In 1887, three years after her death, the Kamehameha School for Boys opened with 37 students and four teachers. In 1894 the Kamehameha School for Girls opened.
From these modest beginnings Kamehameha Schools has grown to become a symbol of educational excellence for Hawaiians. Today, Kamehameha is a statewide educational system with three campuses on Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi serving more than 5,500 students in kindergarten through grade 12.
Kamehameha Schools also operates 29 preschools statewide, which serve more than 1,500 students. Additionally, more than 30,000 additional Hawaiian learners are reached annually through a variety of Kamehameha Schools outreach programs, community collaborations and scholarships.
Our Mission and Philosophy
Kamehameha Schools' mission is to fulfill Pauahi's desire to create educational opportunities in perpetuity to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry.
Kamehameha Schools is a dynamic and nurturing learning community committed to educational excellence. We assist people of Hawaiian ancestry to achieve their highest potential as "good and industrious men and women." We do so by contributing to their development as people who are:
grounded in spiritual and Christian values;
intellectually, emotionally, and socially self-reliant;
resourceful, resilient, life-long learners;
equipped with the skills they need to succeed in endeavors of their choosing;
responsible, ethical, contributing members of their multi-cultural and diverse
prepared to practice and perpetuate the Hawaiian values and traditions of Ke Aliʻi
Kamehameha is a Christian, non-denominational Protestant school. Students are required to attend worship services, attend religious education classes and participate in special events such as Founder's Day and Song Contest.
Admission Preference to Orphans and Indigents
At our major entry points, 15 to 25-percent of new spaces are reserved for applicants identified as either orphaned or indigent. As directed by the Will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, these children receive additional consideration for admission. However, this does not mean that all orphaned or indigent children are automatically admitted to Kamehameha Schools. As with all other applicants, orphaned and indigent students are tested and evaluated and must demonstrate their ability to be academically successful at Kamehameha Schools.
ORPHAN: A child who has lost one or both biological (natural) parents through death. Children in single-parent households do not qualify as "orphans" unless the absentee parent is deceased. To verify orphan status, the deceased parent's death certificate must be submitted, and his/her name must also appear on the child's birth certificate.
INDIGENT: A child whose parents/legal guardians total household income is at (or below) 185% above the federal poverty level with cost of living adjustment for Hawaiʻi. To be considered in the indigent category, parents must complete an Indigent Application form (which is included with the regular application form) and submit a copy of their federal tax returns including schedules A-F along with all W-2 and 1099 forms; or, if the family receives DHS assistance, parents must submit a copy of their letter from DHS showing proof that they currently receive cash welfare benefits. Foster children are also considered indigent with verification of their status, so guardians should submit court documents to verify that the applicant is a foster child along with the Indigent Application form.
Policy to Give Preference to Hawaiian Applicants
Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy is to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law. If you would like to be considered under that policy, your Hawaiian ancestry must be verified by Kamehameha's Hoʻoulu Hawaiian Data Center. After your completed application is received in the Admissions Office, a Hawaiian Ancestry Registry (HAR) packet will be sent. The HAR packet must be completed and returned to the Data Center. Please do not submit any original birth certificates with your child's application for admission.
If you would like to obtain a HAR form immediately, you may call the Data Center at 808-523-6228, or toll-free at 1-800-842-4682, then press 9, then 36228. You may also check: www.ksbe.edu/datacenter for answers to frequently asked questions.