Inclusive Education Standards of Practice

Inclusive education means all students are accepted members of their school community, where students with disabilities have equal access to and successfully engage in the same educational environment and learning opportunities as their non-disabled peers.

The Inclusive Education Standards of Practice tool is a research-based document that sets the standard of practices for inclusive education in our schools. The quality indicators outlined for each standard further define expectations and practices. School leadership teams can use this as a tool to determine baseline practices, areas of need and as a general guide for improvement.

These standards of practice supports the HIDOE commitment to school-wide systems and classroom practices that ensure each student, regardless of differences, can learn and contribute as a successful member of their school/community. The critical elements of this tool are grounded in our Hawaii Multi-Tiered System of Support (HMTSS) and aligned with the Department’s high-impact strategies of school design, teacher collaboration and student voice.


Take the following self-assessment to determine your understanding of the standards of practice. You can download a print version or take the online assessment (save your results).

What Are the Standards of Practice?

Leaders collaborating.

Engaged leaders are committed to equity and excellence in teaching and learning through shared power.

Kula Elementary students smiling.

Grounded in HĀ, where everyone feels like they belong, barriers are removed, and student success increases.

Haha'ione Elementary School kindergartners surround a rainbow bench that they designed and constructed to serve a need they saw in the community for love. Teachers and admin are in the photo as well.

Staffing and student decision making is based solely on the strengths and needs of the student.

Stevenson Middle School's teacher and principal observe highly engaged students working on a project.

School design encourages and supports full access to academic and non-academic learning opportunities for all students.

Teachers, students and community members build a microplastics machine.

Dedicated time and support are provided for effective collaboration among all educators.

Waipahu High School's engineering academy partners with industry to build a tiny house.

A local culture of families, community members, and school partnerships support and sustain equity and excellence within the school.

Recommendations for Use of the Tool

1. School leadership teams use this tool to conduct school-wide review of current practices.

2. Include school staff who are knowledgeable about the school’s systems, policies, and general practices on the review team.

3. Enlist the support of district resource staff with advanced training on inclusive practices.

4. Document information supporting your review decisions in the evidence column.

5. Prioritize the elements identified as must be improved or not in place.

6. Include elements of the framework identified as priority in your school improvement plan.

7. Create an action plan with next steps for improvement.

8. Use the tool to establish baseline and to monitor progress.