HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Board of Education today approved requests from 100 public schools to modify bell schedules, cancel or replace staff planning and collaboration days with regular instructional days to increase teaching time for students. Tonight’s action by the Board will help mitigate the impact of furloughs created by a $473.70 million budget reduction to the public school system over two years.

Board members praised School Community Councils (SCCs) for recommending changes that will provide more classroom time for students.

“We applaud school administrators, teachers, students and parents for seeking these waivers,” said Board Chairman Garrett Toguchi. “As the Board continues to urge Governor Linda Lingle and the State Legislature to adequately fund education to keep students in class, we urge schools across the state to explore every available option to preserve learning time.”

The SCCs give staff, students, and their parents an increased voice and decision-making power in the operations of their schools. One of the key SCCs roles is to review a school’s financial and academic plan, a process that allows for schedule changes. For example, some schools, through their SCCs, voted to replace or cancel planning and collaboration days in which students don’t report to school with a regular instructional day, or to rearrange bell schedules to extend school hours.

Details about the adopted changes of each school can be viewed on the Board’s Web site – http://www.boe.k12.hi.us by clicking on “Meeting Notices” and the Nov. 5 meeting link. Schools have until Nov. 13 to submit waivers.

‘Alex Da Silva is the Public Affairs Officer for the DOE’

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