FAQs for military families

Common questions answered for military families deploying to Hawaii. If a question you have isn't answered here, please reference the contact section by military branch — we have resources to assist you.

​​​​​​Frequently Asked Questions for military families

Are there any Department of Defense (DOD) schools in Hawaii?

No, there are no DOD schools in Hawaii, including those on military installations. All public schools are part of the Department.​

We are moving to Hawaii; what school can my child attend?

The school your child can attend will depend on where you will live. Contact your service’s School Liaison Officer or these resources for assistance:
​Navy & Air Force
Oahu: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
Kauai: Pacific Missile Range Facility
-- Website --​​​
​Cherise Yamasaki, email
Oahu: Tripler Army Medical Center, Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield
Big Island (Hawaii): Pohakuloa Training Area
 ​-- Website --
Sheena S. Cooper, email
Tamsin Keone, email
Wendy Nakasone, email
Oahu: Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Camp Smith
-- Website​ --
​Amy Solomon, email
Coast Guard
Oahu: Fourteenth Coast Guard District, Base Honolulu, Sand Island
-- Website --
​Stacey Sawyer, email
Hawaii Army National Guard

Hawaii Air National Guard
​​Col. Amy Arfmanemail

What do I need to register my child for school in Hawaii?

The same as for any other student enrolling in Hawaii’s public schools. Summarized here:

  • Health Record Form, immunizations, and a tuberculosis exam
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of current address
  • Copy of transcript from last school
  • If necessary, legal documents, other documents from previous school, special needs documents

Can we pre-enroll our child for school before we arrive in Hawaii?

No, as the school your child can attend will be dependent on where you will live. Please review the enrolling in school page, linked to in the previous question.

When does the school year begin in Hawaii?

The school year begins on or around August 1.  Please click here to see upcoming calendars​.

Should I report Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) and other income when filling out an application for free and reduced-price meal for my child?

Yes, the following income should be reported in the application:
  • Base salary
  • COLA
  • Food BAS (Subsistence in Kind)
  • Clothing allowance (once a year)
  • Off-base housing allowance

My child is currently in a gifted and talented program; will the new school in Hawaii accept his/her continued placement in the gifted and talented program?

Your child’s new public school in Hawaii shall initially honor placement of the student in educational programs based on current educational assessments conducted at the school in your previous state or participation and placement in like programs in the sending state; provided that these programs exist in the your child’s new school. The programs include but are not limited to gifted and talented programs, Advanced Placement courses​ and English as a second language programs. This initial placement shall not preclude the Hawaii school from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student. The new school may allow the student to attend similar educational courses within the school district if it does not offer such educational programs.

My high school child is currently taking honors/Advanced Placement classes; will he/she be able to take these classes in Hawaii?

Yes, see response to the question above.

I have a special needs child with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) at his/her current school; will the new school honor this IEP?

The new school shall initially provide comparable services to a student with disabilities based on the student’s current IEP. Additionally, the school shall make reasonable accommodations and modifications to address the needs of incoming students with disabilities, subject to an existing section 504 or Title II Plan, to provide the student with equal access to education. The school can perform subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student.

How can I apply for a geographic exception (GE) so my child can attend a different school than the one designated for the area where we live?

The criteria for applying for a GE can be found here. The principal at the school you wish to attend outside of your geographic district will make the final decision on the GE application.

I just received an offer for permanent housing; why can’t my child stay in his/her current school for at least the remainder of the school year?

Your child is required to attend the school in the geographic area of your residential location. Requests to remain in a school outside of your housing area will be considered by your child’s current school principal. The principal’s decision is most often based on school capacity. For example, some schools serve the newly arrived children residing in temporary lodging facilities (TLF) in addition to military family housing residents within the school geographic area. When families move out of TLF into permanent housing, the school must then accommodate the new families in TLF.

When does school start and end?

Please refer to the School Calendar. ​Individual school calendars may vary slightly, so please check with your school for a detailed breakdown of its calendar.

Is kindergarten full-day, and what are the age requirements for kindergarten attendance?

Yes, kindergarten is full-day in Hawaii. To attend kindergarten in Hawaii, which is mandatory, a child must be 5 years of age by July 31 to enroll for the school year that begins in August. Learn more about kindergarten at our schools.

What are the requirements for homeschooling my child?

Homeschooling requirements can be found here

How do I find out information regarding private schools in Hawaii?

Please visit the Hawaii Association for Independent Schools website. ​

Contact Information

Cherry Okahara

Phone: (808) 271-5724

Email: cherry.okahara@k12.hi.us

How do I...?


View all FAQ's