HONOLULU (KHON2) — More than 50 private schools and hundreds of folks came out to the Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 10 for an educational fair.
The Hawaii Association of Independent Schools has not held an event like this since the pandemic began.
The executive director of HAIS said it was great to have the fair back in person after going virtual for the last two years.
“And we wondered if anybody would come actually because people are still sort of pandemic wary, but yeah, it’s great,” Phil Bossert said.
A total of 515 people showed up on Saturday; In 2018 and 2019 there were about 1,000 attendees.
52 out of Hawaii’s 112 private schools participated in 2022, Bossert said. There were also seminars to prepare parents for financial aid applications and SSAT exams.
“Honestly trying to find the best fit for them,” said Montessori Community School dad Shannon Ball, “but it was nice to be able to ask people who are really passionate about their schools, what’s important to them.”
While the event gave families an opportunity to meet school staff, it is also to show them just how many options there are for private schools in Hawaii.
“Many parents, they tell us, ‘Wow, I had no idea there were so many private schools,’ and it’s all different. And so a lot of parents think, ‘Oh, I want to go to that school.’ But then they come here and they think, “Wow, this is a better fit for my kid,'” Bossert said.
The students were just as thrilled to see their options.
“I just enjoy seeing all of these different schools and people coming together to see which one is best for me and other kids and I just really enjoyed that prospect of it,” said Montessori Community School student Lei Nakasato.
“I really liked learning about the new schools, seeing what’s interesting for me and what I would really like to go to because of everything and the extracurricular,” said Montessori Community School student Sabine Gendrano Ball.
One of those extracurriculars was the Pacific Buddhist Academy’s drum performance that greeted folks as they walked in.
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“They haven’t been able to perform in-person for two and a half years so, the first time they’re out too. And so it’s, it’s really great to have everybody back,” Bossert said.