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With Fanfare and New Goals, Hawaii Public Schools Welcome Students Back to Class

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Thousands of Hawaii public school students are returning to the classroom Monday morning as the new school year kicks off.

Students and teachers alike are excited and hopeful for another year full of opportunities.

Kalani High greeted its incoming freshmen with a live marching band and fellow student leaders to help them navigate the first day of school.

“It’s a great day, the first day of school is always so exciting for students as well as the families,” said DOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi

On Maui, the long-delayed Kulanihakoi High School finally welcomed students to its new campus after nearly seven years of construction.

The school is only welcoming incoming freshmen and sophomores this fall until they can hire a full staff for all grade levels.

The 2023-2024 school year also marks the beginning of a new strategic plan from the Board of Education aimed at propelling student learning.

That plan includes metrics and goals the Department of Education has to reach over the next six years, including giving students better access to advising and college planning.

The BOE has identified boosting Hawaii’s grad rate to 90% as a key goal.

The state is also working to recruit more educators through a new program aimed at addressing the ongoing teacher shortage.

So far, teacher vacancies have dropped to approximately 340 after being over 1,000 at the start of last school year.

One strategy for tackling the shortage: They’re welcoming about 80 experienced teachers from the Philippines into Hawaii classrooms this school year. The new teachers went through an orientation recently before heading to their new assignments.

Meanwhile, officials are urging the public to remain vigilant on the roads as more students return to school this week.

Source : HawaiiNewsNow