A Punahou education recognizes the individuality of each child within a school culture that celebrates diversity and inspires excellence. Punahou teachers create classroom learning environments which support self-discovery and the development of the character traits and habits of mind which will prepare students to make a difference in the world.

The student experience evolves on the path from kindergarten to grade 12 in developmentally appropriate ways. Teachers and staff collaborate to attend to children’s needs, creating intimate learning environments that help make a large school feel smaller. Throughout the school, students benefit from exceptionally diverse opportunities to learn and explore.

“Ultimately, a person who is self-confident, optimistic, creative, and compassionate has the capacity to lead a life that can improve the world.”

President Jim Scott

Principals lead the two divisions of the school: the Junior School encompassing kindergarten – grade 8, and the Academy, grades 9 – 12. Throughout the Junior School, the integrated experience includes classroom teachers and specialists incorporating art, music, PE, drama and chapel into the school day. Academy students have increasing levels of choice during the four high-school years. They select courses from an extensive catalog, attend a mix of classes, including small seminars, labs and some larger lectures, and have access to counselors, deans and chaplains. In this flexible environment with its modular schedule, students build relationships with teachers and other mentors and develop their talents and passions.

Over the years, Punahou has responded to a rapidly changing world by identifying initiatives that are woven into the K – 12 curricula, enrichment programs and co-curricular activities. These initiatives include global education, public service, social entrepreneurship, sustainability and technology, which build on enduring themes of spiritual and character education, Hawaiian studies and outdoor education.

Book Lists

2017 – 2018 Booklists

Grades 7 – 8
Grades 9 – 12