Program & Curriculum

The Island School, a private school on Bainbridge Island, offers an engaging Kindergarten program for students from the Kitsap Peninsula, including Poulsbo, Suquamish, Indianola, Kingston, Hansville and Silverdale.

Our school provides an excellent academic education as well as the social/emotional learning (SEL) that is just as critical to a child’s lifelong success in building relationships with others.  Social/emotional learning has been part of our educational program since The Island School was founded more than 40 years ago because, in our community, teaching children to be kind, respectful and inclusive is as important as teaching reading, writing and math.  It is part of our mission to inspire in our children a lifelong enthusiasm for learning AND an appreciation and respect for themselves and others because this is education of the heart as well as the brain.  We focus on the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally, while celebrating what makes each child unique.

At The Island School we offer a graduated kindergarten program that offers everything from half-day (4 hours) to full-day (7 hours) and any combination in between. While some children are ready for a full-day kindergarten program from the start, other children would benefit from a half-day kindergarten program that allows for a more gradual entry into the longer days in first grade. Parents work in partnership with the school to determine what is best for each individual child.

All students attend half days with the option to stay for one or more full days, if the child is ready.
January-March: All students attend three half days (with the option to stay all day any of those days) and two full days per week to help them grow their stamina.
April-June: All students attend two half days (with the option to stay all day any of those days) and three full days per week.

This flexibility in the program allows the school to meet the needs of each individual child, rather than forcing all children into a full-day program before many of them are ready. It demonstrates our respect for children’s individual developmental needs and recognizes that children have “different needs and different speeds” which need to be honored.

Language Arts

The kindergarten language arts program engages our beginning elementary school students in the interrelated processes of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students are immersed in a wide variety of literacy experiences to help them develop a love of language and a passion for reading.

In Reading students:

  • Begin using decoding strategies such as picture cues and context clues
  • Isolate and identify single sounds and blend sounds in words
  • Develop skills to decode phonetic consonant-vowel-consonant words
  • Work successfully with pattern and easy phonetic texts
  • Recognize familiar words in context
  • Have individualized reading programs based on abilities
  • Read with an adult
  • Begin to recognize high frequency and sight words
  • Hear daily read-aloud chapter books

In Writing students:

  • Participate in daily writing based on classroom theme
  • Internalize and use sound/letter associations automatically
  • Use phonetic invented/temporary spelling to write independently
  • Learn and Practice the 6+1 Traits of Writing
  • Receive one-to-one instruction at the writing table
  • Write lunch notes
  • Write scientific journals and nonfiction reports

In Writing Mechanics students:

  • Perform kinesthetic practice of letter formation
  • Practice letters top to bottom, left to right
  • Copy written models
  • Work to develop proper letter formation and spacing using the Hand Writing Without Tears program
  • Begin to use capital letters at the beginning of sentences
  • Begin to use periods at the end of sentences

In Oral Communication students:

  • Participate in daily sharing and contribute to class discussions
  • Listen appropriately to classmates and teachers
  • Ask questions and make comments
  • Read original work at Authors’ Chair
  • Practice conflict resolution
Social Studies