Learning & Activities


The 10 Best Schools in Hawaii Today

Happy children looking at a jar on a sunny day

The 10 Best Schools in Hawaii Today

The #LuckyWeLiveHawaii hashtag has over 3.4 million Instagram posts for a reason. Life in this state is an unmatched experience.

Hawaii's tropical warm climate and sunshine year-round are among its leading draws. The state's breathtaking natural landscapes are like no other, and it's a melting pot of diverse cultures reflected in the area’s traditions, music, and food.

Besides its unique healthcare system and low crime rates, the Aloha State boasts a highly regarded education system. Many of the region's schools have received national recognition for their academic programs and student achievements. Thus, families looking for top-notch education have numerous options to explore.

This detailed review will take you through the ten best schools in Hawaii based on their state-mandated examination performance, online reviews, and extracurricular achievements.

Best Elementary Schools 

Laie Elementary School

55-109 Kulanui St, Laie, Hawaii 96762

Laie Elementary School isn't just a place where kids come to learn – the facility also serves as a community hub, boasting remarkable parental and community support. For example, the institution has a School Community Council that reviews the financial and academic plan to aid student achievement.

Laie Elementary serves 661 PK-6 scholars, with an 80% minority student enrolment rate. The school has a predominantly male pupil population, with boys forming 54% and girls comprising 46%. Furthermore, learners from economically struggling communities form 52% of the population.

The school boasts trained, seasoned, and dedicated staff members comprising 38 instructors and two school counselors.

This team's primary objective is to guide students through the school's research-based reading approach that ensures learners' reading proficiency is on par with or exceeds their current grade level. Tutors also implement the school's Everyday Math program, where learners explore multiple math algorithms and manipulatives.

Laie School's rankings are among its leading attractions. The school ranks fourth best among the elementary schools under the Hawaii Department of Education and in statewide rankings. In addition, the facility ranks in fourth and ninth positions for math and reading proficiency. Notably, 78% and 79% of learners attained passing marks for math and reading proficiency.

Waikiki Elementary School

3710 Leahi Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Waikiki Elementary School is in the large city setting of Honolulu. The faculty at this top-ranking elementary school are community leaders sharing a passion for delivering quality instruction and enabling a creating learning environment that students find challenging, engaging, and collaborative.

Waikiki Elementary serves 575 students between pre-kindergarten and fifth grade. Scholars from financially limited households form 23%, while those from minority communities represent 82%. In addition, this school has more girls than boys, with female students forming 51% and boys comprising 49%.

Waikiki Elementary students experience learning in modern classrooms allowing them to explore the world around them in an encouraging, safe environment.  

Notably, the school boasts a seasoned and dedicated staff team comprising 33 tutors, translating to a teacher-student ratio of 1:17. The tutors focus on guiding learners' intellectual growth and development, putting them on a successful life path. In addition, they consider how each of the diverse scholars learns and then deliver a broad curriculum that meets the needs of the diverse students.

Thanks to the collaborative effort of the faculty, teachers, students, and parents, Waikiki Elementary School is among the top-ranked in Hawaii. The school currently ranks 3 in state rankings and among its peers under the state's Department of Education. Students also excelled in reading and math, enabling the school to rank seventh and fourth in the two proficiencies.    

A male presenting child is visible center frame wearing a school uniform of a white long-sleeved button fromt collared shirt , over which is won a navy (blue0 sleeveless sweater vest. A tartan plaid tie is visible at the color. He is light-skinned . His arms are crossed in from of him on the desk that he shares with a mother student, right frame who looks remarkably similar to the first boy. Ten other similarly dressed light-skinned students are seated around them, but are not subject t the camera's focus. All of the children have their arms crossed in front of them. There are four female appearing students with white hair bows.
These students are sure to retain each lesson and gain invaluable experience from it.


Noelani Elementary School

2655 Woodlawn Dr, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Honolulu's Noelani Elementary School boasts a dedicated community of tutors, administrators, staff, students, parents, and community members. The school's primary commitments are equity, meaningful learning, caring relationships, and strong ties to the larger community.

Noelani Elementary caters to 428 learners between kindergarten and fifth grade with a 93% minority enrollment. The population comprises more males than females, at 55% and 45%, respectively. In addition, the facility enrolls 17% of financially limited learners.

Noelani's personnel team comprises 23 full-time tutors and a certified counselor, hence a tutor-student ratio of 1:19.

This composition is pretty stretched and worse than the Hawaii Department of Education average. But the team's unity of purpose, joint decision-making, and collaborative efforts have ensured the correct implementation of a rigorous curriculum comprehensive instruction program. As a result, the school nurtures skilled youngsters ready for academic progression and future leadership.

The latest rankings highlight the efforts of the Noelani community and the effectiveness of their education experience.  

Placed against its statewide peers, Noelani Elementary ranks second best. It also ranks the same among the elementary schools under the Hawaii Department of Education.

Students demonstrated high math and reading proficiency levels, with 84% and 85% attaining or scoring beyond the two subjects' pass marks. As a result, the school ranked 2 and 1 for math and reading proficiency.

Momilani Elementary School

2130 Hookiekie St, Pearl City, Hawaii 96782

Momilani Elementary School's commitment to teaching and learning excellence is evident in its mantra, “a safe, caring environment for quality education.” Teamwork, shared leadership, and shared vision are the driving forces behind the institution's effective research-research-focused improvement process.

The school was established in 1972 and is in a peaceful setting atop Pearl City, with panoramic views stretching from Momilani to Makakilo. The top-ranked facility has maintained an excellent reputation for an unmatched and challenging curriculum with impressive results. In addition, the institution enjoys robust business, community, and parent support.

Today, Momilani Elementary serves 403 learners from prekindergarten to sixth grade, with one of the country's highest minority enrolment rates of 98%. Female students form 53% of the population, and boys are 47%. In addition, financially struggling learners constitute 15%.

The school has 22 board-certified tutors and one counselor, hence a 1:18 tutor-student ratio. Collaboratively the staff members provide a caring, safe surrounding and engage learners in an arduous, quality learning experience for academic success, character strength, and emotional and social well-being.

Momilani Elementary ranks 1 in state rankings and among its peers under the Hawaii Department of Education. The school also tops the state in reading and math proficiency, with 85% and 88% of learners scoring above the two proficiency levels. 

Best Middle Schools

Innovations Public Charter School

75-5815 Queen Kaahumanu Hwy, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

Innovations – PCS serves K-8 to 242 learners from the Kailua Kona rural setting. The school's population comprises 50% boys and 50% girls, with 63% minority student enrollment. In addition, economically disadvantaged learners form about half the total number of students.

Innovations middle school has 13 qualified and experienced instructors working hand in hand with a full-time counselor. This number constitutes a tutor-student ratio of 1:19, relatively tighter than the statewide average. Nevertheless, the top-ranking institution still delivers an impressive curriculum, and students perform well in yearly state-mandated examinations.

Innovations PCS assigns each student to an interdisciplinary instruction team consisting of tutors for the respective core subjects: mathematics, English language, social studies, and science.

Besides the standard content areas, the school also practices general learner outcomes to engage students and turn them into lifelong learners. Scholars also attend advisory classes to familiarize themselves with the rules of the learning community.

Innovations PCS ranks top among the state's charter middle schools and 3 in the state and local education departments. The institution also ranks 7 and 3 for math and reading proficiency, with 57% and 72% of students passing the two subjects. 

Education can open the door to many opportunities.

©Rob Marmion/Shutterstock.com

Moanalua Middle School

1289 Mahiole St, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

Established in 1967, Moanalua Middle School serves seventh and eighth-grade students from Oahu's Moanalua Gardens community, eight miles west of Honolulu city setting. The faculty, staff, students, parents, and the community collaborate for great outcomes, and the school culture enables the whole child and embraces diversity.

There are 777 students in Moanalua Middle School. The institution reflects the community's ethnic and economic diversity. The school has an impressive 91% minority enrolment rate, and 27% of learners are economically disadvantaged. Both genders have equal representation in the population, each comprising 50%. 

Moanalua Middle School doesn't compromise on staff recruitment and comprises 50 board-licensed and seasoned tutors and two counselors, all working full-time. The crew does a great job at ensuring a serene learning environment for active and participatory learning. Tutors also guide learners through the school's inclusive and growth-focused curriculum. 

Moanalua Middle School is ideal if you prioritize high performance in state-provided examinations and impressive graduation rates. The school ranks second best in state rankings and among the middle schools in Hawaii. 

In addition, it ranks in positions 4 and 2 for math and reading proficiency. About 61% and 78% of students passed the two subjects. 

Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle School

2 Wheeler Army Airfield, Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786

Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle School is in the Wahiawa suburb setting. The institution strives for effective methods of addressing students' emotional, intellectual, social, moral, ethical, and physical needs. Thus, it provides a nurturing, safe environment and an admirable community and parent involvement culture, interdisciplinary teaming, and vast instructional strategies.     

Wheeler intermediary school serves 705 students between sixth and eighth grade with a 67% minority student enrollment. Boys comprise 51% of the population, while females encompass 49%. In addition, the facility registers 42% of financially limited schoolchildren. These learners experience learning through exploratory programs, advisory periods, and extracurricular programs.

Major Sheldon has two full-time counselors and 54 board-licensed instructors. Therefore, the teacher-student ratio is 1:13, more flexible than the region's average.

The staff team addresses adolescent learners' diverse needs through standards-based lessons. Their efforts enable the institution to provide comprehensive student support and professional development for tutors.

Major Sheldon stands out in performance on state-mandated examinations and graduation levels. Students also exhibit preparedness for educational progression. The school ranks in the top position in the state middle schools and those under the region's education department. It also ranks 1 and 3 for math and reading proficiency, with 66% and 74% pass rates in the two subjects.

Best High School

Kalani High School 

4680 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, Hawaii 96821

Established in 1958, Kalani High School has a dedicated community council enabling tutors, administrators, students, parents, and the community to collaborate toward academic triumph. The institution prioritizes teamwork, professional development, and improved support services to nurture productive and successful global citizens. 

The public institution boasts a WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation and caters to 1,435 students in grades 9-12. The facility has a 92% minority enrollment, hence is a reflection of the varied ethnic makeup of the state. In addition, 18% of the student body classify as financially limited.

Kalani High boasts a coaching staff of 82 board-certified teachers, resulting in a student-teacher ratio of 18:1. The knowledgeable tutors base their goals and expectations around equipping learners with 21st-century skills and competencies. In addition, stakeholder input has enabled a puzzling yet meaningful curriculum.

Students can also register for advanced placement programs, with the school boasting a 51% advanced placement participation rate.

Kalani High School's academic performance is nothing to scoff at, as evidenced by its numerous positive reviews and impressive ranking in state-mandated exams. The school has a GreatSchools.org rating of 9/10 and ranks at 1,583 in the nationwide ranking, which is no small feat. Furthermore, the institution ranks third in the state, Honolulu metro area, and the local Department of Education. 

Henry J Kaiser High School 

511 Lunalilo Home Rd, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

Henry J Kaiser High School is a top prospect, especially if you're part of the Hawaii Kai community in east Honolulu. The facility first opened its doors in 1971 and has grown into one of the best college prep institutions in the country.

Currently, Henry J serves 1435 learners between the ninth and twelfth grades, and the total minority enrollment is 83%. In addition, students facing financial difficulties form 14%, with 11% and 3% under the free and reduced-price lunch programs. These learners depend on the guidance, inspiration, and instruction of 65 experienced full-time tutors. Thus, the teacher-student ratio is 1:18.

The school boasts a challenging and rigorous program, enabling learners to surpass state promotion requirements. Specialized and generalized classrooms, institution-wide wireless, and educational technology support this program. In addition, the school's 27 faculty-advised organizations offer extracurricular opportunities, and the school's athletic facilities align with OIA and state event specifications.

Despite being ranked 1,063 in the national rankings, Henry J Kaiser still secures an impressive standing in Hawaii's education system. The school takes up the 2 spot in Hawaii, Honolulu Area High Schools, and local DOE High Schools. In addition, GreatSchools.org rates it at 9/10. 

President Theodore Roosevelt High School 

1120 Nehoa St, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Hawaii's top-ranked high school, President Theodore Roosevelt High, first opened its doors in 1932. This event came after the community had called for a new standardized English-speaking facility to supplement Lincoln elementary school, the already available English standard. The institution was officially dedicated on 27th October 1932.

The facility has grown to serve 1,448 students between the ninth and twelfth grades. Economically disadvantaged learners form 37% of the population, with 30% registering in the free lunch program and 6% leveraging the reduced-price lunch program. As a result, these learners experience vast opportunities that prepare them for college, career, and global citizenship. In addition, they can sign up for advanced placement under the school's 52% AP participation rate.

President Theodore Roosevelt High has achieved impressive performance rankings, placing at 637 nationally and taking the top spot in the state, Honolulu metro area, and the local Department of Education. In addition, the school boasts a GreatSchools.org summary rating of 6/10.

Coursework aside, students also participate in multiple extracurricular activities. Moreover, the institution excels yearly in local, statewide, and national championships.

Such outstanding accomplishments are the direct result of the unwavering devotion and untiring efforts put forth by our brilliant students, faculty, and staff.

Teenage students caring out experiments in chemistry class
With the right tools and knowledge, there's no limit to the possibilities of discovery.


Make The Right Decision

You're now aware of the top ten schools in Hawaii today. But how do you choose a specific institution from the three categories?

Selecting the most appropriate institution can be a personal and complex decision since children have unique preferences and needs. But you can make things easier by paying attention to several factors.

For instance, you should prioritize academic programs aligning with your young learner's learning style and interests. You must also consider your choice's proximity to your residence or workstation and the available transport options. In addition, consider each school's extracurricular activities and parent involvement.

Ultimately, your decision will depend on your young scholar's preferences and needs, alongside your priorities and values. So research comprehensively, even if it means visiting your preferred schools.

To top