Hawaii’s public schools are back in session on Monday, August 2nd, 2010. Their 9-week summer break lasted from the end of May to the end of July. Luckily, there are no more “Furlough Fridays” scheduled in the 2010/11 school year cutting the school days down to 163 days, the lowest in the nation. On May 25, 2010 Governor Linda Lingle, Board of Education Chairperson Garrett Toguchi, and Department of Education Interim Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi announced that all 17 “Furlough Fridays” scheduled for the upcoming school year will be eliminated. The plan calls for use of $57.2 Million from the Hawaii hurricane relief fund, $2.2 Million in federal funds, six planning days the teachers have agreed to give back to the state, and a $10 Million line of credit from local banks.
Unfortunately, too many public schools in Hawaii struggle to meet the requirements of the “No Child Left Behind” policy. They are in dire need of all the financial help and as many school days possible to meet the national standards. One positive exception is our local elementary school in Hanalei: it not only enjoys a gorgeous location with Hihimanu, Namolokama, and Mamalahoa mountains and many waterfalls literally in its backyard but also academic levels that have met and exceeded the national requirements. About 225 school children K- 6 consider themselves lucky to attend Hanalei School every year. Alumni include world famous surfers such as Andy and Bruce Irons, Bethany Hamilton, Alana Blanchard, and many more. Our school’s PTSA is very much involved and organizes several fundraisers throughout the year to fund a variety of enrichment programs such as Hawaiian Studies, Art, Music, Garden, and PE. For more information please visit the Hanalei School’s website at www.hanalei.k12.hi.us or stop by at our school’s office for more information.