Private and charter schools return to in-person classes amid pandemic with few problems

KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Kate Wines talks to her class at Connections Public Charter School before taking them on a walk to Kalakaua Park in Hilo on Wednesday. This was the class’s first trip to a park this year.

KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Principal John Thatcher looks at a handmade poster reminding students to wear masks in a hallway at Connections Public Charter School on Wednesday in Hilo. The fun posters help remind the younger students about their masks.

KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Jane Saarinen, right, and Sky Bardwell-Jones work in class Wednesday at Connections Public Charter School in Hilo. All students and teachers are required to wear masks at all times in class.

With smaller populations and closer relationships, Hilo private and charter schools have found success with in-person classes during the first quarter of the school year.