The history of Volcano School began with a community group largely comprised of parents. These school founders sponsored a series of meetings and began a round-table visioning process that is still very much guiding the direction of the school.
We were granted our charter in 2001. In the fall of 2001, we opened in buildings in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and served 78 students in grades K-6. The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences was granted its charter in January 2001 and opened its doors to students at the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year. That first year, the school rented a building in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with a staff of five teachers, one administrator and one secretary serving 78 students in grades Kindergarten through six.
In January of the first year, the school moved to its current site on Old Volcano Road which had originally been the Menehune Lodge in the 1940s. Since then, the property converted to a saw mill, a potter’s studio and residence, and now is used to house the school. Remnants of the old lodge are still seen in the classrooms located in the Quonset-style buildings. Remnants of the old saw mill still spring up all around campus from time to time. Tents were added for classroom space, initially one for 6th grade in 2001, adding 7th grade in 2002 and 8th grade in 2003. In 2004, the lanais were enclosed to provide more classroom space in the Quonsets.
6th, 7th, and 8th grades were added in 2001-2003. In the fall of 2006, three new wooden post & pier classrooms were added. In 2007-2008, the school was at full capacity with 147 in K-8 grades.
In 2011, VSAS acquired a long-term (60-year) lease for the historic Keakealani Campus from the DOE, which currently houses our middle school program, the Kula ʻAmakihi program, and the 5th grade. The Keakealani Campus is the site of a CIP development project. When completed, the Keakealani Campus will provide 16 classrooms for up to 250 students. See Keakealani Development page for more information about our new campus.
In 2017, the school added a PreKindergarten and the Kula ʻAmakihi Community-Based Education program and expanded to 205 students, and in 2019, the school grew to 239 students. High school grades 9 and 10 were added in 2020 expanding to 11th and 12th grades in 2022 and 2023. In 2022, VSAS opened the Kula Mauna Huʻihuʻi Early Learning Center at the St. Theresa's Church in Mountain View to serve PreK and Kindergarten, incorporating 1st grade in 2023. In 2023, the school is serving 334 serving grades PreK through 12th grade.