Parents Say DOE’s Effort To Create Distance Learning For Hawaiian Immersion Is Overdue …A scramble to establish a Hawaiian language immersion distance program this year for families concerned about Covid-19 only began after parents complained.

An Aug. 27 letter from Puohala Elementary Principal Ikaika Plunkett to families enrolled in the school’s Hawaiian language immersion program delivered the sobering news.

“The State Distance Learning Program is offered to all students and is only provided in English,” the principal wrote, underlining the word “English.”

“There is no comprehensive online learning in the Olelo Hawaii platform offered at this time in the Windward District or at the State Level,” he added.

More than a month later, the DOE is scrambling to assemble a distance program for Hawaiian immersion secondary students for this school year. But the lack of one has already disrupted the school year for immersion students, parents say, and it remains to be seen what shape it will take as the DOE seeks qualified instructors.


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