We are honored that you are considering HNS to provide a solid educational foundation for your child’s future. As any parent knows, getting your child into a quality school is an important, but sometimes daunting task. The following will help you with the details as you submit your child’s application to HNS. Be sure to contact the Admissions Office at (808) 373-3232 or [email protected] to schedule a personalized tour of our scenic campus.

Applications must be submitted by December 1 to be considered in the priority round of admission decisions for the upcoming school year. Decisions by the Admission Committee will be made by April 15 and parents will be notified by mail in accordance with the common reply dates of the HAIS (Hawaii Association of Independent Schools). Applications will be considered after December 1 on a space available basis.

The following checklist will help you organize the necessary materials to complete your child’s admission folder. At any time during this process, please call us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Families are welcomed to apply online or download and submit the forms below.


Applicant’s Checklist

  • Application for Admission completed and signed
  • Applicant’s photo attached (optional)
  • Application fee-Check should be made payable to Holy Nativity School. The application fee is $100 for applicants to all grades.
  • Copy of the applicant’s birth certificate
  • Copy of previous year’s final progress report (if applicable)
  • Copy of first semester progress report of the current school year (if applicable)
  • Teacher Reference Reports (TRR’s): Be sure to first sign the back of the report. Then, give the report, along with a stamped enveloped addressed to Holy Nativity School, to the appropriate teacher(s). Pre-K-1st grade applicants must provide at least one TRR, while applicants to 2nd-8th grade must submit at least 2 TRR’s
  • Although not required, supplemental materials may be submitted such as standardized test results (SSAT is our prefered admissions test for grades 6-8).
  • Financial Aid application (if applicable) must be submitted through SSS (School and Student Services) by March 1
  • Mentor reports (written by coaches, extra-curricular activity teachers, etc) and other letters of recommendation are optional


What is the timeline for the admission process?
Applications must be submitted by December 1 to be considered in the first round of admission decisions. Decisions by the admission committee will be made by April 15 and parents will be notified by mail in accordance with the common reply dates of the HAIS (Hawaii Association of Independent Schools). Families are given until May 10 to respond to an offer of admission. Applications will be considered after December 1 on a space available basis.
What is the birthday guideline for applying to HNS?
Applicants to all grades should meet the birthday guideline (June 30th for boys, August 31st for girls).
What does the admission committee consider in making their decision?
The admission committee reviews the same criteria for each applicant including teacher reference reports, transcripts/report cards, parent input, and assessments and observations made during the school visit.  The admission committee is comprised of faculty members representing various grade levels, specialist classes, and administration.
How many students are accepted at each grade level?
Every grade level at Holy Nativity is considered an entry point. The number of students accepted at each grade level is contingent upon the number of current students that return for the following year. Current Holy Nativity families have until mid-March to place their tuition deposit to reserve their child’s space in the next year’s class. We grow our class sizes in the Keiki 3’s class, in pre-kindergarten, and in kindergarten, and therefore we are assured of being able to accept a few new students to these grade levels each year. We typically have a few openings at our other grade levels as well due to students moving on to other schools or relocating.
Does Holy Nativity have a wait list?
If the admission committee feels that an applicant is qualified for admission yet we do not have a space available for them at that time, we may place the applicant in our qualified wait pool. Applicants placed in our wait pool are not ranked. The admission committee will refer to this wait pool to fill any openings that may occur between May and August. When a vacancy becomes available, the admission committee reviews all applicant files in the wait pool. The committee considers many variables including the dynamic and balance of the class as well as priority for qualified siblings of currently enrolled students, children of alumni, and members of The Church of the Holy Nativity.
Can we re-apply next year if our child is not offered admission this year?
There are often more qualified applicants than available spaces at most of our grade levels. We therefore recommend that families who we are unable to offer admission to in a given year consider re-applying in the future. A number of factors including a child’s readiness for our program, a large applicant pool, and space availability all may change from year to year.
How do we receive information regarding financial aid?
All families are welcomed to apply for financial aid. To be eligible for consideration for financial aid at Holy Nativity School, you must complete your application by March 1. Please visit our website at and click on the Admission page where you will find a link to the financial aid application. We use School and Student Services (SSS) to process financial aid applications. SSS is a service of the National Association of Independent Schools. Please note that neither a family’s request for financial aid information nor a family’s financial status is considered as part of the admission criteria.
What makes an independent school worth the trouble of applying and—yes—paying the expense to enroll your children?

Excerpts from the Independent School Advantage by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

  • High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, and encourage critical thinking. A larger percentage of students at independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.
  • Small classes and individual attention. Independent schools have low student-teacher ratios that encourage close connections with students. The median ratio in NAIS schools in 2008-2009 was 8.6 students to 1 teacher (meaning that half have a higher ratio and half have a lower ratio).
  • Excellent teachers. They usually teach in their areas of expertise and are passionate about what they do. With more autonomy within the classroom, teachers are able to develop a full understanding of how each student learns and what interests and motivates each individually.
  • Greater likelihood of a student completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.
  • Education for the whole child. Independent schools nurture not just students’ intellectual ability and curiosity but also their personal and social growth and civic conscience. Opportunities extend well beyond the classroom to athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and school leadership experiences.
  • Inclusiveness. Schools maintain diverse and vibrant student communities and welcome and respect each family.
  • A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals for the student.
  • The opportunity to choose a school with a mission. You can select a school whose philosophy, values, and teaching approach is right for your child.
  • And most important: An education that will pay dividends for a lifetime.