Inspiring Lives of Purpose and Meaning

Instilling core values and character in our students is a key component of a Punahou education. We regard empathy, collaboration, creativity, innovation, social responsibility, global awareness and moral leadership as central to our institutional culture, and we inspire a lifelong sense of personal and public purpose in our graduates.

Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEEL)

Punahou believes in cultivating social and emotional intelligence and ethical awareness by nurturing students in mind and spirit. 

Sustainability: Punahou is deeply committed to sustainability in its operations, campus culture and curriculum, and we strive to adopt best practices as part of our commitment to a more sustainable future for Hawai‘i and the world.

Public and private school partnerships: The Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO (Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunities) Program was launched to help underprivileged students from public schools develop the skills and confidence to attain their college aspirations. Students remain with the program for seven years, taking courses at Punahou each summer. It’s one of the nation’s largest programs of its kind and is made possible solely through philanthropic support.

Global education: Wo International Center serves as a bridge to the international community and academic institutions worldwide, encouraging cultural diversity and global responsibility among students and educators. The center’s programs include intensive language instruction, study abroad and summer trips for Punahou and non-Punahou students, as well as professional development for educators from around the world. Funds from donors create more study abroad opportunities and expand global education experiences in Hawai‘i.

Social responsibility: As part of our commitment to be a “private school with a public purpose,” Luke Center for Public Service inspires service learning and social entrepreneurship. Thousands of students have participated in service projects since the center’s 2004 founding, and our goal is to create even more opportunities for students, faculty and community leaders to improve the lives of others.

Hawaiian Studies: K – 12 students learn about Hawaiian culture as a way to deepen their sense of place and assume a sense of responsibility, or kuleana, to care for our island home. Signature elements of Hawaiian Studies include the third-grade Hawaiian culture curriculum; fifth-grade trip to Hawai‘i Island; seventh-grade focus on Hawaiian language, social studies and outdoor education; and our Hawaiian language classes from grades 7 – 12. Read more about Punahou’s Hawaiian Studies program in “‘Ike Hawai‘i” from the Fall 2018 Punahou Bulletin.

Spiritual and character education: An emphasis on moral and spiritual development is experienced in classrooms, community service programs, Chapel and in the School’s ethos and daily life.


Apply to Punahou

Now accepting applications for the 2020 – 2021 school year. All applications and supporting documents will be submitted online. Use the button below to begin or continue the application process.