The state Education Department has released new guidelines for reopening schools this fall, including how officials will have to implement social distancing.

The guidelines are effective July 1, and also call for mask wearing and sanitation procedures.

What isn’t clear: How schools will be able to socially distance in crowded classrooms.

The state also hasn’t officially said when campuses will reopen, but leaders are looking at Aug. 4. The DOE will continue to use the summer break to formalize the plan for next school year.

Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said Tuesday they are working with the state Department of Health to develop specific guidelines to safely bring students back to in-person classes.

Other options include to continue distance learning for some students in grades 6 through 12.

This month, Kishimoto says the DOE will be collecting data from parents, students, teachers, and principals to better understand the challenges with online education.

“That will give us a school-by-school view of what the distance learning looked like this quarter four, what were some of the struggles, what were some of the things that worked well, how many devices do our schools have, how many families per school need support with devices or need support with connectivity,” Kishimoto said.

The DOE purchased 10,000 new devices for students without access to technology.

HNN Staff/ Hawaii News Now