Guiding Principles

Punahou’s primary mission is to shape students into educated, capable and giving people who have the knowledge and skills to succeed in college, and ultimately contribute to the world.

While Punahou remains committed to its longstanding excellence in core subjects such as math, English and science, the School also prepares students for the changing world and careers of the future.

Punahou strives to teach its students at all grade levels how to be adaptable, creative, collaborative and innovative. This can be fostered through the School’s learning commons, design thinking courses, makeries, Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship, G-Term program and construction of innovative learning environments like the new Kosasa Community for Grades 2 – 5. Punahou has established a base for this type of learning through its Wo International Center, Luke Center for Public Service, Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI) and Senior Capstone class.

In addition, Punahou is committed to social, emotional and ethical learning (SEEL) – to educate the whole person. The School also seeks to create a diverse educational community that's rooted in equity and inclusion as fundamental human rights, as well as a sustainable campus that can become a model for other educational institutions and the larger community.

List of 6 items.

  • Inquiry-Led, Lifelong Learning

    Punahou prepares students to become collaborative, critical and creative thinkers, with effective written and oral communication skills. We strive for students to gain a global perspective, and to apply quantitative reasoning and scientific inquiry both in the classroom and in their everyday lives. 

    Through both our academic curriculum and co-curricular programs, we encourage students to develop curiosity, resourcefulness, persistence and resilience, so they ultimately become confident, self-directed and lifelong learners.
  • Innovation and Application of Knowledge

    Punahou students learn to see the interconnections between subjects, and to integrate Hawaiian values and culture in ways that deepen their thinking. We want students to have a questioning attitude, to generate alternatives and possibilities, and to apply and adapt their learning to relevant issues and challenges.
  • Social, Emotional, Ethical Learning

    At Punahou, cultivating social and emotional intelligence and ethical awareness is just as important as academic rigor for true college preparation. We strive to foster within Punahou students a sense of personal and social responsibility – to demonstrate empathy and compassion, embrace diversity and become moral, engaged citizens.
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  • Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

    Punahou is committed to creating a diverse educational community, rooted in equity and inclusion as fundamental human rights. We seek ways to create an environment in which the identities and cultural backgrounds of our families, students and employees are valued and respected by the entire Punahou community.
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  • Sustainability

    Punahou is committed to creating a sustainable future both on campus and in Hawai‘i. We foster a campus culture that holds sustainability as a core value, and we are on track to become a Net Zero school, meaning we will consume only as much energy as produced. To achieve this, weve invested significantly to reduce our energy footprint through sustainable facilities design, programs and teaching philosophies.
  • Competency-Based Learning (CBL)

    Competency-Based Learning (CBL) is an academic framework that emphasizes the value of student-centered personalization, with classroom and assessment practices that work to support the unique learning path of every individual student.
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