School & Community

‘Iolani is a place of culture, diversity and safety.

A unique location within the United States, Hawai‘i stands apart as a true cultural polyglot–we speak and celebrate the languages of many cultures.

This spirit infuses student life at ‘Iolani School. Ethnic and cultural diversity are the very face of our school and this empowers students from many different backgrounds to be who they are, share their culture and form friendships that will last a lifetime.

At ‘Iolani we call this “One Team.” One Team means that we care about and support each other. We know that we achieve together and strive for excellence with humility and gratitude for the people around us.

A Community of Cultures

Students at ‘Iolani come from diverse ethnic backgrounds including Caucasian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Native Hawaiian, Filipino, Samoan, Native American, African American, Hispanic, Vietnamese and Pacific Islander. We provide a multicultural environment in which students from diverse backgrounds are prepared to be global citizens.



Academic excellence is our tradition

Students in the Upper School may earn college credit for their work in Advanced Placement courses in English, mathematics, science, history, foreign language, psychology, computer science and fine art.

Small classes are essential to the 'Iolani academic experience. We maintain a 10:1 student to teacher ratio, with an average class size of 16 students. We also recognize that academic demands vary according to the age and ability of the student. Extra help from teachers, counselors and peer tutors is always available.

Click for more information about Academics

Academics are at the heart of the ‘Iolani experience.

‘Iolani students are recognized in every academic category on the national stage.

29 AP courses offered
116 National Merit Semifinalists within the past five years
Science Olympiad National Competitors 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
National Economics Competition Champion 2014-2019
LifeSmarts National Finalist 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
27-time consecutive State Math league Champions, National Top-10 team
Hawaii History Bowl Champions and National Representative 2013-2016, 2018, 2019
Model UN Best Delegation team award 2015
Speech & Debate Team Hawaii Speech League Champions 2014-2018
First Robotics Competition State Champions 2016, Chairman's Award 2019, Engineering Award 2019

We accomplish this together, as a team.


Visual and Performing Arts

Excellence and opportunity are the hallmarks of our visual and performing arts programs.

Visual Arts

Our engaging Visual Arts program exemplifies the belief that everyone has a unique way of seeing, thinking and feeling. Colors and abstract patterns leap from the walls of classrooms in the Art Building. Courses offer drawing, painting, watercolor, sculpture in wood and metal, ceramics, photography, design and more.

‘Iolani students have won several regional and national Scholastic Arts Awards within the past five years:

  • 104 Gold Awards
  • 88 Silver Awards
  • 8 National Gold Awards
  • 15 National Silver Awards

Click to view the award-winning artwork

Performing Arts

Creativity in a variety of artistic mediums, expert instruction, and a wealth of opportunity for self-expression are available to all ‘Iolani students. With 32 performing groups and 160 performances annually, 920 Upper School students participated in the performing arts in 2016. Some highlights include the following.


‘Iolani orchestras have won five national championships within the past five years.

In the video below, please enjoy the ‘Iolani orchestra performing at Lincoln Center in New York City, where it received the “Outstanding Student Performance Award.”

Please also click to view six songs performed by the talented students of Orchestra 5 at St. John's Smith Square, during the London Invitational Concert Series. They were joined by the dancers of Hālau ‘Iolani for three of the songs.


In 2014 the ‘Iolani Dramatic Players traveled to Scotland, where they were awarded 3 out of 4 star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts and culture festival in the world, and will perform again in 2017.

Please enjoy the highlights from musical theater shows above.

Stage Band

With an international reputation, over the past five years, ‘Iolani stage band has performed by invitation at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Konan Jazz Festival, Matsukata Music Festival and International Jazz Festival in Ibbenburen, Germany.

Please click to enjoy the ‘Iolani Stage Band performance at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.


Raider Athletics

Gracious in victory and dedicated to each other.

Building on a tradition of sportsmanship, unity, and humility, across more than 100 teams, we truly become One Team.

Athletics are more than competition.

They’re about pride in your teammates.
They’re about practice.
They’re about the fearless pursuit of success.

Seventy percent of ‘Iolani students participated on athletic teams. Within the past five years, ‘Iolani teams have won 47 league and state championships in 13 sports.

‘Iolani’s athletic facilities include a stadium, football/soccer fields, six-lane track, baseball field, Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, two gymnasiums, judo/wrestling room, weight room, training room and equipment room.

College Prep

Top College Prep School

‘Iolani has a history as a top college preparatory school.

Over the past five years, at least five students have been accepted at these top colleges and universities:

Boston University
Brown University
Carleton College
Cornell University
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Harvard University
Johns Hopkins University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New York University
Pomona College
Princeton University
Stanford University
Swarthmore College
University of Chicago
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
Williams College
Yale University

‘Iolani challenged me to reach for my dreams and to attain the goals I set for myself. My teachers and coaches were among the best mentors of my life.

Spencer Kiehm '14
Harvard University, Class of 2018

‘Iolani does many things extremely well and one of them is preparing students to be responsible global citizens who think deeply and with vision.

Bradley Wo '13
Stanford University, Class of 2017

I feel blessed for the friendships and opportunities I had at ‘Iolani. I will always be grateful for being able to attend one of the world’s best schools.

Lindsey Combs '15
Yale University, Class of 2019

My teachers care about me and my education beyond the walls of the classroom. There is a freedom to be whoever you want to be knowing that the people around you will support you on that journey.

Kyung Mi Lee '17
Accepted: Princeton, Stanford and Yale

Sullivan Center

Sullivan Center

A world leader in teaching innovation

At the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership, students are challenged and learn to thrive in an evolving world of information access, creation, collaboration and communication.

Home to Innovation

The sustainably designed, 40,000 square foot facility is dedicated to teaching innovation, leadership, applied technologies, research science, design, computer science and communications.

Home to Opportunity

More than 25 elective classes in the school’s iDepartment allow students to experience project-based learning. Students take deep dives into individual passions with independent studies. Publishing in academic journals, creating award winning products, participating on nationally recognized teams and tackling real world problems comprise daily life in the Sullivan Center.