While parents and alumni can attest to the power of the experience and transformation that being away from home for 3 months can have, sometimes it still seems like a new idea to school administrators, teachers, and colleges. Why have they not heard of Semester Schools? Since students have to work hard to convince their school and teachers that going away is more than a "vacation" from school, the group of academic semester programs banded together to help families take the leap, and spread the word. What's going on with that? Well, from the beginning, when the Island School started in 1999, we adopted the traditions and lessons of other established semester programs that had been the pioneers of taking high school students out of their comfort zone of school and into a community experience. We still share a belief in how important it is to get support for students who want to do this kind of thing, so we decided to speak up! Check out the new website at www.semesterschools.net We hope you'll help us innovate and improve: tell us your story of how you busted through walls and overcame obstacles to make your semester at The Island School possible! You can make a difference for those who come behind you - even just reassuring them that it's hard and takes effort would make their path easier.