Last Friday, many of us came together with families for an afternoon celebrating our youngest learners at the Elementary Learning Center. Three student leaders who emceed the event introduced remarks from Lead Teacher Ms. Bonnie and CEO/Head of School Ben Dougherty. Later students shared songs and a few jokes, enjoyed a slideshow reflecting on our year and celebrated two departing students.

Ben reminded all of us that as we closed the year together in the boathouse surrounded by families and fellow community members, we began the year in a hybrid model and have overcome any number of challenges throughout the year to create a warm, loving, and growth-minded community. As we often say, and Ben reiterated, “the obstacle is the way.” 

Like all of our students, children at the ELC embrace community responsibility with daily chores that support our whole community goals to live well in a place. “They have worked with researchers, farmers, and with our systems teams to help our community manage waste, grow food, collect eggs, return chickens to their coop, compost, study microplastics in the ocean and so much more,” Ben reflected. 

A new Generation

The educational philosophy of our Semester and Summer Term that many are so familiar with is integrated throughout all of our programs. As noted in Ben’s remarks, the Elementary Learning Center is a wonderful example of our educational philosophy now reaching a new generation of students.

The Elementary Learning Center at The Island School is for students ages 3-10. Students learn in a multi-age classroom of approximately 20 students located in the heart of The Island School’s campus on Cape Eleuthera.

Kayonn-Marie Saunders graduated from the ELC, and will attend the Deep Creek Middle School next fall.

For the second year in a row, we saw one of our ELC students matriculate to the Deep Creek Middle School. It’s exciting to see the learning progression offered at The Island School extending into the elementary years and shaping the way in which we can engage with the environment, develop lifelong skills and tackle real world problems at all stages of the journey.