Kau High and Pahala Elementary School
Ka'u High, Intermediate & Pahala Elementary School
96-3150 Pikake Street
Pahala, Hawaii 96777
K to 12
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Ka'u High & Pahala Elementary School is a public, co-educational high school, middle school and elementary school of the Hawaii State Department of Education. It serves kindergarten through twelfth grade and was established in 1881. It was the first high school established on the Big Island of Hawaii and the third public high school established in Hawaii, after Lahainaluna High School on Maui and President William McKinley High School, formerly Honolulu High School, on Oahu. The high school was established after the 1876 opening of the Hawaiian Agricultural Company (a predecessor of the Ka'u Sugar Company), at the time one of the largest most remote sugarcane plantations in the Kingdom of Hawaii. The plantation employed a large number of immigrants who wanted their children to have a high school education; Honokaa High & Intermediate School was established on the north end of the island eight years later for similar reasons.
Ka'u High and Pahala Elementary School is located in Pahala in Hawaii County on the Island of Hawaiʻi. Its only feeder school is Naalehu Elementary and Intermediate School. Its mascot is the Trojan and the school colors are maroon and white.
Here's to theeOur Hawaii Nei!
Whose name we'll ever
Cherish in our song
Honor love and true devotion
All to thee belong
Ka'u High School Alma Mater
True to thee we'll stand
You're the pride of our Hawaii!
Pahala High and Elementary School was started in 1881 for students of the rural Pahala sugar community. The high school was established with a middle school and an elementary school. The original buildings on campus are still in use, including the main high school building, two other high school buildings, the gymnasium, the elementary school buildings and cafeteria. The H building and the G building are the original school buildings, dating back to 1881. In 1940, the school was renamed Ka'u High and Pahala Elementary School due to the drop in enrollment at Naalehu, which once had a high school. Ka'u High and Pahala Elementary School has one feeder school, Naalehu Elementary and Intermediate School, located in Naalehu, Hawaii, 13 miles (21 km) south.
In 1881, the H and G buildings were built on campus. In 1909, the gymnasium and both elementary school buildings were constructed just south of the H and G buildings. A year later the main high school/administration building was completed along with a new athletic field in front of the school. A pool was constructed adjacent to the gymnasium in 1968. No new buildings were built on the campus until 1977, when the M building was completed. In 1980, a new Physical Education building with locker rooms (N building), along with a new lighted athletic field, was constructed. In 1982 the Agriculture building (I building) was completed. In 1991, the Industrial Arts building (Q building) was completed. The last building constructed is the F building, which was completed in 1999.
The school remains rural, with a student body of around 800.
In 2012, the State of Hawaii began construction on a $17 million, 35,000 ft², Ka'u Shelter and Gymnasium, on the grounds of Ka'u High's former athletics field. The new gymnasium will seat 700, and serve as both a high school and community sports facility and a disaster shelter, during earthquakes, tsunamis, or intensive vog levels.
- Art Club
- Akamai Finance Academy
- Youth and Government
- National Honor Society
- Uplink All-Stars Program
- Upward Bound
- Interact Club
Ka'u High School's ensemble group, One Journey, is noted for participating in and winning the 2011 "Brown Bags to Stardom" competition hosted by Oc16 television, on Oahu. Faced up against large, 5,000-student schools, the small community of Ka'u (of a little over 6,000), with tremendous supporters and a great group, was able to pull the group to first place out of countless larger schools.
Ka'u High School, Ka'u Intermediate, and Pahala Elementary, employs a dress code and uniforms. In the elementary and intermediate schools, the uniform is a heather grey T-shirt with a maroon and white "Ka'u" logo on the front and smaller Hawaii island with a Trojan head on the back. A variation of this design in either black, or maroon shirts is available for the intermediate, and both black and maroon colors are also available as long-sleeved shirts.
High school dress employs a black or white T-shirt with a "tribal"-designed "Ka'u" going down the side of the front of the shirt. This is also available in a long-sleeved variation.
Ka'u High and Pahala Elementary School's commencement exercises are normally held during the first week of June.