Hawaii State Department of Education released a report on Thursday Stating that 2,025 students are unaccounted for in the Lahaina Public School System in the wake of a fire that devastated the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui on August 8. The four schools included in the Lahaina School District, two elementary, one intermediate and one high school, had a total enrollment of 3,001 students prior to the fire. Schools are closed due to fire damage, with one primary school heavily damaged and not expected to reopen for some time. The other three were damaged by high winds, debris and soot. The report did not mention whether many of the missing children had died in the fire or even likely had.

This image taken by the Landsat 8 satellite on August 8 shows how flames have engulfed large parts of Lahaina. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin)
Joint Joint Task Force 50 Search, Rescue and Recovery elements conduct a search operation of wildfire-damaged areas in Lahaina, Maui, Aug. 15, 2023. The Air Force and Air National Guard are members of CJTF-50 from Army active duty and reserve to provide immediate safety, security and well-being to those affected by the wildfires to ensure unwavering support for the Maui community and first responders on Maui Actively supporting county officials. photo by:
Army Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Foster

the report states As of August 21, 538 of the 3,001 students enrolled as of August 8 had “re-enrolled in other public schools”; 438 have enrolled in a “State Distance Learning Program (SDLP), English and Hawaiian Language Immersion”; And 2,025 are not accounted for: “The remaining students who have not re-enrolled in another public school or opted for distance learning (may have moved out of state, enrolled in private schools )”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported A private school in Maui has received nearly 1,000 new applicants since a fire. However the article also mentions that a private school with 200 students was destroyed by the fire (excerpt):

Meanwhile, Maui’s private schools are also in flux. Officials posted online this week that Maui Preparatory Academy received nearly 1,000 applications for new vacancies created by the school to accommodate recently displaced students. “We overhauled, reorganized, and reorganized the entire campus to welcome 110 new students (a 40% enrollment increase from last year). It is only a drop in the bucket. Many students are not in class today,” the school posted on Instagram on Monday.

Sacred Hearts School posted on its website that its campus had “suffered a devastating fire that has devastated our campus.” Reports from the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools indicate that the school has approximately 200 students enrolled.

Government officials are not revealing the number of children killed in the fire. Two weeks later, they still report only 115 official deaths and 850 to 1,100 people of all ages are missing. Authorities have not released any list of the missing.

School children in Lahaina were kept home that day due to strong winds from the storm offshore, many were home alone as their parents were at work.

The Associated Press gave this information on Wednesday On a father who was able to save his children from the fire but is saddened that he could not save the children of his neighbors (Excerpt):

Many of the survivors are angry and upset at the idea that with only a few minutes’ notice, many lives could have been saved.

Baird’s area near Lahainaluna Road was full of children who were home alone when the flames broke out, he said.

“We needed 10 more minutes and we could have saved a lot of children,” he cried. “If only we had had 10- or 15-minute warning.”

In search of a moment of normalcy after tragedy, the family recently went to the Kahului Mall. They met a friend playing with his son.

“Kids don’t have any filters. So his son was running over and saying to our son, you know, ‘This kid’s dead. This child is dead.’ And it’s like all my son’s friends come over to our house every day,” he said. “And their parents were at work, and they were home alone. And there was no warning to anyone. Nobody, nobody, nobody knew.”

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