This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Hawaii Preparatory Academy2
Posted June 12, 2014
- a parent
My daughter went to HPA for 5 years. The teachers are good. It is the administration that fails the students.How do you fire a well loved and excellent teacher who was teacher of the year just the year before? Also no follow through when school rules are broken. The administration listens to your complaints and then just waits for you to tire of their lack of response. Million dollar energy lab used by maybe 20 students while all the locker rooms and bathrooms need remodeling.Campus is getting pretty ramshackle. All in all the school is pretty rudderless.Current Dean of Academics is a nightmare. NO one likes him.Save your money send your kids to Parker.
Outstanding teachers for anyone looking to be challenged. I have two boys who were in a super elite private school on the east coast. What I can say is this. If you want a quality education, you can get it here. At the top of the class, you will find kids who are as good as anywhere. However, the average student is not as good as the average student coming out of a New England prep school. This is not due to the quality of teaching but rather the population of students from HPA can draw. My eldest son was extremely well prepared for college, went on to be accepted Early Decision at Duke, and is now ranked #1 in his class at Duke, one of the hardest and #6 ranked university in the U.S. He is now a potential candidate for a Rhodes Scholarship. My youngest son, also moved from the east coast elite school to HPA and has had a similar experience. He loves the school, is highly motivated, and should be a strong candidate at any top university in the country. The biggest difference is o'hana (family & friends) as both were happy at HPA. On the east coast, kids believed they got ahead by beating someone else. At HPA, everyone supports each other while still embracing personal excellence.
HPA is a good school for students wanting to be academically challenged. The campus and facilities are nice, and the faculty seems driven to make the best of the students education. The prices are so high students should take advantage of their accommodations, including mealtime. If you want a challenging education, but you feel like you already know what you want to do in life, like play music or be an actress, or make Video Games or be a Movie Director, I think HPA might seem like a waste of time, and it can be if your not focused by your schoolwork. All I wanted to do was play music, and i was distracted from my studies, obviously, I thought that I wouldn't benefit at all from HPA because I would want to be a musician after my graduation. If you know what you love, school can only distract you from it, it may be a waste of time, but your not, so do what you love.
This classic school, set in one of the most beautiful settings in the world has produced two presidential scholars in the last two years, beating out the perennial Goliath's on Oahu, including Punahou and Iolani. Academics is only one piece of the puzzle, as mandatory sports after-school gives HPA students the opportunity to focus on health and wellness on the daily. Their numerous state titles and yearly BIIF titles are a testament to hard working and healthy kids. Community's the third piece of the pie at HPA and it should not be taken lightly. Whether it is class meetings, advisory meetings, or Friday flagpole, students are part of a valued, tight knit community. While the tuition is legendary (the most expensive in the state) it is worth every single penny. Did I mention the facilities? Teachers are insane and the views of natural Hawaii are as good as it gets. Doesn't look and feel like a high school. It feels more like a small liberal arts college.
This school is extremely stable as most of the board of directors and many teachers are former students and associated with the school for decades. Many of the students are children and grandchildren of alumni. The headmasters have all been of the highest caliber in the world. At one time there were more Phd's per student than all but a few US universities. One of the first presidential scholars was from HPA and it is not unusual to have more than one National Merit scholar per year. There also are university students from 2 national universities attending (Cal Berkley!). Class size is quite small some have been only one or two students! Acedemics are main thrust but arts and atheletics are also stressed and many state championships have been won by a very small school. The school is also totally unrelated to the Episcopal church! It was founded by them and abandoned in 1950 or so as I recal. There is a chapel on campus.
I beleive that HPA is a very good school, but like any other school, it all depends on what the student makes of it. The teachers are great and provide you with the necessary tool a student needs to succeed in life. if a student doesn't want to attend HPA then they aren't going to have the best time, but it they want to study and succeed then HPA is the right school. It has a great athletic program and the college counseling program can help you get into great colleges.
The school always focused on what was in the best interest for my child. She made many life-long connections there with others students and with some of the teachers. Every time I talked to her she raved about the exciting new things she was able to do there that she couldn't do at home. I was also impressed with the academic work and projects that she showed me, they were interesting and challenging.