If you’re moving to Hawaii with young kids then you’re most likely going to want to get them in school as soon as possible. A gap in educational years can play havoc on a kid’s psyche. Imagine having to stay back a year because you missed the registration deadline due to a move you didn’t want to make with your parents because you were leaving all of your friends.
Picking a School
The Hawaii Public school website has a great school locator tool. Just type in the address of where you’ll be living and the site will give you some school to look into, research and even get driving directions. If you don’t know where you’ll be living then try using your employment address of a central point in the neighborhoods that you’re thinking of living in.
How to Enroll
You’ll need the following documents to enroll your children in Hawaii public schools. Keep in mind, that it must be a parent or legal guardian to enroll students. Older siblings, or other relatives, with no legal documentation as guardian will not be able to enroll students.
Student Health Records: It would be a good idea to get your child a full physical before arriving in Hawaii as well as gathering their shot records and immunization history. If they are due for shots then get them done prior to arriving if possible. If you don’t have a physical exam or immunizations complete then a doctor’s stating that the child is in the process of getting their immunization and PE will suffice.
Birth Certificate: If the BC was issued by a foreign country then legal visa or passport will cover the requirement.
Proof of Current Address: Lease, rental agreement, mortgage paperwork, utility bill, etc.
Previous School Records: Take them all. Transcripts, latest report cards, and any special educational need/requirement paperwork that you may have if it is applicable.
Miscellaneous Documents: In some cases, depending on the individual circumstance, you may need to (and want to) provide the following documents: restraining order paperwork, Power of Attorney (if child is not living with the parents at time), court orders, legal guardianship paperwork, etc.
Let me finish out by saying that the Hawaii Public school system doesn’t have the best reputation. I can’t really speak to that (my kids are all older and out of school) so I’m going to link you here to a very interesting article about the sacrifices that some parents are making to avoid the Hawaii Public school system for their kids. I will only say this: Every experience is different. Don’t jump and throw your kids into an expensive private school right away. Do some research. You can’t put a price tag on a good education but you may find that you’re opinion of “good education” is different from many of the reviews that you read.