All public school students to receive free meals throughout school year 2021-22

All students at Hawaiʻi’s 257 public schools will receive free breakfast and lunch meals for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year, thanks to a nationwide waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Federal funds will reimburse state education departments for meal costs.

Photo of a school lunch and breakfast meals.All students at Hawaiʻi’s 257 public schools will receive free breakfast and lunch meals for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year.

Photo Credit: Department of Education

All students at Hawaiʻi’s 257 public schools will receive free breakfast and lunch meals for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year, thanks to a nationwide waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The waiver aims to minimize the possible spread of COVID-19 at schools across the country by eliminating meal payment transactions in school cafeterias, settings where students and cashiers may not be able to maintain proper social distancing. Federal funds will reimburse state education departments for meal costs.

“This has been a challenging time for our ʻohana, and I am proud to continue our safety net support through actions that improve food security for our students while providing economic relief for our families,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “The health and safety of our haumana continues to be our top priority, and as we fully reopen schools to in-person learning, this waiver will allow for a more efficient, contactless experience for students and our food service team.”

Parents and guardians who have not yet purchased meal credits for the upcoming school year via the EZMealApp mobile app or through their school do not need to take any action. Those who have already purchased meal credits in advance may choose to leave funds in the account for the following school year or contact their child’s school to request a refund.

Students will only receive meals at their school of enrollment. One meal per breakfast session and one per lunch session will be free of charge. Additional meals or meal items taken at the same session will be charged a normal rate.

Parents are highly encouraged to continue to submit their Free and Reduced Price Lunch Meal Benefits applications online using the EZMealApp mobile app or at, where applicable, as information derived from the application directly impacts eligibility for other school programs, such as bus transportation and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance.

For more information, please review the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact the School Food Services Branch at (808) 784-5500. More information on the USDA waiver is available here.

HIDOE COVID-19 Information and Updates

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our students, employees and school communities remains one of our highest priorities.

Along with internal guidelines, the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidance for School Year 2021-22 provides overall direction to schools and offices, including guidance on safety protocols, cleaning and sanitation procedures, and notification steps.Return%20to%20School%20Work%20and%20Daily%20Wellness%20Check.jpg

We need your help to keep our schools healthy and safe. HIDOE employees, contracted service providers, visitors and students must complete a wellness check each morning before going to school. Please report any illness or COVID-19 exposure to the school. The Return to School/Work Criteria and the Daily Wellness Check at Home may be viewed here.

Message from new Principal Jamia Green

Principal Message

close picture of Jamia Green Dear HSDB Families and Educators,

I am extremely proud and excited to join the Hawaiʻi School for the Deaf and Blind as your new Principal! I look forward to partnering with you to ensure all children are cared for, celebrated, and supported. Together we will prepare Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Visually Impaired, and for the amazing futures they deserve!

This year marks my 20th year in Deaf Education. As an educator, I am driven by the individual success and growth of every student. I have devoted my career to learning, educating, inspiring, and advocating for students. I am excited to bring my passion, enthusiasm, and experience to HSDB in order to cultivate educational programs and partnerships for our amazing students. Above all, I am excited to observe, listen, learn, and understand what makes HSDB thrive.

At HSDB we are purposefully engaged in a culture of learning. During School Year 2021-2022, we have three big rocks though which all of our work is filtered:

  • Instructional Best Practices
  • Whole Child Supports
  • Literacy

I believe that strong relationships among staff, students, and families is the bedrock to ensuring that all feel welcome and connected to our school. I look forward to listening to your ideas and creating a vision for our school. Please be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities to connect. I would love to hear from you at any time!

Please feel free to contact me by email at or by calling our school office at 808-307-3900. I welcome any questions or ideas you would like to share.

I look forward to meeting our young dolphins in person!

With Pod Pride,

Jamia Green

Summer School 2021

This year, HSDB is happy to announce its first summer school program for all students!  Our program runs daily from June 21 – July 16  8AM – 12PM.  (ESY students’ dates may be extended.) Transportation and meals will be provided at no cost.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities in math and reading while learning about the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo! We are excited to welcome all of our students back to campus this summer for lots of learning and lots of fun!


Complex Area Superintendent’s Message

Complex Area Superintendent’s Message

September 28, 2020

Dear Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind (HSDB) teachers, staff, students and families,

I want to thank you for your continued patience, hard work and cooperation through the first quarter. As HSDB began the school year with in-person instruction, our commitment to serve our students by providing them the safest possible educational experience remains our highest priority. Thus, we also provided Learning from Home opportunities to meet the needs of our students and families.

Recently, Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) Superintendent, Dr. Christina Kishimoto, announced that schools will use newly released guidance from the Hawaii State Department of Health (HDOH) to develop appropriate learning models moving into the second quarter and beyond. Our complex area will also consider the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making, Governor’s Reopening Status, the Mayor’s Four-Tier Framework, and input from our school communities as part of our decision-making process. While we continue to closely monitor COVID-19 activity to ensure a
safe and successful transition into the second quarter, we would like to continue to invite all of our HSDB students back to campus.

Our HSDB school team continues to meet with the faculty and staff to plan for our students, while being mindful of current COVIO-19 case counts, positivity rates, health and safety guidelines, mitigation strategies, facilities, and workforce capacity. All school health and safety protocols will align to CDC, HDOH, HIDOE, and the Board of Education’s expectations.

We appreciate your support as we navigate through these uncertain times. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact HSDB at #808-733-4999


Rochelle Mahoe, Ph.D.
Complex Area Superintendent
Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area

Kinau Gardner
Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind


HIDOE Students & Staff can pre-register for free COVID-19 testing!

HIDOE is encouraging students*, staff and their families to pre-register at the link above. You do not need to show symptoms and will receive a voucher once registered. Walk-ins accepted at the locations below but pre-registration is highly recommended. All locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

*Students under age 18 will need a parent or legal guardian present.

COVID-19 Testing Flyer v3

COVID-19 Testing Flyer


HIDOE schools and offices not impacted by Honolulu’s latest emergency order

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a “stay at home, work from home” order for the island of O‘ahu for two weeks beginning 12:01 a.m. Thursday. The Department learned of the details during a public press conference today.

The latest order does not impact the public school system, which will continue to be open for online instruction and to support students and staff. Mayor Caldwell confirmed that HIDOE schools and offices — which are deemed an essential business  — will remain open at the request of Gov. David Ige, along with other educational institutions.

HIDOE employees are expected to continue reporting to their designated work sites.

Neighbor island counties are not impacted by the City & County of Honolulu’s order.

Honolulu officials plan to implement surge testing during the two-week period with the aim of completing 60,000 tests on Oahu in 14 days. See below for testing locations and dates.

COVID-19 Testing Flyer v3