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Iolani School

Private | K-12


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Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $325,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,480.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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31 reviews of this school

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Posted October 14, 2013

My daughter is involved in plays, the school newspaper, orchestra and is a national merit finalist. This school is providing an excellent education. Her teachers are there when she needs them (and when I need them). I couldn't have hoped for a finer setting for my child.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 17, 2013

Iolani is the best school in Hawaii. My daughter is well-balanced, frugal, happy, engaged, worldly and well-educated. She has friends who are respectful and honest. Her teachers have always been there for her when she encounters something that is difficult for her. I am very pleased with her education!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 28, 2013

Iolani is overrated. Their emphasis is on balanced education, meaning the students are expected to perform sufficiently well in all subject matters, instead of accelerating in field of one's strength. When I was a student there, I suffered from their unnecessarily strict requirements with english, foreign language, and history. For me, english was already my second language, and forcing me to learn another was a total nonsense. On the other hand, their Physics and Math classes were a joke. My mediocre grades from uninteresting fields and superior grades from science offset to an average GPA. I ended up at an okay college due to the GPA, but was saved by the freedom to pursue only what mattered (engineering). After two years, I had straight A's, transferred to an Ivy League, graduated Magna Cum Laude, and now I am a grad student at another, better Ivy League. Iolani did not help me at all, but rather was a drag to my academic career. The english literatures, second language, history, and many other classes proved unrelated to my future work, and the math and physics were too shallow for my major. It was my own potential and motivation that got me to where I am today.

Posted February 5, 2013

My son attended from K-4. Grade 4 became stressful for him and Iolani didn't seem to be concerned. I spent 3 trying to sort it out. No help from cousolors, principle.My son refused to attend classes because of the stress. I withdrew him and he is now at at the finest private school on the island with 14 students and 2 teachers!! Iolani only cares about academics not social/well being and it will show in your child. Watch out for some of the children. They are bullies. His new school cares about emotional well being as well as academics. This will help him in the long run-not a burnt out child like these students at Iolani.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 31, 2013

Most reviews focus on 'Iolani's academics, but it is important to note that the visual and performing art electives are exceptional. The art building is filled with quirky teachers dedicated to not only providing the best technical instruction while maintaining individual freedom, but also to teaching life lessons. The facilities and supplies are abundant and 'Iolani charges no extra fees for this! Our theatre program pushes students to their full potential as actors, and the 'Iolani Dramatic Players is a student driven club that allows kids to learn how to work backstage and make a large production work. Our band and orchestra electives breed extremely adept musicians, and every year the higher levels are traveling somewhere, nationally or internationally, to displays their talent. For the intellectual student who also needs a creative outlet, 'Iolani is certainly a great option, although it may take time and effort to balance the enormous workload with artistic projects.

Posted November 23, 2012

As a young alumni (and now, ivy league student), I have to say that 'Iolani fully prepared me for college. At times, the school work was immensely overwhelming, especially with 6 AP classes during senior year. 'Iolani gives you ALL the resources and support you need to succeed. My first year in college was significantly easier than my senior year at Iolani, in terms of work load. I've had some really amazing teachers that challenged and supported me 150%. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am now. I was very lucky to have some of the most incredible teachers/mentors at Iolani, and only 2 really bad ones (I don't know why they are still teaching; they're tarnishing Iolani's reputation). To the students: it's really what YOU choose to make out of the experience - by being either "chill" with your academics, which is completely fine if you want to attend a state school, or be determined to be the very best and attend the best colleges in the nation. Looking back, I am so thankful that my parents and Iolani gave me the opportunity to study here for 7 years. As for all the parents who are uncertain whether Iolani is right for your kids, you don't need to look any further.

Posted October 29, 2012

I'm a current student and 12th grade is just bad luck. A new building means a humid, makeshift tent to replace the senior hangout area which was in the old building. The tent was set up very far away from the buildings that seniors often have classes in. There was a plan to reform the technology on campus by giving iPads to the JUNIORS. What was their reasoning? The school said we are "leaders" so we must be good role models, humbly turn down the offer, and let the juniors have them. What kind of reason is that? Also, seniors had practically no say in A PLAN THAT WAS MADE BY SENIORS FOR SENIORS. Guess what? That plan GOT APPROVED and the iPads will arrive around springtime. There was even a plan to trash the senior class' role in a 50 year old tradition this year (in fact, the tradition is mainly for seniors). Some seniors were outraged and petitioned to keep it the same. The activities adviser listened to us and decided to revert to the old ways NEXT YEAR, WHEN WE, THE MEMBERS OF THE CLASS THAT PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN THAT TRADITION, ARE GONE. Someone please explain this school's disturbing excuses! The administration at Iolani has too much power and too little sympathy or equality.

Posted August 21, 2012

'Iolani School is a perfect place for a gifted child to be his/her best in an academically challenging yet still caring environment. The teachers are excellent and dedicated, the class sizes are small, the campus is beautiful. The One Team philosophy of the school helps every student to succeed. I have two children at the school and we are so happy to be part of the 'Iolani ohana.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 25, 2012

I have 2 sons who studied at Iolani, It is without a doubt the best school in the Islands (including Punahou) and one of the top in the US. Iolani's graduating class (about 210) is half the size of Punahou (about 425) yet they have more Merit Scholars every year. My older son finished in 2007 Iolani had 34 scholars to Punahuo had 21(state total of about 77). Iolani is also a top school in athletics.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 17, 2012

I am currently attending iolani school. its a very good school academically. as students move up a grade, it gets harder and harder. after 9th grade, it gets VERY hard and we have so much homework and tests. there is not a single day that we don't have homework atall. i get stressed out a lot because i have to so much stuff.i start homework after school at 4 pm and i go to sleep at 12 am or 1am. not even kidding. its ridiculous at times but overall iolani prepares you for college very well and its one of the top schools in the state of hawaii.

Posted November 7, 2010

I am attending Iolani School now and am very grateful to go there. Iolani gives me everything I could ever want. The programs there are amazing and teachers are always there to give you the extra time. Also, class sizes are small (16 students) which allows teachers to personally help every student.

Posted August 27, 2010

As a recent graduate, I'm just now seeing how well 'Iolani has prepared me for college . However, the road has been very rocky. Prepare yourselves for sleepless nights, a loss of 'social life", and shame if not taking at least three AP classes your senior year. But perhaps the greatest thing about 'Iolani is the environment--students motivate each other (through a little friendly academic rivalry) to strive for their absolute best. Working hard becomes a hard habit to break. 'Iolani pushes you to your absolute limits, but you are not left standing alone. 'Iolani faculty makes sure that you develop the skills to succeed at the school--and eventually life. Students: don't be intimidated by 'Iolani's reputation, but do make sure you WANT to be here. Parents: be proud of whatever your child accomplishes at 'Iolani--it's a hard environment to succeed in.

Posted August 20, 2010

The school is good for academic but the school action in community is terrible. Date and Laau residents are upset because the school bought their land. I am concerned about the backlash from the community now. I don't want my kids school to have the image of taking advantage of poor community. I don't want that image to reflect upon my kids.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 26, 2009

Iolani has a great programs in academics, sports, community service, and speech and debate. Iolani is also great in preparing students for college.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 28, 2009

Great school in terms of academics and extracuricular programs. Good follow through with counselors and Administrators. The school offers computer lab time and teacher office time to meet with students. I like the fact that students are treated with respect and trusted to roam the campus on their free time or to eat whenever and wherever they like. While there are many good teachers on campus that do many different activities with students, there are a few poor ones. (You will have to find out who they are) These teachers teach using old fashioned memorization methods and rely heavily on lecture formats. Thought that the school would have all good teachers that would use the most modern techniques and implement the best practices in teaching to accommodate all students but some simply do not know what that is.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 6, 2009

Iolani is a special place for students. In Lower School the extremely small class size of 35 boys and 35 girls allows all of the children to know each other (and parents too). The Lower School parents are totally supportive of the exceptional teachers and so the children receive a lot of parental support and involvement. The Lower School selectivity leads to a close-knit family environment. By Upper School the class gets three times larger (200 to 220), but it is still small enough that you know your classmates. The faculty offers a lot of extra help sessions for those who need it, and the extracurricular activities are numerous. A huge advantage at Iolani is a small class size also allows children to be on teams that they may not have been able to participate in at other larger private schools such as Punahou or Kamehameha.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 24, 2008

good school focuses too much on education no extra curricular activities
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 6, 2008

My two daughters attended Iolani's summer recreation program this year and really enjoyed it. The teachers were caring and made sure my girls had a good time and made friends. We live on the mainland and it was a very good experience. Susan Bartow
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 26, 2008

I am an alumni and also a parent of an Iolani student c/o 2018. My years at Iolani were perhaps my best years and I hope my daughter will develop the same close knit 'One team' concept as she continues her education at Hawaii's finest school
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 9, 2008

One motto Iolani has is Iolani One Team and no three words could describe the school better. Iolani has a family atmosphere where everyone knows you and you know everyone, including teachers and staff, and the support system from the teachers/staff/classmates is what helps students get through the rigorous academic schedule. Contrary to what the public may think, students are not slave driven by homework. As a student, I'd say I was your average borderline 2.9/3.0 student. Every quarter I struggled to make honor roll.I was rather involved in school activities such as the dance program, afterschool sports, student council & theater. Only in college, did I excel academically, graduating in 3 years. However, without the continuous support that I recieved from teachers, staff & classmates,even after graduation, I couldn't have completed college with such success.
—Submitted by a student

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Asian 58% N/A
White 16% 20%
Two or more races 14% N/A
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 8% N/A
Hispanic 2% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Black 1% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 73%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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563 Kamoku St
Honolulu, HI 96826
Phone: (808) 949-5355


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