High School

Approaching graduation, emphasis is placed on ensuring students have the skills and knowledge to succeed in college and career. Counselors are there to guide students with college prep and guidance. Opportunities in extracurricular activities, Learning Centers, student organizations and others greatly expand involvement.

Vision of a Hawaii public school graduate

Students shall:

  • Realize their individual goals and aspirations;
  • Possess the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary to contribute positively and compete in a global society;
  • Exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; and
  • Pursue post-secondary education and/or careers without need for remediation.

Learn more about the Department's requirements for graduation. Additional questions should be directed to the school counselor or principal.​

Learning standards

Teachers have the flexibility to design lesson plans that incorporate the arts, social and cultural values, health and wellness principles and more. The foundation is in a standards-based education that includes Common Core in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics, and the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards III in all other subjects. HIDOE has adopted Next Generation Science Standards​ with full implementation targeted for school year 2019-20. ​


  • Students in grade 11 take the Smarter Balanced​ exam in English language arts (ELA)/Literacy and Mathematics. In addition to providing data for schools, meeting or exceeding proficiency levels on the assessment will allow students to enroll in college credit-bearing courses​. 
  • Students in grade 11 take the ACT exam to hone their future educational and career plans based on their own skills, interests and aspirations. This is a free (for students) college entrance exam.
  • Students taking Biology I will take the End of Course exam.
  • Students planning to attend college are strongly encouraged to take Advanced Placement exams for college credit, and may additionally want to take the SAT college entrance exam.

College readiness

Now is the time for students to throw their college-going plans into high gear. Review our College & Career Readiness section, with resources for students who are on their way.

Expanded learning/life opportunities

Health and wellness

All students have access to breakfast and lunch at Department schools, and qualifying students can receive free and reduced price lunch. All students have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, and students are encouraged to participate in physical activity. For secondary grades 7-12, a minimum of 200 minutes per week are allotted for physical education.

Personalized learning

Schools use the Comprehensive Student Support System to provide proactive, positive, customized and timely interventions, services and support — compassionately — so all students will succeed to their greatest potential.


Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter cover

The Department's primary publication featuring successes across our public schools.

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