Highly Qualified substitute teachers

Although short-term substitute teachers are not required to meet the Highly Qualified (HQ) requirements, the US Department of Education strongly recommends that long-term substitutes be Highly Qualified for the core academic classes to which they are assigned.

Highly Qualified substitute teacher documentation

Substitute teachers provide an essential service in educating students. Although short-term substitute teachers are not required to meet the Highly Qualified (HQ) requirements, the US Department of Education strongly recommends that long-term substitutes be Highly Qualified for the core academic classes to which they are assigned. Federal law defines core academic subjects as: English Language Arts (including reading), mathematics, science, civics/government, economics, geography, history, foreign language, and fine arts. Substitute teachers of these subjects are encouraged to earn the Highly Qualified (HQ) designation.

Earning a Highly Qualified Designation in a core academic subject

A Highly Qualified teacher must:

  1. Hold at least a bachelor’s degree; and
  2. Be fully licensed to teach in Hawaii (with a current, not expired, license); and
  3. Be teaching at the grade levels authorized by that license; and
  4. Demonstrate content expertise by:
    1. Passing the PRAXIS II exam for the subject and grade level, or
    2. (For secondary teachers only) Earning a major in the subject area or 30 semester hours of college credits in the subject area; or
    3. Earning100 points through Highly Objective Uniform State Standard (HOUSSE).

To be eligible for HOUSSE
HOUSSE is a points-based system that gives credit for experience, coursework and professional development. HOUSSE may only be used by teachers who hold current Hawaii teaching licenses (not expired) and have at least one year (180 days) of teaching experience.

How substitute teachers can demonstrate one year of teaching experience
One year is defined as teaching for at least 180 days. You can document this in one of two ways:

  1. If you are a substitute teacher who has been employed as a full or half-time contracted teacher (not as a substitute teacher) with the Hawaii Department of Education for one year or more: Obtain a copy of your official HQ Status report via an e-mail request. Note: To qualify under this option, your status report must show one or more years of teaching experience.
  2. If you are a substitute teacher who has not been employed as a full or half-time contracted teacher (not as a substitute teacher) with the Hawaii Department of Education for one year or more: Provide evidence of a total of 180 days of substitute teaching over the past five years, or one or more years of full or half-time teaching experience to the principal of the Hawaii school in which you worked for the majority of assigned days in the last year of employment as a substitute teacher. This evidence could include copies of employment records, letters from schools (K-12 public or private) attesting to days or years assigned to teach or other acceptable evidence and attested by the principal. This principal must then sign and submit to HIDOE the completed HQ Documentation Form and HOUSSE Form. For assistance in documenting the number of days worked as a substitute with HIDOE, contact the HQ Team at HQT@hawaiidoe.org or call us at 808-441-8499.

Earning additional HOUSSE points for experience teaching in a core content area:
You can earn nine HOUSSE points for each year (up to a total of 45 points) you have taught the core academic subject for which HQ designation is sought. This experience must be documented as contracted teaching experience (full or half-time, not substitute teaching).

  1. If you are a substitute who has been employed as a contracted teacher (not as a substitute teacher) with the Hawaii Department of Education: Obtain a copy of your official HQ Status report via an e-mail request to HQT@hawaiidoe.org. Identify and provide evidence of the years of experience teaching in the core subject area for which HQ status is sought, and verified by the principal of the school in which you worked for the majority of assigned days in the last year of employment as a substitute teacher. This principal must then sign and submit to the HIDOE the completed HQ Documentation Form and HOUSSE Form.
  2. If you are a substitute who has been employed as a contracted teacher (not as a substitute teacher or for less than half- time) in schools other than those of the Hawaii Department of Education: Provide evidence showing contracted employment teaching in the subject area for which HQ designation is sought. This evidence may consist of employment records from out-of-state school districts or letters from schools (K-12 public or private) attesting to years assigned to teach in the content area for which HQ status is sought, and verified by principal of the school in which you worked for the majority of assigned days in the last year of employment as a substitute teacher. This principal must then sign and submit to the HIDOE the completed HQ Documentation Form and HOUSSE Form.

Note: Experience as a non-contracted teacher (substitute) cannot be used to earn HOUSSE points.

Contact Information

HQT Section

Phone: 808-441-8499

Email: hqt@hawaiidoe.org

Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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