Geographic exception process FAQs

Common questions about the geographic exception process at our schools. Updated February 2015.

Terms

​​​​1. Is the current school the same as the home school?
  • Current school: The school of a current HIDOE student or the HIDOE school that the student presently attends i.e., student attends a GE-approved school OR attends the school within their geographic attendance area or attends a public (conversion) charter school.

  • Home School: The school within the geographic attendance area, which the student shall attend according to legal residence. This term applies to students new to DOE, incoming kindergartners, and/or students from public (conversion) charter schools. 
2. What is a HIDOE school versus a DOE school?
  • A HIDOE school is any Hawaii K-12 public school, including public charter schools and public conversion charter schools, regulated by the Hawaii State Department of Education.

  • A DOE school is a regular or traditional Hawaii K-12 public school, whose policies and procedures are administered by the Department of Education, as a local educational agency.

School and Student Type

3. Do you need a GE to attend a public charter school?
No. The child needs to go through the application and acceptance process set up by the public charter school.

4. Do you need a GE to attend a public conversion charter school (i.e., a school that converted from a regular public school to a public charter school?)
At this time, conversion charter schools utilize the GE process for enrolling out-of-area students. Public conversion charter schools are former DOE schools that have converted to become public charter schools. However, the conversion charter school is still obligated to enroll students who: 1) live within their former DOE geographic service area boundary and; 2) are enrolling in the same grade levels that were originally part of the school before it converted to a charter school. The conversion charter school remains the home school for these "in-area" students. However, other students, who live outside of the service area boundary, must comply with the application, acceptance and enrollment process set up by the charter school.

5. Do Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (HLIP) students require a GE?
GE approval is not required for students seeking enrollment to HLIP. Per HRS §302A-1143, school-aged persons enrolled in a Hawaiian language medium program are not required to attend the home school of their local residence but may be openly enrolled in the HLIP program.

6. Does a homeless family need to file a GE for their child to attend the neighborhood school?
The GE process does not apply to homeless students unless the request is for a student to attend a school other than the school of origin or home school. A copy of the MV-1 form must be attached to the GE Request Form for any current or new McKinney-Vento Act student who is seeking a GE. Please contact the Homeless Concerns Office for issues or concerns dealing with homeless families. Toll Free Number: 1-866-927-7095

7. Since many military families transfer (i.e. PCS, or permanent change station) to Hawaii during the summer, how will military families be able to apply for a GE beyond the usual GE application window (i.e. Jan. 1 - Mar. 1) for the next school year?
Schools should be aware that military families usually PCS or transfer to/from Hawaii during the summer months. There are usually long waiting times to find permanent housing. Until the families are provided with permanent housing, they usually reside in temporary lodging facilities (TLF). Hence, the newly arrived children will attend the schools servicing that TLF. Since many military families wish to have their children enrolled in the school located near their permanent residence and may miss the GE window for next year enrollment, schools will be flexible to accept a signed and accepted offer to a lease agreement from a leasing office, as proof of residence, if the following are included: Parent/legal guardian's name and signature with date of acceptance; residential address; effective date of offer; available unit date; and, deadline to respond date.

Process

8. When should a GE application form be submitted?
GE applications for the next school year shall be submitted between January 1 and March 1 to facilitate a decision and parent notification by March 15. However, applications for the current and next school year shall be accepted at other time periods whenever unforeseen circumstances arise.

9. Can I download the GE application from the website and submit it to the school?
Yes. The GE Request Form (CHP 13-1) is accessible on the DOE website. If the form is downloaded from the website, the receiving school makes copies and disseminates accordingly. Please check with the school to make sure that it is the latest version of the form.

10. To which school do I submit the GE application? Does it matter if it is for the current school year or next school year?
Yes, it does matter if it is for the current or next school year AND if the student is a HIDOE or a non-HIDOE student. See below for information as to which school to submit the GE application.

If applying for the NEXT School Year, the form should be completed and submitted for processing:
FROM the parent/legal guardian of:SUBMIT TO:
HIDOE student [includes Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (HLIP); Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS); Public Charter School (PCS) students]Current HIDOE school
Non-HIDOE student (i.e. incoming kindergartener, private school, or out-of state student)Next year's DOE home school or PCCS home school

If applying for the PRESENT School Year, the form should be completed and submitted for processing:
FROM the parent/legal guardian of:SUBMIT TO:
HIDOE student [includes Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (HLIP); Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS); Public Charter School (PCS) students]Current HIDOE school
Non-HIDOE student (i.e. incoming kindergartener, private school, or out-of state student)Current year's DOE home school or PCCS home school


11. When a parent submits GE applications to multiple schools, what happens when one of the desired receiving schools informs the parent of its acceptance? Does it automatically void all the other GE applications?
Chapter 13, the rule on geographic exceptions, states in part that for applications received by March 1st, notification of the decision shall be mailed no later than two weeks after March 1, unless the student is to be considered in the chance lottery selection process. The notification should “Inform the applicant that an alternative student may be selected by the principal if the student is not registered at the receiving school within 10 working days from the postmarked date of the mailing.” Thus, the rule does not provide for automatic voiding of all other GE applications. Receiving schools should keep note for audit purposes if an alternate student is selected.

12. If a parent submits a regular GE request after the March 1st deadline, can the GE application form be rejected because it was late?
No. The GE application should be submitted to the child’s respective school (listed in question 10). The current or home school will complete Section II of the GE Request Form and forward to the appropriate receiving (GE requested) school. Please note that all notable considerations must be accommodated prior to any regular GEs. Late GE applications will be put on a waitlist by the date that they are received unless space is available to accommodate the request.

13. If the parent turns in the GE application to the receiving school instead of the current school or the home school, what should be done?
In order not to inconvenience the parent, the receiving school should date-stamp the receipt of the application. The application should then be faxed or couriered (after making a copy) to the current school or to the home school. Specific procedures on how the school sends the application to the next school is at the discretion of the principal.

14. When will the current/home school forward the submitted GE request form to the requested school?
For the current school year, the forwarding school has five (5) business days to process and forward the completed GE request form to the requested school(s) from the date of receipt.

For the next school year, the forwarding school will process and forward the completed GE request form to the requested school(s) so that the requested school(s) receives the GE request form by the 2nd business day of March. Fax may be used to forward the GE request forms to the requested school(s) by the deadline.

15. Does a parent need to establish a legal residence prior to submitting a GE?
Yes. A parent/guardian must establish legal residence in Hawaii to determine the home school within the geographic attendance area of the legal residence (HRS §302A-1143, Attend school in what district) (BOE Policy 4150/4155). If a current HIDOE student is seeking a GE, then the current school will review the proof of residence on file. If a non-HIDOE student is seeking a GE, then a proof of residence document will need to be submitted along with other enrollment documents at your home school PRIOR to requesting a GE.

16. What documents are considered as proof of residence?
Preferred documentation includes the following (posted to the How to Enroll page of the website):
  • Rental/lease agreement, mortgage document, or current real property assessment document in the parent/guardian's name. A signed and accepted offer to a lease agreement from a leasing office is acceptable, if the following are included: Parent/legal guardian's name and signature with date of acceptance; residential address; effective date of offer; available unit date; and, deadline to respond date.
  • Utility bill for water, electric, gas, or telephone in the parent/guardian's name and is being sent to the legal residence.
  • If the parent or legal guardian cannot provide documentation of legal residence because the parent/legal guardian is living with a relative/friend, a notarized statement by the relative/friend can be accepted by the school with the following stipulations:
    • Notarized statement must state that the parent/legal guardian and child are living with the relative/friend;
    • Notarized statement must state the name of the relative/friend that is on the relative/friend's proof of legal residence;
    • Notarized statement must state the same address of relative/friend that is on the relative/friend's proof of legal residence;
    • A copy of the relative/friend's proof of legal residence must be attached to the notarized statement; and,
    • Notarized statement must be signed by same name of relative/friend that is on the relative/friend's proof of legal residence.
17. When issuing a student ID number for a new HIDOE student seeking a GE, must the parent fill out the SIS-10WR Student Enrollment Form? What about other enrollment requirements?
Parents should let schools know if their child is a returning HIDOE student. In order to issue a new ID number and place the student in the electronic student information system database, there are key fields such as student name, age, gender, grade level, birth date, residential address, phone number, pre-school experience, ethnicity, and languages that need to be entered. Thus, for new students to the HIDOE system, the enrollment form needs to be completed and submitted. Parents can obtain this form at the school. Other enrollment requirements must be met.

18. For how long is a GE valid?
In accordance with BOE Policy 4155, "A student, once granted a geographic exception, shall belong to the school for which it is granted, …until the student graduates or otherwise transfers.” If a student's legal residence changes, the GE remains valid until the student is withdrawn or at the end of the student's terminal grade level year. If a GE student wishes to continue to the next projected middle or high school within the GE complex, then a new GE application must be submitted.

19. How do I appeal a Principal’s denial of a GE application?
A written appeal needs to be filed with the receiving school’s Complex Area Superintendent within ten (10) school days of the postmarked date of denial. The written appeal can be submitted using Request for Review of Denial for Geographic Exception Form CHP-2. The Complex Area Superintendent shall render a written decision within ten (10) school days of the postmarked date of the filing for an appeal.

20. Can a student be revoked on a GE for lack of attendance or behavioral issues?
No. Once granted a GE, a student shall belong to the school and be treated no differently than any other student attending the same school. A GE is only revocable if the GE is found to be granted based upon false information submitted.

GE Request Form

21. If none of the notable considerations within Section I of the GE Request Form apply to my GE request, what do I do?
The notable considerations are priority considerations over other GE requests. All other requests for geographic exceptions shall be considered only after priority requests have been accommodated (HAR Ch. 13 §8-13-7(c)). You may check the "Other" box in Section I and provide a detailed statement of your reasons for seeking a GE. If more space is needed, you may staple additional documentation to support your reasons for seeking a GE.

22. Why is physical residence listed as a notable consideration within Section I?
Physical residence is the actual physical residence of the child (i.e., non-custody residence), per HRS §8-13-2, Chapter 13, Geographic Exceptions. Legal residence presumes that the child resides with the parents/legal guardian at the parents/legal guardian's residence.

23. Is it a violation of student privacy (FERPA) if the current school or home school shares special education information to address the "List of information regarding special student accommodations (if applicable) within Section II?
No. This information helps the school become aware of physical access needs, such as accessible walkways, special walker, distraction-free study space, preferential seating, or allergies, which allow the student to attend school on a daily basis. NOTE: Specific disability labels should not be identified on the GE Request Form.

24. What should parents and schools understand about the "List of information regarding special student accommodations (if applicable)" within Section II?
Forwarding schools are responsible to address all items in Section II and should not allow parents to answer this item on the GE Request Form. Specific disability labels should not be identified on the GE Request Form by the forwarding school. Moreover, receiving schools should not use any listed information against the GE approval for that student.

25. Which school completes Section II if the applicant is in his/her terminal grade level (i.e., the last grade level available at the school)?
Refer to charts below. The school listed in the "SUBMIT TO:" section is responsible for completing Section II.

If applying for the NEXT School Year, the form should be completed and submitted for processing:
FROM the parent/legal guardian of:SUBMIT TO:
HIDOE student [includes Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (HLIP); Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS); Public Charter School (PCS) students]Current HIDOE school
Non-HIDOE student (i.e. incoming kindergartener, private school, or out-of state student)Next year's DOE home school or PCCS home school
If applying for the PRESENT School Year, the form should be completed and submitted for processing:
FROM the parent/legal guardian of:SUBMIT TO:
HIDOE student [includes Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (HLIP); Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS); Public Charter School (PCS) students]Current HIDOE school
Non-HIDOE student (i.e. incoming kindergartener, private school, or out-of state student)Current year's DOE home school or PCCS home school​
26. In Section II of the GE Request Form, it requires the signature of the home/current school authorized official's signature. Who is that authorized person at the school?
The Principal or his/her designee. The Principal retains overall responsibility if delegated to a designee.

27. In Section III of the GE Request Form, who is the receiving school authorized official?
The Principal or his/her designee. The Principal retains overall responsibility if delegated to a designee.

Contact Information

Karl Yoshida

Phone: 808-564-6040

Email: Karl_Yoshida@hawaiidoe.org

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