The Island School Strategic Vision


At The Island School, the principle of educating the whole child, combined with long-standing traditions cherished by generations of students and their families, forms the foundation for what we do. Monday Morning Sing, Cultural Study, Fall Carnival, recess in the woods, getting wet in Lake Leak, red shirts on field trips, and Market Day are just a few of the traditions that illustrate “The Island School Way.” Island School students are supported and encouraged as they discover their own unique selves, learn to celebrate and respect the amazing diversity of others, and experience the values of compassion, justice and inclusion practiced daily among this special community of lifelong learners.

Whole Child

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At The Island School, we educate our children to be motivated lifelong learners, creative thinkers, and compassionate citizens equipped to face challenges and seek collaborative solutions in both local and global communities.


  • We nurture and develop the innate curiosity of every child through exploration, hands-on learning and intentional instruction in a stimulating and safe environment.
  • We encourage children to pursue their unique interests and foster their passions by offering diverse methods of engagement and differentiated learning opportunities. We learn about students and assess their understanding in a variety of classroom-based assessments, not standardized tests.
  • We focus on exploration as central to learning, designing an innovative curriculum that enlivens students’ interests and maximizes their learning potential. We ensure children’s daily physical and classroom activities are developmentally appropriate, grounded in science and research.
  • We raise resilient, caring and active citizens through an educational program that emphasizes social-emotional health, cultural awareness, diversity of perspectives and an appreciation for the natural world.


  • We believe play is the most natural and effective mode of learning where children can be creative and uninhibited. Each child is unique and should thrive and gain confidence in their abilities in a fun and supportive environment.
  • We believe lifelong learning is essential for students to become creative problem solvers and active, resilient individuals with unceasing curiosities. Such students will make better citizens for our collective future.
  • We believe that children naturally have kind hearts and open minds and with nurturing education will develop into caring, thoughtful global citizens who are inspired and empowered to make a difference in the world.

Whole School

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At The Island School we believe that for our mission to be attainable, our whole school must be sustainable. That means fostering an environment - cultural, social, physical and financial - that supports our goals and educational beliefs. We hire and support faculty, staff and leadership who share the core values of diversity and equity and an unwavering belief in education for all, regardless of means. Together we cultivate and leverage resources to ensure financial stability and foster an enriching, sustainable physical environment as well as an inclusive, adaptable, resilient school community.


  • We attract and retain talented individuals through empowerment of, commitment to, and comprehensive support for their passion in education.
  • We seek to create a faculty, staff and Board team that represents a diversity of backgrounds, both to reflect the diversity of our student community, and to assure a variety of voices and perspectives are represented in our school.
  • We use and develop our campus, playground and beautiful natural surroundings as an extended classroom, ensuring ample space for exploration and experimentation. Our space also enables project-based and cross-grade-level learning across all disciplines.
  • We promote marketing and financial aid programs that create a healthy level of enrollment with students we can serve well in each grade and across the school, while working to ensure that no family is unable to access an Island School education due to financial need.
  • We steward the school’s financial resources through a combination of strategic budgeting and continued donor development to ensure The Island School’s ongoing fiscal health and long-term sustainability.


  • We believe in the totality of the educational experience for our children, teachers, families and communities.
  • We believe in “The Island School Way,” a heartfelt yearning to cherish, nourish, and propel every child to act for the benefit of themselves, their community and the world.
  • We believe our faculty’s strength is defined by their impactful relationships with students, enthusiastic and individualized support of their learning, flexibility in the classroom, diversity of their perspectives, and ongoing professional development.
  • We believe that the world around us can offer great learning opportunities, and that our building, location and surroundings support this belief.

Whole Community


At The Island School we believe that every current and past student, teacher, staff member, parent, volunteer and grandparent is an integral part of our community, forming a collective entity that nurtures, embraces and sustains the school and its people. More broadly, The Island School is part of a larger community - our island, our country and our world. We recognize the importance of nurturing our community and of preparing our students for a lifetime of service and stewardship in the larger world.




  • We utilize a curriculum that incorporates service learning, environmental stewardship, social justice, and students’ passions to seamlessly and holistically build lifelong learners and global citizens who thrive in whatever community they join.
  • We cultivate and sustain relationships with alumni students, faculty, staff and families to remain connected to our history and to foster an ongoing feeling of inclusion and support.
  • We actively and systematically engage children with the rich diversity of cultures, thoughts and the natural world to foster open minds empowered by multitudes of ideas. At the same time we teach them practical skills for fostering inclusion, appreciating differences, resolving conflict and practicing kindness.
  • We actively seek to include students and families from all backgrounds, heritages and individualities to form a far reaching and connected family.
  • We provide leadership in research-based elementary education for our broader community and serve as a resource to others.


  • We believe that in a connected world, diversity in all aspects of life makes communities strong, resilient and just in times of challenges, and education should be grounded in an understanding of our interconnectedness.
  • We believe education is not a privilege but a shared foundation that unites all communities for a healthy society.
  • We believe that understanding the natural world, learning to care for and respect our environment and developing a sense of responsibility for stewarding our planet should be critical components of every child’s education.
  • We believe The Island School can be a binding force bringing out the best of our students, parents, teachers, and communities - our values extend beyond our walls into our community.
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