Elementary & Middle Years

 

ISLA Academy currently enrolls Kindergarten through 8th grade students in our Elementary and Middle School Programs. Each program features mixed-age classrooms taught by exceptional educators. Our rigorously personalized approach develops skills to encourage lifelong learning and success, as well as a strong academic foundation.

 

>> Elementary School <<

 

ISLA Academy’s Elementary Program focuses on developing the foundational skills that children need to succeed as individuals and as classmates.  In order to achieve this, our educators focus on social-emotional skills in addition to academic ones.  We place a strong value on fostering independence and we educate our students using the inquiry process.  Students play a central role in asking questions and developing interdisciplinary projects.  Through scaffolded, differentiated instruction, students begin to learn critical 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, project design, investigation through technology, and the ability to evaluate claims of fact. With a mindful and gradual introduction to technology, they learn to be responsible digital citizens who can effectively seek out resources and experts.

 

Academically, students begin the transition from learning to read, write, and compute to developing a love of those skills.  Through comprehensive standards-based lesson planning and assessment, our educators ensure that students learn the skills and standards as determined by both the United States Common Core Standards and other highly regarded international curricula.  Students learn at their own speed, with individualized instruction that allows students to have a deeper understanding of the concepts before moving on to more difficult tasks.  At ISLA Academy, we place a focus on the development of skills rather than content.  Through the inquiry process, our students ask probing questions about the unit theme and then play a central role in developing large-scale individual and group projects that seek to answer those questions.  By involving the student in their own learning, the students make stronger connections among the subject areas and find a deeper pleasure in solving the central questions of each unit’s theme. 

 

At ISLA Academy, we understand that our families are sometimes only temporary residents of our beautiful community.  Our focus on independence and standards-based assessment assures families that their children will be prepared to transition back to any type of educational environment.  Our student-centered model of education also aids in the initial transition into this country.  Your child and his/her abilities, passions, and interests are at the forefront of our curriculum delivery.

 

 

>> Middle School <<

 

As students progress through the various grade levels (known as phases at ISLA Academy), there is a continued focus on refining the skills necessary for today’s world.  Our curriculum is vertically-integrated, meaning that as students progress through school, they build on previously learned skills and content areas.  As they reach the Middle School years, students play a much larger role in the ownership of their own learning.  ISLA involves students not only in the selection of content area, but also in the creation of assessment rubrics, the identification of learning standards, and the development of short-term and long-term deadlines during a project.  Students are taught to seek help from others in the process of completing a project, though we believe that a project is never truly complete.  This philosophy encourages students to continue seeking connections to their existing project goals and to look at their work from a variety of perspectives.  

 

ISLA students responsibly use technology in the pursuit of their educational goals.  Our students are not taught to fear technology, but rather to learn to utilize it to its full potential.  This occurs through coding classes, a “flipped classroom” model of math education, instruction on how to investigate and cite relevant material on the internet, and the continued pursuit of understanding emerging technology that seeks to make learning a more interactive and responsive process.

 

In addition to a focus on technology, our students receive an education targeting the development of creativity, design, and communication.  Through hands-on STEAM projects (science/technology/engineering/art/math), our students learn the scientific method and the engineering process.  These systematic approaches to building and testing ensure that students can make real world connections to the science that they are exploring.

 

Our curriculum builds competency through authentic learning experiences. Students answer the questions: “Why am I learning this skill?”, “How is this skill applied outside of school?”, and “Why does this skill matter?” Through inquiry, projects, core skills work, and reflection, students connect what they are learning to its real-world application.

To continually improve and align with the most recent discoveries in education, ISLA’s educators audit and develop new materials. Our outstanding educators use a growing library of recommended activities and resources to personalize the curriculum for individual students and their classes as a whole.

 

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