The Island School - Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas
Infobox Secondary school
name = Island School
established = 1999
headmaster = Chris Maxey
type = experiential, coeducational
students = about 48 per term
faculty = about 15
grades = 10 & 11
website = [http://www.islandschool.org/ www.islandschool.org]
The Island School is located on Cape Eleuthera, on the island of
Eleutherain the Bahamas. Founded by Chris and Pam Maxey in 1999, The Island School is a high school academic semester study-abroad program described as a "mind, body and spirit experience that challenges students by immersing them in the ocean and introducing them to another culture" [http://www.islandschool.org/about_us_history.html] The program is structured to present students with authentic challenges that help them grow intellectually, emotionally and physically. The first official semester of The Island School in March of 1999 consisted of 22 students and 6 faculty members, the majority of whom were from The Lawrenceville Schoolin New Jersey.
The campus is located about convert|1|mi|km|sing=on from Cape Eleuthera Marina near the southwestern-most tip of Eleuthera. The 18 acre campus is also host to two sister institutions, the Cape Eleuthera Institute and Cape Systems, and is powered by systems that allow the school to reduce its ecological impact. Rainwater from the roofs is captured for use, and most buildings are designed without air-conditioning from local materials where possible. The school generates the majority of its electricity with an array of photovoltaic panels (18kW), and a 7.5 kW wind turbine generator mounted convert|100|ft|m|abbr=on above campus. A constructed wetland captures "waste" nutrients, and filters waste water before being used to irrigate landscaping. Other systems include solar hot water heating and some small food production on the farm.
Each year high school students from their respective schools apply by March 1st to spend 14 weeks (about 100 days) at the Island School. The admissions process is selective, with applicants submitting essays, recommendations, transcripts, and where possible supplementing with an alumni or parent interview.
Fall semester runs from late August to early December, and Spring semester from March to June. During their tenure students in 10th and 11th grade complete a course of study in 6 courses including Tropical Marine Ecology, Science Research, English Literature, History of the Bahamas, Mathematics, and Environmental Art. Students build a strong community, experience a very hands-on way of learning (including 2 multi-day kayak expeditions and scuba dive training), and share responsibiliy for chores and running the school. Students engage the local culture through weekly community outreach sessions, interacting both with the local public schools and the sister school Deep Creek Middle School, a grade 7-9 private school.
The Island School experience, as reported by alumni, tends to be transformative in the lives of students.
* [http://www.islandschool.org/ The Island School official site]
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