To the Editor:
About six years ago our family was preparing to make the move to Boca Grande.
One of our biggest decisions was where to enroll our 10-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, who would be entering the fifth grade.
She previously attended a 600-plus student elementary school as well as a school of 65 students. Although she had positive experiences at each of those schools, she came away from the smaller school with a love of learning and a true sense of family. We hoped she would find these feelings again at her new school.
After a meeting with The Island School's enthusiastic assistant teacher, Karen Kelly, our decision was easily finalized.
Something special takes places in a school where the entire staff knows your child personally - not just your child's classroom teacher.
Being surrounded by friendly, caring professionals truly allowed Elizabeth to feel confident and secure enough to jump right into all the educational opportunities they had to offer. The collaboration that continues today among the teachers, a principal who is a hands-on educator, and the involvement of parent volunteers and Boca Grande residents all contribute to the success of the students at this school.
All the students at The Island School know each other. The older students look out for the younger ones. It's like a small community within the greater Boca Grande community.
This feeling of belonging sticks with students long after they leave the Island School. Have you ever noticed the "big" kids riding on the school's Bike Parade float, helping at special events or attending the graduation ceremony? They are former students, still a part of the Island School family.
The Island School is a special place for me. As a former educator, a parent and an Island School volunteer, I find it inspiring to walk through the school and glimpse what is happening in the various classrooms. Students are reading, thinking, discussing, learning a second language, working on computers and moving independently through learning stations. It's a state-of-the-art facility where great things are happening and Boca Grande is fortunate to be a part of what makes up the Island School.