Kamehameha Schools has been a symbol of educational excellence for Hawaiians for more than 100 years. The institution has grown from its modest beginning in 1887 when the School for Boys enrolled 37 students, to its current position as the largest private school in the nation with three campuses serving more than 4,500 students.
Today, at the Kapālama High School, the tradition of excellence continues with a rich, diverse curriculum designed to prepare students of high ability and leadership positions in a global society. The academic program is college preparatory and challenges students to think critically and strive for academic success. Students must complete prescribed courses in mathematics, science, English, Hawaiian and/or foreign languages, physical education, fitness/health, speech, social studies, Christian Education, Hawaiian studies, visual and performing arts. Electives are offered in a variety of areas; extra- and co-curricular activities of all kinds are available.
Christian Education is an important aspect of the educational program, and all students are required to participate in Ekalesia (Christian education classes) and devotions. Christian values, heritage and history, ethics, and a review of the three major Christian denominations that have impacted the Hawaiian community are studied. Christian values are also emphasized in traditional annual events and ceremonies such as Founder's Day, Christmas Concert and Lā Pule Ho‘omana (Religious Emphasis Week).
Fostering pride in students' Hawaiian heritage is also an important school goal. Developing knowledge about and respect for Hawaiian values and traditions is part of the learning experience at Kamehameha. Students participate in a variety of cultural and character education activities, including coursework, service learning opportunities, and special events such as the annual Song Contest.
Rich in history and tradition, the Kapälama High School program is dynamic and responsive to an ever-changing society. It prepares capable and industrious students to be skilled professionals, technicians and leaders today and into the future.
Kamehameha Schools maintains a policy of offering enrollment/admissions preference to Hawaiian students to the extent permitted by law. The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that this policy is non-discriminatory. Kamehameha Schools is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.