Middle School

What the average middle school student and their parents can expect: A continuation of the educational pipeline, expanded testing designed to identify post-school skills and aspirations, more student life opportunities.

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. ​


  • All students take the annual State Assessment, and 8th graders take an additional state science assessment.
  • A sample of 8th graders are assessed in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading, writing, math and science.
  • 8th graders can opt to take the ACT Explore exam to begin a review of their future educational and career plans based on skills, interests and aspirations.

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.

Expansion of arts, athletics

Most secondary schools offer programs in the visual arts, drama, dance and/or music. A pilot program is expanding athletic sports to middle schools.

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.

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