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About


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About


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Founded 1998


As a semester program for high school students

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Founded 1998


As a semester program for high school students

 

The Island School offers a transformative educational semester and summer term in Eleuthera, The Bahamas.

High school sophomores and juniors from around the world join our community to learn outside the walls of a classroom. With the campus and surrounding ocean as our laboratory and with help from our partners at the Cape Eleuthera Institute, we teach students how to live sustainably in the twenty-first century. All while earning high school credit. Together, we engage in the process of inquiry in order to discover solutions to real world problems.

We explore the framework of Eleuthera’s cultural and environmental landscape through:

The Island School experience culminates in the beginning of a lifelong educational journey, with more self-confident students leaving as engaged global citizens, empowered to be active leaders of their generation.

 
 
 

The Island School has a tradition of being at the front edge of education—since our first semester we have been committed to a progressive view of education that challenges students to work collaboratively, live responsibly, develop confidence, and approach tough problems with critical awareness and genuine resiliency.

We know that our hands-on integrated approach to learning is absolutely transferable to non-marine environments. The key lies in authenticity. Our current students and alumni are the living data set proving true our founding premise that when faced with real world problems and challenges, young people respond by tapping into their deepest reservoirs of resourcefulness, strength, and goodwill.

By challenging students to do college-level marine biology research in conjunction with CEI scientists, The Island School continues to push forward concepts about what optimum learning in high school can look like. We measure our success not by test scores or GPAs but by the good work that our students do in the world.

-Chris and Pam Maxey, Co-Founders


 
 
 
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Letter from the Head of School


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Letter from the Head of School


Greetings from Eleuthera,

I invite you to take a moment and imagine a place where you are intimately connected to the community and the land, where you feel fully present, and not only because you don’t have your cell phone and social media buzzing in your pocket, but because you feel a sense of connection and purpose in your work and relationships. Imagine that this place challenges you to question the preconceived notions you may have had about yourself and the world around you, and thus step outside of your norm and test what previously didn’t seem possible. Imagine that such a place is built on trust and respect and that it entrusts you with real responsibility with its innate risks. Imagine that this place holds up a mirror, so to speak, to illuminate the connections between actions and implications, perhaps catalyzing a reexamination of what success can look and feel like.  
 
Here at The Island School, we provide the structure for such a place to exist, though the main ingredient, the real magic, comes packed inside the students who arrive. From our 6:30am circle where we gather to share announcements, to our run-swims, navy showers and communal meals, we are a community of people whose days and goals are intricately woven. Through our 100-day journey on our remote campus, our community members are provided the space and tools to figure out where their sense of self, and thus leadership, stems from, and in doing so, start to find the place from which they draw their own strength. At The Island School, we call this internal place of strength Querencia. This amorphous understanding of self and strength is less of a product of one’s experience here, and more of step in a lifelong journey itself.
 
Our community on the ground, from our facilities team to our researchers, to our advisors and classroom teachers have themselves felt the pull to be present, the reflection in the metaphorical mirror, and the fostering of Querencia, and are delighted to share this experience with incoming community members.
 
We hope to see you soon,

Ashley Waldorf
Director of The Island School

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Mission


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Mission


Develop a sense of place in students through immersion experiences in the natural and cultural environment;
 

Model sustainability of individual lifestyles, larger communities, and the systems that support them;
 

Create an intentional community in which members are cognizant of their abilities, limitations, and effect on others.

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Campus


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Campus


 

The next generation must be prepared to make difficult decisions about sustaining the valuable resources of our planet.

Our green campus allows students, educators and scientists to live what we teach. The buildings and grounds at The Island School incorporate systems and design principles that minimize our ecological footprint through the conservation of collected resources like energy and water. Our campus's Center for Sustainable Development is constantly innovating to improve our sustainable systems on the Cape. Ongoing projects include:

  • Biodiesel production plant to run all campus vehicles
  • Cisterns for rain water collection
  • Solar panels and solar hot water heaters
  • Wind turbine
  • Aquaponics for the dining hall's leafy greens
  • Poo-poo garden processes and recycles human waste to fertilize plants at the center of campus
  • Biodigester for fertilizer production
  • Pigs, goats, ducks and chickens that consume dining hall food waste

The Island School is the first institution in The Bahamas to employ such comprehensive, ecologically sound systems. There is great promise that the school’s efforts will help change the way The Bahamas and other island nations manage waste and produce energy. The students at The Island School work to maintain and manage these systems, learning first-hand the benefits of engineering that reflects a deep-rooted respect for the environment

 

Aquaponics Program
Farm to Dining Hall

Building Dorm Furniture with
Invasive Casuarina Wood

 


 
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Cape Family


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Cape Family




Each organization within the greater Cape family works toward answering our central question, 'how to live well in a place,' through efforts in science research, education, sustainability and environmental stewardship.