Student Life

A Day in the Life of the Elementary Learning Center

Depending upon when students arrive, a typical day at the ELC begins with students heading to the dining hall for a nutritious breakfast, some free play, and perhaps morning chores such as gardening and feeding chickens. While each day has targeted instruction for literacy and math, no two days are exactly alike. A students’ day will vary and may include music instruction, sailing lessons, swimming, a visit to the forest, or a special presentation from one of our on-site researchers.

A sample daily schedule at the Elementary Learning Center is as follows:

Early​ ​Drop-Off
Students arrive at 8am and receive a delicious and nutritious breakfast in our dining hall where all students and staff gather together for meals. Students enjoy supervised play and assist with morning chores to prepare for the day ahead.


Flag and Morning Circle
Once everyone has arrived, students gather around the flag pole to begin the day with the Bahamian national anthem and pledge. Morning Circle follows, and is a time for reviewing the daily schedule, sharing, and setting the tone for the day.


Instruction often begins with the full group and moves into developmentally appropriate small groups. Mathematics lessons can be seen happening throughout our diverse campus in order to provide for authentic opportunities to apply the skills they have gained.


Snack and Break
Students enjoy a mid-morning healthy snack of fresh fruits, granola, and more. After snack is finished, students enjoy the ELC outdoor space for some unstructured free play.


Literacy is a core component of each academic day and students can often be found engaging in targeted small group instruction during this time.


Exploration/Group Game
Before lunch, students come together to participate in a cooperative, active group game that helps to develop gross motor and teamwork skills.


Students break from the instructional day to come together with the entire Island School community for a healthy and well-balanced meal. Following lunch, students have another opportunity for unstructured free play.


Nap/Independent Quiet Activity Time
Depending on a child’s age, this time may be used for a nap, independent reading, puzzles, story-writing, or a quiet time to practice yoga.


Active Group Game
Following a period of rest and quiet reflection, students once again come together to get their heart rates up by participating in an active group game such as capture the flag on the beach.


Inquiry is a great way to utilize our campus resources to the benefit of our young learners and cover science and social studies topics. Students learn to ask questions about the world around them and apply critical thinking skills to tackle real-world problems. Students may explore topics such as understanding weather, learning how to live more sustainably, or about how our choices can impact marine life in the Bahamas. CEI researchers enthusiastically engage ELC students through dynamic, hands-on lessons.


End of Day Routine
Students end their day by helping to take care of their classroom space by participating in chores such as taking out the compost, sorting our recyclables, tidying our classroom library and more. Reflections and ‘exit tickets’ are often incorporated into the end-of-day routine to help demonstrate learning. These activities are followed by another nutritious snack.


After Care/Late Pick-up
Students who stay late engage in group play with their classmates supervised by our ELC staff. At times, this may also include organized activities with our Island School Semester students.


Exciting Days of Learning by Doing

While an hour-by-hour schedule is helpful to structure our learning and our routines, a typical day at the ELC is so much more than a schedule. When we engage in inquiry, we often travel across campus to the research institute or to the farm for a lesson with one of our area experts. We might go to the kitchen and have a lesson in baking local cuisine or participate in a larger group activity with our other school programs.

Whether it’s math or literacy, there are countless resources and opportunities to learn by doing at our fingertips. Our days are enriched by the programs and professionals that share our campus, and a community-minded, collaborative group of individuals that love to work with our youngest learners.

A Daily Focus on Health and Nutrition

Health is integral to the curriculum and culture of the Elementary Learning Center. Our students are physically active, as they progress through a playful, high-energy day of learning. Our school day might start with morning yoga stretches or an outdoor activity on our playground. Later in the morning, it might be an exploration into a forest area near campus, and for an afternoon activity, it might be a game of Tag or Capture the Flag on the beach.

Nutrition is an important part of our program as well. ​Students are ​served​ ​one​ ​well​-​balanced​ ​meal​ ​and​ ​two nutritious​ ​snacks​ ​each​ ​day.​ We make every effort to serve wholesome, nutritious meals that feature locally grown produce and imported organic bulk foods.

Learn more about our kitchen and dining services.