Ho'ala School

  • The core of theHo`ala philosophy is found in its "implicit curriculum,"emphasizing that adults teach children how to behave by the exampleof their own actions and attitudes, both in the classroom and at home.
  • Ho`ala's "crowning achievement" is its school environment.Teachers create an extraordinarily safe, dynamic learning atmosphere in which students feels that are needed, listened to,and taken seriously.
  • Such an environment empowers students to begin taking true responsibility for their lives.
  • Advanced learning opportunities where students are always challenged to reach their full potential.
  • Our nationally recognized Social/Emotional program's core values are; Respect, Responsibility, Resourcefulness, and Responsiveness.
  • Ho`ala School offers a national award winning Parent/Teacher Study Groups twice yearly. Participants of these study groups will consider ways of structuring their homes, classrooms, and also work places to support mutual respect, cooperation and effective action.

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Kindergarten-8
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedMild Learning Differences
Year Founded1986
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program Cost$225
Summer Program Cost Notes$225.00 per week. Fun weekly themes change each week. Review of academics, enrichment, field trips and more.
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students42 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 72%
Students by Grade Ho'ala School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers7 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio6:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size10 students
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(Polo shirts, gray pants )

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$10,857
Tuition NotesFinancial Aid Available Monthly payments Credit cards accepted
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant$3,000
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorDarlene Dela Cruz
Admissions AssociateDarlene Dela Cruz


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.5 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Extracurriculars have been postponed due to COVID1+, Hula Lessons, Lego Club, Private Piano Lessons, Taiko Drumming

School Notes

  • Ho`ala is a small, independent, college-preparatory school
  • An environment where confidence and independence are instilledin every child
  • A welcoming, inclusive community that values acceptance anddiversity
  • Offering a high level of individualized atttention that adaptsto a wide range of student abilities and produces acceleratedlearning opportunities
  • Caring, committed, highly experienced teachers
  • Our values-based educaiton results in respectful,compassionate, critical thinkers
  • Our nationally recognized Social/Emotional program's core values are;  Respect, Responsibility, Resourcefulness, and Responsiveness. 
  • Ho`ala School offers a national award winning Parent/Teacher Study Groups twice yearly. Participants of these study groups will consider ways of structuring their homes, classrooms, and also work places to support mutual respect, cooperation and effective action. 

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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (10 reviews)
As soon as we heard about Ho`ala School we set up a tour for our daughter who was going to begin Kindergarten. By the time the tour was over, I knew it was the right place for us. Our daughter's Kindergarten year was full of emotional, social, and academic growth. Ms. Carolyn created a wonderful classroom environment with both fun and structure. My daughter looked forward to going to school each day and seeing her teachers and friends in all grades. All of her teachers were very dedicated, it was clear they wanted our daughter to grow and flourish. Even as a Kindergartener, my daughter was able to attend and gladly participate in art, music and drama classes. After her kindergarten year, we moved to a different state. I am happy to say that our daughter is thriving in a northern Virginia Public School that rates 9/10. My family always felt so welcomed at Ho`ala School. We were so appreciative of the support of guidance and love. These aspects of Ho`ala were not only shown to my daughter, but to myself as well. Ho`ala School is more than just educators and administrators. It is a home away from home. It is a thoughtful group of people who continue to strive for excellence as they keep each student at the heart of all their decisions. We are so thankful we found Ho`ala School!
- Posted by
I attended Hoala from the 1st - 12th grade. It has absolutely helped shape my life, career and the person that I am today. Not only did it give me a healthy educational foundation for my time at Boston University, it also gave me an unparalleled character education. This is what makes Hoala unique. In a world where children and adults are becoming more and more disconnected. It is important to create a foundation where students learn to take responsibility for their actions and have the emotional IQ to work through conflicts that will inevitably arise. I think that the best testament to the positive impact of the school is when I see the kids of former teachers that are attending Hoala. Even though, the teacher themselves may no longer be at the school. They recognize the importance of the unique education that Hoala provides. This school helps to create citizens and Stewards for Hawaii and the rest of the world. Mahalo Hoala for what you do. There needs to be more school's like this.
- Posted by
Testimonial from grandparents of a former student Our granddaughter attended Ho`ala School for her kindergarten year 2013-2014. She has since relocated to the East Coast where she excels at the very competitive private schools that she is enrolled in. We know that the Ho`ala School experience has played a key role as it gave her a solid foundation to expand upon to which we are very grateful. First, Ho`ala School`s philosophy and the dedicated, team-oriented efforts by the teachers and front office staff made for a healthy, fun, and well-organized environment. Second, the many class walks to the neighborhood library to encourage reading, and learning how to check out/return books taught her the personal responsibility of book care and returning them on time. Third, notable school excursions included places such as Haleiwa town to board the legendary Hokule`a voyaging canoe docked in the harbor, visiting the ancient Hawaiian fish ponds, agricultural gardens and swimming at the nearby beach. The excursion to the Dole Pineapple Plantation and participating at a gymnastics club for children were also very enjoyable. Fourth, our granddaughter learned the basic skills of hula dancing, piano playing, and Spanish language lessons. Fifth, they celebrated our national holidays and cultural events with skits, dress-ups, singing, etc. Finally, her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Carolyn Brown, provided a loving, healthy, and positive learning environment. She also emphasized the importance of reading, numbers, artistic creativity, physical health along with having good character, proper personal expression and child safety. We definitely recommend that Ho`ala School be considered for anyone looking for a good private school. Thank you very much,Randy & Flora
- Posted by
It is my pleasure to write a testimonial for Ho'ala School located in Wahiawa, HI. As you may know, children must be five years old by July 31st in order to be eligible for kindergarten entry in the Hawaii Public School System. Unfortunately for us, our daughter was ineligible because she was born in September. My husband and I had to decide whether to keep her at home, or enroll her into preschool because we thought that the July 31st cut off date applied to all schools in Hawaii. Fortunately, this was not the case at Ho'ala School which has extended their cut off date to December 31st. Ho'ala provides a safe and stimulating environment where children can make mistakes without judgment, develop confidence and a sense of belonging. Ho'ala also encourages parents and teachers to complete a 5-week Parenting Workshop to ensure that what is taught in the classroom is duplicated at home. At first, my husband and I were skeptical with the thought of attending a parenting class. However, we have learned how to effectively communicate with our daughter while at the same time, making her feel significant and taken seriously.We owe quite a bit of gratitude to Ho`ala School. Ho'ala has been such a blessing to our family. Our daughter was such a timid little girl who lacked self-confidence at the beginning of the school year. Thanks to her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Carolyn Brown and the supportive staff at Ho`ala, she has become a lot more trusting, outspoken, and confident. We would like to thank Ms. Carolyn for her love, patience, and understanding. Our daughter has grown so much as an individual and we are confident that she will continue to thrive no matter where she goes.
- Posted by
I cannot express enough how unique and special Ho'ala School is. My daughter has just completed Kindergarten and the learning experience she had was invaluable. The small class sizes make it possible for each child to receive the individualised attention needed to help them succeed. The dedication and commitment from all staff members is what helps to make this school what it is. A safe educational environment that promotes character development with the philosophy of respect, responsibility and resourcefulness. One in which I cannot fault. Not only has my daughter achieved so much academically but also how to be respectful of others and responsible for the decisions she makes. A school where both students and teachers help one another in the best possible way
- Posted by
I am currently enrolled as a college junior at an East Coast University and attended Ho`ala from 6th-12th grade I can certainly say that it was an extraordinary place to receive an education. I believe that the small class sizes allowed for an individualized learning experience and invaluable connections with both teachers and peers. Before Ho`ala, I attended a public elementary school in central O`ahu and was extremely shy and introverted. Over the years, through various experiences, I was able to open up and become the confident person that I am today. I am extremely thankful for many things that Ho`ala provided, namely the student-teacher bonds, the community service opportunities, and the unparalleled art program. They also did a wonderful job preparing me for college by offering multiple AP and Honors courses as well as a comprehensive senior project internship class and college application advising. Teachers and Staff at Ho`ala want to see each and every student succeed in all aspects and will go above and beyond to support their students. I am grateful and proud that I am a Ho`ala graduate.
- Posted by
Ho''ala School is like an amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant; once you find it, you wonder where it's been your whole life. I am a Ho''ala alumni (1st grade thru 12th) and so grateful for all the opportunities the school gave me, tiny as it may be. Where else can you go to receive an education (that fully prepared me & took me through college graduation), and have amazing experiences with your whole school instead of just your class? Scuba certification as part of a Marine Science course? Did it. Community Service trips to learn the importance of giving back and how much a small school can impact a community? Ho''ala does that, and more. Students in combined classes are something of the future, and something I think is helpful; it teaches a child that they are part of a group, that everyone working together in a respectful and responsible manner equals more efficient, intelligent and patient children. The school's principal was a former Ho''ala teacher and former Ho''ala parent, which I think adds to the sense of community and the well-oiled machine that is Ho''ala. I am grateful to my parents for sending me to Ho''ala and I continue to carry the values of Ho''ala with me into adulthood.
- Posted by
Ho'ala School far exceeded our expectations. My daughter attended Ho'ala School from K-4th grade. We recently underwent a military move to the mainland and my daughter started 5th grade, middle school, in a premier school district. We received her first progress report at her new school and she received all A's and a B. I then went to a parent/teacher conference and was told by the teachers that they don't know why I came in for a conference- She's doing GREAT!?" I explained our recent move and one teacher stated How can she possibly be doing so well coming from Hawaii " I nodded and explained that this is why I chose to send her to Ho'ala School. Hoala's investment in each child's development and well-being has allowed my daughter to thrive at her new school! She was definitely well prepared and ahead of the curve for this huge middle school transition due to Hoala's emphasis on respect, responsibility, responsiveness and resourcefulness. Ho''ala's emphasis on character education enriches the WHOLE child! She was not only prepared academically but given life skills through their character education program that are tools she will take with her forever.
- Posted by
My son has grown so much as a student at Ho`ala. You all have done more to heal his self-esteem and confidence than I was able to do while homeschooling him. We are so grateful. He has become responsible & his anxiety about doing academic work, including homework, has disappeared. The level of work expected at Ho`ala was a big leap for my daughter. That she has risen to the challenge cheerfully and achieved is, of course, a credit to her but also a credit to the school and her teachers. I am so impressed with the teachers'' performance and their level of commitment to the school and to each child. They encourage and challenge every child. But my children would not follow where they lead if they did not have integrity and love. The teachers would not be as good as they are without the support and strong leadership of the administration and Head of School. There is something really special going on at Ho`ala. It is so different from all their previous schools, and thank heavens! It feels like love not the sentimental version; rather, the version that sees and believes in the best of each child & gives them the tools to realize it for themselves.
- Posted by
At age 10 our daughter is excited about school and has come to value her education. She has become an introspective person who can act upon her feelings of empathy in the absence of coercion or self-centered conformity. Parent involvement in any school is vital to student success as well as to the success of the school community. We wish for every child and their family the opportunity of a Hoala education that has brightened every aspect of our daily lives and changed how we live in the world. The academics are updated, well rounded and solid.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Hawaii is $9,549 for elementary schools and $15,517 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Hawaii is 83% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).