe.

The measures agreed upon to prioritize the health and safety of students and staff include:

-6 foot or two arms’ length distance of separation between and among students and staff

-everybody on campus wears face coverings, unless it’s not safe or poses a medical risk

-proper cleaning, disinfecting, appropriate hygiene supplies and personal protective equipment, or reimbursement for teachers if not provided, but teachers themselves will not have to do any of the cleaning

-if students eat lunch in the classroom, teachers won’t have to supervise them

-teachers will get instruction in effective online instruction, as there will be some degree of online learning

The HSTA said the DOE did not agree to provide child care for public school teachers whose children are impacted by hybrid schedules.  HSTA said DOE was also unwilling to agree to negotiate anything mandating specific classroom configurations, health and safety processes and procedures, or a 100-percent mask rule with no exceptions.

There are a number of additional provisions.  The entire HSTA release is here.