BREAKING: Hawai‘i DOE Cancelling All US and International Travel Through End of School Year
The Hawaiʻi Department of Education is cancelling all school and department-related travel to the US mainland and international destinations until the end of the 2019-2020 school year, effective March 12, 2020.
The announcement came in a letter to all Department of Education staff, faculty, parents and guardians, from state Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto.
“We recognize that Hawaiʻi state Department of Education sponsored student travel and professional development are important to overall academic design. In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation, we need to take additional precautionary steps to ensure the health and well-being of our school communities,” Dr. Kishimoto said.
In the letter Dr. Kishimoto noted that there are school trips scheduled to depart Hawaiʻi on Wednesday, March 11. She said, “Although these trips will not be bound by the upcoming department-wide cancellations, parents have the right to modify their travel plans accordingly.”
School administrators said any last minute decision would be “a personal one,” and there may be travel costs already incurred that may not be reimbursable.
“We understand the financial hardship this will potentially cause and we encourage families, schools and complex areas to discuss the possibility of rescheduling or reimbursement with their travel partners (i.e. travel agents, airlines and accommodations) to the extent possible,” said Dr. Kishimoto.
She continued saying, “We did not make this decision lightly knowing the impact it will have on our school communities; however, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.”