The Island School offers a transformative educational semester and summer journey. High school students from around the world join the School’s community of teachers and learners seeking to transcend traditional education models. With the campus and surrounding ocean as laboratories, the School partners with a world-class science research facility.
Together, the School’s faculty, staff and students engage in the process of inquiry in order to discover sustainable solutions to real world problems. They explore the framework of Eleuthera’s cultural and environmental landscape through student-centered academics, outdoor programs that support personal growth and leadership development, and outreach programs that practice a project-based approach to local collaboration. The Island School experience culminates in the beginning of a lifelong educational journey, with more self-confident students leaving as engaged global citizens, empowered to be active leaders of their generation.
History and Concept:
Chris and Pam Maxey founded The Island School in 1998 with the goal of conserving the wild population of marine life by providing alternative food sources and jobs for the people of South Eleuthera. In addition to strong support from The Lawrenceville School, The Island School project depended on the generous donation of 18 acres of land gifted from Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina. The Cape Eleuthera Development team also helped early on to establish The Island School’s corporate structure and build a solid financial platform.
The concept for The Island School evolved when Chris Maxey was a teacher at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. In 1996, Chris received the Joukowsky Fellowship from The Lawrenceville School allowing him to work towards his Masters in Marine Resource Management at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. During this year-long sabbatical, Chris began his research work in sustainable aquaculture. He formed the Cape Eleuthera Marine Conservation Project (now the Cape Eleuthera Foundation) and began to set the framework to build a school and research station at Cape Eleuthera.
In the fall of 1998, construction began and on March 15, 1999, Pam and Chris Maxey welcomed 22 students and 6 faculty members from The Lawrenceville School to launch the first Island School semester. The Island School and The Lawrenceville School continue to work in collaboration on projects, but now students come from over 250 schools across the U.S., Canada and The Bahamas.
Now, more than ten years into the journey, the organization has expanded to include a community middle school and resource center, the Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) for local students, and the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI), which focuses on marine research and sustainable development initiatives. The community at Cape Eleuthera is modeling a shift toward a more livable future. For all who come to live and learn at Cape Eleuthera, there is an opportunity to discover that people can make a difference – that we can begin to turn the tide and effect positive change in the way we live.
Tour the Island School:
The Island School is an intimate and important part of the Cape Eleuthera community and is less than a mile from the core Resort. Tours of the School can be arranged for interested guests. Please contact the Resort Services Manager for assistance in scheduling a tour during your visit.