Common Questions

Common Questions: Island School

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Why should I invest in an independent school education for my child?

    At a private independent school like Island School, there are high academic standards that nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, while fostering critical thinking. Often there is a larger percentage of students that enroll in honors courses at Island School than in public, parochial, and other local private schools. Smaller classes along with individualized attention, and lower student to teacher ratios encourage close connections with students. Excellent teachers, who are life long learners, teach in their areas of expertise and share their passion with students. Dynamic Autonomy allows for flexibility within the classroom and permits teachers to cultivate a greater understanding of the content learned. Teachers also take a personal invested interest in each student and seek to understand what motivates them in their quest for learning.

    Time and again students from Island School have demonstrated the ability to be accepted into competitive four year universities and colleges all across the country. These students, due to the preparation an Island School education has afforded them, have completed a range of bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees and even post doctorate degrees.

    Island School nurtures, not just students’ intellectual ability and curiosity, but also their personal and social growth and civic responsibilities. Opportunities extend well beyond the classroom to athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and school leadership experiences, educating the whole child. Island School maintains diverse and vibrant student communities and welcomes and respects each family. Island School is also comprised of a community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals for the student. And most important: An education that will pay dividends for a lifetime.
  • Q: What is the cost of tuition?

    For the 2024-2025 school year, Pre-K tuition is $12,670. K-12 tuition is $19,880.
  • Q: How old does my child have to be to enroll in Pre-K at Island School?

    Children enrolling in Pre-K must be 3 years old by July 31st. Children enrolling in Kindergarten must be 5 years old by July 31st.
  • Q: What makes my child an ideal candidate for Na Pua Keiki - Pre-Kindergarten Program?

    A child must turn 3 years old by July 31st and can remain in the Pre-K program through the age of 5 years old.  We look for early indicators of independence, social conversations, self direction, and initiative.  These beginning skills are essential for success in the early months of the school year since we are a Pre-Kindergarten program and not a daycare/preschool.  Our environment requires age-appropriate communication skills, initiative taking, and independence.  Children must be fully and independently potty trained, which includes all the steps of managing bathroom needs.
  • Q: How does the school use tuition?

    Island School’s tuition ranks eighteenth in the state of Hawaii as compared with other independent schools. Roughly 70% of Island School’s budget goes toward employee compensation. Teachers in independent schools are paid notoriously lower than in the public system, yet keeping class sizes at optimum levels with top quality teachers, results in a significant line item in our budget. Tuition would be even higher if it weren’t for our two major fundraising events, the Annual Giving Campaign and the Annual Auction. 
  • Q: How can I find out if I qualify for financial aid?

    Families who feel they have financial need may pursue the Financial Aid application process. Families who qualify may receive an award of up to half of tuition. All Financial Aid is confidential and need based. Island School is proud to support approximately 63% of students currently attending with some financial assistance. If an application for financial aid is complete and submitted in a timely manner, tuition payments will have the award subtracted from the balance owed. Click HERE to begin the financial aid application process. Please note that Island School uses FACTS Grant and Aid as a service that provides Island School with a summary of a family’s financial need. It is from this financial summary that Island School will determine the level of need for a family. Families wanting continued financial support in the form of Financial Aid must re-apply each year.
  • Q: My child is advanced in certain subjects and has not been challenged at school. How do you address this with your students?

    Island School is committed to supporting all students in their efforts to reach their highest potential. Not advancing students fast enough can lead to problems. To address this, Island School students are assessed at the beginning of the school year and periodically thereafter to check on their progress. Each student is placed in a class setting consistent with his or her level of achievement in math and reading; the student’s social adjustment is also considered.
  • Q: My child has difficulty with certain subjects. What kinds of remedial assistance do you offer?

    Individual assessments are designed to place students in the appropriate classes that address academic performance issues before they become a serious problem. Students who demonstrate the need are offered tutoring by faculty members as well as by members of the National Honor Society. Courses that cover fundamental skills may be assigned to a student to address any weaknesses in specific subjects.
  • Q: How is peer conflict managed at Island School?

    Peer conflict manifests itself differently depending on the age of your child. In order to combat peer conflict, your child is provided tools to combat this behavior as part of their regular curriculum. Resources such as the “STEPS to RESPECT” program are used as educational material resources to help students identify and deal effectively with bullying behaviors. Students learn strategies to not only defend themselves against bullies, but to help build a climate of positive social interactions.
  • Q: How can 'ohana get involved?

    'Ohana involvement is one of the key components of an independent school education. Island School parents and guardians are valuable resources on many levels: they are welcomed classroom volunteers, chaperones for school events and field trips, mentors and guest teachers, active members of the Parent Association, Auction volunteers, energetic workers around campus, donors, board members, even faculty and staff members. But most of all, Island School families are one of three essential elements, along with teachers and students, in the building of a solid educational foundation.