HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As public schools consider a delay in reopening campuses, some private schools are planning to welcome students back over the next several weeks.
St. Mark Lutheran School in Kaneohe will kick off the fall semester on Wednesday.
The private school is relatively small, with just 215 students, but it took a major lift to get to reopening day in a case study that underscores just how tough the new normal for schools will be.
Students at St. Mark’s will be required to wear face masks and shields. There are also staggered pickup times and potential isolation of entire grades.
Students with family members in quarantine will stay home.
“If somebody does get sick in our school, we are going to send that entire group home,” said David Gaudi, St. Mark Lutheran head of school.
“If a second grader gets COVID, we will be sending the entire second-grade cohort home along with the teacher and she will then distance learn for up to 14 days.”
Reno Henriques has two children enrolled at St. Mark Lutheran School and says he feels safe having his kids return to campus despite some initial concerns.
“We had real good communication with the principal,” Henriques said.
“He was emailing us, letting us know the procedures, everything is safe and we’ve been going over a bunch of stuff and I feel real comfortable about it.”
Meanwhile, the Board of Education is expected to vote Wednesday to delay the planned reopening of public schools on Aug. 4.
Radford High School Principal James Sunday supports a delay to train and prepare faculty, staff and students.
“We are definitely going to be looking at our classroom spaces,” Sunday said.
“Being able to hopefully do the 6-foot distancing, getting all of our sanitation products into the classrooms, instructing teachers how to maintain their classrooms during this time, helping our room cleaners get training and just a bunch of professional development."