Schools use creativity to combat furlough losses - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Schools use creativity to combat furlough losses

Skip Hill Skip Hill
Kay Kasamoto Kay Kasamoto
Scott Iwanaga Scott Iwanaga
John Sosa John Sosa

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Just last month Hawaii's teachers agreed to take 17 furlough days. But already, an area school is using strategy to help students survive the cuts.

Kaiser High School is the home of the cougars. It's also where there's a creative and capital plan by students, parents and staff to not compromise quality education.

There may be rain at Kaiser, but the fahrenheit is still rising.

"Disappointed. Frustration. Teachers aren't happy," said Parent Teacher Student Association's Skip Hill.

Parents feel sick that their students have 17 less days to learn.

"It's concerning we're not having enough days for them to get the maximum benefits of education," said parent Kay Kasamoto.

That's why Kaiser kicked off it's "Cougar Pride Campaign" in August.

"Basically what it was, was in response to the budget cuts we received last year that were implemented this year," said Principal John Sosa.

It's a way for the community to take ownership in its school by donating money.

"Money for books, money for supplies or teacher training, there's a lot of things that are going by the wayside," said Hill.

Families, area businesses and alumni have given roughly $23,000 to go directly back into the classroom.

"It's kind of like a circle. It goes from parents to the school and the school gives it to the teachers which goes back to the students," said Math teacher Scott Iwanaga.

The school is also getting creative with it's calendar. Parents at a forum Tuesday night learned faculty will convert three professional development days to instructional days and eliminate one advisory period per month. That wins back 3 and a half of the 17 lost classroom days.

While students are educationally hurt right now, Kaiser hopes to heal them using creativity and capital.

The first furlough day is this October 23rd. Parents plan to show their frustrations about it at a huge march planned at the State Capitol from 10am to 1pm.

The protest called "Stop Furlough Fridays" includes speakers, petitions and a special performance by Jack Johnson.

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