I love this school for my daughter. She was previously at Punahou, and was a B+ student there, but while it is a good school, it was too big for her and a bit "left-brained." At PBA the education is more progressive and with the small class sizes, there is an enormous amount of teacher attention and opportunities for academic challenge and growth. The faculty are impressive and dedicated. While we are not Buddhist, the values taught are universal. There is a rich offering of exchange programs in Japan and their taiko drumming group is world class. I have no doubt my daughter will have the academic background needed to get into and succeed at a top east coast mainland college, which is her goal.
My son attended the Academy of the Pacific because he thrived intellectually and socially in a smaller environment and with a lower student/teacher ratio. When AOP closed, I looked into PBA and was pleasantly surprised with their low student/teacher ratio and willingness to make accommodations/modifications for my son. He is challenged intellectually but is not overwhelmed. The teachers are always willing to go the extra mile to support the students. He is making incredible progress in all areas: intellectually, emotionally, and socially. You do not have to be a Buddhist (I am a Christian) but the students do learn the principles of Buddhism ~ peace. My son and I are both very happy with PBA.
PBA was the absolute best choice that we could have made. The teachers and administrators are all incredibly supportive; and they make themselves available to students in so many ways. Where other schools might take a swim or sink approach, the PBA staff refuse to let a student fail either academically or as human beings. They care about the growth of their students as people, which is especially important during the challenging teen years. PBA is a gem of a high school -- a perfect environment for learning and growing, expecially for students who might feel lost in a school with a large student body. We have been part of the PBA community for four years and we will be eternally grateful for this experience.
We just moved back to Oahu and wanted a school close to downtown area that was easily accessible to freeways. PBA sits right off the Pali Hwy. Our daughter has fit in here immediately as the staff and students are very welcoming, helpful and work together to help each other reach their academic goals. The school a small environment and students receive excellent one on one guidance from their teachers and advisers. Our daughter has attended many public and private schools and this is by far the best fit for her so far. The school offers a very good blend of academics, electives, social activities, community volunteerism and moral awareness and structure.
Pacific Buddhist Academy has been an oasis in a desert of high school choices nationwide. Being in Hawaii, the school functions with Buddhist and "ohana" based values. Students do not have to be Buddhist but will develop life skills in an environment of compassion and passion, which is thematically Buddhist. Teachers are involved, excited and highly skilled to work with each student as individuals. Experiential learning is encouraged and coupled with traditional academic avenues. As a relatively young, small, school, PBA has growing pains but makes each challenge a learning experience for the entire community. For some lucky high school graduates, PBA will be the gem of their education.
My son recently graduated from the Pacific Buddhist Academy. We can highly recommend the school. Our experience can be summed up as follows: Small class size better teacher/student interaction Creative and talented teachers Positive learning atmosphere Good value for tuition price. PBA is a college preparatory High School in central Honolulu that is Buddhist based, but open to all beliefs. The Buddhist based framework is not heavy or dogmatic, but creates a positive theme to the campus. We are not a religious family, but we still appreciated the spiritual side of the school, and the philosophy of peace and interconnectedness. The teachers at PBA seemed innovative and created a positive learning atmosphere that my son really responded to. He did very well. The good and bad (you decide) differences between PBA and other schools: Smaller class room sizes at PBA. General resources smaller than other private schools. Over-all Buddhist framework compared to Christian or nuetral. Lower tuition cost. PBA is only 10 years old, so lacks the history and distinguished list of graduates that other schools have. Very very high percentage of grads from PBA go onto college.