HHA does not give legal advice. Articles are for your information only.
Hawai'i has a state-run public school system. The rules governing homeschooling in Hawai'i are found in Chapter 12, "Compulsory Attendance Exceptions" of the Hawai'i Administrative Rules for the Department of Education. In particular, see sections 8-12-1 through 8-12-4 and 8-12-13 through 8-12-22.
Read the rules and refer to them when dealing with school officials. Most of the problems that arise between parents and school officials are due to simple misunderstanding of the administrative rules. Do not rely on school personnel to tell you what to do. Contact a support group if you need help. Here is a brief description of some of the rules.
Notice of intent
Any parent may homeschool his or her child by filing a notice of intent with the principal of the local public school. The notice may be given on the DOE's Form 4140, or in a letter containing the required information.
Form 4140 can be downloaded as a PDF file from the DOE's website:
DOE approval is not needed. The rules say that parents shall have a "record of the planned curriculum," but the plan is not ordinarily shared with the school.
Annual progress report
An annual progress report is required. You have a choice of showing progress via: standardized test scores, an evaluation by a teacher certified in the state of Hawai'i, or a parent-written report providing statements of progress in each subject area and samples of the student's work.
Standardized testing and alternatives
Standardized test scores are normally required in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10. Students may participate in the Statewide Testing Program at the local school, or private testing may be arranged at the parent's expense. Alternatives to standardized testing are allowed: "Parents may request and principals may approve other means of evaluation." In our experience, parents wishing to use other means of evaluation have been able to do so. Parent-written reports and student portfolios have been accepted in lieu of test scores.
Participation in school programs
The State Department of Education has taken the position that, under the existing administrative rules, homeschooled students are not allowed to participate in school classes or extra-curricular activities.
High school diploma
The Hawaii DOE does not award credit towards high school graduation for time spent homeschooled. Diplomas from the adult community school may be earned by taking the GED Tests.