November 26, 2016

November was an action packed month at ISLA Academy. We welcomed several important guest speakers, and led a fundraising and flood relief initiative for those affected by the heavy rains that have seriously impacted our island.

Guest Speakers: Just Give Charity, Hollywood Pro, Ocean & Animal Preservation Experts

Family members from the charity Just Give visited us, and we were happy to share time with Adonie, 11, and Lydia, 8. They are brother and sister, traveling the world with their family, and have raised 1 million US dollars to donate to charities worldwide. They gave us a presentation with their Mom, and were a true inspiration to the children at ISLA Academy.  To learn more, visit http://www.justgive.today/

Hollywood producer and cinematographer Zach Graber was in town for a reality television series filming in the area. He gave a cinematography workshop to our students in Phases 4-6, which was fascinating and exciting. Zach spoke about the art of filmmaking, the best techniques in filming to create different moods and effects, and other film industry insights.

Lidia Sophia, an Owl Expert gave students in Phases 1-4 a presentation about the Ashy-Faced owl that is indigenous to the Dominican Republic. She presented extensive information to the students, and they were allowed to safely handle Maku, the rescue owl. It was a terrific learning encounter for our students. Sadly, this breed of owl is endangered, and Lidia spoke about some of the reasons why, including the effects of human behavior connected to issues relating to the food chain (which ties in with our second line of inquiry at ISLA Academy).

Following this tutorial on owls, our Security Guard Francisco noticed something interesting in the garden, which led to further investigation and the discovery of an owl, high up in a tree at ISLA Academy. The students were buzzing with excitement about this sighting.

Dr. Gabriel Maldonado, a PhD Biologist, and former Director of the Liceo Cientifico School in Salcedo, Dominican Republic gave a 3-hour presentation to our students in Phases 5 -6 on parrot fish and their relation to coral reefs. It was an honor to host him as our guest, and our students learned a great deal about the ocean, and the importance of preservation efforts. The topic led to challenging questions by our students about the future of tourism in the Dominican Republic, and our responsibilities as World citizens.

September 15, 2016

International Teachers & Campus Expansion

The 2016-2017 school year is off to amazing start at ISLA Academy. We have nearly ten times as many students as we had at last year’s opening, and most importantly, there is an abundance of positive energy from students, teachers and staff that are ready to make this a truly special year. With 86 students in grades ranging from preschool through high school from 27 different countries, and 14 teachers from 8 different countries, our campus is uniquely diverse.

ISLA Academy is proud of our incredible team of educators.  With experience teaching in more than 20 different countries, our team is highly-qualified and truly international.  In addition, we feel confident in saying that they are one of the most skilled team of educators in the entire Caribbean. To learn more, you can see their bios here: Our Team

Our new Preschool is an addition that enjoys the attendance of our youngest students ages 2-3, led by teachers Anne Goosens of Belgium and Sandra Peralta from the Dominican Republic. The children have the opportunity to enjoy supervised play and exploration on our campus, and delight in a newly built casita and tranquil garden play-space created just for them.

We have expanded our ISLA Academy campus by opening an annex learning center which provides additional classrooms for our high school students.  After School Clubs are a vibrant elective to our academic school offerings (and are open to students from other schools, all are welcome to register and attend). After School clubs at ISLA Academy include Soccer, Guitar, Art, Cooking, Chess, STEM, Tennis and more.

ISLA Academy is a unique newcomer to the current offerings of private, international schools available in the Dominican Republic. It is the only learning institution in the area using an inquiry-based method of teaching. ISLA Academy offers a high-quality, rigorous and personalized curriculum taught primarily in English.

We welcome you to visit us at ISLA Academy!

August 6, 2016

ISLA Academy congratulates the founding class graduates of Liceo Cientifico, the first STEM + Green Magnet School in Dominican Republic. ISLA Academy Founder/Director Sean Bennett played an integral role in the development of Liceo Cientifico’s academic curriculum, and served as Head English Teacher for two years, prior to founding ISLA Academy in 2015.

President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina attended last weekend’s graduation ceremony at Liceo Científico, which is the first school in the Dominican Republic to specialize in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for gifted and talented students.

Many of Liceo Cientifico’s students excelled with high honors, and received full scholarships to colleges in the United States, and prominent universities in the Dominican Republic. Honor students included Marianny Vasquez Reyes, Jose Alfonso Diaz Polanco, Antonio Alberto Muñoz and Diana Hernandez, all scoring over a 96 grade-point average. Mr. Bennett’s former students from Liceo Cientifico participated in ISLA Academy’s first Summer Camp in 2015, and were a wonderful addition to campus life.

"My experience at Liceo Cientifico proved to me that the Dominican Republic was ready for a 21st century model of education” stated Sean Bennett. Bennett brings many years of experience in teaching and developing schools in the US, Asia, the Dominican Republic, and Africa. "There was no better introduction to the culture and people of the Dominican Republic than to spend two years with some of the best and brightest that this country, and in fact this world, has to offer" Mr. Bennett said of his time at Liceo Cientifico.

ISLA Academy is a unique newcomer to the current offerings of private, international schools available in the Dominican Republic. It is the only learning institution in the area using an inquiry-based method of teaching. Located in Cabarete-Sosua, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, ISLA Academy offers a high-quality, rigorous and personalized curriculum taught primarily in English. ISLA Academy has a campus that includes indoor-outdoor facilities, a swimming pool and is within walking distance to the beach. The perfect setting for young people to explore, discover and learn.

"So much of what we do at ISLA Academy is inspired by Liceo Cientifico, from the hands-on integrated learning, to the focus on outdoor education, to the philosophy that students should have a say in the development of their own education”, said Mr. Bennett.

ISLA Academy programs are available for students of all ages (2-18) during the academic year. Classes begin August 29th, 2016. 

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