In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Choose a private school for your keiki with the help of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools

United in helping children achieve personal and academic excellence

Sponsored by Hawaii Association of Independent Schools

There are over 140 private schools in Hawaii and that means a lot of choices for parents when it comes to deciding on the right school for their child. 101 of those schools are members of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, which are united in helping children achieve personal and academic excellence. These include some of the smallest and largest independent schools in the U.S., like Punahou, Kamehameha Schools, ‘Iolani and Mid-Pacific.

Although each HAIS member school is driven by a unique educational mission, they all share a commitment to providing a safe environment in which young people can learn academic skills as well as the importance of hard work, leadership and good citizenship. At HAIS member schools, you will find high-quality educational programs, extraordinary teachers and family-oriented campuses. In addition, almost all HAIS schools offer tuition assistance.

So why choose an independent school?

1) Teachers are more than just instructors: Teachers interact with their students not only as instructors in a classroom, but also as counselors, coaches, and leaders in all aspects of school life.

2) Curriculum: Curriculum is school and faculty determined. Teachers are afforded a great deal of autonomy to teach in individual styles and to choose materials they deem appropriate to the particular students they teach.

3) Administration: The administrative structure enables these schools to respond rapidly to changing conditions and needs, to develop appropriate methods and materials, to take advantage of new developments in learning.

4) Parent Involvement: Parents can play an active part at independent schools, including in the governance.

5) Privately Financed: They are financed almost entirely by private means through tuitions, contributions, and fundraising activities. They do not seek public funding because they know that public funding brings public regulation and with it the loss of the independence.

6) Accountability: Private schools are directly accountable to parents. The success of an independent school is largely dependent upon meeting the standards and needs of families.

7) Self-Regulating: Independent schools are continually engaging in a cycle of improvement through their member accrediting agencies.

8) Personalized: Independent schools seek the most effective ways to educate the particular children they serve and in so doing provide for the needs of a diverse population.

HAIS will host two education fairs in September where parents can learn more about its member schools. On Oahu, the fair takes place on September 21 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center and the next day on Maui at the Maui Beach Hotel. Both are free and open to the public.

For more information:,, Twitter: @HAISconnect