Schools want to recapture class time - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Schools want to recapture class time

Julie Arasato Julie Arasato
Sachi Matsushita Sachi Matsushita
John Sosa John Sosa

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ninety-five public schools face a crucial vote. On Thursday, the Board of Education decides on their request to make up classroom time lost to Friday furloughs.

The 95 schools want to turn non-teaching days into classroom time and teachers say "every minute matters."

"So now we know our line is going to go through this point and it's going to have this slope," Julie Arasato told her class.

As Arasato's ninth-grade math class works on complex problems, Kaiser High School has done its own calculating.

"Every minute counts. It's very important," said Kaiser High School teacher Sachi Matsushita.

Matsushita also teaches math. she wants kaiser to convert non-teaching days to instruction days, to get back time lost to furloughs.

"It's not only the instructional minutes, it's time with the students to communicate with them, to see if they're learning or grasping the material," Matsushita said.

Schools have six non-instruction days a year. teachers use them for planning and personal development.

By converting three of them, Kaiser puts a thousand minutes back in the classroom.

"And that equates into about fifteen class periods so when you look at it from that perspective, that's a lot more contact time," said Kaiser High School principal John Sosa.

It's even more contact time when you factor in before and after school for clubs and extracurricular activities.

"I just think that it just makes good common sense to do what we can," Sosa said.

Most teachers at Kaiser voted for the exchange, even though it will rob them of time for lesson planning and personal development.

"That's vital time for teachers, the whole faculty to plan and make the school better," Matsushita said.

The Board of Education votes Thursday on requests from 95 schools. There are 256 public schools in the state. Others wanting to apply to waive waiver days have until Nov. 13.

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