Hawaii’s children will not be attending school until April 7, state education officials announced Wednesday.

Additionally, the Hawaii Department of Education is closing its offices except for essential functions, effective Thursday, with employees moving to a teleworking arrangement.

The announcement comes just three days after Gov. David Ige announced that spring break this week would be extended by one week because of coronavirus concerns — with students returning March 30, and teachers expected to report back to their schools by Monday.

Public school students are already on an extended 2-week spring break. DOE said schools will reopen April 7. April Estrellon/Civil Beat/2020

The Hawaii State Teachers Association challenged that decision, saying it was too soon for the state’s 13,700 teachers and instructional staff to return, especially in close spaces where the virus could easily spread.

The updated order from DOE means students will be out of school just six more instructional days than had been planned.

The DOE said in its release it would be meeting with key stakeholders today to finalize plans. It has scheduled a press conference for Thursday at 3 p.m. to release additional details.

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