Military Families

The Department works with the Interstate Compact to smooth the experience for military families who enroll their children in Hawaii's public schools. Military families often encounter challenges due to frequent relocations in service to our country. We're here to help.

April 15 Purple Up! Day

Don't forget to wear purple on Monday, April 15, to recognize and show your support of military children. Share pics of Purple Up! Day participants at your schools, offices and homes with our military liaison. Click on the flyer for a PDF and mark your calendars!


Hawaii is the temporary or long-term home for about 100,000 military personnel and their families. Families belong to Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy base installations located on Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island, as well as the Pacific Command headquartered on Oahu. ​Our Frequently Asked Questions list is designed to assist military families with their transition to Hawaii and its public school system. 

Click to read Public Education in Hawaii: Perception is Not Reality written by Kerry L. Erisman, July 21, 2020 for Military Spouse. [Click here to download a PDF.]

Learn more about the great work happening at Student Transition Centers. Student ambassadors support incoming students as they acclimate to their new classes, campuses and school cultures. This vital connection helps incoming students to remain focused on academic achievement and has made Transition Centers a vital part of school design models.

​School Liaison Officers

​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, and Space Force
Oahu: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
-- Website --​​​
Kauai: Pacific Missile Range Facility
Cherise Yamasaki, email
Oahu: Tripler Army Medical Center, Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield
Big Island (Hawaii): Pohakuloa Training Area
 ​-- Website --
Sheena Cooper, email
Tamsin Keone, email
Saint-Marie Gough, email

Oahu: Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Camp Smith
-- Website​ --
​Amy Solomon, email
Coast Guard
Oahu: Fourteenth Coast Guard District, Base Honolulu, Sand Island
Stacey Sawyer, email
Hawaii Army National Guard

Hawaii Air National Guard
Col. Amy Arfmanemail

School Liaison Officers

Enrolling At Our Schools

Students enrolling in our public schools must have documentation proving they are residents of the state and if necessary, documents from their previous school and other legal documents. Resources and opt-outs exist for students in exceptional circumstances. The necessary information is detailed here.

Impact Aid

The Department receives funds from the federal government known as Impact Aid to offset the costs associated with federal installations. The importance of this funding cannot be overstated. Hawaii has the highest number of military dependent children per capita in the nation. The state also has dozens of federal housing installations that also qualify for these funds. Impact Aid is used each year to offset costs for standards-aligned curricular resources, substitute teachers, student transportation, school utilities and other services. ​We rely on families who are in federal housing and military environments to fill out an annual survey in order to collect these funds. Click here to learn more.

Military-impacted schools

The numbers of military families moving to new housing developments in Central and Leeward Oahu, especially the Mililani and Kapolei communities, have grown. Listed below are schools that have significant populations of military dependent students. 

Central District

Leeward District

Windward District

JROTC Links 

Success Stories

Going through a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) can be stressful, but many military families who have PCS-ed to Hawaii say the Aloha State has become a second home. Take a look:

When you enroll your child in Hawaii's public school system, you don't have to be worried about whether they'll be challenged. We've adopted Common Core standards​ along with ​most states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). ​​Learn about all our standards and related resources here.

Radford High School's Transition Center has helped military students for over a decade to acclimate to their new school and surroundings with the guidance of experienced, volunteer student facilitators. These student peers help all new students, both military and civilian, and offer resources and support towards ensuring academic achievement. See the highlights:

Roughly 65 percent of Radford students come from military families in the Joint Base Hickam-Pearl Harbor area. The program has been recognized for its service by former First Lady Laura Bush in 2007 and by the Department of Defense.

Joint Venture Education Forum

With the support of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the JVEF was established in 1999 as a partnership between the Department, military and community stakeholders as a venue to address mutual concerns through meaningful discussion and relationships to promote educational opportunities for Hawaii’s children. Partnerships resulting from the JVEF improve our public schools, supports for military families and children, and community relations for both cultures. To learn more, contact the Department's Military Liaison, Cherry Okahara: or 808-271-5724.​


​Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3)

While the armed services have made great strides in easing the transition of their personnel, their spouses and, most importantly, their children, much remains to be done at the state and local levels to ensure that the children of military families are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children. The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children​ addresses these concerns.


​Kupono Diploma Program

Grants honorary high school diplomas to World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans, and individuals whose schooling was interrupted due to internment in relocation camps during World War II.​

Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

Click to view documentation and steps to qualify for Hawaii state income tax exemption.

Contact Information

Cherry Okahara

Phone: (808) 271-5724



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