November 10, 2017

Please join us for our inaugural DINE OUT FOR ISLA ACADEMY on November 15, 2017, 5:00 pm , at STIX Asian Fusion Lounge at Ahnvee Resort and Sports in Sosua. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit your child’s education, with 25% of  food and beverage receipts donated to ISLA Academy's Boost 2020 Campaign.

Boost 2020 is a newly launched campaign to raise funds for the expansion of ISLA Academy. Join us for a night out and an opportunity for family, friends and supporters of fine education and fine dining to come together to show your Support for ISLA Academy.

For more information about this event and other Boost 2020 initiatives, please contact Kim Thomas at

Thank you for your ongoing support and participation in ISLA Academy events.

October 24, 2017

We are pleased to announce an innovative new partnership with Ahnvee Resort and Sports ( Ahnvee Resort & Sports is the newest all-inclusive resort in Sosúa on the North coast of the Dominican Republic. Ahnvee Resort & Sports offers unparalleled amenities for sports, fitness and dining. Ahnvee has generously offered their space and facilities for use by ISLA’s Physical Education and Health Programs.

Beginning this Friday, students from all phases will begin using these facilities as a part of our physical fitness programming, making use of both swimming facilities and providing yoga instruction on site. ISLA will arrange all transportation to and from the facility. We will notify parents prior to any student trips to the resort.

We would also like to take this opportunity to inform families of some of the services available through Ahnvee Resort and Sports that you might like to take advantage of. Every Friday afternoon Ahnvee hosts an after school celebration for kids from 3:00 pm on. Resort staff are onsite to provide fun and games for all ages, from 2 to 16. Parents are welcome to come and relax at one of the restaurants, enjoy a cocktail or snack while the children play.

Also coming up is Ahnvee’s Halloween Party. Add a mask and a costume to the mix to celebrate the holiday at Ahnvee.

If you have any questions about our programs and activities at Ahnvee, please feel free to contact Hazakyah Hardy-Dia at

March 29, 2017

ISLA Academy is sponsoring a student writing competition and community initiative, Be the Change Challenge. An amount of US $1,000 will be awarded to the winning proposal for a project that positively impacts the local community.

In essay form, participants should describe their project, how it will benefit the community, and how they plan to get it started.

Proposals will be judged by an ISLA Academy committee based on the following criteria:

  • Viability of the project

  • Postive impact on community

  • Detailed budget of how the $1,000 will be spent (Total budget for project should be US $1,000 unless student can provide details on how additonal needed funding will be raised).

Submissions may be in English, Spanish, and French. A hard copy of the proposal should be submitted to the ISLA Academy office or sent digitally to


Due April 17

December 26, 2016

As we come to the close of our academic semester, we reflect on the highlights of our previous unit.  It has been a unique and challenging time for our community as we faced difficult weather conditions that impacted everyone.  In spite of it all, we were able to achieve and participate in many great events. The rainy months of October and November gave way to glorious sunshine and blue skies in December, and we made the most of it!

Student Activities

Student elections were held this unit.  Candidates gave their campaign speeches, learned about the electoral process, and were chosen to represent their classmates. Students also designed and built a new compost system for our food waste and garden. Members of the Yearbook Committee started development.

As we like to stay active and engage with our community and environment, all students participated in a beach cleanup at nearby Playa Laguna.  Our students worked together to make a big impact, picking up a lot of trash and plastic in one outing. Students collected recycled materials and built a Christmas tree from the materials with Miss Arianny.  It was a lot of work, but our tree looks amazing (and so does the beach)! Students also organized a bake sale to raise funds for flood victims.

Holiday Fair

Our Holiday Fair on December 10 got everyone in the holiday spirit with some good old fashioned family fun. The free Holiday extravaganza was open to the public, and included such fun activities as a Visit and Photo with Santa, Reindeer rides, Face painting, Sean in the stocks, Elf hunt, Sack races, Holiday photo booth, Santa's mailbox, Cookie swap, Upcycled craft stalls, Holiday basket raffle and more! It was an event to remember, and we’re so pleased to have been able to celebrate the holiday spirit together.

Guest Lecture Series

During the months of November and December, we had a terrific lecture series (see November Happenings for additional guests). Some highlights include:

A Guest presentation from Sandra Weber, owner of Claro Café in Cabarete, who spoke to us about making choices to reduce her business's environmental impact on the community.

Guest lecture and science presentation from Dianna Cowern, AKA Physics Girl.  She is a popular YouTube science personality, and spoke about how she does research and plans her many projects.  She was joined by a mechanical engineer who discussed the design process with our students.

Guest lecture from Letti Pascuito, owner of Kana Rapai recycled art center.  She taught our students about creative art using upcycling.

Guest cooking classes from local chef Paola and ISLA parent Odile Horjus.

Guest yoga instructor, Ms. Gabi joined us weekly to teach students of all ages about yoga.

Student Field Trips

ISLA Academy students had the opportunity to venture out into the community and learn about a variety of topics and engage with interesting people, doing interesting things, and help where needed. Our field trips related to topics being investigated on campus, so it was a wonderful opportunity to see ideas in action. 

Field trip to the Mariposa Foundation to meet international muralist Xaivier Ringer.  She spoke to us about the impact that art can have on affecting social change in a community.

A field trip to the circus at Extreme Hotel to learn acrobatic techniques, expand our comfort zone by trying out the flying trapeze and build class unity.

Sosua Bay field trip to participate in standup paddleboarding with Pauhana Academy.

Multiple trips to the communities of Maranatha, Sosua Abajo, and La Cienaga to deliver food, mosquito nets, rain boots, and clothing to the victims of the flooding.  These items were collected, organized, and distributed by students, parents, and teachers.

A visit to Charlie's Foundation in La Cienaga to deliver items to the children sleeping there temporarily due to the flooding of their village.  Several of our students also went later to play games and sing songs with the children. 

Field trip to a Fedujazz event to participate in a music workshop with musicians from the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival.

ISLA Academy is grateful to all of the friends we have made in the community that have made us feel so welcome, and have embraced our students. 

Amazing!  Thanks to all of the people that helped to enrich the learning experiences of our students, from the guest presenters to the parents that organized the events or provided transportation.  Here's to another great term at ISLA Academy.

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

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.

November 15, 2016

ISLA Academy is collecting donations and goods to deliver to families affected by severe flooding in the Maranatha region of Sosua, Sosua Abajo and La Cienega village of Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

Please bring donations (suggested items below) to the ISLA Academy campus in Playa Laguna, Sosua. If you would like to contribute a monetary donation, it will be used to purchase necessary items from the list for people in dire need. Donations are being offered to families in cooperation with a local church

in the region, which ISLA Academy staff is collaborating with in our outreach effort. 

Items needed: Matches, oil, rice, powdered milk, sardines, salami, candles, coffee, sugar, soap, antiseptic, toilet paper, blankets, sheets, clothing.

ISLA Academy staff, family and friends have been fundraising, preparing and delivering meals to families whose homes have been destroyed due to the severe flooding along the north coast region of the Dominican Republic.

For more information on how you can help, please contact us:
Tel. (809) 571-4633

Cash donations can be made here:


November 4, 2016

Presentation Day, Halloween, Spooky Movie Night at ISLA Academy, October 2016

 ISLA Academy wrapped up its first six weeks of the 2016-2017 academic year with the completion of the first Unit of Inquiry. Presentation Day was held to showcase students’ work, and student assessments were completed. Each presentation is assessed on the ability of the student to show deep understanding of the unit’s central idea.  At ISLA, students spend each unit working on investigative projects.  Students propose an idea and then meet with their teachers to develop project calendars, grading criteria, and a method of presentation. A high importance is placed creativity and planning.  Sample presentations included a philosophical debate between two students acting as Rene Descartes and George Berkeley, a ‘Shark Tank’ agro-business proposal, and a Guide to Healthy Living pamphlet.   

To celebrate the autumn season and Halloween, ISLA Academy held its 2nd Annual Spooky Movie Night Extravaganza on the lawn, on Friday, October 28. This year we showed the kid's Halloween classic, Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride. This fun, family event was complete with a bouncy house, campfire and S’Mores, delicious snacks, fun activities, and even a ‘Thriller’ dance performance.

Halloween has grown in popularity along the north coast of the Dominican Republic throughout the years, and ISLA Academy happily joins in the fun. Encouraging children and staff to wear costumes to school, ISLA Academy celebrates Halloween in full glory. Students were invited to partake in trick or treating in the nearby communities of Sea Horse Ranch and Perla Marina after school, as well.

ISLA Academy continues with its academic mission of serious education as the students embark on their second Unit of Inquiry. A unique offering to the private schools of the Dominican Republic, ISLA Academy supports a child’s natural curiosity through inquiry and project based learning, maintaining a student’s love of learning while enjoying creativity and fun in a distinctive educational environment.

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