HIDOE State Distance Learning Program for School Year 2021-22


The Department provided guidance for the State Distance Learning Program for School Year 2021-22.

​Sept. 22, 2021 - State Distance Learning Program Update

The state office distance learning program is currently serving approximately 600 students in partnership with 60 schools from across the state. The program was stood up in less than a month to welcome students in grades kindergarten to 12 in time for the school opening. To meet the demands of requested seats, the program expanded the design by hiring more teachers. As of Sept. 7, all referred students have been in classes with a teacher. To maintain the integrity and level of quality of instruction, the program is not accepting any more referrals. 

 The focus of the Department continues to be full in-person learning. 

​Based on the Department's July 28, 2021, Distance Learning for SY 2021-2022 Guidance Update memo.

The Hawaii Department of Education (Department) is focused on full in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year. Schools have been working diligently in preparations to welcome back all students to campus.

The following is the guidance for the State Distance Learning Program for SY 2021-22. Guidance is provided for all schools and specifically for those in the complex areas that did not plan to provide distance learning programs.

1. Upon receiving a parent/guardian request verbally or in writing, the principal/designee shall ask for the reason a distance learning program is being requested and determine if the reason falls within one of the categories listed below:

(a) The parent does not feel comfortable sending their child to campus and would like to keep their child at home;

(b) The child performed well academically, socially, and emotionally in a distance learning setting;

(c) The child has underlying medical conditions which place them in the high-risk category for serious illness; or

(d) The child would be able to get courses from another school or complex that their school does not offer.

2. A meeting shall be scheduled with the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and look at:

a. EL, IEP, 504: If the student has been identified as EL, or has an IEP/504 plan, then a meeting will be arranged with the school team to discuss if the student learning plan/IEP can be provided in a distance learning program including social and emotional learning needs.

b. General Education: Evaluate a student’s past performance (academic, social, emotional) in distance learning using available data such as attendance, formative assessments, grades, report card GLO marks or comments, Panorama SEL survey, and teacher observation. A student is a likely candidate if past performance has shown they can be successful in a distance learning environment. 

When meeting with the parent/guardian, discuss the following:

a. Review the benefits of full in-person learning.

b. Describe the distance learning program and limitations (e.g. only core course for grades K to 8 and limited electives for high school) and the parent/guardian expectations.

3. Principal/designee makes a determination to approve or disapprove. 

a. If disapproved: The principal will provide information/data and rationale for professional judgment that the decision was based on. Welcome the student for full in-person learning. If the parent disagrees, a written appeal can be submitted to the complex area superintendent within 10 days. The CAS decision is final.

b. If approved: Complex areas/schools share and provide relevant information for the existing program, or if the complex area/schools did not plan to provide distance learning programs, they may take the following actions for the state distance learning program referral:

  • The principal will have parents sign the Distance Learning Parent Agreement.
  • The principal reminds parents that the program has limited capacity. 
  • School submits necessary student information to the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design (OCID) via State Distance Learning Program Form.
  • OCID confirms student participation with the school’s point of contact.
  • School point of contact will be the liaison between OCID and families.

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