Back to class: Honolulu's top-rated and most-improved public elementary schools

Back to class: Honolulu's top-rated and most-improved public elementary schoolsPhoto: Unsplash
Published on August 20, 2019

How strong are the public elementary schools in Honolulu?

With a fresh school year kicking off, we analyzed newly released data from — which include comprehensive report cards, rankings and reviews — to identify those schools that made the biggest strides last year and those that lead their peers.

Kapalama Elementary School's overall rating improved the most among similar schools in Honolulu, rising from a B- to a B+, according to data from Niche.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the school, located at 1601 N. School St., enrolls 575 students. Kapalama Elementary School serves a diverse population: 65% of students identify as Asian, 14% identify as multiracial and 12% identify as Pacific Islander. Niche graded the school a B+ for academics (on an A-D scale).

The overall ranking comes from Niche's proprietary algorithms. A school's ranking might change due to many factors, including the relative rankings of similar schools and whether a school gained or lost peers due to openings or closings. Other numbers come from current public data from the U.S. government.

Academically, 59% of Kapalama Elementary School's students scored as proficient or above in math, and 61% did so in reading. That's compared to city averages of 54% in math and 57% in reading. The school's improved overall rating is notable in that it serves a less-affluent population, with 54% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

It's not the only school that's climbed Niche's rankings this year. Ma'ema'e Elementary School saw its overall rating jump from a B+ to an A-. The school is located at 319 Wyllie St. and is a bit larger, currently serving 680 students, of whom 46% identify as Asian, 29% identify as multiracial and 13% identify as Pacific Islander.

Niche graded Ma'ema'e Elementary School an A- for academics on an A-D scale. The school's latest math proficiency was at 75%, and reading proficiency was 69%.

While some public elementary schools in Honolulu are moving up the ranks, others are consistently top-rated overall, including:

  • Waikiki Elementary School, with an overall rating of A-.
  • Mayor John H. Wilson Elementary School, with an A- rating overall.
  • Hickam Elementary School, rated A- overall.

Want more of the latest intel on Honolulu schools? Hoodline also analyzed the latest Niche ratings for the city's public high schools.

This story was created automatically using data from, then reviewed by an editor before publication. Click here for more about how and why Hoodline is automating local news. Got thoughts about what we're doing? Go here to share your feedback.