September 7, 2023 Special Meeting


In his September 7, 2023 special meeting report to the Board of Education (BOE), Superintendent Keith Hayashi shared the Department's latest details on the department’s response to the West Maui wildfires.

In his report at the Board of Education's Sept. 7, 2023 special meeting, Superintendent Keith Hayashi provided an update on the Department's latest Maui wildfire response efforts.

Highlights include:

  • The Department remains on track to reopen Lāhainā schools by mid-October as we await the results of environmental testing.
  • Three of the four Lāhainā schools — Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary, Lāhainā Intermediate and Lāhaināluna High — are undergoing environmental assessments for air, water and soil quality, as well as ensuring stable power and sufficient broadband connectivity. The fourth campus, King Kamehameha III Elementary, was damaged beyond repair.
  • The state Department of Health has installed air quality sensors at the three campuses and the HIDOE will be installing additional devices in selected classrooms.
  • The Department is also working with Maui County to evaluate water quality at the schools and has hired a contractor to conduct soil sampling. Before the schools reopen, specialized professional cleaners will be hired to thoroughly clean the schools. School evacuation plans are also being updated.
  • Lahaina Intermediate Principal Stacy Bookland shared her personal experience as a Lāhainā resident and school leader.
  • Lāhaināluna High Principal Richard Carosso shared the latest plans for his high school to begin meeting next week at its temporary site at the Kūlanihāko‘i High campus.
  • The Department did a soft launch of bus service on Sept. 7 from pick-up points at Whalers Village in Ka‘anapali and Kapalua Airport, for West Maui students attending Wailuku Elementary in Central Maui, and Kamali‘i Elementary and Lokelani Intermediate in South Maui. Students must be temporarily enrolled at one of these designated schools to ride the bus.
  • On Sept. 14, the Department will start bus service for high school students when Lāhaināluna is scheduled to begin meeting at its temporary site at Kūlanihākoʻi High School in Kihei.
  • The Department has been making contact with families since the Aug. 8 wildfires in a variety of ways to offer support and account for students — on the ground, in evacuation shelters and hotels, and at community meetings and other gathering spots.
  • The Department is also closely tracking as more students continue to re-enroll in other options, including in our DOE schools or distance learning program, charter schools, private schools or withdrawn to homeschool or relocate out of state.
  • Approximately 60 Department staff at the school, complex and state levels calling families. Of the 3,000 students originally enrolled in our four Lahaina schools, there were about 1,200 students, as of last week, who we had not yet made contact with or who had not re-enrolled elsewhere.
  • Of those, Department staff have personally spoken with 637 families. For another 466, phone messages have been left and the Department will continue to attempt to reach every family.

See Superintendent's presentation slides.

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