About Kamehameha Schools
A Brief History of Kamehameha Schools
Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter and last direct royal descendant of Kamehameha the Great.
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, thousands of Hawaiian learners are reached annually through a variety of Kamehameha Schools outreach programs, community collaborations and scholarships.
Mission, Values & Vision
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 grounded in the Christian and Hawaiian values embraced by Pauahi. Our core values are:
Aloha (to have compassion and empathy)
ʻImi Naʻauao (to seek wisdom)
Mālama (to care for and protect)
ʻIke Pono (to know and do what is right)
Kuleana (to take responsibility)
Hoʻomau (to persevere and perpetuate)
Haʻahaʻa (to be humble)
Within a generation of twenty-five years, we see a thriving lāhui where our learners achieve post-secondary educational success, enabling good life and career choices. We also envision that our learners will be grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values and will be leaders who contribute to their communities both locally and globally.
For more information about Kamehameha’s five-year Strategic Plan and Strategic Vision for 2040, click here: www.ksbe.edu/sp2020/
Kamehameha is a Christian, non-denominational Protestant school. Students are required to attend chapel, Christian 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, up to 25% 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. Like 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 (birth) 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) the federal poverty level. To be considered in the indigent category, parents must complete a financial assessment (in addition to the regular application for admission). The financial assessment will be completed via TADS and evaluated by Kamehameha Schools’ Financial Aid department. Requirements to complete the financial assessment includes submission of federal tax returns including schedules A-F along with all W-2 and 1099 forms. 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 considered indigent with verification of their status, so guardians will be required to submit court documents to verify that the applicant is a foster child. For more information click here.
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 your child to be considered under that policy, your child’s Hawaiian ancestry must be verified by Kamehameha’s Hoʻoulu Hawaiian Data Center.
If your child is not already registered with the Data Center, after your application is received in the Admissions Office, a Hawaiian Ancestry Registry (HAR) packet will be sent. The HAR packet must be completed and returned directly to the Data Center. Please do not submit any original birth certificates to the Admissions Office.
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.