Bad weather shuts down nearly 40 public, charter schools - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bad weather shuts down nearly 40 public, charter schools

John Morales John Morales

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The bad weather forced nearly 40 public and charter schools across the state to close Thursday.

Kahuku High and Intermediate became the first public school campus to shut down. It did so at 6:15 am.

Castle High in Kaneohe didn't close until nearly 10 am, when strong winds started blowing debris around, threatening student safety.

John Morales sloshes through puddles on his way home. His school, Wahiawa Middle, is among some three dozen public and charter schools forced to shut down because of the wet weather.

"Like it was all flooded and we were having flash flood," the 7th grader said. "It's like all messed up."

The baseball field at Waialua District Park looks like a lake. Next door, Waialua Elementary is deserted.

Also empty are Kailua Elementary and Kailua Intermediate in Windward Oahu.

Education officials say the decision to close starts with a school's principal, who considers several factors.

"Is there flooding going on? Is it safe for students to come to campus?" Sandra Goya, state Department of Education, said. "Will they be able to serve students school lunch?"

Waianae Intermediate and Waianae Elementary cancelled classes at about 7 am. Other schools took longer, as conditions kept changing.

"Many schools started out and the power was on," Goya said. "And after they started school, the power went off."

Education officials recognize some parents may have difficulty picking their children up once they're dropped off at school.

"We definitely will have school personnel on hand to make sure that their child is safe until they are ready to pick them up," Goya said.

John already has plans for his unexpected day off.

"Oh, I just like sleep and do some homework."

For the latest on school closures, hit the state Department of Education link on our website.

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