School transitions start for kids affected by lava - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

School transitions start for kids affected by lava

PAHOA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

On the Big Island, 17-hundred students will switch schools next week due to the lava threat.

New video shows where the lava flow has stalled 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road.

Despite no advance in the past week, the Department of Education is rushing to get portable classrooms ready at the new Keonepoko North.

Desks are stacked outside, waiting to welcome students displaced from their old school campus in the projected path of lava.

DOE Communications Director Donalyn de la Cruz explained "We're boarding it up today, taking furniture out. Keonepoko North will open new students on Monday."

Meanwhile, Shakas and signs welcomed transitioning students for orientations at Kea'au High school.

In all, 1,700 students and 300 employees are shuffling to schools farther away from the lava.

Kea'au Middle School also greeted new children to its campus today.

Keaau 8th grade President Kiana Vallente said "I can't even imagine what they're going through right now. But it's definitely scary and anxious and everyone's nervous about every thing."

Normally, they would be rivals, but as they watch and wait to see what Pele does next, there's a clear sign they're all in this together.

"Today you had students that wanted to ensure these new students felt welcome on campus and that this is one big ohana and we're in this together" said de la Cruz.

Vallente added "The Pahoa and Keonepoko kids I hope they feel comfortable. We try to welcome them without them feeling scared or anything. I think it's going well so far."

As for the lava, today Department of Transportation engineers started testing out an aggregate of various materials and rocks over existing lava that has entered into Pahoa.

They want to see how it holds up in case they have to build a road over the lava as it cools down.

Related story:

Department of Education to close some schools due to lava flow

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