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Great Public Schools Criteria for Hawaii

Great Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.

Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Hawaii.

Readiness to Learn

Hawaii's Preschool Open Doors Project provides low-income parents with subsidies to purchase preschool for their 4-year olds or in some cases 3-year-olds with special needs. Families with incomes under 85% of the state median income ($44,136 for a family of three) are eligible. Among children whose families meet the income requirement, those with special needs are given first priority to enroll. The Preschool Open Doors Project uses the same income eligibility criteria as the child care subsidy program, but unlike that program it does not require parents to be working or engaged in other work-related activities in order for their children to participate.
Source: National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)

Full-day Kindergarten:

Recruitment and Retention

Hawaii has state policies that support differentiated pay for rural schools, statewide financial incentives, hard-to-staff schools or subject areas, paraprofessional/teaching assistants to become certified teachers, teaching opportunities for retired teachers, and out-of-field teaching policies. Also, there are policies supporting maximum classroom size, classroom discipline, requirements for tenure, teacher recognition programs, and teacher exchange opportunities.

Differentiated Pay for Rural Schools: The department shall also provide additional benefits to teachers assigned to schools in areas designated as limited environment communities by the department.
HAW. REV. STAT.§ 302A-632

Statewide Financial Incentives: Teachers in the public school system may accept incentive packages provided by local communities for the purpose of retaining those teachers in schools with high teacher turnover. Packages may include such items as provisions of housing, mileage reimbursement, and discounts at local businesses.
HAW. REV. STAT. § 302A-701

Schools or Subject Areas: The Felix Response Plan (FRP) Relocation Bonus is offered to special education teachers recruited from the continental United States. This bonus is intended to assist newly hired teachers with relocation expenses. Also, qualified Certificated employees working in the geographically hard-to-fill areas of Moloka'i, Lana'i, Hana, Ka`u, and Kohala are eligible for the Hard-to-Fill Location Incentive. Teachers must complete one year of satisfactory service as a licensed teacher to earn this incentive. The $3,000 will be paid only at the end of one year of satisfactory service as a licensed teacher, and will not be pro-rated.
Source: The Felix Response Plan (FRP). Source: Hard-to-Fill Incentive.

For Paraprofessional/Teaching Assistants to Become Certified Teachers: The ParaEducator Training (PET) Program is offered through the department of education. The goal of the ParaEducator Training (PET) Program is to improve instruction and services to Hawaii's students through a comprehensive, competency based, systematic, training program. The PET Program's primary focus is towards educational assistants and others in an instructional setting.
ParaEducator Training (PET) Program

Teaching Opportunities for Retired Teachers:  Beginning July 1, 2006, the department of education may employ for positions up to 100 percent full-time equivalency retired teachers to teach in teacher shortage areas identified by the department of education and to serve as mentors for new classroom teachers with the prior approval of the superintendent of education.
Hawaii State Legislature, Regular Session 2006 H.B. No. 1862

Out-of-Field Teaching Policies: The department is required to report data annually to the board about the supply of, and demand for, teachers, including the identification of shortage areas, out-of-field teaching assignments, numbers of teachers teaching out-of-field, numbers and types of courses and classes taught by out-of-field teachers, and numbers and types of students taught by out-of-field teachers.
HAW. REV. STAT. § 302A-804

Maximum Class Size Policies: The optimum class size for grades K-3 shall be 20:1; provided that the maximum class size for grades K-2 shall be 25:1. The optimum class size for grades 4-12 shall be 26:1.
BOE Policy #2237

Classroom Discipline Policies: Disruptive classroom behavior, as used in this policy, includes any student conduct that significantly interferes with the learning of other students in the classroom. When classroom disruption does occur, appropriate action must be promptly taken in accordance with relevant departmental regulations, administrative rules, and state and federal laws, which protect the rights of all students.
BOE Policy #2290

Teacher Recognition Programs or Policies: The Department shall establish and maintain a structured program of awards and incentives as prescribed by the State to recognize years of service and achievements of employees of the Department.
BOE Policy #5550

Teacher Exchange Opportunities: The superintendent may contract for the exchange of teachers of the State with teachers of any other state, country, or territory. Teachers so exchanged shall be paid their regular salaries. The qualifications of all teachers from any such state, country, or territory so exchanged shall be equal to the qualifications of the teachers and educational officers exchanged by the State. 
HAW. REV. STAT. § 302A-613