If you’re contemplating a move to one of Hawaii’s lush paradisal islands with school-aged children, you might be wondering about the quality of the state’s education system. Rest assured, while Hawaii supports many outstanding public schools, Hawaii’s collection of elite private academies is elite.

Hawaii’s esteemed public school system of 286 schools operates within a single district governed by locally elected school board officials and superintendents. 172,000 students enrolled in Hawaii’s public school system for the 2021-22 year, down slightly from the 174,704 for the previous academic year. The student-teacher ratio is low, comparatively speaking, at just fifteen students for every teacher.

The Hawaii State Department of Education has been using the Common Core State Standards Initiative standards for setting educational benchmarks since June 2010. There are 32 charter schools within Hawaii’s school district in all. The state’s public school graduation rate is high at 82%. Likewise, the average SAT score is commendable, as well, at 1453 points among the 50% of all students who took the exam.

While Hawaii’s public schools are impressive, this list highlights its top private schools, many of which stand among some of the finest independent schools in the country.

We compiled this list of the top five private schools in Hawaii based upon the following criteria: Average SAT/ACT scores, student-to-teacher ratio, quality of teaching staff, national rankings, and verified parent reviews.

Punahou School

Punahou tops our list because, while Punahou is by most estimates the best school in Hawaii, several national rankings place it alongside the finest private schools in the entire US. Despite being the largest single-campus private institution in the nation, Punahou School maintains a low student-to-teacher ratio of 11:1. Located centrally in the lower Manoa neighborhood. AOL founder Steve Case and former President Barack Obama are just two among a host of Punahou’s celebrated alumni.

Grades: K-12
Estimated Annual Tuition: $27,716
Student-Teacher Ratio: 11:1
School Address: 1601 Punahou St, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Phone: (808) 944-3580


‘Iolani School

Honolulu’s ‘Iolani School, after Punahou, is the longest-standing private K-12 school in Hawaii. Its diverse student body, at 2100 students, finds well-rounded individualized instruction, owing to its low 10:1 student-teacher ratio. This private Episcopal boarding school, renowned for academic excellence in all areas, is considered the best college preparatory school in Hawaii for pre-college students aiming for careers in the STEM fields.

Grades: K-12
Estimated Annual Tuition: $26,150
Student-Teacher Ratio: 11:1
School Address: 563 Kamoku St, Honolulu, HI 96826, USA
Phone: (808) 949-5355


Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Decidedly, the top-rated K-12 private school outside of Honolulu, Hawaii Preparatory Academy has just 572 students. Its unprecedented 8:1 student-teacher ratio ensures plenty of individualized classroom attention. Annual tuition for the highest grade offered is $57,200, a price tag that includes boarding costs. 45% of its students receive an average financial aid package of $17,000 per year. A staggering 95% of Hawaii Preparatory Academy graduates move on to attend elite colleges around the globe.

Grades: K-12
Estimated Annual Tuition (and Board): $57,200
Student-Teacher Ratio: 8:1
School Address: 65-1692 Kohala Mountain Rd, Kamuela, HI 96743, USA
Phone: (808) 949-5355


Kamehameha Schools

Formerly known as Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate (KSBE), the Kamehameha Schools comprise a highly competitive system of private schools located throughout Hawaii. The school program mission at Kamehameha is to “fulfill [Princess Bernice] Pauahi’s desire to create educational opportunities in perpetuity to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry.” The K-12 Kamehameha Schools have been coeducational since 1965. Each Kamehameha site emphasizes a robust curriculum, enhanced by historical practices in Hawaiian language and culture.

Grades: K-12
Estimated Annual Tuition (and Board): $40,000
Student-Teacher Ratio: 13:1
School Address: Address: 1887 Makuakane St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
Phone: (808) 523-6200


Sacred Hearts Academy

Founded in 1908, Sacred Hearts Academy is the finest all-girls parochial school in Hawaii. This Roman Catholic academy for girls only boasts an excellent and highly credentialed teaching staff with an equally impressively curriculum, especially in the visual and performing arts. A phenomenal Honolulu area Catholic school, Sacred Hearts Academy provides a unique opportunity for your daughter to develop new interests in a traditional, yet academically rigorous setting.

Grades: Pre K-12
Estimated Annual Tuition: $17,467
Student-Teacher Ratio: 13:1
School Address: 3253 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Phone: (808) 734-5058


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Additional Great Hawaii Private Schools to Consider

St. Anthony School

Grades: K-12
Tuition Fees: $5,000
Student to Teacher ratio: 13:1
Address: 1627 Mill St A
Wailuku, HI 96793.
Tel: (808) 244-4190

If you want to take your kid to a private school in Hawaii, St. Anthony School might be an ideal choice. Currently, the school has 260 students, and it is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association and the State or regional independent school association.

From the school’s name and the associations, you can tell that the school’s religious affiliation is Roman Catholic. The school ranks among the best Hawaii private schools because of its affordability. Besides being affordable, its student-to-teacher ratio is also excellent. So, taking your kid here might guarantee high-quality education.

Ho’ala School

Grades: K-8
Tuition Fees: $10, 857
Student to Teacher ratio: 7:1
Address: 1067 California Avenue A
Wahiawa, HI 96786
Tel: (808) 621-1898

Ho’ala School is yet another ideal private school your children could attend in Hawaii. The school’s philosophy is founded on an implicit curriculum that empower children’s attitudes and actions to ensure they always behave appropriately.

The school supports mild learning differences and has a summer program. The school has about 48 students and seven teachers, making the student-to-teacher ratio 7:1. Fortunately, the institution is a welcoming, inclusive community that embraces diversity.

The school’s core values include responsibility, respect, responsiveness, and respectfulness. What’s more, the school offers a national award-winning parent/teacher study groups twice annually.

Hogwanji Mission School

Grades: PK-8
Tuition Fees: $10,700
Student to Teacher ratio: 11:1
Address: 1728 Pali Highway
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 532-0521

Hogwanji Mission School was founded in 1949, and it is one of the best private schools that your child could join in Hawaii. The school has an acceptance rate of 85 percent. Therefore, you don’t need to worry too much about your child getting into Hogwanji Mission School.

The school is ideal for parents that have kids in prekindergarten because it’s included in their grades. Moreover, the school offers summer classes and has a variety of sporting activities, which is great if you want your kid to take up sports. A large percentage of the school’s faculty also has advanced degrees.

Mary, Star of the Sea School

Grades: K-8
Tuition Fees: $12,115
Student to Teacher ratio: 8:1
Address: 4469 Malia St
Honolulu, HI 96821
Tel: (808) 734-0208

Mary, Star of the Sea School is a Roman Catholic-affiliated institution. It offers its students top quality education guided by core Christian values. The school was founded in 1946. This institution provides a summer program that goes for $350, which has one or two session courses that you could choose from.

The school ranks among the best Hawaii private schools because it nurtures students’ talents and leadership skills. Additionally, it supports co-curricular activities, including a variety of sports. Although it is affiliated to the Roman Catholic, the school accepts both Catholic and non-Catholic students.

Huakailani School of Girls

Grades: K-8
Tuition Fees: $11,800
Student to Teacher ratio: 8:1
Address: 45-035 Kaneohe Bay Drive
Kaneohe, HI 96744
Tel: (808) 263-2020

Are you looking for an all-girls school in Hawaii that your child can attend? If you are, you might consider taking them to Huakailani School of Girls. The school ranks among the best private schools in the area, and it offers top quality education.

The school was founded in 2008, and it has an average class size of eight students. As such, you can rest easy knowing your daughter will have adequate teacher-student time. The school also offers extra-curricular activities, even though it only offers one type of sport – basketball. Fortunately, the girls’ school has rigorous math, reading, and writing programs.

Hawaiian Mission Academy

Grades: 9-12
Tuition Fees: $13,500
Student to Teacher ratio: 11:1
Address: 1438 Pensacola Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 536-2207

Hawaiian Mission School is also another top-ranking private school in Hawaii. The school is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventists. If you’re looking for a school that will instill core Christian values in your child, it could be the right pick.

The school is small, which means that your child will have access to high-quality education because the student-teacher ratio is well-balanced. The school was founded in 1920, making it one of the oldest schools in Honolulu. This school also offers 2 AP courses and language composition as an advanced course. Additionally, the school has four extra-curricular activities.

Makua Lani Christian Academy

Grades: PK-12
Tuition Fees: $6,320
Student to Teacher ratio: 12:1
Address: 74-4907 Palani Road
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Tel: (808) 329-4898

Are you looking for an affordable private school in Hawaii? If you are, you might want to check out Makua Lani Christian Academy. The private school is a member of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International.

One aspect that makes Makua Lani Christian Academy stand out from most schools is its three campuses. The campuses ensure each student is served adequately. They have PreK-5, grades 6 and 7, and grades 8-12. As a Christian school, it works together with parents and the church to offer a Christ-centered spiritual and academic foundation.

Maui Adventist School

Grades: 1-8
Tuition Fees: $6,500
Student to Teacher ratio: 9:1
Address: 261 S Puunene Ave
Kahului, HI 96732
Tel: (808) 877-7813

Maui Adventist School is one of the highest-ranking private schools in Hawaii. The school is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventists. As a result, you can be sure that it will offer your child spiritual and physical guidance per core Christian values.

Consider taking your kid to this institution if you’re looking for an affordable private school in this locality. The school was founded in 1935, and it has an average class size of 12 students, which means they receive top quality education.

The school is grounded on core values that take education beyond tests and paperwork. The school offers educational practices like play-based and project-based learning to harness students’ skills.

St. Ann School

Grades: PK-8
Tuition Fees: $9,800
Student to Teacher ratio: 11:1

Address: 46-125 Haiku Rd
Kaneohe, HI 96744. EXT. 102
Tel: (808) 247-3092

St. Ann School was founded in 1841, making it one of the oldest schools in Hawaii. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic, and it has a great teacher-to-student ratio. The school has an average class size of 8 students and charges a fairly priced fee.

The school offers three types of sports – volleyball, basketball, and track. Moreover, the school was granted a six-year accreditation certificate from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Catholic Education Association.

The school’s faculty are also all from accredited colleges and universities, meaning your child will receive high-quality education. Moreover, it instills core Christian values to its students as per the Roman Catholic teachings.

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