Welcome back to school!
I hope your summer was safe, fun, and rejuvenating after a wild spring quarter. Despite all of the twists and turns, our campus administration teams spent every waking hour preparing for the myriad of scenarios that our school could face, and I was so proud to see our Kamehameha Schools Kapālama community demonstrate time and time again just how adaptable we can be.
As we ease our way into the school year, it is important that our community is aware of and informed about the decisions and actions that will affect our calculated return to campus. This message will be the first in a bi-weekly rhythm of communication during this initial introductory period. These messages will provide updates on re-introduction plans as well as resources to help our families navigate this exciting distance learning experience.
DISTANCE LEARNING EXTENDED THROUGH 1ST QUARTER
In a message sent earlier today, Kamehameha Schools' CEO Jack Wong announced that all three K-12 campuses and preschools will start the school year in primarily online distance learning through Fall Break. The sustained surge of positive COVID-19 cases, positivity rates, outbreak clusters, and community transmission make this a particularly delicate time for our community, and extending our distance learning through this period is Kamehameha Schools' way of doing our part to protect our community. Fall Break is scheduled to end on October 11.
We apologize that this decision may be inconvenient for some, and ask for your understanding that as external community conditions continue to evolve, we will not compromise on the safety and well-being of our campus ʻohana. Through this extension, we hope to provide a greater sense of predictability and stability so students, parents, and kumu can prepare and plan ahead with confidence.
During this extended distance learning period, campus will remain open for staff access. Haumāna and ʻohana campus entry, however, will be limited to special appointments pre-approved by your poʻo kumu office. All other haumāna and ʻohana access will be restricted until further notice.
We will continue to keep a close eye on the developing situation, on campus and within the larger Hawaiʻi community, and will provide updates on any further impacts to our plans.
THE DISTANCE LEARNING ADVENTURE
Kamehameha Schools has taken extraordinary steps to help our haumāna, ʻohana, and kumu fully explore the potential of distance learning. Despite being utilized in various learning communities around the world for years, we acknowledge that for some of us, distance learning is a new experience, and we have prepared accordingly.
From the beginning of summer, we knew that distance learning was going to somehow play a significant role in educational delivery this year. Our kumu eagerly sprung into action to prepare for that inevitability. Every single kumu completed distance learning training and professional development prior to the start of the school year, with an overwhelming majority opting for sessions offered earlier in the summer to get a head start. Kumu honed skills in areas like instructional design, strategies, and the use of technology and tools. Haumāna feedback from the spring helped shape and refine our perspective, and summer school had a great experience with distance learning bringing even more insight to our preparation.
Every day brings new discoveries, and with the solid foundation built since last spring, we cannot help but feel excited about this adventure.
In these updates, we'll share tips and resources designed to help families support their keiki in the digital learning space.
Distance learning ʻohana tip this week: Prepare the learning environment
A comfortable learning environment, free from distraction, can help a student's focus and concentration.
Let us continue to support each other as we discover the wonders of distance learning together.
I MUA KAMEHAMEHA A LANAKILA
This first week of school was just the beginning of an incredible journey for our campus ʻohana. I wish I could have personally greeted every single one of you on campus, but alas, this will have to do for now.
Ke aloha nui,
Dr. Taran Chun, Po'o Kula