Campbell High has nearly 3,100 students and before the pandemic, classrooms and hallways were crammed.
Not so these days.
When Principal John Henry Lee showed Hawaii News Now around campus in the third quarter, there were maybe 60 students there.
And that’s not all that’s different.
There is also now a huge storage of personal protective gear in what once served as a computer science classroom.
“We’ve got everything from the gowns that are needed, the microfiber cloths,” said Lee, as he pointed to the stockpile across the room. “Everything else you need over here, full body gowns, the KN95 masks, the hand sanitizer. The big drums of cleaners.”
But the effect on education goes far beyond what you can physically see on a school campus.
David Miyashiro is the founder of Hawaii Kids Can. He says parents aren’t the only ones who are frustrated.
“What we’re going to have is a lost year in a lot of ways for students,” said Miyashiro.
“Students are going to finish the year way behind from where they would have. Families are going to be frustrated by the experience they had trying to make ends meet while their kid’s learning at home. And I think teachers feel like they could have had better support through this whole experience.”
So the big question is how to get our keiki and teens caught up.
Miyashiro says utilizing nonprofits and volunteers could play a big role, even if it’s just helping those in similar situations find one another.
For instance, he says, “if we know that there might be five families who all need help with math tutoring for middle school, how do those families connect with each other and maybe share money for a tutor or maybe have a volunteer come and help them out. I think there are a lot of nonprofits in the community who are ready and willing to step in to help close some of those gaps.”