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Mountain View Elementary is 'chugging along' despite Maunaloa eruption

Mountain View Elementary School.jpg
Hawaii Department of Education
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Mountain View Elementary School

The state Department of Education is closely monitoring the Maunaloa eruption, and in communication with schools on the island.

For the time being, public schools on Hawaiʻi Island remain open.

Mountain View Elementary School is the closest public school to Maunaloa's northeast rift zone, where the eruption is currently taking place.

"My fifth grade students most of them have cell phones," said Jaime Lewis, an honors teacher at Mountain View. "So yesterday, they're showing me the pictures, and sitting around with their friends and families and social media, and stuff like that. And they seem excited."

Lewis tells HPR her third and fourth grade students don't appear as excited, but they are enthusiastic of the event.

"But as for the staff community and teacher community, our principal has been amazing with sending out emails constantly of all the updates she's getting as soon as she gets them," Lewis said.

"I think that's easing fears, or at least giving us as much information, so we're not feeling like we're in the dark about what to do and where to go, and things like that," she said.

The air quality around Mountain View has worsened due to the eruption. Lewis said the school had to hold recess indoors, where there are air filters.

But overall, the school, its staff and students are "chugging along."

"We're just, you know, we're chugging along," she said. "I think that we're definitely doing what we can to make sure that our keiki are happy, and safe, and feel secure that right now things are going good. It's still super early."

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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