Continuity of Learning Plan

Our Mission

At The Island School we educate each of our children; we nourish their innate curiosity, inspire a lifelong enthusiasm for learning, and foster respect and appreciation for themselves and others.

Our Educational Philosophy

An Island School education focuses on hands-on, creative, inquiry-based learning. This often includes project-based learning and collaboration with peers and adults. The foundation of this work is built on a dedication to the importance of developing children socially and emotionally.

Distance Learning Philosophy

Learning during a school closure will look different from a typical day at The Island School. We believe that distance learning cannot replace in-person, human interaction. Instead, it serves as an extension of and bridge between life experiences. We intend to keep children engaged so that they can learn and grow, while providing them with meaningful opportunities for connection and community. Rather than ask children to be tied to a screen, we will provide opportunities for them to read, write, share ideas, explore, create, play and more.

Guidelines for Families

We understand that a shift to distance learning will require students and families to make adjustments. Yet a continued partnership with families can play a vital part of ensuring the success of the plan. Below are some guidelines for families to enable students to become successful at distance learning:

  • Establish a Regular Schedule for Your Child and Stay Engaged with their Learning

It is essential for families to help students establish and maintain a routine and structure for each school day, beginning with a regular bedtime and wake-up time each day. While some of our students may want to stay up late and sleep in, establishing a regular school day routine will help children retain a sense of normalcy and stay engaged in learning. Be sure to help your child build in breaks during the school day, encouraging them to stand up and move around so they are not remaining sedentary throughout the day. (Remember that they usually have half an hour of recess in the morning and half an hour of recess after lunch, not to mention the opportunities to collaborate with peers, participate in specialist activities and take brain breaks.) Begin and close each school day with a brief check-in as well as checking in throughout the day at regular intervals to ensure that your child is successfully engaging in distance learning. Reach out to your child’s teacher if your child is struggling to stay focused. Setting clear expectations with your child about regular school day hours will help your child maintain a schedule and stay on top of school work.

  • Create a Study Space for Your Child

Productive learning relies on a conducive environment. We recommend that you create a separate, quiet space in your home for your child to study. The family room sofa with close proximity to a television may not be the optimal place for your child to learn. We recommend that you choose an open area in the family living space (kitchen table, dining room, etc.) to avoid isolating your child and to allow you the opportunity to monitor your child’s learning and screen activity.

  • Stay in Communication with your Child’s Teachers

Your child’s teachers will maintain regular communication with families. The frequency of communication will depend on your child’s age, developmental stage and level of independence. Teachers will be available during the school day to respond to emails. Also, teachers will offer weekly Zoom office hours to answer curricular questions in a group setting.

  • Encourage Independence and Allow for Productive Struggle

Stay engaged in your child’s learning by asking questions and having your child share ideas while encouraging independence so they can take ownership of their own learning. Some productive struggle is essential to learning so we ask that families allow their children to grapple with problems and come up with ideas for tackling them. Stepping in too quickly to help solve problems will deprive your child of the opportunity to learn, try new approaches and gain greater independence and confidence. If your child becomes discouraged and/or overwhelmed by schoolwork, please reach out to your child’s teacher or the school counselor.

  • Help your Child Maintain Social Contact with Peers

It will be very important for your child to stay in social contact (through virtual means) with friends and peers during campus closure. Help your child to interact with friends through Facetime/Zoom/Google Hangout or through phone conversations. Social interactions, even through virtual means, will help your child stay connected and feel a part of the school community.

  • Encourage Physical Activity and Movement and Monitor Student Stress

Drew (our PE teacher) will develop physical activities for kids each week. However, during a typical school day kids spend one hour outside playing in addition to PE. Physical movement and exercise are vital to maintaining physical and mental health, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving concentration and focus for more effective learning and retention. Consider outdoor chores and activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Families should monitor student stress levels and reach out to Kris Rogers (Counselor) or Amanda Ward (Head of School) for assistance.

Guidelines for Distance Learning


  • At the end of each week, families will receive an email from the school asking to record your child’s attendance for that week. The attendance should be based on engagement in school work each day. We will also ask for parent feedback at this time so that we can modify and adjust as needed.

Delivery Platforms

  • Our main content delivery will be via classroom teacher websites and specialist teacher websites.

Asynchronous Content (learning that does not happen at the same place or time)

  • Asynchronous content will go live online via our website by Tuesday, March 17 at 3pm. Moving forward, all content will be posted on teacher websites each week by 3pm on Mondays. The content will include assignments, projects and in some cases video instruction. Teachers will include the purpose and learning goals for each assignment. Teachers also hope to provide some hard copies of materials in bins outside of school. They will contact you directly with instructions on pick-up and will continue to provide these materials if circumstances allow.

Synchronous Content (when students are engaged in learning at the same time)

  • We will begin synchronous content beginning the week of March 23. Teachers will use Zoom once per week for a 30-minute class meeting to provide opportunities for students to engage with each other and their teacher. Also, teachers will host weekly 30-minute Zoom office hours for parents to gain curricular support and ask questions about assignments, learning goals and other curriculum questions and concerns.


  • Our main method of communication will be email.

Daily Schedule

  • On Tuesdays - Fridays from 8am-8:30am (beginning Wednesday, March 18) students can begin their day checking into Zoom with Amanda Ward (Head of School) for a morning greeting, just like morning drop off. (Kids do not need to stay on the video conference for the full 20 minutes. This is optional though encouraged to get kids in the frame of mind to begin academic work and start the school day routine.)
  • When thinking about a daily schedule that works for your family, our faculty recommends the following schedules based on grade levels. This is a general guideline. Teachers will provide specific instructions.

K-2nd Grades

Approximate Time Subject Area
30+ minutes each day
at least 15 minutes of independent reading
Reading - 15 minutes of reading to an adult and
40 minutes each day Writing task and penmanship
20 minutes each day Math
30 minutes twice per week Social Studies(Cultural Study)/Science
30+ minutes per week Social Emotional Learning project
(March is curiosity month. See Distance Learning Portal for specifics.)
1 hour per week
*This may be divided into shorter sessions to total one hour.
30 minutes per week Music
30 minutes twice per week Spanish
30 minutes twice per week PE
30 minutes per week Class meeting via Zoom

3rd-5th Grades

Approximate Time Subject Area
45+ minutes per day Reading - 30+ minutes of independent reading, reading responses (15 minutes)
50 minutes Writing task and penmanship (if applicable)
30 minutes Math
30 minutes twice per week Social Studies/Science/Cultural Study
30+ minutes per week Social Emotional Learning project
(March is curiosity month. See Distance Learning Portal for specifics.)
1.5 hours per week
*This may be divided into shorter sessions to total one hour.
30 minutes per week Music
30 minutes twice per week Spanish
45 minutes twice per week PE
30 minutes per week Class meeting via Zoom