New option allows combination of credits, non-credit seat hours to meet requirement

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced this week that all teachers must obtain the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Sheltered Instruction Qualification (SIQ).

The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association first learned of the plan by Schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi to require all teachers to obtain the SIQ requirement during negotiations earlier this spring.

The department issued this memo, which supersedes all previous memorandums regarding SIQ and clarifies the “all teachers” requirement and who is required to obtain the SIQ requirement, including:

  • All HIDOE and public charter school teachers.
  • Any full-time or half-time teacher in Bargaining Unit 05 (BU 05), including classroom teachers, student services coordinators, non-classroom teachers, and distance learning teachers.
  • K–12 part-time teachers.
  • Substitute teachers who provide instruction for four (4) or more consecutive weeks.
  • Summer school teachers and summer school support staff in teacher-type positions.

TESOL coursework or professional development credits/non-credit seat hours that qualify for SIQ must address one or more of the competencies identified in the TESOL Related Sheltered Instruction Competencies (Attachment B).

In addition, the HIDOE announced a new option to fulfill the SIQ. Educators can now meet the requirement by combining TESOL-related academic credits (option 1) and/or PDE3 credits (option 2) with TESOL-related HIDOE non-credit professional development courses (option 3, seat hours), under the following conditions and combinations:

  1. Each credential will only be accepted in its original qualification type (academic credit, PDE3 credit, PDE3 non-credit PD hours).
  2. A combination of credits and hours may be used for meeting Option 8 based on the combination of qualifications as listed:

1 Credit + 60 Seat Hours
2 Credits + 48 Seat Hours
3 Credits + 36 Seat Hours
4 Credits + 24 Seat Hours
5 Credits + 12 Seat Hours

HSTA has been advocating for the ability of teachers to combine seat time and professional development credits for many years. This new change allows more flexibility to meet the SIQ, while also making it easier to meet the new qualifications to reclassify for Class VIII on the pay scale when it becomes available in the 2025–2026 school year.

If you previously submitted a Sheltered Instruction Qualification Cover Sheet (Attachment C) and were notified that you did not meet the SIQ requirement and now meet the SIQ requirement through option 8, or if you already submitted documentation with the required combination of credits and seat hours, you do not need to submit another cover sheet. The Office of Talent Management will automatically update your qualification for SIQ.

Please contact the following offices for more information, clarifications, or questions.

Relating to teacher qualifications:

Office of Talent Management, Educator Quality Section
(808) 441-8499

Relating to EL Program, PD Opportunities for SIQ, Title III:

Office of Student Support Services, EL/Migrant Education Section
(808) 305-9664