Special Education

Special education is specially designed instruction, related services and other supplementary aids to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability at no cost to families. The Department provides these services to anyone aged 3 to 22 who demonstrates a need for specially designed instruction, after an eligibility determination.

Special Education Guidance and Resources: Reopening of Schools for School Year 2020-2021 (For DOE Personnel)

Click on the title above to access information that provides guidance and resources to support students with disabilities when schools reopen in Fall 2020 and students return to learning. The topic areas covered include:
  • REOPENING OF SCHOOLS mandatory for staff
  • SERVICE DELIVERY & EDUCATIONAL PLANNING (in reopening)
  • COVID-19 IMPACT SERVICES mandatory for staff
  • RELATED & SPECIALIZED SERVICES
  • PLANS (in reopening)



SPIN School Reopening Infographics for the 2020-21 School Year

7 Definitions for Learning During a Pandemic in Hawaii
Reopening Requirements for Students With Disabilities
A Checklist for a Total Distance Learning Plan
School Closure Contingency Plan Checklist
Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Students with Disabilities
Online Learning Options
Parent Tips for Virtual IEPs
Using Technology to Deliver Related Services


What is Special Education?

It is specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education may include, but is not limited to: academic services, speech-language services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, counseling services, and parent education. Special education services are provided at no cost to parents. Please review this brochure, Special Education: Is it for Your Child?

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) and state regulations require the Hawaii State Department of Education to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE), which includes a continuum of services for students who are eligible for special education and related services.

Special education services are made available to any student ages 3 to 22 who demonstrates a need for specially designed instruction, after an eligibility determination. An evaluation will determine the nature and extent of the student’s needs. Evaluations are comprised of separate assessments which may include: academic performance, communication skills, general intelligence, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, and motor abilities. If a student is eligible for special education, services are provided to the student through an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

​Operation Search

Operation Search is the Department's campaign to find children who may need special education services but who are not receiving them at this time. For more information, call Operation Search at 800-297-2070 statewide. View our Operation Search brochure​, and our video​.

  • CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 3: For information regarding infants and toddlers between the ages of birth and two years, contact the Early Intervention Referral Line, formerly Hawaii Keiki Information Service System (H-KISS) at (808) 594-0066​​. You can also visit Early Intervention Services online here: http://health.hawaii.gov/eis/home/eiservices​.
  • PEOPLE OLDER THAN 22: For youths over 22 years of age, contact the Hawaii State Department of Human Services, Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind Division at (808) 586-5268, or the Hawaii State Department of Health, Case Management and Information Services Branch at (808) 733-9172.

How do I get help for my child?

Contact your child’s home school, which is the neighborhood school that the student attends and request an evaluation. The request can be made by [either]:

  • Verbally, in person, or by phone;
  • In a written letter, faxed, or e-mailed; or
  • On the State of Hawaii Request for Evaluation form obtained from the school.

If completing the Request for Evaluation form, write down all the problems that your child is having, even if you may not consider them educational problems. Return the form to the school office.

The school may invite the parent to a meeting, consisting of teachers, and possibly the counselor and/or principal, to discuss the student’s needs. The team may review student records, grades, test scores, etc., to determine whether an evaluation is appropriate and to determine what type of assessment(s) is needed. The school will respond within 15 days if an evaluation will or will not be conducted. Parental consent will be required for an evaluation to be conducted. You and your child(ren) have rights in this process.

Rights of Parents and Students Under Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Hawaii Law and Regulations 

Federal Regulations and Hawaii Law and Regulations for Section 504 and IDEA afford parents and/or students with the following rights. Please click on this link for more information about you and your student's rights.

Individualized Education Program

An IEP is a written statement about the educational program for a child with a disability. It serves as a management tool used to ensure that the child receives the needed special education and related services. It also serves as an evaluation device when used to determine the extent of the child's progress toward accomplishing projected goals. It includes:

  • a statement of the child's present levels of educational performance;
  • a statement of annual goals, including short-term instructional objectives;
  • a statement of the specific special education and related services to be provided;
  • the extent that the child will be able to participate in regular educational programs;
  • the projected dates for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of the services; and
  • appropriate objective criteria and evaluation procedures and schedules for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether the objectives are being achieved.

Transportation of Students - Public Hearing Notice 

On June 18, 2020, the Board of Education (BOE) approved for public hearing proposed amendments to Title 8, Chapter 27, Hawaii Administrative Rules, entitled "Transportation of Students."  View the Department of Education's notice of virtual public hearing and the draft administrative rules for more information about the proposed amendments to ensure consistency with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. 

Schedule of Virtual Public Hearing

Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

WebEx link: HAR Chapter 27 - Virtual Public Hearing 12/10/20 10:00 am

Public Testimony

All interested persons shall be afforded the opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, in writing, on the proposed administrative rules at the time of the virtual public hearing. Persons wishing to submit written testimony are requested to submit an email to macb@k12.hi.us by December 11, 2020.

Persons who require special assistance or services, such as a sign language interpreter, at the public hearing, are invited to call (808) 307-3600 at least ten business days prior to the public hearing.

Parent Involvement Survey (Indicator 8)

Your Opinion is Extremely Important to Us!

What is the Parent Involvement Survey?

To meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) is required to report annually to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) the "percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities" enrolled in Hawaii public schools.

Like many other states, HIDOE collects this data through a large-scale survey. The HIDOE is using the Schools' Efforts to Partner with Parents Scale (SEPPS) that consists of a 25-item rating scale and was developed and validated by the National Center for Special Education and Accountability Monitoring (NCSEAM).

The Parent Involvement Survey:

  • Is multiple choice and takes less than ten (10) minutes to complete. 
  • Collects responses that are reported anonymously and cannot be personally linked to you or your child.
  • Is available either online or at your child's public school in a paper format that includes a postage-paid envelope.
  • Ensures objectivity by being collated, aggregated, and analyzed independently outside of the HIDOE by the current contractor, Piedra Data Services LLC.
  • Provides you with the opportunity to complete one (1) survey per child receiving special education and related services.
  • Is offered by your child's public school after the initial or annual IEP meeting.
  • Is available to be completed from July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021.

HIDOE values your involvement in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and other school activities/events relating to your child's education and would like to hear about your experience with your school's efforts to partner with you. Your participation in this survey will help HIDOE to improve parental involvement in the special education process and improve outcomes for our students with disabilities and families.

How Do I Take the Parent Involvement Survey?

You may complete the survey:

  1. Online at: http://www.hiparentsurvey.com/
  2. In a paper format (Please contact the Monitoring and Compliance Branch for a paper copy with an accompanying postage-paid envelope).

Parent Involvement Survey Handout

More information about the Parent Involvement Survey is available on the Parent Involvement Survey Handout. If you are unable to access the survey, please contact the Monitoring and Compliance Branch at macb@k12.hi.us or (808) 307-3600.

Parent Involvement Survey Translations

The online Parent Involvement Survey is under construction to include translations.  Translation of the Parent Involvement Survey is available in the languages noted below. 

For the Parent Involvement Survey in English, click on the link above in the "How Do I Take the Parent Involvement Survey" section.


IDEA Part B Reports

State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires each state to develop a state performance plan/annual performance report (SPP/APR) that evaluates the state's efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of the IDEA and describes how the state will improve its implementation. A state is required to submit a state performance plan (SPP) at least every six years. Each year, states must report against the targets in its SPP in an annual performance report (APR). The Annual Performance Report includes targets and data for 17 indicators. The Hawaii Department of Education worked with Hawaii's State advisory panel, Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) to establish measurable and rigorous annual performance targets.

State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

A multi-year, achievable plan that is a required part of the State Performance Plan(SPP)/Annual Performance Report (APR) – Indicator 17. It is intended to help states strengthen their infrastructure to support local practice and to use data to make decisions to achieve better results for students with disabilities.

IDEA Section 618 Data Tables

Section 618 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires that each state submit data about the children with disabilities, ages 3 through 21, who receive special education and related services under Part B of IDEA.

Due Process Hearings 

A parent/legal guardian or the Department may file a due process complaint on any matter relating to a proposal or a refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of your child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for a student who receives special education and related services.

To view Hawaii's IDEA Part B Reports, click here.

SCHOOL-BASED MEDICAID CLAIMING PROGRAM

State and federal laws allow the Hawaii DOE to claim partial federal reimbursements for medically necessary and educationally necessary health-related services that are provided through a student’s IEP. Services may include:

  • Evaluations determined as necessary as part of the IEP process
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Audiology Services
  • Speech Language Therapy
  • Assistive Technology Services
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Behavioral Health Services

Med-QUEST, the State’s Medicaid program, may reimburse the Hawaii DOE for a portion of the costs of eligible services. This is an important federal funding stream for public schools. The following criteria must be met:

  • Parental consent is provided to participate in the School-Based Medicaid Claiming Program;
  • The service(s) is determined to be a medically necessary and educationally necessary health-related service
  • through a student’s IEP; and
  • Student is Med-QUEST eligible.

LEARN MORE: brochure | letter to parents | FAQs | consent form — non-English translations below:


​BROCHURE
PARENT LETTER
​FAQs
​CONSENT FORM
​Cebuano
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
Chinese (simplified)
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Chinese (traditional)
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
Chuukese
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Hawaiian
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Ilokano
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Japanese
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Korean
brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
consent form
​Marshallese
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Samoan
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Spanish
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
​Tagalog
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQsconsent form
​Tongan
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form
Vietnamese
​brochure
​parent letter
​FAQs
​consent form


Resources
  • Community Children's Councils: A partnership of parents, school personnel, private providers and other community members, coordinated by the Department, who are concerned with the delivery of services and support to special needs children and families.
  • Disability & Communication Access Board: For persons with disabilities (Department of Health).
  • Leadership in Disabilities & Achievement of Hawaii: The Parent Training & Information Center (PTI) for the state of Hawaii. Its mission is to enhance education, work and life opportunities for children and youth with disabilities by empowering them and their families through information, training and mentoring, and by public outreach and advocacy.
  • Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)​: A diverse group of individuals with expertise on all aspects affecting special education and related issues. Membership includes a majority of parents of children with disabilities, as well as teachers, administrators, representatives from the Department of Heath and the Department of Human Services, and others.​
  • Special Parent Information Network (SPIN): Information, support and referral to parents of children and young adults with disabilities and the professionals who serve them (sponsored by DOH/Department).​
  • Hawaii Autism Foundation: The mission of the Hawaii Autism Foundation is to educate and help Hawaii families find and fund treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Chapter 60 Guidelines​: A side-by-side table meant to provide clarification and additional information to the Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 60.​​


​Seeking Special Education Teachers​The Department of Education is seeking qualified Special Education teachers for all grades and specialty areas. 

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