Pa’auilo Elementary and Intermediate School is located on the Hamakua coast on the island of Hawaii, approximately thirty-five miles north of Hilo. The school has been at its present site since 1948, and its school district includes Kuka’iau, Pa’auilo, Ka’apahu, Pohakea, and Kalopa. Many students come from families who were once associated with Hamakua Sugar Plantation that closed in 1993. Since the closing of the plantation, the residential areas that were once plantation owned and operated are now mostly owned by the residents. Other residential areas are spread out in a rural pattern toward the sea below the main road and toward Mauna Kea above the main road, Mamalahoa Highway, that bisects the community. Most of the commercial activity supporting the communities is located in Honoka'a, six miles north of Pa'auilo.
Pa’auilo Elementary and Intermediate School (PEIS) is the last remaining kindergarten through ninth grade school in the State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) system. The school is part of the Honoka’a complex, which includes Waimea Elementary, Honoka’a Elementary, and Honoka’a High and Intermediate School. Additionally, PEIS is part of the West Hawaii Complex Area, under the direction of Arthur Souza, Complex Area Superintendent. The school’s current enrollment is 198 students, with an average class size of 24.