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REL Pacific

What Is School Like?


Students and families who come from the Freely Associated States (FAS) of the Pacific—the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of Palau—have diverse schooling experiences that influence how they interact, adapt, and contribute to education environments outside of the FAS. For example, students' experiences attending schools on islands and atolls and navigating education systems in their country and across international borders will inform their understanding of school environments if they transfer to a new school district in the United States. This infographic provides information about the physical, environmental, and systemic factors that shape school experiences in the FAS, and culturally responsive practices and considerations for educators supporting this student population.

Contact for more information:
  • Dr. Katie Gao, REL Pacific (

References Used in the Creation of the Infographic

Bonus, R. (2020). The ocean in the school: Pacific Islander students transforming their university. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Iding, M., Cholymay, N., & Kaneshiro, S. (2007). Building bridges, not barriers: Inviting Chuukese family involvement in Hawaii schools. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 1(1), 10–13.

Mayfield, V. M., & Garrison-Wade, D. (2015). Culturally Responsive Practices as Whole School Reform. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies 16(1), 1–17.

McDonald, B., Rodriguez, L., & George, J. R. (2019). ‘If it weren't for rugby, I'd be in prison now’: Pacific Islanders, rugby and the production of natural spaces. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(11), 1919–1935.

Taira, D. (2020). “We Are Our History”: Reviewing the History of Education in Hawai'i and Oceania. History of Education Quarterly 60(4), 632–643.

Takeuchi, D., Hune, S., Hong, S., Kang, J., Redmond, M. A., & Yeo, J. J. (2008). Growing presence, emerging voices: Pacific Islanders and academic achievement in Washington. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. GapReport.pdf

Cite This Infographic

REL Pacific. (2021). What is school like? [Infographic]. Getting to Know Pacific Island Students from the Freely Associated States Infographic Series. Institute of Education Sciences. pacific-student-infographic-3.asp