Updated at 11:31 a.m., Monday, July 30, 2007
Hawaii students hit the books starting today
The rest of Hawai'i's 257 public schools will continue opening throughout the week with 96 percent of schoolchildren back in school by Wednesday, according to the state Department of Education.
At Jefferson Elementary School in Waikiki this morning, parents and students huddled around a bulletin board outside the library searching for classroom assignments.
"Summer was a little short this year," said school principal Vivian Hee, standing among the crowd.
"It looks like everyone wanted a little more vacation," she said, laughing.
Tai Nunies and her daughter Harley stood outside of Celia Ann Viernes' first-grade class waiting for the bell to ring.
Harley clutched her overstuffed backpack scanning the school yard for familiar faces. Her brother Nakoa, a fourth-grader, had already run off with his group of friends.
"They were really looking forward to starting school again. I'm not sure if they cared about the short summer," Nunies said. "It's good for me, anyway."
On Maui, Lokelani Intermediate school sixth-grader Malia Tolutau said she wasn't ready to start classes.
"I didn't get all my school supplies. I didn't get paper towels or those notebooks without the lines," she said. "And I didn't read for the summer and we were supposed to."
A group of four friends sitting with Tolutau nodded their heads, acknowledging that they, too, skipped the summer reading assignment.