DOE: In-person learning to resume following winter break

The state Department of Education announced today full in-person learning will resume during the second semester that begins next week.

The DOE has been working with the state Department of Health throughout the winter break to closely monitor the impacts of the omicron variant in preparation for the return of students and staff.


“We’ve seen the benefits of in-person learning for our students’ social development and academic achievement and while we remain vigilant due to the omicron variant, we have consistent safety measures in place that have proven effective at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our schools,” interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said in a statement. “Core safety protocols such as getting vaccinated and boosted, masking, social distancing and hand-washing have helped keep our positivity rates lower than the broader community, as well as our counterparts on the mainland.”

DOE teachers are scheduled to return from winter break on Jan. 3, and students are scheduled to return on Jan. 4.

Over the break, DOE leadership and school leaders have been revisiting contingency plans and preparing for potential situations that may require modifications to in-person instruction, the department said in a news release.

Should any transitions need to occur, schools will notify their staff and families directly.

Since Dec. 1, DOE schools collectively have seen a daily average of 19 positive cases across nearly 42,000 staff and 160,000 students, according to the department’s case count dashboard.

“In addition to our core mitigation strategies, we are fortunate to now have a combination of tools and resources to help combat this virus, including vaccinations for students 5 years or older, booster shots, and opportunities for testing within the community or at school,” Hayashi said. “That means everyone on our campuses — with the exception of pre-kindergarten students — is eligible to be vaccinated.”

In preparation of the return from winter break, families and staff are encouraged to revisit the department’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidance (

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