UPDATED. The announcement comes as Hawaii logged 346 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total to 43,962.
The state’s top health official acknowledged concerns about a new COVID-19 surge but said the benefits of in-person learning exceed the risk.
The new academic year begins Tuesday amid a concerted effort to vaccinate more students and their families via school-based clinics.
Priority areas include in-person attendance, social and emotional well-being as well as staff well-being and the safe return to campuses.
The options are limited to 180 elementary schoolers, 90 middle schoolers and 120 high schoolers, for a total of 390 seats.
Updated guidance calls vaccinations ‘the most important core essential strategy’ as schools prepare to reopen next week.
The state education department said it would also partner with complex areas that don’t have the resources to offer virtual programs at this time.
Schools are implementing programs to foster “social and emotional well-being” in students as well as academic progress.
Some parents are hesitant to send their kids back to the classroom without a vaccine available for younger students.