Remote Hawaiian immersion option launched 2 months into school year

Alec Baldwin says his killing of a cinematographer with a prop gun on a movie set was a “tragic accident” as authorities investigated the shooting.
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:43 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:45 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii education officials have launched a distance learning program for Hawaiian language immersion students -- two months in the school year.

The Hawaiian Immersion Distance Learning Program started this week with 49 students and officials plan to accommodate another 200 students — if they can find the teachers, Hawaii Public Radio reported.

The state Department of Education is recruiting Hawaiian-speaking teachers, but finding qualified teachers who speak the language was a challenge even before the pandemic, according to Kauʻi Sang, head of the Office of Hawaiian Education, which oversees the state’s Hawaiian Language Immersion Program.

Your top local headlines for Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.

About 75% percent of the teachers needed for the distance learning program have been hired, Sang said.

Even though many Hawaii public schools students have been learning remotely during the pandemic, distance learning options were only in English.

That forced Hawaiian immersion parents to send their children to school amid the pandemic or enroll in distance learning in English, said Kananinohea Mākaʻimoku, who serves on the board of a statewide network of Hawaiian immersion parents and teachers who helped lobby Sang’s office for the distance learning program.

It’s not enough to simply translate English curriculum for distance learning, but Hawaiian needs to be the foundation of the curriculum, Mākaʻimoku said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.