Support and Services


Punahou School's challenging and inspiring educational program includes an array of resources to help every student succeed, and to identify those who may need extra assistance from time to time. Academic, college and personal counseling are among the services available, customized to the needs of each child.

Academic Counseling

Helping each child achieve his or her full potential is a collaborative effort that starts with the student. Strong support systems exist in both the Junior School (K – 8) and the Academy (9 – 12) to assist students who may struggle academically, despite their own best efforts.

In the Junior School, teachers, supervisors and the principal confer with parents, students, Junior School counselors, the middle-school learning specialist and others to assist with academic counseling. Communication is key, as early intervention is helpful in addressing learning problems.

The initial source of remedial support is the classroom teacher, who strives to be available after school to meet with students or parents. In cases of a serious learning difficulty that requires ongoing intervention, parents should confer with the supervisor about whether it is advisable to hire a private tutor. Tutoring is available after school in the Winne Units; financial arrangements are made between the tutor and parent. As a general rule, teachers should not tutor their own students for renumeration.

In the Academy, academic counseling is largely a function of the class deans, who guide their respective classes from grades 9 through 12. In February, the coming year’s program of studies is arranged during a conference between a student and his or her dean. All freshmen are assigned to a supervised study hall; parents who believe that a study hall is warranted for an older student may request that one be assigned.

As in the Junior School, Academy teachers are the initial source of remedial help. They may be available before or after school, or have free periods during the class day. Students should assume responsibility for arranging individual conferences. In addition, the National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring, which may be scheduled on a regular basis. In certain situations, a paid tutor may be appropriate; the deans can make recommendations. Academy faculty may not be paid to tutor their own students, nor may they be paid to tutor other students during school hours (7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.). Parents of students with diagnosed, documented learning differences should inform their child’s deans, who will work with the student and teachers regarding recommended accommodations.

College Counseling

Punahou seeks to provide both students and parents with the best information on college choices and admission requirements to aid in the application process. Its college counseling philosophy is to stress the importance of focusing on a 'good fit', rather than what some may call a 'good school'. 

Grades 9 and 10

Prior to the junior year, college preparation is simple, but important. Developing sound study habits, taking appropriate courses which increase each year in difficulty, and focusing on the "core courses" (English, Language, Math, Science and Social Studies) positions every student to follow any number of post high school avenues.

Grade 11

College Guidance Class
In the first semester, juniors take a mandatory, non-graded course designed to help them begin their college research process. Topics covered include: admissions factors, how to begin college research, standardized testing options, financial aid, identifying and refining personal college criteria, self-assessment, the college interview, the college application, the college essay and differences/similarities between small liberal arts colleges and large universities.

Junior Conference
In the second semester, each junior and their parent/guardian meets with their college counselor to review the process and discuss college options.

Grade 12

Senior Conference
In the first semester, each senior meets once more with their parent/guardian and their college counselor to review the list of colleges, discuss application procedures and touch on any concerns.

College Visitors

Punahou maintains a cordial relationship with the administrative and admission offices of many colleges and universities. Each year, representatives from colleges visit Punahou's campus to offer presentations to students. While in town, they also conduct evening information sessions for parents at area hotels.

College counselors take opportunties to visit colleges when traveling to the mainland. These visits also include talks with alumni currently in college to discuss their college choices, courses and activities.


Throughout the school year various topical workshops are held. Some of these are for students and take place during the school day. Such topics include: "Essay Tips", "Navigating the University of California Application", "What to Do if You're Wait Listed," etc.

There are also a number of evening meetings that we encourage parents to attend such as Junior Parent Night, Financial Aid 101, Senior Parent Night, etc.


College and Career Resource Center
Alexander Hall, 2nd Floor
808.944.5804 Tel

Psychosocial Education Department
808.944.5892 Tel

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Personal Counseling

Punahou School flourishes as an integrated community designed to help students succeed in School and in life. Many resources are available to help children develop healthy minds, bodies and souls, and to assist those having difficulty.

In the Junior School, the guidance program is incorporated into the homeroom setting. Teachers, supervisors and two counselors work together to determine the students’ counseling needs in kindergarten through grade 8. Supervisors remain with each class for multiple years, emphasizing connection and continuity. Outdoor Education is an essential component of the guidance program, featuring experiences at all grade levels designed to build self-confidence and independence, and to foster empathy for people and the natural environment. Teachers, counselors and supervisors are available for individual counseling with students, and also are happy to meet with parents. Conference appointments may be made through the School offices.

Children experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties are assisted first by their main teacher and/or supervisor. Junior School counselors may assist through evaluation or observation, making recommendations to administrators, teachers and parents. The assessment services of the School psychologist also are available.

In the Academy, class deans are available for personal counseling and the Psychosocial Education Department offers individual and group counseling and guidance programs designed to support students’ well-being. Everything discussed in counseling conversations with students is confidential, except information upon which counselors are required to act in order to protect human safety. Students may seek counseling themselves or through referral by a dean, faculty member, parent or fellow student. Along with providing direct assistance, counselors may refer students needing more extensive support to appropriate community resources.

Spiritual Counseling

A warm and familiar presence in the lives of our students, Punahou’s three chaplains are available for confidential personal counseling upon request. Chaplains Lauren Medeiros, Joshua Hayashi and George Scott do not participate in disciplinary decisions, so students may speak freely to them about School, personal or spiritual issues, knowing that these matters will be kept confidential. Whether seeking moral guidance about an ongoing problem, or simply a friendly ear on a tough day, students may visit Thurston Memorial Chapel and the chaplains as a source of sustenance and support. In addition, faith-based student groups and clubs coordinate with chapel staff to engage interested students.

Physical Health

Health Center

The Health Center, located in the Asa Thurston Physical Education Center, at the top of the entrance ramp, is open from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is equipped to handle first aid cases for all students and is supervised by registered nurses.

Health Procedures

A program is carefully followed in an effort to improve each student’s physical and psychological health, to prevent disease or to control its spread, to maintain satisfactory community hygiene and safety, and to administer first aid for injuries that may occur during the school day.

Junior School students returning to School after any sickness are required to consult the nurse before being admitted to School.

  • Kindergartners and first-graders are to report to their teacher.
  • Children in grades 2 – 5 report to the Kosasa Office between 7 – 8:30 a.m.
  • Children in grades 6 – 8 report to either the Kosasa Office from 7 – 7:45 a.m. or to the Health Center from 7:30 – 8 a.m.

Children in K – 5 are required to bring a note from their parents explaining the illness and/or the doctor’s diagnosis. All students must be “fever free” for 24 hours prior to readmission to School. A child having a throat culture should not return to School until the result is known and at least 24 hours of treatment has been completed.

Any student who has a cold, sore throat, fever, or is not well should not be sent to School.

Students who are ill should stay home the entire day. No student will be allowed into school late due to illness. When a child becomes ill at School, it is the parents’ responsibility to take the child home.

Students who show signs of colds or other illnesses are referred to the School nurse. The School nurse, in consultation with the family, handles student injuries and accidents. Every effort is made to notify parents and/or the family physician in such cases. If it is impossible to locate parents, the School nurse may need to arrange transportation to a medical facility at the parents’ expense.

Annual physical examinations are required of all Junior School students, all new students in grades 9 – 12, and all returning students in grades 9 and 11. All Health Cards are due by July 15 to the Business Office in the Sullivan Administration Building. Note that if July 15 falls on a weekend, then all health materials will be due the Friday preceding July 15.

Note: All new students must turn in their Health Cards following the directions in their admission packet. Students may not attend school until their Health documentation is received and deemed complete.

Hawai‘i State Law requires all students to meet examination and immunization requirements before they may attend any public or private school in the state. The Punahou Health Card includes an immunization report. All Punahou students are required to be immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, mumps, measles (rubeola and rubella), Hepatitis B and chicken pox (without disease documen- tation). A completed negative mantoux TB test is required before school attendance is allowed.

Emergency telephone numbers must be given for parents and for alternate caregivers to call if a parent cannot be reached.

Illness in School

In Kindergarten – grade 1, when a student becomes ill and requires attention, the teacher assistant accompanies the student to the K – 1 Health Room in Wilcox Hall. In grades 2 – 5, students take a note from the teacher to the Kosasa Office. Kindergarten, first and second grade children are picked up from the offices by the school nurse or are escorted to the Health Center by an Academy student. Children in grades 3 – 5 proceed from the Kosasa Office to the Health Center.

In the middle school, students take a note from the teacher directly to the nurse at the Health Center. Academy students proceed directly to the Health Center.


Health Center
808.944.5776 Tel

Food Service

Punahou’s food services encompass the logistics of feeding over 3,600 students and 600 faculty and staff daily with a choice of offerings in the dining rooms and snack bar. The school continues its commitment to providing healthy food options with emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat, high-protein meats, locally grown meats and produce, a minimal amount of processed foods served, no artificial trans fats, no high fructose corn syrups and no deep-fat fried foods as well as sustainable choices in the operation of the cafeteria.

A menu is published monthly, sent to Junior School homerooms and posted in the Academy, as well as being posted online. The menu is subject to change.

Go to Menus


Breakfast is available for all students from 7 – 8 a.m. Hot entrees, sandwiches, cold and hot cereals, milk, fruit juice, fresh fruit, hot chocolate, muffins and bread, a yogurt bar and acai bowls with fresh fruit, granola and honey are offered each morning. Breakfast continues in the Snack Bar for Academy students, grades 9 – 12, from 8 – 9:30 a.m.


Available daily for all students. Kindergarten – grade 1 students are served in the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood Community Room based on a prepaid lunch program at $650 for the year. Students in grades 2 – 5 are offered a plated lunch, including milk, for $4 on a daily basis. For grades 6 – 12, students choose from a la carte selections. All students in grades 2 – 12 have a choice of two entrees daily plus a salad bar. Payment may be made with cash or parents may choose to allow their child to charge meals, in which case an electromagnetic bar code will be affixed to the student ID card, enabling the student to use the card for lunch charges.

Kindergarten – Grade 1
Students are served lunches in the Community Room of the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood. Parents may choose prepared lunches for $650 for the year. Because of the special service, this meal option must be selected for the entire year. Alternatively, students may bring a home-prepared lunch each day. In addition, students are offered a healthy snack mid-morning.

Grades 2 – 6
Lunches are eaten in a supervised Dole Hall dining room whether they are purchased or brought from home.

For grades 2 – 5, the fixed rate for lunch, which includes an entrée, starch, vegetable, fresh salad or fruit and milk, is $4. Students in grades 2 – 5 are also provided a mid-morning juice. Students in grade 6 can bring home lunch or choose from the a la carte selections in the dining room.

Parents are encouraged to discuss the menu choices with their children on a regular basis. Children who bring their lunches from home may purchase milk.

Parents are also encouraged to pack snacks for students that attend co-curricular classes after school, so that they can stay energized throughout the afternoon. The Snack Bar will be open to students accompanied by an adult, should they need to purchase snacks to get them through until dinner. Students in grades 2 – 5 should not go to the Snack Bar unsupervised.

Grades 7 – 12
Lunches can be brought from home or students can choose from the a la carte selections in the dining room or from the snack bar. The dining room offers a hot meal with choices of entrée, starch, vegetable, fresh salad and fruit, beverage and dessert.

Grades 9 – 12
Students in high school do not have a set time period for lunch in their academic schedules. Various food services are available to them throughout the day as their breaks permit. Students are expected to respect their cafeteria by using courtesy and common sense in behavior, especially related to quantities of food selected, and to appropriately clean up lunch and snack materials. This is an expectation of all Punahou students.

Snack Bar

The snack bar is open from 8 a.m. – 4:10 p.m. offering a variety of cold food and snack items. Academy students can find breakfast selections from 8 – 9:30 a.m. and students in grades 6 – 12 can opt to buy their lunch in the snack bar. In addition to snacks, selections include sandwiches, salads and a variety of cold drinks. K – 5 students may use the Snack Bar after 2:30 p.m. only.