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Honolulu Waldorf School

Private | PK-12 | 300 students

Our school is best known for our Art and community

 

Living in Honolulu

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $940,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,640.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 19 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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40 reviews of this school


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Posted September 7, 2013

This sweet little school has brought years of wonderful education and joy to our children. They absolutely love their teachers and the Waldorf curriculum does what it sets out to do...to instill in the children a love for learning. There is a new administrative director this year at the school and we are thrilled with her leadership skills, professionalism, and friendly demeanor. I can't think of any other school on the Island that I would rather send my children to.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 22, 2013

Be very careful about the teachers at this school. After 8 years at the school my child got a terrible teacher that was not held accountable for his abusive behavior and incompetence. In theory this school is great but beware if you get a bad teacher and there are several.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 17, 2013

we are very happy with the school. I've read over all the reviews on this site. Of course no school is perfect. I have looked long and had at many private schools on this island. They all have pros and cons. Go with your gut feeling when picking a school. My kids are so happy at Waldorf and we appreciate the small community and wonderful teachers. The new Administrative Director sounds fabulous, we look forward to a strong leader for the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 7, 2013

I have two children in the Honolulu Waldorf School, one in middle school and one in elementary school. Both children have been at the school since kindergarten and they are thriving, happy, creative, and love their teachers and school. The community is fantastic and we find the teachers and the parents to be dedicated, hard working, and conscientious. We feel very lucky to be in a school that educates the child with their whole well-being in mind; very different from institutionalized schooling. We just found out a new director is joining the school, and so some of the negative comments posted here about the leadership of the school will be a thing of the past! Submitted by a parent
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 9, 2013

I am a student that attended the Waldorf high school as well as going to the lower school for nine years. I think this is truly one of the most amazing schooling systems imaginable. As a student it really encouraged me to have a passion for learning, as well as giving me a wonderful background in art. I am a student with a very high GPA and also very strong in both music and art of varying mediums. In my opinion I owe my success in school to the amazing teachers and alternate education system that is the Honolulu Waldorf School. Truly a magnificent place to grow and learn.


Posted January 1, 2013

I love this school. I have a 9 and 16 year old and both started in the Kindergarten. I am a creative intellectual person and found my own education painfully boring. The Waldorf system excites the kids and makes them want to learn. As a successful business owner I recognize the need for talented people who can think outside the box and problem solve. The Waldorf system nurtures this ability in their students. With computers at our fingertips we need to educate kids to think creatively not to regurgitate information. My kids are thinkers and I need to give some of that credit to the Honolulu Waldorf School. It is a loving and supportive environment and I am thankful I have the means to give them this opportunity.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 17, 2012

This school has wonderful ideas and gives children the childhood they need and deserve to have, nurturing the imagination and giving them a strong foundation to learn without burning out. Unfortunately it is lacking leadership, organization and I believe parent participation. Tuition is comparable to other private schools on the island yet the facilities are old, neglected and dirty. If Waldorf could find leadership and balance their budget, update their school and playground, families on the island might consider Waldorf. This school should have a wait list just like other schools but because of lack of leadership and neglected facilities it is labeled a "hippy" school. I appreciated the wholesome approach this school offered but did not have the confidence in their leadership (or lack of) to keep my most precious child at this school. Other schools are beginning to embrace this type of learning yet doing it with leadership and organization. Honolulu Waldorf needs to get their act together.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 10, 2012

This school has steadily gone downhill with no leadership, poorly trained teachers, a lack of communication, inconsistent discipline, and is constantly changing policy from year to year. Not surprisingly, facilities are in need of repair and the school overall is poorly funded. Very limited enrichment programs and opportunities, particularly for children with challenges and those that are gifted. Anyone brave enough to ask questions are labeled and ostracized. Not a happy place these days.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 3, 2012

Would not recomend this school. Elementary teachers are not properly trained to handle communication with parents. School lacks in organization and it seem to have a lot of gossip. Unless you are willing to follow all their rules, which seems to be getting made up as they go alone, - perhaps you are better off with any other school on the island.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 14, 2011

This is a good school in many ways. It lacks the heart, knowledge and true spirit of Waldorf but is still better in many ways than what else is out there. In Europe, Waldorf works elegantly and effectively for 'difficult' or disruptive children, in fact, so much so that the government pays for some of the most problematic children to attend Waldorf. This is a great life experience for the whole community. It seems that this is not the case here, 'difficult' children are not well-held in a way that they can heal and often become the scapegoats for teachers inability and/or insecurity. We removed our children after several years. We could not recommend this as a wholesome or effective learning environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 10, 2010

We have two children at the HWS and they love it! If they are sick and we keep them at home, they cry. They don't like school breaks because they miss school. Most importantly to me however, is they are curious about the world around them. I think the world they are growing up into will be very different from the one I grew up in and I believe Waldorf education will give them the tools they will need to be happy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 28, 2009

The Waldorf curriculum was designed to end at 8th grade. Honolulu Waldorf School does very well in the lower grades, and starts to unravel at around the sixth grade. My kids went to this school from pre-k to eight and sixth grades. Parents should ask hard questions of a variety of individuals, not just the teachers that form the governing body. Particularly, ask about how many kids go to college and how discipline is handled. If you question HWS deviation from established Walodorf pedagogy, you and your children will quickly be pushed from the fold.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

Children are educated in a wonderful, loving environment. They are supported to reach their potential as each individual person.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 25, 2009

My son has attended Waldorf from preschool through the third grade. He is so happy. Everyday he is excited about going to school. He is well rounded, curious about the world and has great integrity. All of these attributes is what a Waldorf education draws out in a child. He take Spanish, Japanese,plays the cello and loves math and science. I know of many children who have transferred from other schools where heavy dry academics was stressed at very young age. These children were miserable at there former schools and now at Waldorf are happy and flourishing. Waldorf instills a love of learning instead of burning children out by giving them unhealthy amounts of homework and academic stress at too young an age. I highly recommend Honolulu Waldorf School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 3, 2006

Honolulu Waldorf School's curriculm is rich and varied - there is no need for 'extracurricular' activities, because it's all included in the day: art, music, physical movement, creativity and critical thinking, along with the 'basic' academics are integrated into a cohesive, engaging educational experience. My daughter has been here for 5 years and finds joy in learning. She loves school. She is treated like a unique individual - her teacher knows her and how she needs to learn. She is valued for who she is. It is a small school with very involved parents who care a great deal for the children, teachers and community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 22, 2006

Honolulu Waldorf is one of the only schools in Honolulu that focuses on developing the 'person' in the students versus focusing almost exclusively on testing and 'academic standards'. The care, discipline and guidance the teachers and the whole community of individuals involved in the Waldorf way of education makes it the best school in Honolulu.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 29, 2005

I love this school, my husband loves this school, and my children particulary love this school. My children are enthusiastic about learning, compassionate towards others in their community, and creative in their thinking.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 9, 2005

My child attends Honolulu Waldorf. We love it and would highly recommend Waldorf education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 5, 2005

As we see our child graduate from college in a few months, having attended the Honolulu Waldorf School for 12 years, we see how this kind of education works. Slowly but decisively the curriculum fostered a joy for learning many different things. What it did not do was plaster on a barage of dry intellectual facts which would have made for better test scores while destroying this joy!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 8, 2004

Just as in other Waldorf Schools, the problem here is that no one wants to discipline problem children.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 43% 14%
Two or more races 27% 8%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 12% 34%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 10% 34%
Hispanic 4% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 1%
Black 2% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Percentage of students going to 2-year college 10% (2013)
Percentage of students going to 4-year college 80% (2013)
Percentage of students going to the military 0% (2013)
Percentage of students going to vocational programs 0% (2013)
Percentage of students going directly into the workforce 10% (2013)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff German
Japanese
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area

Gifted & talented

College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 7:30 am
School end time
  • 2:45 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 5:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Helen Platell
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • makai@honoluluwaldorf.org
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • AWSNA
  • NAEYC
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (808) 373-2440

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Waldorf
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Foreign languages
  • Global
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Service learning
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Transportation options
  • Accessible via public transportation
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Internet access
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Surfing
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Surfing
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Community service
  • National Honor Society
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
More from this school
  • Waldorf Education provides an internationally renowned classical curriculum that integrates core subjects with the Arts.
School leaders can update this information here.

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What are your chances?


5 out of 10students were accepted for the 2014-2015 school year.


Students accepted for the 2014-2015 school year
75
Applications received for the 2014-2015 school year
150

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2014-2015 school year
$11000 - $16000
Vouchers accepted
Yes
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Outside scholarships

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
2 year college - 10%
4 year college - 80%
Military - 0%
Vocational - 0%
Workforce - 10%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

350 Ulua Street
Honolulu, HI 96821
Website: Click here
Phone: (808) 377-5471

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