Catholic Schools in Hawaii Go Digital

KEKAHA – Learners and parents at St. Theresa School will receive learning kits from Wednesday through Friday in the back parking lot of the school.

Chromebook (laptop) withdrawal requests must be completed by email to the learner’s respective teacher by Tuesday afternoon.

If successfully completed, the computer and learning packages will be available from 7 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

“As we know, the COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations are changing day by day,” said Wendy Castillo, principal of St. Theresa School in a letter to parents at the school. “We don’t know how long our campus will be closed. STS will support home learning by providing blueprints, materials and in-person support in all major subjects throughout this crisis. “

St. Catherine’s School in Kapa’a, the second Catholic school in Kaua’i that operates under the aegis of the Hawai’i Catholic School, faces a similar situation.

“Our parish schools will be postponing ‘in-person’ classes until April 10,” read a letter to school administrators from Dr. Mike Rockers, superintendent of the Hawai’i Catholic School. “This extension will allow all of us to stabilize our distance education and focus on supporting our students and families as best we can. “

DJ Adams, the principal of St. Catherine’s School, said he will activate his online education program for Kindergarten 3 to 8 students starting March 30.

“This model helps provide education to our students, which is essential to their academic success, and ensures that salaried employees are paid,” Adams said. “We will begin the distribution and collection of Kindergarten to Grade 2 assignments on March 30, which was our first day back to school. This will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the mayor’s wish, we will not have more than 10 employees on campus at any time.

Adams said that students in Grades 3 through 8 at St. Catherine School already have electronic accounts and can take their school Chromebooks with them if needed between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

“We are already using School Speaks in all of these classrooms, so luckily we can integrate this model of educational delivery quite easily,” Adams said. “We have shared with St. Theresa School that we do not wish to extend the school year so all assigned work has value, merit and can be used for assessment and grading for the 2020 school year. -2021. “

Together, St. Theresa’s School and St. Catherine’s School represent approximately 300 Kindergarten to Grade 8 students.

Likewise, approximately 46,000 students and 9,700 faculty and staff of the University of Hawai’i system have returned to 10 campuses since spring break to cope with a changing lifestyle. online with all courses to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Our faculty has worked incredibly hard,” said UH President David Lassner in a statement. “Those with experience are helping their colleagues who are new to online education or need to acquire a whole new set of skills and practices to bring their virtual classrooms to their students. We believe our students are very well equipped to adapt to fully online learning. Most of them have already taken one or more online courses. But that does make a difference when all of their courses are online.

Castillo said the distribution of the packages marked the start of the first phase of the distance learning project which aims to introduce both parents and students. The second phase, which is due to begin after the Hawai’i Catholic schools return to class on April 13, involves in-person learning and will be based on the COVID-19 guidelines and rules in place when the program reaches that point.

“Teachers will post lesson plans every day at 9 a.m. starting March 30,” Castillo said in his parents’ letter. “Not all topics will be assigned every day because we don’t expect you to do seven hours of home study every day. A lesson plan always begins with an “I can” goal. Often the same goal is repeated for several days… mastery takes time. The goal is to work towards this goal in different ways as children learn in different ways and at different rates. Try not to let the job become meaningless “busy work” and feel free to look for games and activities online that meet the goal. “

Adams said it had been an incredible blessing to work with such dedicated professionals who had most of the paperwork ready before school left for spring break.

“Their vision, flexibility, and passion for student success shines through in this global issue,” Adams said. “In the future, the biggest challenge will be to maintain the personal connection with our learning community, as centuries of research still indicate that great teaching stems from the nature of the student-teacher relationship. . “

“Based on my humble observations, the great people of Kaua’i are definitely ready to overcome the obstacles COVID-19 will bring to Garden Island,” said the manager of St. Catherine. “There are centuries of examples of people here stepping up again and again to overcome even the most difficult circumstances. And we will do it again.

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Dennis fujimoto, editor and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or [email protected]

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