Start to School Year Brings Changes

Greg Knudsen, Department of Education
Greg Knudsen, Department of Education

(KHNL) - Hawaii parents, students and teachers are getting ready for the first day of school and gearing up for some big changes.

Classes are starting earlier than ever before since there is a new, single calendar in effect.

Students will have a break between every quarter.

There will also be a new grading system for elementary students. All schools will be using a standards-based report card.

"The standards-based means that of the expectations for students to learn, they either meet those expectations or they don't," said Greg Knudsen with the Dept. of Education.

The grading scale will include ME, the highest grade, which stands for "meets with excellence" and the lowest, U, which means well below proficiency.

Another big change this school year is the cutoff date to enter kindergarten. Act 219 has changed that date and has also created junior kindergarten.

Kids who are five years old on or before Aug. 1 will be enrolled in kindergarten but kids who turn five after that will be enrolled in junior kindergarten.

Graduation requirements are also changing. Students from the Class of 2010 and beyond need two more credits to graduate from high school.

Although some parents don't agree with some of these changes, they know the state is trying to better prepare their kids for the future.