Semester & Summer Term Viewbook 2022-2023

Page 1

Immersive. By Nature.

A High School Semester and Summer Term based in The Bahamas
Students find themselves in nature doing everything from collecting data to creating environmental art.

Located in Eleuthera, The Bahamas, The Island School is an ecosystem of programs dedicated to conservation and environmental sustainability. The Island School provides experiential, research-rich educational programs for students from pre-K to Ph.D., as well as for visiting groups, school educators and administrators, and local Bahamian communities.

Is there any better way to learn than by doing?

Here on Eleuthera, our campus is surrounded by an exceptional marine ecosystem. The Island School Semester or Summer Term offers an active, hands-on, immersive academic experience — unlike any other. With our island campus and the surrounding ocean as a laboratory, you’ll study, conduct research, and live in a learning community dedicated to a more environmentally responsible and sustainable future.

You’ll gain an understanding of native, tropical ecosystems — by experiencing them firsthand. You’ll study the environment — in the environment — working alongside professional scientists, engineers, educators, and researchers. You’ll learn about the histories of The Bahamas — through interactions with neighboring community members and shared stories from local fishers and residents. The Semester or Summer Term is a lived experience, where you’ll connect with your environment, as your academic experience takes the form of real work.

At The Island School, you’ll learn about yourself and the world in a classroom unlike any other. Challenge yourself. Immerse yourself. Realize your potential to become a changemaker in the world.

High School Semester and Summer Term 01

The Bahamas is an archipelago of nearly 700 limestone islands. Around 30 of the islands are inhabited.

ABOUT THE ISLAND SCHOOL Immerse Yourself in a Life-Changing, Environment-Changing Experience

Our students spend nearly one-third of their academic hours immersed in research.

“I never felt like I had to guess how my coursework connected to real life because my coursework was about real life, it was intentional. However, that didn’t make it easier, in some ways it was harder. In reality, there is never one right answer to a problem, and that was the basis of my classes.”

The Island School Semester and Summer Term are designed for high school sophomores and juniors, and rising seniors in the summer. The programs are place-based and experiential, exposing students to both the natural and cultural landscape of South Eleuthera in The Bahamas.

Whether you choose the 100-day Semester or 6-week Summer Term, you’ll learn what it means to live well in a place and how you can become a leader in helping to drive positive change.

One Community, Many Connections

The Island School is a single organization made up of several interconnected programs, including: High School Semester and Summer Term; Deep Creek Middle School; Elementary Learning Center; and Cape Eleuthera Institute, our center for research and innovation. You’ll work and learn side by side with others across our community — from students and educators, to researchers and scientists — united in a common purpose to grow together as intentional leaders and responsible stewards of our environment.

SADIQAH WHITTINGTON S21 SEMESTER STUDENT
Cape Eleuthera Institute Elementary Learning Center Deep Creek Middle School
DID
YOU KNOW?
High School Semester & Summer Term
islandschool.org/hs02 The Island School

Learn Outside the Walls of the Classroom

As you study and practice the skills necessary for field research alongside world-class scientists, you’ll connect intimately with your environment, as you do real work to solve real-world problems. Whether you are paddling a sea kayak into the mangroves or looking through your mask at the magical world beneath the sea, or exploring island settlements with your classmates and local hosts, you’ll see firsthand the challenges faced by Eleuthera’s local ecosystems. You’ll build an affinity for the natural and cultural environment and learn what it means to become an environmental steward and informed community member.

Disconnect to Reconnect

Electronic connection to people and places outside our immediate community, detracts from the all-in ethos of being at The Island School. We disconnect from cell phones and wifi with the thought that building connections with the environment and the people in our community are paramount to the success of our community and deep learning.

High School Semester and Summer Term 03

Learning About, and From, the Environment

At The Island School, our unique island environment serves as our classroom and informs our educational model. We are an ecosystem of education-based programs operating at the forefront of educational reform and experiential learning.

All programs are enriched by projects and real work done collaboratively across the organization. Programs are designed to connect students intimately with their environment through on-going work in sustainable development and environmental stewardship. There is no such thing as an “academic exercise,” as all academic work has real-world value beyond the educational experience.

Engage in Dynamic Research

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with Cape Eleuthera Institute scientists on research projects helping to advance our knowledge of natural systems of Eleuthera. Maybe you will investigate marine ecosystems like coral reefs. You will assist in data collection, conduct surveys, and develop hypotheses. You’ll work side by side with world-class scientists, conducting substantive research that’s truly making a difference in the world.

THE ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE
“I found myself at The Island School. Challenging situations are difficult in the moment, but when you go home you are so equipped for the rest of your life.”
AVA ROCHE F19, SEMESTER STUDENT
islandschool.org/hs04 The Island School

A Differentiator

When “The Island School” appears on a prospective student’s college or job application — it gets noticed. More importantly, alumni write about developing research skills, real-world learning experience, and a strong sense of independence and self-reliance. They are experienced, they are confident, and they are ready to take on the academic and personal challenges that await whether they plan to attend college, take a gap year, or enter the workforce. Nearly all our alumni write about their Semester or Summer Term experience in their college or job application. They receive recommendation letters from our teachers and staff. Opportunity abounds following an Island School experience. It shows you stepped up. It will give you the confidence to stand out.

DID YOU KNOW?

Students receive a detailed transcript from their Island School program, and our credits can transfer to both independent and public schools.

Semester and Summer Term alumni have gone on to conduct world-class research, found non-profits and businesses, and implement sustainability programs in their schools and communities — among many other accomplishments.

“That aspect of understanding why I am learning something is the greatest asset The Island School has for its students.”
JOSE GARCIA S21, SEMESTER STUDENT
High School Semester and Summer Term 05

Coastal

The seas surrounding the 700 islands, cays, and islets that form The Bahamas create a mosaic of interconnected coastal habitats, ready to be explored. Coral Reefs Coral reefs, known as the “rainforest of the sea,” support 25% of all marine species, but there are coral species that are endangered and in need of restoration.

Open Ocean

The Island School’s CEI researchers are studying the behavior and interactions of animal species that live in our nearby open ocean habitats. Deep Sea

Situated next to the continental shelf of the Exuma Sound, CEI researchers have immediate access to the deep sea, a rarely seen world we hope to explore.

Atmospheric Science

Our research introduces a physical science component to understand how the ocean works and the role of the atmosphere in oceanography and biogeochemical processes.

Food Security

Our food security program is establishing working models that demonstrate viable and sustainable methods of planting, production, and harvesting.

Resource Management

Our innovations teams are helping to discover real sustainable solutions, not through theoretical abstraction but through practical application and experimentation.

OUR RESEARCH INITIATIVES 06 islandschool.org/hsThe Island School

A Campus Surrounded by Blue and Immersed in Green

Located in Eleuthera, The Bahamas, our Island School campus sits in a picturesque setting, with easy access to the deep waters of the Exuma sound and the shallow Bahamas banks.

But while our surroundings may shade blue, our sustainable campus is undeniably “green,” allowing our students, educators, and scientists to live what they teach and learn. Our buildings and grounds have all been designed with sustainable systems that minimize our ecological footprint, while maximizing the use of our valuable resources.

With innovative designs — from solar energy and wind turbines, to water-collection cisterns and waste-to-energy processes — we hope to foster awareness in others, as we serve as a model for more intelligent green design in The Bahamas and other coastal communities around the globe.

Come experience this remarkable island campus — where every day you’ll see blue, and live green.

World-Class Researchers Creating a Sea of Change

The Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) is our dedicated center for research and innovation at The Island School. CEI scientists are leaders in their field, and you’ll have the opportunity to work beside them as they conduct their innovative research. The opportunities to engage in high-level research are exciting and numerous (see page 06).

DID YOU KNOW?

The Cape Eleuthera Institute has the most comprehensive range of marine research facilities in The Bahamas.

Plants in aquaponics grow three times faster, and growing fish and vegetables in aquaponics uses up to nine times less water than conventional farming methods.

Mycology, the study of funghi, is also a way to repurpose materials as funghi grows in and decomposes a range of materials.

LEARN SUSTAINABILITY
“At home, my school is all about memorizing facts and spitting them out on the tests.
At The Island School, everything you learn applies to the place that you are in and the world around you.”
ELEANOR WILSON S19, SEMESTER STUDENT
07High School Semester and Summer Term

Our Campus Home

ELEMENTARY LEARNING CENTER

The Elementary Learning Center (ELC) provides a stimulating, hands-on learning environment for children aged 3 to 10 years. High school students and ELC students interact in various activities and work together on collaborative projects, learning from each other throughout their time together in our community.

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

Our green campus allows all in our community to live what we teach and learn. Our buildings and grounds incorporate systems and design principles that minimize our ecological footprint through the conservation of collected resources like energy, water, and waste. Our campus living areas are built using materials that are Green Certified or natural to The Bahamas. At The Island School, we are constantly innovating to improve our sustainable systems on campus.

STUDENT DORMS

Semester and Summer Term students live on campus in openbay dormitories. Each residence is divided into two wings with bunkbeds and its own bathroom facilities, separated by a common room. Students learn to live together in a shared, communal environment.

THE FARM & ORCHARD

The farm and orchard provide our dining hall with fruits and vegetables. The farm also includes chickens and pigs that provide additional sources of food and contribute to a closedloop food system. By doing fieldwork on the farm and eating fresh food, students learn to lead a healthy, eco-friendly life.

The Island School islandschool.org/hs08

DINING HALL

Meals are served in our dining hall three times a day, buffet style. All seating for meals is openair, where students, teachers, and staff can enjoy conversation together. We make every effort to serve wholesome, nutritious meals that feature locally grown produce and imported organic bulk foods, and accommodate varied dietary needs.

DEEP CREEK MIDDLE SCHOOL

Connecting with our community, and learning from one another, is a critical component of an Island School education. Time spent with Deep Creek Middle School students allows high school students to develop their leadership, empathy, and communication skills.

FACULTY HOUSING

Our campus has eight staff apartments, which sit outside the main circle on campus, just steps away from the student dormitories. Staff are readily available should students need adult assistance.

AQUAPONICS GROWBEDS

The leafy greens served in our dining hall, as well as occasional meals featuring fish, come from our aquaponics system, an Earth-friendly way to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. In this closed-loop system, growing fish and vegetables uses nine times less water than conventional farming.

DRY LABS

Semester and Summer Term students also make use of the Cape Eleuthera Institute dry labs for research and experimentation. The dry laboratories are located adjacent to our wet lab and are equipped with benches, microscopes, fresh water, refrigerators, and freezers.

WET LABS

Cape Eleuthera Institute offers fully equipped lab facilities, including a wet lab area to conduct experiments in a controlled environment. The wet lab features a fully redundant, flow-through seawater system, as well as a recirculating freshwater system. All tanks have access to the wet lab air system for oxygenation.

CAPE ELEUTHERA INSTITUTE

The Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) is our campus hub for environmental and conservation research. CEI scientists and engineers work hand in hand with students and teachers to conduct meaningful research that addresses the most pressing environmental issues facing our oceans and island habitats.

High School Semester
and Summer Term 09
“The community I found at The Island School supported me unconditionally but also constantly challenged me to be my best self.”
SAGE MCGINLEY-SMITH S19, SEMESTER STUDENT
10 The Island School islandschool.org/hs

Fall Program

The Island School Semester

The Island School Semester is a 100-day fall or spring semester designed for high school sophomores and juniors. Students from around the world join our Semester to immerse themselves in the wondrous natural and cultural landscape of South Eleuthera.

Not Your Ordinary Academic Experience

The Semester offers an engaging educational journey that takes you away from the traditional high school curriculum and invites you to actively confront real-world challenges.

Instead of learning within the confines of four walls, your classes will have you engage with the people and environment of The Bahamas. All courses have a field component to them, focusing on the hands-on application of knowledge.

Why is that? Besides being a far more engaging and interesting way to learn, we’ve found that students build a greater understanding of content and applied skills by doing real work. Gaining exposure to their local environment and seeing firsthand the challenges these ecosystems are facing, students build an affinity for their natural surroundings. They learn to become advocates for the environment. They feel empowered to make a difference in their world.

Spring Program

DID YOU KNOW?

Through class discussions, research, and experiential opportunities, students engage in academic classes six days per week.

Students present their semester-long research projects in a culminating research symposium open to community stakeholders, staff, and local government officials.

SEMESTER
FEB APR MAR MAY
SEPT NOV OCT DEC 11High School Semester and Summer Term

MATHEMATICS

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

HISTORIES OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS

An Immersive Study

While content may vary each Semester, students cover core-curricular skills in the following courses to meet the needs of their sending school.
Employ your acquired statistical and mathematical analysis skills in scientific research.
Apply concepts from multiple disciplines to fieldbased projects addressing environmental challenges.
Learn from Bahamians directly during immersive experiences including community explorations and engagement. Students learn how to navigate scientific labs and implement bestpractices as they conduct research alongside our innovative teams. The Island School islandschool.org/hs12

ENVIRONMENTAL ART

View the natural world both as the canvas and the material for your artwork.

ENGLISH LITERATURE

Use Island School experiences to cultivate your own voice through an intensive focus on writing development.

ELEMENTS OF ECOLOGY

Uses SCUBA diving and snorkeling to explore the waters and near-shore ecosystems surrounding Cape Eleuthera.

High School
Semester and Summer Term 13

The Island School Summer Term

The Island School Summer Term is a condensed, 6-week intensive program modeling many principles of our Semester. Designed for high school rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, the Summer Term is a highly experiential program, connecting students to the unique culture and natural surroundings of the island of Eleuthera.

Cape Eleuthera as Your Classroom

During the Summer Term, you’ll pursue an active study that includes investigations in Marine Ecology and Human Ecology, courses that will introduce you to marine research and environmental management practices. Similar to our Semester, summer courses have a strong field component to them. Exploring local ecosystems alongside scientists at our Cape Eleuthera Institute, you’ll immerse in the environment as you realize your academic work has real-world application.

The Field of Ecology Studied, Where Else, in the Field

You’ll develop an awareness of, and appreciation for, the place in which you are spending your summer. You’ll explore tropical marine ecosystems through SCUBA and snorkeling, and learn about tourism and development in small island developing states. You’ll identify species and investigate how these species function as an ecosystem. You’ll learn about fisheries management issues and have the opportunity to read, hear, and synthesize different viewpoints on humans’ role in caring for these ecosystems.

DID YOU KNOW?

By the end of the summer, you can acquire your PADI Open Water Diver certification and log several additional dives.

As part of the morning exercise program, you’ll work toward a culminating exercise that involves a roughly combined 10K course of running and swimming.

SUMMER TERM
Summer Program JUNE JULY 14 The Island School islandschool.org/hs
“Courses at The Island School are not set in stone — we were urged to question the questions, accept that all of our questions may not have answers from our teachers, and look beyond what we already know.”
TESS GILMARTIN ST21, SUMMER TERM STUDENT
High School
Semester and Summer Term 15

DAY

A Day in The Life of an Island School Student

Here, no day is ever the same. Every day is filled with exciting explorations and discoveries, whether on our sustainable campus, in the rich ecosystems of our island, or beneath the blue waters of the surrounding sea.

6:15am

WAKE UP

Wake up and get ready for morning exercise, commonly known as AMX.

7:50am

PERSONAL SPACE

Students tidy up their bed space and get ready for the day.

2:15pm

RESEARCH

Students head out into the field to survey Lemon sharks in a nearby tidal creek.

8:15am

BREAKFAST

Students and staff share meals and the responsibility of doing dishes at three mealtimes each week.

9:15am

HISTORIES OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS

Classes begin. Students discuss the complexity of defining the term culture and reflect on their own worldview.

4:30pm

DOWN TIME

Students relax with friends after a busy day, explore the nearby coastline, or simply catch up on work or rest.

5:55pm

DINNER CIRCLE AND DINNER

Led by the student leaders again, dinner circle includes announcements and a reflection on the day.

OUR
The Island School islandschool.org/hs16

MORNING CIRCLE

Led by student leaders, students participate in announcements and sing the Bahamian National Anthem, a ritual that brings our community together and honors our host country.

6:35am

MORNING EXERCISE

Students train for a culminating endurance event through exercises including running, swimming, and calisthenics. Exercise is also a great way to connect with your surroundings and your classmates as you watch the sunrise.

CHORES

Students work alongside staff to take care of our campus and community through daily chores including cleaning classroom spaces, feeding the tilapia, or maintaining the farm and resource center.

10:15am

ENVIRONMENTAL ART

Students examine the works of an environmental artist, such as Andy Goldsworthy, and brainstorm ideas for the creation of their own artwork.

12:15pm

LUNCH

The dining hall is full of learners, leaders, and educators, both living within our school community or for educational programs and research projects.

ELEMENTS OF ECOLOGY

Students discuss their SCUBA dive from earlier in the week, when they worked on their fish identification skills in order to better understand their environment.

A WEEKEND IN THE LIFE

7:15pm

STUDY HOURS

Ample time is provided each night for students to attend to their assignments. Faculty are readily available to meet with students as needed, and each student gets a 20-minute phone call home every week.

9:30pm

CHECK-IN & LIGHTS OUT

Students are expected to check in to the dormitory with faculty. In order to ensure that students are well rested, a 10:00 PM lights-out rule is enforced every night.

Typically, you’ll have class on Saturday, as it’s part of the academic week. Once classes are wrapped up for the week, you are free to unwind and enjoy the relaxed and recreational side of our beautiful island home. From swimming, beach volleyball, and exploring the Cape, to pizza parties, games, and outdoor movies, whatever you enjoy, you’ll find plenty of activities that make for amazing weekends.

7:30am
6:30am
1:15pm
High School Semester and Summer Term 17

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

SOLO WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE

During the 48-hour solo experience, you’ll camp alone and engage in an intentional moment for reflection as you near the end of your term. The solo is often the most powerful experience of a student’s time on Eleuthera.

DOWN ISLAND TRIP

The Down Island Trip will expose you to the wider geography and culture of Eleuthera. The three-day car-camping excursion allows groups of students to explore the island settlements, learn about tourism and development, explore geological features, and bond by a campfire.

18 The Island School islandschool.org/hs

An Active Education

To the Max

Our physical and outdoor education programs are integral to The Island School experience. These activities will challenge you, as you develop strength, perseverance, and confidence.

An Active Education: Discover the Island, Sea, and You

Our outdoor education programs are not only an opportunity to explore the surrounding island habitats, but serve as an extension of the classroom, where academic lessons in ecology and sustainability come to life.

MORNING EXERCISE

Five mornings each week, you’ll gather with other students and staff for at least one hour, engaging in a variety of workouts such as swimming, running, and calisthenics.

DID YOU KNOW?

Each Semester or Summer Term, students work towards a culminating endurance event which challenges student physically and mentally and brings the whole community together in support. Bahamians consider north as “down” because the currents run south to north, hence the name “Down Island” when traveling north on Eleuthera.

SEA KAYAKING

All students take to the water to learn basic paddling and wet exit skills. Twice each Semester, you’ll embark on single or multi-day kayaking and camping expeditions around the island and leave no trace camping.

SCUBA

The SCUBA program provides you with an opportunity to explore the beautiful underwater environment that surrounds Eleuthera. Students acquire the PADI Open Water Diver certification and log approximately five dives. SCUBA also deepens your academic experience as you explore coursework up close, under the sea.

EXERCISE & EXPEDITIONS
“My favorite part about expeditions was meals; the way everyone would come together after a long day and just chat and become so much closer.”
GABBY SCHWARTZ S21, SEMESTER STUDENT
High School Semester and Summer Term 19

25% of students identify as Black, Asian, Latinx, Middle Eastern, or Pacific Islander Average class represents 50+ different schools Average class represents 17+ U.S. states and 3 different countries Our students come from 40% public schools and 60% private or independent schools 1 in 4 students receives tuition assistance We offer payment plans to all families.

Our Admission Team will be your first point of contact. We are here to answer all your questions and to help guide you through each step of the admission process. Throughout the admission season, we host virtual and in-person information sessions with our staff and alumni families. Check our events calendar online and find a session for you and your family to learn more.

A One-of-aKind Academic Experience

Tuition Assistance

We are committed to making an opportunity at The Island School Semester or Summer Term a reality for students. To learn more about our tuition assistance program, visit islandschool.org/affordability or contact admissions@islandschool.org.

Why The Island School?

By investing in a Semester or Summer Term at The Island School; you gift an experience to last a lifetime. For specific program dates, access to the application for tuition assistance, and to begin your Island School journey, please visit our website.

VISIT ISLANDSCHOOL.ORG TO APPLY
TODAY! islandschool.org/hs20 The Island School
21High
School
Semester and Summer Term
THE ISLAND SCHOOL Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas (857) 268-5724 admissions@ islandschool.org islandschool.org
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