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What is it Like Teaching in Hawai‘i?

Hawai‘i is a very unique place to live and teach in. There are also some unique aspects of Hawai‘i’s educational system that differ from other school systems around the country.

Hear from some SPEDucators share about what it was like to move to Hawai‘i to teach and share some advice and tips for others who may be considering the move!

Unique Fact #1: Hawai‘i is the only state with a single, unified school district


The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) is a large statewide school district comprised of 257 schools that are divided into seven smaller districts across the Hawaiian Islands. Each district is subdivided into complex areas. Each district complex includes high schools and the middle and elementary schools that feed into them.

Unique Fact #2: Hawai‘i is mostly rural

About 85% of the state population lives in the urban center of O‘ahu. The rest of the state is rural and remote, with close-knit communities and a focus on land and culture.



Unique Fact #3: Hawai‘i is the only state without an ethnic majority

Hawai‘i is the only state without an ethnic majority. According to the 2020–2021 Hawaii DOE Data Book, the largest student ethnic subgroups would be Native Hawaiian (24%), Filipino (22%), and White (20%).




Unique Fact #4: The Aloha Spirit is Real

It is important for anyone relocating to Hawai‘i to understand and embrace what makes this place unique. Please check out these different resources available to learn more.

UH SPED Special Education